omm356.Eliminate

so if you’re feeling wacky and wound up, especially in times like this, then what can you ELIMINATE that’ll make you feel better? alcohol, for sure, but what else? i share some suggestions in this one-minute message.

you can listen below. nothing to download. just press play 🙂

hugs from me xo

sunday audio. something has to change

this week’s sunday audio is about changing things to get different results. imagine you were cold and wanted to get warm. would you remove the blankets that you already have, or would you add new blankets—new layers of supports?  being sober is just like this. adding layers of things to get new outcomes. in this audio i talk about something i read this week by Sean McCabe on the subject of habits and outcomes, and how it maps exactly to how we can change our approach to being sober.

show notes:

  • the blog post about habits by Sean McCabe (seanwes). link here
  • the music, “Ibiza Dream,” thanks to Chris Haugen. link here
  • the photo for ‘adding blankets of support’ thanks to The Bees. link here
  • the unedited version of today’s audio, where i talk about ‘across the pond’, my plans for an extended rant, and the idea of naming these audios ‘clutch/fart’ will be sent in its entirety to podcast subscribers. link here

~

 

original art, thanks to mr.belle
you have potential when you’re sober
this is a close-up of painting #589
click link here

“No Mom, not now”

From ladybug11:

“My parents being here is always a major issue for me … rest and self care go out the window. My parents have no boundaries with me and impossible standards. I clean my entire house a week before they arrive and it’s still not good enough for them. They are constantly going from 7 am to 10 pm. Errands, paperwork, cleaning chores, household projects, nonstop. If I tell them I don’t feel well and want to rest, they will either accuse me of not being sober or will tell me to ‘go rest for an hour’ and then come into my bedroom every 5 mins asking me to help them with something that ‘cannot wait’ like finding old tax records or asking me to check if the dishwasher always makes that noise, or show them where my duct tape or mustard seeds or whatever fucking random weird thing they need for their project is … What should I do? I feel trapped. Audio ideas?”

me: it does sounds like a lot of pressure. you may have to be very firm with your mom … if you feel like she’s not giving you space, and interrupting you even when you’re in the bathroom (!), then you’ll have to be firmer. ‘No Mom, not now. No Mom, not now’ — as if she is 5 years old, and you would just repeat the same phrase, without being angry. By the third time she asks and you repeat it again, she’ll get it, but you might have to say NO three times in a row before she hears you.

and how about these audios [i can make up a bundle too]:

  • SP103 – Boundaries (i’m doing this to take care of ME, you say. i’m learning how to say no)
  • SP163 – Good Boundaries (we care so much that other people like us, that we don’t care if we like ourselves …)
  • SP169 – Interview Practise 1 (how to maintain boundaries, why do we over-drink (is it family history?)
  • SP211 – The Sprinkler (how to avoid dealing with someone (or some situation) that is making you feel nutty)

~

  • a 2-minute clip from SP187 – Take Care of You (this is not the whole podcast, just an extract) – what does it mean to ‘take care of yourself’?
  • OMM020 Boundaries: there are toxic people around you, there is shit-pouring. you need an umbrella. how do you get one?

 

bored

this is an extract from the longer sober podcast “Episode 218: Bored.” Someone asked me to talk about what boredom in sobriety means, and what to do with your time. Like, how do you deal with having an empty evening?

 

  • Get more audios on iTunes (apple podcasts) > link
  • Get more audios on Stitcher > link
  • or search for ‘Belle Sober Message’ on whatever podcast platform you use
  • Get the full audio for the Bored podcast episode #218 here > link

~

shameless commercial link.
getting real mail instead of junk mail? mail from france = nice.

medium magnet
2.5″ x 2.5″, acrylic and ink on hand-cut cardstock
mailed in a bubble envelope from France

medium magnet 417 > link

link

 

The 3 Things You Need to Know {Audio}

There are three main messages that I repeat often with penpals: about being alone, about being broken, and the wolfie voice.

In this audio, I go into detail on each one.

This podcast ​(episode 346) was one of the audios sent to podcast subscribers this week​.

​This was recorded December 30, 2019 in anticipation of New Year’s Day which is a common Day 1 in the sober world. So you’ll want to take some time right now and have a listen. Split it into sections if you need to. Do this now.

I'll leave the link to listen available for 24 hrs only.

[ link removed ]

​Sober Podcast 346. The 3 Things You Need to Know

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

Link to Download Podcast 346

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)

​if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, you can find the exit. get off the elevator. and then stay off.

Be Kind To You

I’m reading a book and if I read to you from the book
And I substitute the word ‘sober’ where he’s talking about something else
This will make as much sense to you as it did to me when I was reading it

And it goes like this
The worst part of this whole situation is that starting being sober and not continuing
Makes you feel terrible

These are not his words
This is me changing it because as soon as I read it I thought OK
I have to share this because this is genius
Because when you make a goal to be sober
You make a promise to yourself
The moment you create that goal
You’ve made a silent promise
And then when you don’t do it, you’ve broken that promise
And you’ve lied to the person you spend the most time with
Which is you
And if you break enough promises
You start to doubt yourself

That’s not surprising

If someone told you a dozen different times
That they’d meet you for coffee and then they never showed up
You wouldn’t trust them
If a parent promised to pick you up at soccer practice
And didn’t
You’d lose faith in them
If a boss promised you a promotion
And then didn’t deliver month after month
You’d quit believing her

When you break enough promises you start to doubt yourself
This is not surprising

I thought when I read that:
This is exactly what early sobriety is about
We don’t know if we can count on ourselves
We don’t know if we’re going to do it

