“Pandemic drinking: How many people are still struggling?
If you have a dependence – if the drink hasn’t loosened its grip since Covid waned – it’s worth considering your options…
… You could try controlled drinking – rationing your drink, really – but I’m not convinced it’s worth it. With cutting it out you eventually don’t have to think about drinking but with controlled drinking you have to think about it every day. You could try to stop drinking with the help of blogs such as Belle Robertson’s Tired of Thinking About Drinking, which has helped people all over the world.”
we will put other people’s needs ahead of our own, and then drink ‘at’ that, as a sort of ‘fuck you’ or ‘nobody takes care of me’ or ‘nobody’s looking out for me’ or ‘this is my way to unwind after i feel so brutal’ and ‘this is how i take care of myself after the bad things happen, and after i give-give-give to everybody else. then i drink.’
i’m talking about the energy you give to what your extended family thinks of you. And my answer is: it’s not important what your sister thinks. it’s not relevant. not by a mile.
first of all, is your sister living the kind of life that you want to live? you’re only supposed to accept criticism from people from whom you would take advice, because you want what they’re doing.
You would only take advice from somebody if they have the result that you are trying to get.
[The text above is transcribed from the newest podcast just sent to podcast subscribers (it’s episode #489 – “What my family thinks of me.” If you’re a podcast subscriber you’ve received this audio in full (it’s 35 minutes long). if you are NOT yet a subscriber, but sign up today, this episode will be your first audio. you’ll get it right away. if you sign up later, you’ll miss this one … just saying 🙂 go here.]
hugs from me on this sunny and warm afternoon. i have meatballs in a pot on the stove, slowly braising in tomato juice. husband is out at a show. i’ve started watching a frenetic chef show on Hulu (god help me). there are 2 weekends left in august. i want to: swim, have a picnic, go on a hike, and pick blueberries (too late). i want to have a perfectly clean house (hahahahaha). i want to eat meatballs and watch The Bear. none of these things would be improved with the addition of a hangover.
book giveaway #1 for wednesday! sending out a free hardcover copy of this book to the next person who orders a sober support painting 🙂 like this ‘sortie’ – newly added #789 link
email from Brett: “I’ve been too long with my head in the sand, but I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching, and I am so HAPPY to say that today is Day 18! No drinks … completely thrilled, and not struggling. I’m not white-knuckling. The feeling of control and sobriety, in and of itself, is trumping any cravings. I think my toolbox finally filled up enough to make it stick. I am not oblivious to the dangers of temptation, or that it will stay this “easy”, but I really believe I’ve got this thing … The most interesting, most eye-opening, and sometimes the most terrifying yet rewarding part has been (after the first 10 days or so) the clarity with which I can see everything I was numbing. Relationship problems? Numb them. Dissatisfaction with parenting efforts? Numb them. Hatred for your career and health choices? Numb them. Wow. The power the drink held over me was not just the power of “it’s fun to have a drink and hang out, I want more of that” but more insidiously “I am doing all of your (non) coping so you can continue putting band-aids on things.” I am so excited to live my life sober, and deal with problems and issues sober, so I can actually make my life better become a full participant in it. I know it now, after taking the leap – it will get better, because I am in control and will make it better. You just have to take that leap… hugs, B.”
from me, now, 4 years in the future from this email: the feeling of ‘i’ve got this’ can be wolfie speaking. the thing we ‘get’ is repetition, re-learning, that we want to be sober, that it suits us. the thing we ‘get’ is preventative maintenance. the thing we ‘get’ is that we need to stay connected to people who ‘get it’ so that we aren’t alone in our head, listening to wolfie. i did a facebook live video about this exact idea: the necessity of repetition (and how being sober is NOT like banana bread). you can watch it here.] note. facebook is not private. you can decide if you want to like or comment, but you can watch the video by clicking the link and watching a pre-recorded video is anonymous.
email from AP: “I finally realize what exit means for me. Other than the nice exit the elevator metaphor. I will hang this by my desk so it will be a reminder to exit the work world ‘when I’m feeling the obsession’ to finish the project and it’s way beyond the regular work day hours and I have not exercised or done self care. It’s when I feel like I need a drink to help me exit that place. This will be the visual reminder to exit before I have allowed my work to take over and push me into the wound up mode. The painting will also be a nice connection to you and the story of how you began selling your husband’s paintings to your followers and a connection to your fellow warriors on the same path. As well, how letting go of something and exiting from its grip will open up the space to pursue purpose and do things we enjoy – especially if it’s also helping someone else. This is a nice step for me as I solidify my commitment to a better mind set, control over my decisions which make me feel proud of myself. I just listened to one of your podcasts – I enjoyed a few laugh out loud moments on it and I’m sitting outside in the shade – drinking tea, eating a piece of chocolate. What a nice surprise I felt like buying an exit painting. I could not have felt this relief and peace and contentment had I drank myself out of the work mode. Deep breaths and smiles.”
