Audio: Thirty Years

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #220 sent to sober podcast members.

Sober in St. Pete asked me for a personalized message, to talk about the fact that she’s been trying to do this sober thing for a while.

“I’d love something about how LONG I have tried this. Remember I am 60 years old, and started around age 30 on this path to recovery, with three resets after 1.5 years. I need to know that this is possible. Guess I need some hope.”

There’s an interesting ‘undercurrent’ to my message to her. What do you hear me saying that is applicable to YOU, no matter what day you’re on? hugs from me


below i’ve posted a 3.5 minute clip from the longer audio, all i ask is that you leave a message in the comments. If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.



Download the entire podcast episode #220

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(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).



I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Sobriety isn’t a place or a one fixxall… it’s a process that grows and build takes root grows a limb a new branch etc?

  • It’s interesting that I look at 30 years of trying to quit drinking and think I’m glad that wasn’t me – BUT iT WAS. Just out of college I went to a couple AA meetings and ran away from that path pretty quickly. In my late 20s I was part of a community looking at all sorts of addictions. I gave up alcohol for 7 years but never had the intention that it was for life. Years later, I began to see alcohol and me me a bad combo, a slippery slope. At 51 I stumbled upon this blog at 3 am on a night that alcohol kept me from sleeping.

    Now, gratefully, I am on the life plan, 3 years sober since having Belle in my corner. Belle you are the down comforter to my cozy bed. I add clean sheets and a heated mattress pad, and a pretty duvet, and lavender spray on the pillow, and a humidifier in the room and a hot bath before bed and meditation and exercise and treats. And it all adds up to sober living!

    My life has changed. My choice to keep my sober momentum going is strong. On a rare occasion when my hubby is drinking a glass of wine I think oh that would be nice – no it wouldn’t. So I go take that hot bath, and drink a special tea, and crawl into a lovely bed, and get a good night’s sleep. The next day I get up without a hangover, having slept soundly, ready to take on a new day.

    I am grateful for Belle, and blankets, and treats, and sobriety 30 years after first considering it.

  • Layering. Yes, must remember to do that. I’m at the point where I’m getting kind of tired of things. Tired in the way that I start to drift from my supports. Kind of like antibiotics – you think you’re “better”, then stop taking them, then the problem comes back. Or exercise. Feel good, start slacking, feel crappy again. I’m guilty of starting things (books, blogs, mantras, etc), and then losing the steam to keep going. Must layer. Must reinforce what is working.

  • Layering makes a lot of sense to me – your site has been so helpful as have Laura Mckowen’s, Mrs. D’s, unpickled’s, Holly Whittaker’s, The Sober School … so much great stuff out there. Just finished Catherine Grey’s wonderful book ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’ who says lovely things about your work. : )

  • Something that resonated with me and my first year of sobriety that I still think about often is Belle telling me to layer on the supports. I needed to layer on many blankets more than I needed Or more than I thought I could ever need and then over the years or depending on my life situation take off a blanket. And anytime I hear Wolffe I check in withBelle which is of course adding another blanket and we look at other blankets that need to be on or at the ready. So one of the big messages that she taught me and I still used to this day is having much more support in place-layering up for a blizzard-and when I’m successful for a long time only then carefully taking off a blanket. But of course having it folded all tIdy next to me for when I need it again since Wolfie is sneaky no matter how many years go by without drinking

  • It was so good to hear the analogy of the blankets again today. Of course I need to add layers so that I can get warm (stay sober, stay calm, make changes), but it’s so easy to forget that. Add, don’t replace.

  • ….it’s and, and, and…. not or, or, or…

    Also like mixing paint to get the color that’s specific to what’s in your head, not just picking a color off the shelf that looks terrible in the light in your home

  • What I heard was, that I have to give up being a perfectionist about all this.
    I tend to go “balls to the wall” about everything…. And in this alcohol free life that I am building for myself, my priority is staying sober! … using all the tools I have, and adding more when flailing… and all else can wait.

  • This is really good clip. I really needed to here this right now, just quit cigarettes yesterday! (Its been 42+1/2 hrs since my last smoke!) I’ve been revisiting all the tools I’ve learned to help quit drinking, to help quit the smokes. I’m going to try more layering.

  • Two things that strike me- one is impatience ( wanting quick results) and two is hopping from different supports and not adding them together. One alone seems rarely enough; finding a combination ( of imperfect) tools/ supports. Accepting the fact that there is no ideal answer, reaching out and not giving up , ever . ??

  • So here I am famished…standing in line at the smorgasbord of recovery.

    I take a large helping from the Belle dish, help myself to some of the Kevin O’Hara bowl….on to the Annie Grace platter….then head to the dessert table for some Mrs D cake.

    I fill up on whatever I need to make myself feel satiated….whatever works for me….layer after layer. 😉

    ~Not Looking Back (aka Jill) ~