We want to move away from the place of feeling bad
We want to move into a new place of feeling better

How do you do that
How do you quit

You get support from someone external to you
Someone who could repeatedly
In an email
In an audio
In an audio
Whisper in your ear
This is what you want
This is what you’re doing
Doesn’t matter what you’ve done before
It doesn’t matter that you didn’t show up for soccer practice before
What matters is what you’re doing today
Because today is how you write the new story
Of what happens next

 

~
if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, you may have to look for an exit. and once you’re off, stay off.
original art thanks to mr.belle who has been painting in the living room of the rental apartment in vermont. including getting navy blue paint on the beige carpet …
this is Exit #509, link > www.artsober.com

alcoholic who cares

“Dear Belle,
Am I an alcoholic?”
Belle says
who cares.
OK, that’s not soothing enough
for a One Minute Message.
Let me say it again, more soothingly:
It doesn’t matter if you’re an alcoholic or not.
It doesn’t matter if you use that word.
It doesn’t matter if you like that word.
What matters, is if you feel better when you don’t drink.
What matters, is that when you don’t drink,
you sleep better,
you feel proud of yourself,
you have more money,
you consume fewer dumb calories,
you have better relationships,
you’re more available for possibilities and opportunities in the world.
And mostly, you learn to stop slamming your hand in the car door
and you learn other ways to make yourself feel better.
Like self-soothing things that actually work.
Because, you know, alcohol doesn’t actually work as self-soothing,
although wolfie will tell us that it does.
What’s the theme of this message today?
Sobriety, it’s not just for alcoholics anymore.

[listen to this message as an audio]

 

>> You can learn more about the Season 3 cards here <<

and if you missed season 1, season 2, or want to order both seasons 1 and 2, i’ll embed those links so that you’re not missing out.
previous seasons arrive all at once in one big batch.

update as of Monday july 22:

135 of the 300 sets have been claimed

Quit forever, or for now?

It seems like the words shouldn’t make a difference, but they do.

Do you quit drinking "forever"? or "for now"?

As a test, we compare quitting drinking to giving up cheese. Do it forever, or for now? And what happens when you frame it as ‘forever’?

​​I've posted the link below and the audio will be available for 24 hrs. You can click and listen in increments. Nothing to sign up for. Easy to access​ (free/anonymous).

This audio will also be sent out to podcast subscribers.

​Sober Podcast 317. ​Quit Forever, or For Now?

​Question: ​After you listen to the audio, tell me how you think about this question. What kind of thinking works best for you? Post a comment below.

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)

encouragement comes in the mail

sample set of cards from season 2

encouragement comes in the mail.

from me:
it was a year ago that Tom asked if i could make up some one-minute message cards that could go in his wallet, since he’s not the kind of guy to wear charm bracelets or gold jewelry. don’t know why not, but whatever.

i said sure, i can make up cards. and i figured i’d do maybe enough for 30 people. mail 2 cards a month for 6 months. call it a ‘season’ like a season of television.
“who wants season 1 of the OMM cards, I said, last july?”

i ordered 30 sets of cards and waited.

then they sold out in a couple of hours and i thought, wait, i don’t understand. little cards in the mail? something tangible and real in the world of digital? nice (old) stamps from France?

i ordered a few more, posted a few more messages, and within 3 weeks had sold ten times as many as i’d ever thought. ordered more envelopes. ordered more cards. thought about putting a bonus photo in the first couple of envelopes and ended up putting a photo in EVERY envelope.

after the six months was up, it was time for season 2. six more sets of cards to be mailed, bonus photo every month.

and again the demand far outstripped availability. it takes many hours to do even 300 sets per month, so i’ve had to limit it, just because of the practicalities of printing and mailing with my little fingers (and periodically, borrowed husband fingers).

now it’s time for season 3
and i’m making this the last season.
every month for 6 months you’ll get 2 new cards in the mail and a bonus photo. mailed directly to you. will arrive at random times. unpredictable, surprising, cheerful 🙂 maybe even with a bit of hope in each envelope? or is that too cheesy …

>> You can learn more about the Season 3 cards here <<

and if you missed season 1, season 2, or want to order both seasons 1 and 2, i’ll embed those links so that you’re not missing out.
previous seasons arrive all at once in one big batch.

huglets

update as of thurs july 18:

109 of the 300 sets have been claimed

remove the booze

email from Amylee on the day before she quit drinking: “What if my Wolfie is the real me?  What if wolfie isn’t one aspect of me I can control but rather the central control point?  How can something as basic as wolfie so consistently and easily override all of the facts and insights and intentions I know to be true until evening rolls around?? Is wolfie the real me??”

me: not true. not true that wolfie is you. you remove the booze and the voice stops. when you’re on day 60 you can ask this question again. for now, it’s actually wolfie speaking, saying the same things he says to everyone: “I’m different, I’m broken, I can’t do this, I’m a special fucked up human …” 
you’re not. remove the booze and this all stops …
the thinking is IN the alcohol.
hugs

[update: she’s on day 141 today]

~

this is exit painting #384. there’s an exit 384 on the highway in florida, heading to gainesville. yes, really. gains-ville. what do you gain by taking exit 384? you get to go to gainesville. you can’t make this shit up. maybe i’m the only one who finds this amusing 🙂
this is exit painting #384 on the site, here.


​painted by mr.belle, acrylic and ink on archival paper, 11.75″ x 16.75″; original art (not a print), only 1 available, signed and numbered on back. link.