The Thing isn’t in the Thing {Audio}

This is audio is about how the thing isn’t in the thing.

I talk about how your spouse is your peer and not your parent, and I happen to mention sorting laundry, burning toast, and hot turkey sandwiches.

Alcohol has done a good marketing job, in your head, in telling you that it seems like a good idea to drink… but I can verify, ​for sure, based on my inbox, that the first drink is a disappointment. and the thing isn’t in the thing…

This is the subject of a podcast (episode 293) sent to podcast subscribers.

I want you to hear the whole audio, even if you’re not a subscriber. So I’m going to load the entire thing below ​and leave it there for 48 hrs. ​

​​Listen in installments. Or get a cup of tea and do it all at once. There's something in here for you. I'm sure of it.

[ link removed ]

​Sober Podcast 293. ​The Thing Isn't IN the Thing

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. ​To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

​Download ​SP293. ​The Thing Isn't IN the Thing​

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)

exit the past situation. move into the new place. the door's open. 

kids screaming and yelling about needing breakfast

from Kelley (day 15):

“Hey Belle. So, it’s Saturday morning and I REALLY wish I would have drank last night. I so wish I would have gotten that half hour of a buzz that I think is the holy grail, followed by hours of empty calorie consumption, getting to the point that I don’t really care what I say or do (or text or Facebook), then getting into a fight with my husband because it’s 1 a.m. and I want to stay up and watch another movie and drink more. I sure wish I would have woken up on the couch with all my clothes on at 5 a.m. because my husband gave up trying to get me to come upstairs. I really missed out on that middle of the night parched mouth so I claw my way to the kitchen to gulp down 3 glasses of water like I will die if I don’t. Man, I wish I would have gotten to experience that shameful moment when I remember that I drank way too much even though I hadn’t planned on it. And oh, boy. This morning? I sure missed my kids coming in and screaming and yelling about needing breakfast, with a pounding head and an inability to get up, so I tell them to just scrounge up some cereal for themselves while I go back to “sleep,” which is really just closing my eyes for another hour while I wince in pain and berate myself for WHY I drank that much for the millionth time. I’m really going to be sad the rest of today that I’m not simultaneously feeling all physically horrible and mentally tortured by what a terrible mother I am, all the while wanting it to be 5:00 so I can do it again! WTF? It IS insanity. Note to self: Sober is better. Now if I can just get that tattooed onto my crazy brain, that would be awesome…Day 15.”

~

shameless commercial link. i have hand-selected a collection of audios to help you specifically with the idea of “why is this hard, why am i thinking about FOREVER, i don’t trust myself, I feel nervous, but I want to keep going.”  link here

 

 

murdery anger

email from APool (day 28): “Today has been a day when as soon as I woke up I knew I should just go right back to bed! I’m tired and very, very cranky with a huge side of murdery anger. It’s a great combo! PMS IS AWESOME!!!

I have feelings that are right at the front of my brain. I can’t stuff them anywhere because I can’t hide from them with booze. I’m writing this from a bathroom stall in Costco! Perfect place to come to with murdery pms. I need a garden hose and strawberries and then I’m racing home to be alone.

Had to write an email. Been meaning to do it since I woke up so bathroom stall it is haha. ❤️APool”

[update: she’s on day 48 today] 


 

this is exit painting #376 
it goes nicely with everything you own
it matches the other thing you have hanging on your wall.
yes, you’re right, i do think you should have it.

 

life is the train, not the station

email from Katana (day 11):  “I listened to all the podcasts I have on repeat today.  I’m not even sure I was listening to what you were saying.  I just associate your voice with the fact I want to be sober and go from there.
I managed to clean out my entire desk today.  I’ve decided I don’t need one.  All it does is collect shit and then it pisses me off that it is always dirty.  I’m trying to stay away from things that piss me off.  To bad the toddlers don’t get that.
Anyway I’m sober.  Because of naps, chocolate, and repeating podcasts.  Thanks Belle.”