from penpal marmar: “You know what’s awesome? I’m in bed! Sober! It’s 10 pm! … I listened to 2 audios today … The ‘I wish I could fly’ audio definitely resonated with me. And on the note, Belle did comment that something was different about that audio but she couldn’t put her finger on what. I’m not sure, either, but it struck me that it was a little more ‘tough love’ than some of the others – maybe? … Belle likes to tell it like it is – not really much sugar coating there. Because sobriety is fucking important – who has time for sugar coating it or beating around the bush? But with the tough love there’s also sarcasm and humor, so there’s some lightheartedness mixed in there. Sobriety is fucking important but if you make it ‘if you don’t get sober you’ll DIE!!’ — in your face — that’s not really going to help people hear the message… My point is, I think in that audio, Belle is getting even more to the core of it. You can’t drink, just like you can’t fly. As much as you WANT to, you can’t. Those of us who have managed some decent period of sobriety “get it” on some level. I didn’t before. And I’ll never forget my first phone call with Belle; she called me out – in her Belle gentle-but-not way – for saying I wanted to be sober but not really being serious about it, or something to that effect. She was 100% correct. And once you get it, you REALLY want others to get it! And so sometimes you get more urgent about it, more like, “don’t you see how silly it is to wish you could drink?!” Hard to articulate that in writing … The “I Wish I Could Fly” audio, in a good way, is like a call to attention.”
Apprentice Elise: “Hands down, the best audio for me that Belle has ever recorded [is ‘I Wish I Could Fly.’] I listen to it regularly. I love that I can use it in reference to drinking, but to other things as well (for me, it really applies to my mental health stuff and the challenges of raising my three awesome autistic kids).”
Apprentice Elise: “One of my favorite sober audios that Belle has ever recorded is “I Wish I Could Fly.” It’s an audio that really captures that “this is your thing” idea for me, and I can listen to it and apply it to any one of my “things” anytime.”
Apprentice Elise: “I don’t think I’ve told you before, but “I Wish I Could Fly” is my favorite sober audio ever. It’s listening gold. And it’s listening gold because it’s about how we can wish we can fly all we want, but we can’t fly. And we can wish that alcohol wasn’t the issue we have, but it is. So, yeah, sometimes we’re going to cry about it, be mad at it, scream about it, or just plain be annoyed, but it’s our thing. And that’s ok. You can handle that. It’s not fair, but you can handle it.”
Apprentice Elise: “I Wish I Could Fly might be my all-time favorite podcast. It helps when I’m facing a situation that just seems so unfair or impossible (like a chronic health condition or a virus that’s impacting the world) to listen to Belle kind of whine like I want to whine. “But I wanna fllllyyyy.” And then to talk us through why we can want this sober life anyway.”
archived podcast #229 called “i wish i could fly” is part of a podcast bundle you can download here. then you can listen to them over and over, particularly this episode. and the one called temptation. and the one about lindsay lohan. link here.
let’s talk about continuing to do something that makes you feel crappy – drink too much, think about drinking, not feel proud of yourself, wake up feeling like a bag of shit – let’s talk about doing that beyond the point where logically and rationally and empirically we already know it doesn’t work.
the thing about over-drinking is that the problem is in your head, it’s a voice in your head that says things.
so I want you to imagine, just for a second, that you’re standing on the edge of the roof — and it’s dark, and there are lots of stars and it’s a beautiful sky — and you’re standing on the edge of the roof, and you have a head that says: “I should be able to fly. I SHOULD be able to fly! I should be able to jump off of this roof, flap my arms and fly. I should! I’ve read about it. I should be able to do it. What’s the matter with me? It must be that I’m not trying hard enough.”
You know as well as I do, that when you hear a story like this, you immediately think “whoa, psychiatric stuff!” – you know it’s a symptom of a mental thinking disorder where logical thought doesn’t enter into the decision-making process.
The hard part about dealing with over-drinking is you have to deal with the voice in your head that is illogical, irrational, and lying to you.
Your brain will say “I’ve seen other people fly. I’ve seen other people have one or two drinks and then stop.”
