who is going to hold my hand?

from my inbox

E: “Hi  Belle, thank you so much for the 1 minute message ‘proud’. I’m on day 11 and my daughter is working tomorrow and she has asked me to look after my 4 year old grandson, and do you know what? she can count on me to do it and do it well and I’m so proud. I want to run out in the street and shout YEAH but I won’t because it’s 10.30 pm and I’m having my treat of hot chocolate. But tomorrow I’ll be up early without a hangover to have a fun day with my beautiful grandson. Thanks Belle.”


M (day 25): “I had an endoscopy today. Nothing super serious … I’m pretty chill with doc visits and medical procedures, but this was the first time I’ve been in a hospital since my (9-year old) son died.  As they put the oxygen tubes in my son I really lost it. All the images of the last time I saw my son cane flooding back. Such sorrow.  My nurse today was a 50-something, bad ass guy, who stayed with me for about 45 minutes to calm me down before the procedure. Turns out he’s a recovering addict 27 years sober. As both of our stories unfolded, I felt a complete connection with him. On the surface, we seemed so different. I was a grieving mom who drank too much wine. He was a high school drop out druggie who ended up in jail. But here we were, hearing each other’s stories, giving unconditional support, staying sober. I had a high low, he had a low low. Both grateful we were off the elevator. The procedure went fine. I’ll get results in a week. But I’ll always consider nurse Tim part of my home team.”

[a note from me: i remember having a cardiac procedure 5 years ago, and was terrified of the next bit they were going to do to me, and so i said very loudly and clearly: “Who is going to hold my hand during this?” (my husband was downstairs at registration getting me signed in, so not available, and he’s a fainter anyway, hardly any help). A nurse came and sat with me, held my hand, asked me where i was from given my accent, then she admitted in a quiet voice that she’d never been outside of france because she had bad anxiety and couldn’t fly, ever. and so i told her about my anxiety/flying things, and how with support we can change our thinking … and i remember her too, as part of my home team. Ask for what you need. Ask clearly. Who is going to hold my hand? Ask for it.]


Paris Podcast Picnic 
live podcast recording

I’m going to do a live podcast recording on Sunday March 24th in Paris, and you’re invited. A special event, where you can join me in person OR listen online with live streaming.

To attend in person:
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Time: 2:30 pm Paris time
Location: Near a lovely bakery, the exact location will be sent to you 2 days before the event.

Details: We will collect food, walk a short distance to where the podcast will be recorded, and turn on the microphone at 3 pm sharp. Guests will be able to watch/listen as it’s done live, and ask questions live, too, if desired. Voices only will be recorded, no faces. This is an OUTDOOR, rain-or-shine event, so dress appropriately. Total walking distance is about 200 m.

TICKETS available here

Question: What will your event exactly be about?
Answer: Hi there, it’s going to be like a sober workshop/presentation, but i’m going to use the content as a podcast, and invite people to be here when i record it AND listen at home if they can’t be here. The subject is about the major parts of being sober (feeling not alone, treats, maintenance) and how to DO those things. There will also be live q&a from the people in the audience in attendance. I’m thinking of recording it at the duck pond where i often record other audios. then there will be time for socializing afterwards, with cake and coffee, and a chance to connect with me and with the other sober folks. more supports. more cake.

To listen online:
If you can’t be here in person, then you can listen online for FREE.
This Paris Podcast Picnic will be live-streamed, so you can follow along from anywhere in the world. I’ll send out email reminders in the days before the event, so that you can be online and ready to listen. (If you need timezone help, you can look up “what time is 3pm paris time here?” in google and it’ll tell you.)

~  shameless commercial link. if you haven’t planned your sober treat for today, you might want to cast your eyes over the sober jewelry. or the sober art to hang on your wall as a visual, private reminder. or maybe your treat for today will be reading an amazing book by sober penpal catherine gray. or maybe some of everything 🙂 let there be glitter, and cake, and sober pineapple for you today. this sober thing is a big deal. you deserve a treat.