~

email from Smile 9 (day 89): “I listened to your interview with the yoga chap – I have to say I was quite surprised  at the interview and it’s left me thinking about the ‘feeling’ it left me with – thought I would share some of it. I felt he didn’t listen to you and had his own agenda. He sounded commercial and ‘slick’ – made me realise why your message and style for me is so successful, because you are exactly not like that – he was annoying and lightweight and didn’t sound genuinely interested in you or your message – it left me feeling quite empty – and appreciate you more! Of course it could have been a different live experience for you and I may be mistaken but it was quite a strange listen. I was on a train and I was thinking life is the train and not the station. The bottom line for me with this sober lark is making a commitment – any sort of commitment – but a big commitment – ties in with accountability – not just with the sober journey but life and making changes…”

 

 

“I’ll be there”

email from C (not yet a penpal):  “Last night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night. I actually slept through until morning (it’s day 55). I simply can’t remember when I had a night’s sleep where I didn’t wake during the night. Can you believe how happy that makes me? ha!! My bargaining time was also around the 3 a.m. mark. I would pray to God, please God I don’t want to drink anymore, Help me to feel better, please don’t let me die. Really, there were times when I felt I had abused my body so badly that my heart might simply give up. The anxiety of it all was desperate. A desperate plea to help me get sober. My journey, I’m sorry to say, is a near on 30 year trek and yes I’m exhausted.
However, something is different this time. It may well be due to the sad news that my husband has been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I could easily attribute my soberness to such sober news and in part I’m sure it is. However, I’m reaching a birthday milestone at the end of the year too and I wanted to do something different, something life affirming. However, my husband’s diagnosis put a hold on any adventures I had in mind, quite rightly paling them into insignificance. But, once again, it was something you said about when you stop drinking everything you do is a new experience (can’t remember your exact quote, maybe that was exact!!). It inspired me to realise that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing this year. This is my life affirming adventure. I know I probably shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself, and I feel a bit of a jolt and a notable cringe as I even allow myself to think it is possible for me to be free of drink, let alone say it, but there it is, I’ve just said it. And so I think the difference is you, Belle. You know, I’ve never signed up or had any support whatsoever in previous sobriety times and there’s so many bits of advice or ways of looking at things that have helped me get to this stage. I know it’s early days, but I’ve never been sober for this long with this resolve before! The payback that I’m experiencing these last 55 days of sobriety is the sheer beauty of it all. The freedom of knowing that I can say “I’ll be there” or “I’ll do that” with no fear of hangovers getting in the way, resulting in false excuses (I mean lies) because I decided to get obliterated and so now I can no longer function properly and all I want to do is sleep. I have literally been chained to the booze shackles, imprisoned by my own free will … So with all that said, I want to thank you for sending your emails, long may they continue, they give me such strength. I’m sure you know how much you are helping so many people, but I just wanted to say thank you for how much you are helping me.”

 

the business of ‘FUW’

email from Topo Chico (day 28): “Arrived at new work location today. Jet lagged and exhausted, but not hungover. Yay. After paying for dinner last night, the waiter asked me if he could invite me to enjoy a digestif. I almost said yes, not knowing what he meant, but stopped short when he explained further:  alcohol. I said no thanks telling him that I was on business. That’s a solid excuse for respectable folks. (Yeah, I’m on business, the business of Fuck You Wolfie.)”

 

The Lucas Rockwood Show (i’m a guest on his yogabody podcast! not talking about yoga, clearly).

​I was recently on the Lucas Rockwood podcast, talking about quitting drinking and about the booze elevator that only goes down.



I'm also going to send out a copy of the full interview to ​podcast subscribers so that you'll have it in your library ​(episode 298) .

And you can listen to the entire audio here.

​Sober Podcast 298. ​Lucas Rockwood Show

feedback from some of Lucas's listeners:

R: "I listened to your interview on Lucas Rockwood's podcast and a lot of what you said really resonated with me. I remember in my college days taking a women's studies class and we discussed at length the amount of time women - young and old - spend on thinking about things like beauty - how to look better, how to lose weight, etc. And about how much mind space that takes up in our day to day lives and all the things that could occupy that space instead. And so when I heard you speaking about that same situation with drinking, it really got me thinking about how much time I really do think about drinking. It's totally insane! So, I thought I'd just give this a try, test it out, see how I feel. I've done sober months for the past several years (once a year) successfully but when I drink again, I tend to drink too much then suffer from lots of self-loathing for not being able to "drink responsibly." ... Anyway, I wanted to thank you for creating this space for people and to thank you for the kind personal message!"

N: "I heard your words on the Lucas Rockwood show and was 100% inspired ... I’ve been thinking of ‘cutting back’ and have been mentally preparing myself for the journey. Then I saw the email from Lucas about this podcast, thinking of quitting drinking. And you know, everything you said I could relate to. So before it was even done I was on your page! I listened to it yesterday (my time) and haven’t had a drop ... I look forward to your encouragement and honesty. You are a true inspiration, as you don’t sound like one of those fake people (!) who belittle others, which inevitably makes you want to drink! Thank you for sharing your story and experience with the world. I am on my way to a better life all together. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!"

