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i wish i could fly

from me:
let’s talk about what’s normal.

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.

the hopelessness is wolfie

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).”

~
Not Today silver bracelet
link

link

Solstice to Solstice June 2022

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?

Audio: Saving the 12-year-old

i was in a hotel room, hanging out, reading about writing fiction, and in the book there was this question about what is your WHY.

now, generally i hate these questions.

but i started thinking about it in terms of 'why do i do this sober work' ... or more specifically, why have i been doing this sober stuff for 10 years (soberversary coming in 19 days!).

and WOW does this audio get deep!

the why.

the REAL why.

And in this audio I tell you the story of the 12-year-old.

[ link removed ]

Sober Podcast 482. Saving the 12-year-old

To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.


Sign up for the podcast subscription and get this episode as your first audio.
(1-2 new full-length audios each week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

Solstice to Solstice December 2021

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

 

Audio: Can you make the euphoric feeling of early sobriety KEEP GOING?

When the newness of being newly sober WEARS OFF OVER TIME, then can gratitude help you feel better?

What is the difference between GRATITUDE and REFRAMING?

This is the subject of a brand new podcast (episode 449) going out today to podcast subscribers.

[ link has been removed ]

Sober Podcast 449. Can you make the euphoric feeling of early sobriety keep going?

To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Download SP449. Can you make the euphoric feeling of early sobriety keep going?

Sign up for the podcast membership
(1-2 new full-length audios each week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

We’ve tried this. It doesn’t work for us.

from me:

The idea of moderation (and really, it is only an ‘idea’), is that I’ll make rules for myself and I will follow those rules. I’ll make rules like ‘only one drink, only drink on weekends, only special occasions, i won’t drink this kind alcohol, I’ll have water every second glass…’

The idea of moderation is to have rules AND then to follow those rules. ha. of course, that isn’t what happens.

It’s sort of like saying: “I’m going to do a little bit of heroin, not very much, just a little bit, and I won’t ever let it take over, and I won’t do it every day” — which is to imply that we can keep track of an addictive substance, and we can contain it in one section of our house … that we can hold it in one part of our life and not let it overflow into everything else.

You might have been online looking for support to quit drinking, or you might have searched for “am I an alcoholic,” or you looked up “how do I drink less?” — and not long into your research you would have found that people would talk about how they had tried to moderate and were unsuccessful. So then they made new rules, and tried again, or they would resolve to try harder to stick their rules.

The problem with this — and you and I know this (and you know this because you’ve tried it) — anybody who comes to the sober world as well as anyone who’s quit drinking, has already tried to cut down, to drink less, drink every so often, drink on weekends. We’ve tried this. It doesn’t work for us.

You’ve tried to have ‘some’ and then stop, but once the pathway is open and the addictive voice is activated, then it’s yelling.

[this text above is from the transcript for archived podcast #400 about moderation]

~

AM: “Hi Belle, I tip my virtual hat to you. Podcast 400 needs to be blasted from speakers on (sober) car roofs across the globe .  Is there a way we can get it to pop up when people google search ‘how do I moderate my drinking?’ Lying awake with hangxiety at 3 in the morning?”


 

NEW: I’ve uploaded four older audios that have been missing from the archived podcasts list (scroll down until you see the NEW tag for episodes #399-#402). If you’re missing a few audios from your complete series, OR if you just became a subscriber recently, you may want to see some of these archived ones:

  • #399 – learning to overcome regret and shame (and to tell this apart from rumination and re-thinking for no reason)
  • #400 – when thinking about moderation, we often get stuck at the intersection of “I should be able to…” and “I can’t…” – and we stand there for a long time, waiting. but it’s a busy intersection. and cars crash at this exact place all the time.
  • #401 – i’m not a bad person, I just drink too much. i’m a good mother, i just drink too much. we hope we can put our drinking in a box, and hide it in the closet. turns out, it doesn’t really work that way …
  • #402 – being empathic isn’t an excuse for poor boundaries 🙂 in fact, if you ‘feel all the feels’ then you need MORE boundaries than most people…

to see these newly added archived audios go here (scroll down to see episodes #399 to #402 and then you can select them one by one).

OR here’s a one-click-link to get a these 4 new archived audios together in a tidy, complete bundle.

hugs, belle xo

Do your relationships change when you’re sober? {Audio}

​Hopeful62 is worried that her relationship with her husband will change if she is longer-term sober. She ​emailed me about having defined roles in a relationship, and ​how being sober might changes things (presumably in a bad way).

So my reply? Well it includes a bit of: What if the changes are positive? What if we evolve into a better version of ourselves? Slightly less irritated, slightly less anxious. You may have better boundaries and speak up for yourself more. These aren’t bad things 🙂

And then I say this quote, but you'll have to listen to the audio to find out why... “I don’t give a shit for a millisecond what my husband thinks of croissants.”

Related Links:

  • SP45 Here’s What I Need From You > www.gum.co/sp045 
  • Mini-Course: How to Quit Drinking When Your Husband Still Drinks > link


​This audio link has been removed. 

If you are a podcast subscriber on or before February 15th, you'll get this audio in your podcast library. hugs, belle xo

sign up to be a podcast subscriber here​.


This link has been removed. If you are a podcast subscriber on or before February 15th, you'll get this audio in your podcast library. hugs, belle xo

Sober Podcast 412. ​Do Our Relationships Change When We're Sober?

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. ​You can tell me if you heard anything new ​... ​

Sign up for the ​podcast ​subscription
(1-2 new full-length audios each ​week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

reindeer, snoopy, donuts

i will continue to share stories of simple gifts, simple kindness, and simple holidays so long as my inbox continues to look like this …

Ma: “Hello Belle, I heard about you from Catherine Gray’s book, she said she found great solace from you and your writing and I can see why. My best Christmas memory is of me putting my four year old daughter to bed and Mum pretending to be a reindeer outside, some bells and snorting, my daughter was delighted that the reindeer had come.”

Pa: “We were a family of  five back in 1963. We didn’t have a ton of money … and never spent money on elaborate decorations for the home. We just had some simple old coloured lights and one green flood light. Back in the olden days, the flood lights seamed to last forever, you would plug it in and without fail it beamed bright year after year. In those days we could always count on another thing too: tons and tons of snow. One year I got a super idea to create a subject for the flood light, on our front lawn. So I worked tirelessly with my wet mittens at sculpting a simple Snoopy, then the next year I took things up a notch and created Frosty the Snowman holding ET’s hand and pointing up at the night sky. I had even got out my water colour paints to glorify the sculpture. It became a big hit. Many cars would creep slowly by our home or even stop for a while so they could get a good look at the characters in the spot light. It made people smile. And that is what Christmas is all about to me, it’s in the heart. The little things…”

We: “One year when my children were their early teens, we celebrated the solstice with a candle lit walk with friends in their woods. there was snow that year and we had a beautiful walk with fresh home made donuts after. We have continued the tradition of gathering for the solstice (with donuts), but that was the only year there was deep snow and a trek through the woods (my girls are now 28 and 26 and it is still a simple celebration that we all look forward to (I don’t make the donuts, friend does!)” [me: now i’m craving donuts, am i right?]

~

 

mr.belle has painted some cardstock that he’d usually use for magnets. but he’s done them on the diagonal, and double-sided! and with a little hole punched in the top, and some hemp cord, we have a christmas ornament (perhaps) or you can hang it from your cork board, or your car’s rearview mirror…

 

link > www.artsober.com

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link > www.artsober.com