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)

​Alcohol is addictive, liquid poo (AUDIO)

Drinking is like pouring liquid shit into your life. It flows over everything. It affects every aspect of your life.

And to make things worse? This liquid poo (alcohol) is addictive. If you consume some liquid poo, it makes you want MORE of it.

If that doesn’t sound like a nightmare, then I don’t know what does.

This audio was originally sent out in June 2018 to podcast subscribers.

I am going to make this full audio available for 24 hours even if you are not a podcast subscriber. You'll want to hear this. Start now, just for a few minutes. 

[ link has been removed ]

Sober Podcast 252. Addictive Liquid Poo

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. If you've heard the entire audio, you can tell me if you heard anything new ​... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

​Download ​SP252. ​Addictive Liquid Poo

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)

Open to new possibilities. Open minded. Open the door and walk through. You can see the fugure through the sign, too​. Sober inspired art thanks to mr.belle, here

see available paintings, pick out one for you > artsober.com

Audio: Research and statistics

​This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #247 sent to sober podcast members.

​Now that we know that the alcohol industry has been funding some of the booze-related research, it just makes me wonder about studies and research in general.

and how most of us (me included) aren't able to determine whether a news article that claims to be based on a study, is actually ​fact, if it's been skewed, who paid for it, and what is the underlying agenda of the news media writer, or the original researcher.

in this audio, i start off ranting about booze research, and then I think that before i get myself into too much trouble, i will share some of my own biases, thought process, and numbers. how many people had i been penpals with before it was a paid thing? how many people did i interact with, see patterns, offer cheerleading to, before i started talking about what i saw? listen to this and find out.

see if there's something in here that rings true to you. other than the visual of me standing on my balcony with cold feet, wearing my pyjama bottoms and sweater, holding a clip-on microphone to my mouth. I also tell you about the little girl with the yellow raincoat that I see from the window.

​I have posted below the ENTIRE 22 minute audio for this podcast, and I will leave this link available for ​24 hrs only. ​Have a listen now. all i ask in return is that you post an anonymous message in the comments. If you’d like to be able to hear this again, ​you can use the link to sign up at the bottom of the post.

​Comments from subscribers:

Inspired (day 606): "​I feel the same way about research, critical thinking, agenda behind it and bias. Years ago, wolfie loved hearing research that wine was heart healthy and resveratrol in red wine was good for me. BRING IT ON, he said, we will just moderate drink. This topic reminds me of an interview with Katie Couric, a news anchor, I read a few days ago in the airplane magazine on a flight. She speaks about the difference in reporting on information versus affirmation. Are we only looking to affirm our beliefs in order to empower or strengthen them, or can we allow information in when we may not agree with it completely? Critical thinking and continuing to ask the questions around agendas and bias is important ..."

Jacci2 (day 82; medical professional): "​... as a general rule, I ALWAYS take research cited by any journalist with a huge lump of salt. If I really want to know something, I'll go look up the research article myself and read it to discern whether or not it was a good study, whether or not it is generalizable to the public (they often are not, the journalist just extrapolates the data to apply to everyone even though the study group is limited and very specific), and who funded it. This drives me crazy. Journalists are not scientists and they make their own assumptions from the research and feed it to a gullible public. RANT ALERT! I had to do this recently for my boyfriend. His mom was all concerned about some article in a magazine about one of the meds he was taking for heartburn, saying it was going to give him kidney failure. I pulled up the original article, and it turns out the findings were only relevant if you are over the age of 65, are obese, have diabetes, and are already showing signs of kidney failure ​..."

If you sign up for the monthly podcast subscription, this audio will be the FIRST one you get, if you sign up today (Tuesday). ​Then you can listen again. Save the MP3 file. Listen on repeat.

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

how tiring it must be to be married to us

what must it be like to be married to us, this unique combination of high functioning, high emotion, lots of noise in our heads.

my husband, though he drank as much as I did, does not have a wolfie voice. he is not wound up by things. he doesn’t struggle with “can I, will I, should I, is there more, is this the right amount.”

it must be so tiring for him to be married to me. I may complain about his sloth tendencies and the absolute LACK of obsessing (about anything). but really, he’s dealing with me.