L: "Hi Belle, I purchased your audio book yesterday and listened to the whole thing straight [6 hrs!]. It was just what I needed. Finally made sense that I actually was paying a price for my over drinking. I’m Day 2 and ready to feel healthy again. I heard you on the Yoga Body podcast and was so impressed with your story. Then a week later I really over drank and knew it was time to visit your website and get help. I never realized before how much I was discounting my habit because it wasn’t the "low bottom” story. But when you talk about the elevator of alcohol is always heading down it just clicked. Thank you, Thank you for sharing!"

Download the entire podcast episode here

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 get off and stay off. original sober art thanks to mr.belle. this is Exit #360.

Welcome Lurkers (Part 1)

I recently received a series of emails from lurkers (silent readers, non-reacher-outers), and in a new podcast, I reply to a few of them with longer, detailed responses. 

The complete audio recording is over an hour long, and split into two parts, and was recently sent to podcast subscribers.

​In this extract from Part 1, I talk about the feeling of being determined on day 1 (or 10), and how that feeling of being determined isn’t enough to be long-term sober. You need some other things that I talk about in this audio. 

​Here's a clip where you can listen to a 3-minute extract from the podcast. ​To download the entire​ 25-minute audio from part 1, you can use the download link below.

extract from Sober Podcast 285. ​Welcome Lurkers Part 1

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine ... or send me an email.​

​Download ​SP285. Welcome Lurkers Part 1​

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)


​Step 1. Exit.
​Step 2. Stay (stay here, stay focussed, stay true to you).
​Step 3. Potential. Look around you. See the possibilities.

​This is painting #322 here.

[Audio] Sober Tools

A couple of days ago I recorded a new podcast about sober tools ... what helps and what doesn’t. 

You know, how we try to take vitamins to help us be sober, and French classes, and sign up for marathons — hoping they’ll provide the accountability we need to quit drinking.

This new podcast (episode 267) went out to podcast subscribers.

Here's a 7-minute clip where you can listen to a bit of the audio. This begins at about the 17 minute mark in the full-length 30 minute podcast.

extract from Sober Podcast 267. Sober Tools

You can leave a comment below, anonymous is fine ... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Download SP267. Sober Tools

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 booze is an elevator that only goes down, you can exit the elevator. when the door opens, be sure to get off. and stay off.

original Exit art > here

[Audio] Interview with Kristi Coulter 2018

It's been 2 years since I spoke with sober penpal #128, Kristi Coulter. She has a new book coming out on Tuesday, August 7th called Nothing Good Can Come From This. 

But the story of how she got here has a lot to teach us sober folks.

Like, how do you deal with people telling you that you just don't get it, or that you're shit?

I sent out this audio today (episode SP260) to podcast subscribers ... 

BUT I am going to make this full podcast available for 48 hours, even if you are not a podcast subscriber.

You'll want to hear this. Start now, just for a few minutes. 

Sober Podcast 260. Kristi Coulter (2018)

If you could leave a comment after you listen, that'd be great. Anonymous is fine. To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Download SP260. Kristi Coulter (2018)

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)

Feedback from listeners:

Lena: Love that part about it not being about willpower. Because I guess, that’s what works ... slowly getting to know a perspective of things to be great and even greater! And particularly inspiring awesome to getting to know real people who are showing up, and what is possible if you just go through that tough stuff. 'cause grass IS greener on the other (sober) side! Love for that <3"

Emsyface: "I found this a really useful and there were some parts that stuck out:

Before she quit she felt like she was just fulfilling everyone else’s needs and that her writing/pure creativity was “not essential”. This I think is important because it shows how alcohol makes us just focus on getting through and we deny ourselves any sense of pleasure or frivolity.

The part when she got negative feedback for expressing anger and that meant she was a “dry drunk” and would relapse...

The part where she talks about reading your blog and you “liking” being sober. Catherine Gray in her book talks about sobriety having such a negative image whereas the reality is anything but. That was so worth hearing again.

I found it affirming to hear from someone who didn’t have underlying mental health issues that if one did, one might need more support.

Other little nuggets were “drinking doesn’t change reality” (but changes how you process it); and that feelings don’t kill you. ... Thanks for this- one of the best I’ve heard in a while."