Then I’ll come in and say, “you don’t actually know what you’re seeing. you don’t know what they drink when they go home. you don’t know how much they drank before you saw them have one drink. you don’t’ know what kind of failure rate they have. you don’t know how they feel….”
the text above has been transcribed by me, this very minute, from archived podcast #229 called “i wish i could fly.” this audio is part of a podcast bundle you can download here ($21). then you can listen to them over and over, particularly this one. and the one called temptation. and the one about lindsay lohan. link here.
email from penpal Pearl: “Hi Belle. I’m on day 1. I don’t know how else to describe this feeling other than hopelessness. I was climbing this sober mountain and I slipped. Now, I feel tired. I keep looking towards that sober top of the mountain and it seems so far away. So much work. And I’m just so tired. Tired of this battle within myself. Tired of failing. Tired of not trudging through the hard times to get to the other side. Today I feel guilty. Of course. That’s how we all feel when we slip up and have to admit it not only to ourselves but to our sober penpal. This drinking thing sucks. It’s not even enjoyable anymore. I hate myself while I’m doing it but I just keep doing it. Why why why??? I know exactly what my triggers are but instead of reaching out or finding another outlet, I cave. This is really really hard work. So far in my life, the longest and hardest battle. I want to cry, scream, crawl out of my skin. Fuck!!”
me: I can reset you, day 2 today. the hopelessness is wolfie, and it decreases as you move away from day 1. if you slipped, then you need more supports. to add to the mountain metaphor, you need ropes and a guide and a book and more rest times. it’s not that this mountain is impossible, it’s that you have a brain that says you don’t need any of the supports to get you to the top. which of course is silly 🙂 wolfie will say “no” to everything. and you can say “I hear you, but I’m going to do 100 days sober no matter what, I’m going to try some new things, I’m going to cry or scream, but I’m not drinking for 100 days. ask me again later, wolfie. the answer for now is no.” you don’t have to rely on yourself to reach out when you have a trigger. the goal is to set it up so that you have fewer triggers, and that you have supports already moving when triggers come up. it’s about keeping your car squarely in the middle of the lane (to mix metaphors again).”
From Sober in Richmond (The Solstice Guy): “I started my 100 Day challenge on the Solstice [and am celebrating 7.5 years sober on June 21st] … If there is anyone out there who needs some motivation to start – perhaps they can do the Solstice to Solstice. It really helped me to have the power of the whole darn earth behind me rather than a day or date on a calendar … It’s an incredibly magical thing, the Solstice to Solstice!”
Imagine it’s the longest day of the year (Tuesday June 21st in the northern hemisphere). Imagine you’re sober. Today can be your Day 1 or maybe it’s your Day 50. Or 400. Doesn’t matter. Can you see yourself sober on December 21st? Winter Solstice. Stand here. Look ahead 180 days. Because if you think the view from day 100 is great, wait until you see 180 days.
If you’d like to be sober from Solstice to Solstice, you can put a comment below.
Audios to listen to for Solstice to Solstice: Receive one archived podcast every 2 days for 180 days. That’s 90 audios in total, starting with SP001 Accepting Help all the way to SP090 Magical Time. Audios discounted 40%
I like the idea of having the ‘whole darn earth behind me’ – how about you?
From Sober in Richmond (The Solstice Guy): “I started my 100 Day challenge on the Solstice [and is celebrating 7 years sober tomorrow] … If there is anyone out there who needs some motivation to start – perhaps they can do the Solstice to Solstice. It really helped me to have the power of the whole darn earth behind me rather than a day or date on a calendar … It’s an incredibly magical thing, the Solstice to Solstice!”
Imagine it’s the shortest day of the year (tomorrow in the northern hemisphere). Imagine you’re sober starting tomorrow, December 21st. It can be your Day 1 or maybe it’s your Day 50. Or 400. Doesn’t matter.
Now, can you look ahead and see yourself sober on June 20th? Summer Solstice. Stand here. Look ahead 180 days. Because if you think the view from day 100 is great, wait until you see 180 days.
If you’d like to be sober from Solstice to Solstice, you can put a comment below.
Audios to listen to for Solstice to Solstice? Receive one archived podcast every 2 days for 180 days. That’s 90 audios in total, starting with SP001 Accepting Help all the way to SP090 Magical Time. Audios discounted 40%
Additional audios to listen to for Solstice to Solstice? Here is the link for Pack #2, audios SP091 to SP180. One new audio lesson every two days for 180 days. Audios discounted 40%
I like the idea of having the ‘whole darn earth behind me’ – how about you?
hugs, me xo
[if your brain likes special numbers to get started, this might be a good one]
s’elever = to rise up, to lift yourself up, like an elevator … link > www.artsober.com