I’ll give you an example.

This is a true story.

My husband is perfectly content to make me a ‘special drink’ at suppertime. if I tell him specifically what I want. and how to make it. why ‘how to make it’? because I keep changing what I want.

(1) Hot chocolate from Marks & Spencer. very yummy. expensive (3,25€ for 10 packages). they have no diet or ‘lite’ option. I only bought one box of the 10 packages.

(2) Then at Christmas, I got Mr. B. a treat for his stocking (which I promptly drank): a box of instant cappuccino powdered things. I drank all of his, and started buying it regularly for myself, the little single servings, 10 to a box. Worked my way up to one or two a day. They were quite weakly flavoured, though, so had to be made in the medium coffee mugs so that there wasn’t too much water added. We have 3 sizes of mugs: large, medium, and small. My husband would make my special coffee for me in the medium cup.

(3) After a few weeks, I moved to a canister of the same powder, instead of the premeasured packages, because it was cheaper (there’s a theme here). Now that I had free reign of the powder, I switched to making a stronger, bigger dose in the large mug. Now it had to be made with 4 teaspoons of the powder with a bit of cream. in the larger mug. there. that’s pretty good. my husband would make it for me.

(4) Another few weeks. it’s too expensive. I’m going through these canisters way too often. I go to the store to buy some diet instant hot chocolate that can be made with hot water.

AND there isn’t any.

France, apparently, is a land of hot cocoa (made with milk, which I don’t drink). it’s all cocoa. no hot chocolate. And not only is there no instant hot chocolate in france, there is no ‘diet’ anything hot and chocolate-y/coffee-y. I can picture the blue canister in my Canadian memory. it was president’s choice brand. I had it all the time. But here? There’s cocoa and sugar in a can you can add hot milk to, but no instant hot chocolate.

I consider leaving the country in desperation.

(5) Instead I buy the cheapest ‘intended for milk’ cocoa mix there is (nesquik! oh my god!) and a bottle of instant decaf coffee.

now my special coffee goes like this: medium cup, 3 spoons of chocolate powder, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, cream, hot water. my husband would make it for me.

(6) Then I read something about trying to reduce the sugar in my coffee to 1 teaspoon, so I calculate the number of grams in a teaspoon of sugar (5g) then I try to figure out how small my coffee/chocolate combo should be. I switch from the medium to the small coffee cups (of the three sizes), to make a smaller 5g of sugar portion, and I mix one spoon of decaf with only one spoon of nesquik (lame) and some cream and hot water. My husband makes my coffee for me, after I clarify the specific recipe which changes daily.

(7) Last friday I had a catered event, and there was some real coffee left over, I put it in a jar. now I’m adding it a few tablespoons at a time to my little special coffee, for a tiny bit of caffeine but also to use it up. My husband makes my coffee for me, BUT every day, now, he has to ask me ‘how I want it’.

(I want to moderate my drinking, I can’t figure out how to do it, I try things that don’t work because the thing I’m looking for isn’t in the alcohol.)

I have an idea of what I want and I keep changing, because I can’t match the idea. for the hot chocolate coffee combo? I’m looking for some feeling that isn’t there. It reminds me of home. when I used to have it before my sunday long runs. I can still remember the sound the spoon made in the square blue cup (that the movers broke). mix a bit of powder in the bottom with cream, then add hot water.

why do I want that experience now?

soothing.

what am I getting instead? gritty nesquik in a small less-than-5g-cup with an endlessly patient husband (but how patient is he, really, how long can he tolerate the intolerable).

(8) yesterday morning I got up and did research on homemade instant hot chocolate. it is really just cocoa, sugar and powdered milk. I have all that. I make some, it’s fine. but it has 30 g of sugar in one cup.

(9) yesterday afternoon I walked to the Marks & Spencer to check out the hot chocolate they have (again). surely this would be easier. but it has 26 g of sugar per serving and it’s 3,25€ for 10. I leave without buying any.

so.

if the thing that I’m looking for isn’t IN the hot coffee drink, then it’s time for me to move on. stop trying to make it into something it isn’t. go back to tea. I was drinking only tea before. I liked it there. my husband can make tea: add one bag to the teapot, fill with water. serve with any mug. it’s just plain easier.

(if the feeling you’re looking for isn’t in the alcohol, they stop fucking with the quantities, timing, types and tricks. just move on. the thing you’re looking for isn’t in there. the feeling better? it’s not in a bottle.)

leave us kids alone

[note: this was originally sent as a micro-email in february but it seems like today is the right day to post it again. because i know you’re there. and you’re asking this exact question today. yes, i can see you through the screen.]

working on a new secret writing project. here’s a quote from today’s session:

I wish I could definitively answer, once and for all, the question: “can I drink after 100 days.” I’d like to have a button I can push that gives out a set answer.

But here’s the thing, every person who asks the question is a different person. You have a different bottom, a different situation, you have kids, or not, you have a supportive husband, or not – and every single solitary person (without fail) is asking me the question (again) because they are certain that their situation is different. And so yes, while it might be tempting for me to give the exact same answer, instead I give a tailored response, one person at a time. I’ve tried pointing you to an audio, or to something I’ve written before, but it’s not good enough.

You want to hear it directly from me.

And while you know the truth before I even begin, you want me to say it anyway. You want me to look into your eyes and say:

“Yes, I hear you, I know. Yes, our brains do say that moderation should be possible after a period of time off. Yes, while you are very special, you’re not this kind of special. You’re here, we’re talking, and so that means that you’re probably like me. Yes, I know you don’t want this to be true, and yes maybe you will toss away your sober momentum to figure it out yourself. I know that happens because we’re nothing if not stubborn and independent, you and me. And yes, people DO throw away their sobriety more often than they wish in retrospect. After you sit here in my chair for two years, you too will get this email so many times it will make you want to cry, literally, every single day: ‘I did the 100 day sober challenge, I started drinking again, it’s been 18 months, I can’t get a new day 1, why did I start drinking again?’

And your wolfie? He’ll hear that and say ‘that’s her, that’s not me.’

It is you. It’s me too. I know you don’t really want to hear this now so I’ll just say: continue on being sober after 100 days. Go to 180 days. The view is completely different from there. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, then wait. Sober momentum is hard to get.”

(And your wolfie will say “my sober momentum was EASY and that means that I could quit again if I want to.” And I’ll say “hey wolfie, leave this nice girl alone. She’s doing well, so don’t you dare tell her that because she’s doing well that she can drink. Leave us kids alone.”)

Moderation: Various Shades of Heinous

From my inbox:

WildMustang (day 54): “Belle, I need to hear what people say about moderation. Why isn’t it worth trying? In your audio from Sunday you said people tell you all the time it’s not worth it. I need to hear more of that. Can you send me something or a blurb from what these folks say. Thanks.”

from me: 

~ The ideas of moderation may float into your head from time to time, especially if you’re distancing yourself from the sober blogs etc. And maybe it’s not that you CAN’T moderate, maybe it’s that it fucking sucks to moderate. It’s brutally hard, and not terribly enjoyable, and usually deteriorates into over-drinking quickly. Me, I drank to be numb, *not* to have a glass of wine with dinner (no matter what I said, this is the truth). The only freedom I know from the feeling of wanting to drink, is a continuous and longer period of sobriety. It really does start to feel much better after the first 100 days. By the time you’re at 6 months sober you’ll literally be a completely new human. Then at one year sober, your head will fly off with how free you feel and you’ll wonder why anyone would ever drink, ever…That shit is poison … Look how it ruins so many people’s lives …

 ~ and this from Matt S (day 12): “Every time I get here I start thinking about moderation also. It is such a mirage, such a myth. It’s like when you are in a fancy store and you wonder aloud how much something is because the price isn’t marked and your friend tells you ‘If you have to ask it means you can’t afford it’…. Moderation is the same way, if you find yourself thinking about it, it means you can’t do it.”

I have a few posts with some ideas:

 ~ http://tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/2014/04/11/from-this-side-of-the-screen/

 ~ http://tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/2014/01/11/some-people-lose-months-or-years-between-sober-spells/

~ http://tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/2013/11/05/thanks-brett/

~ AND FINALLY FROM ME: the part about moderation ideas that I really hate, is when I hear that someone’s “I’ll just have a glass” turned into 2 years of trying to get a new day 1 again… from ‘this’ side of the screen, the stories are always various shades of heinous.

~

Happy Day 50 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 50 to phoenix!

Happy Day 50 to MScarlett!

Happy Day 50 to Bruce!

Happy Day 50 to BC!

Happy Day 50 to fowligirl!

Happy Day 50 to AM!

Happy Day 50 to Laure!

Happy Day 50 to Del!

Happy Day 50 to SurferChick!

Happy Day 50 to Moss!

Happy Day 50 to unsmashed!

Happy Day 50 to EileenH!

Happy Day 50 to ParisienneKnitter!

Happy Day 50 to James!

Happy Day 50 to Paulette!

Happy Day 50 to Mercedes!

Happy Day 100 to SadieGrace!

Happy Day 100 to Staying Present!

Happy Day 100 to Embur!

Happy Day 100 to Missy Gal!

Happy Day 100 to Pasquale!

Happy Day 100 to Smokey!

Happy Day 100 to Kimmy!

Happy Day 100 to Mastiffmom!

Happy Day 100 to Tracky!

Happy Day 100 to Heike!

Happy Day 180 to Tammy!

Happy Day 180 to Jz!

Happy Day 180 to TheFace!

Happy Day 180 to Wanting to be a Sober Mom!

Happy Day 180 to Gail!

Happy Day 200 to Josh!

Happy Day 200 to TheFun4!

Happy Day 200 to Laurel!

Happy Day 200 to Hazeleyes!

Happy Day 200 to Tim!

Happy Day 400 to KT!

 

from this side of the screen …

i am writing sort of the same email to several different people today. I receive an email that says “i made it to my goal, i’m going to drink now, but i’ll be fine. and if not, i’ll come back and resume the challenge later.”

me:

“I wish you the very very best. for real. My experience from this side of the screen is that strict rules about how and when to drink are just really frustrating and unfulfilling — and often impossible to maintain for any length of time.

It’s hard to get sober momentum and YOU HAVE THAT ALREADY. Wolfie tries to convince us that moderation is a piece of cake, just like how I can moderate my corn on the cob consumption. Right? This moderation thing. It should be easy. Well, with corn on the cob it is.  But with booze? Well, booze talks to me. And once I have my one allowed glass (or whatever) I’d then get really angry pissed that I couldn’t have more (cuz then wolfie is awake and demanding shit and that noise in your head is alive again, and you worked so hard to get that voice to shut up).

This sobriety is hard to get going and you’ve got SO MUCH achievement already 🙂

Of course, that said, if you decide to attempt moderation, your place in the challenge is here for you should you wish to return. Of course, of course. That doesn’t change. I’ll be here.

hugs”

of course, i don’t know jack about shit. at all. I’m sober but that doesn’t give me super powers. I do, though, have a weird perspective of having talked to to 1019 people who have really tried hard to get a period of sobriety going. I’d can recommended a tiny bit of reading that might be helpful… I can’t learn all of life’s lessons, and some people lose months or years between sober spells.

thanks brett

Brett: “Belle, I have been trying moderation. It absolutely does not work. I felt so deeply for you in your last post about that. It doesn’t work, Belle, at least not for me.

This is how I know, and why I am committed to fully quitting the booze and gaining true freedom…

Ask yourself:  If you have 2 glasses of wine (let’s be honest, truly “moderate”, “normal” drinkers generally have two drinks in any one sitting), will you want more?  Be honest.  If the answer is yes, you will not be successful moderating.  Even more importantly, with regard to the wolf’s suggestion that we may not actually be alcoholics, etc., if we can limit our intake, ask yourself:

After those two glasses, even if you were able to stop, would the choice be simple and easy?  Would you have to think about it?  Would you obsess about the decision, going back and forth over and over again?  Could you truly take it or leave it, without spending another thought on it?

I’m beginning to believe that the tell-tale sign of addiction is not how much or how often we drink, but that we actually spend time thinking about drinking. Not just thinking. Obsessing. I’ll freely admit that I am obsessed with drinking.

So I can’t drink — not even in forced moderation.  I don’t want to just be free of the drink. I want to be free of the obsession.”