Iconic Moms Podcast – What’s Your Vice?


I was interviewed for the Iconic Moms podcast on November 23, 2019 by Alex, a very thoughtful. I am happy to be episode #17 on her new-ish show, and I think this interview is a good primer to learning about being sober. As well, I think that Alex is sharing brave things, as you’ll hear in this interview. To listen to other episodes of her show, you can go here.

This full interview will be sent to podcast subscribers.

But I want you to hear the whole audio NOW, even if you’re not a podcast subscriber.

So I’ve loaded the entire audio in the free audio feed (itunes/android).

The full audio will be available for 10 days. Go and listen to the first few minutes. 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.

hugs and happy saturday



Something New (day 140): “Amazing how fast those magnets sell. I feel like it will be like winning a jackpot when one is available. I want one!!!! I particularly like the ones with the aqua color in them. He must be so happy!”

LARGE magnets
acrylic & ink, handcut card stock
7.5 x 7.5 cm (3″ x 3″)

magnet 276 > link
magnet 277 > link

small notes about summer #1 & #2

small notes about summer #1

alcohol is not required. not for summer. not for winter. not for fridays. not for sunday afternoons. that you have a brain that thinks that drinking is a good idea, is wolfie. and you know what? wolfie will MAKE UP reasons, to make drinking seem like a good idea, including the weather. oh look it’s snowing? drink. oh look it’s summer? drink. all untrue. drinking is not required for any event. for any weather. for any day. when you hear from wolfie, you can remind him that he’s a bastard anus. tell him i said so. tell him i said that it gets easier as you go along, too. tell him that.


this painting is available at auction. opening bid $5.
three days to bid. short auction 🙂

small notes about summer #2

that voice in your head (wolfie) is an equal-opportunity offender. he has the ability to take any nice situation (beach, pool, bbq) and suggest it would be NICER if you poured alcohol on your head. As if adding an anaesthetic, mis-remembering the evening, tripping, bruising, crappy sleeping, and a hangover is any part of fun. You know what makes a pool, bbq, beach nicer? Being able to remember it. Waking up in the morning and feeling proud of yourself. That.

so for this painting, i figured i could write a secret message and then cover it up with paint …
you’ll know there’s an extra, private, meaning under there. just for you.

NOTE: The word ‘HOPE’ will be added to this painting tomorrow, after it is dry.

link > hope 19
size is 10″ x 10″ (25 cm x 25 cm)
acrylic on hand-cut 3 mm card
belle. selling hope since 2012

#dryJuly Day 4 – Audio

happy day 4 🙂
Dear you:
You don’t drink on July 4th. You don’t drink on Thursdays and this is just another Thursday.

Because pouring a depressant on your head isn’t fine. It’s not congruent with how you say you live your life. It’s not you taking care of you.

To hear this short audio message, press the blue button below. Nothing to download. Just press play.


Links mentioned:

audio podcast subscription > www.audiosober.com

sober party bingo > link

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. 

drinking thinking


Drinking-thinking is different from sober-thinking. and your drinking-thinking is likely going to OBJECT to ideas suggested that come from sober-thinking. You have to be open enough to try the new things, even when your head disagrees.

(When i relisten to this audio clip below, i feel like it’s the KEY to what i’ve been saying lately. maybe condensed and compressed in a way that i haven’t said it before. it sounds ‘new’ or something …)

To hear this short audio message, press the blue button below. nothing to download. just press play.

Question: Did you hear something in this today? post a comment.

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.

Why start now?

You will have a voice in your head that tells you that this isn’t the right time. I mean, look: January 1st is a Tuesday so that’s not the best day. What about next Monday? Well, then you have that thing you’re supposed to do later in the week, so maybe it should be the week after that.

Or you could start now, which means that a year from today you’ll be one year sober. 

You could start now, so that you're already underway. You want to feel better already, so you're not waiting longer (to feel better)! You're adding the tools and supports that you need to get you where you want to go.

If there is no right time, then now is the time.

This is the subject of a brand new podcast (episode 282) going out today to podcast subscribers.

And for the next 24 hrs, I'm going to make this audio available here, for you to listen to in full, even if you're not a podcast member.

[ link removed ]

​Sober Podcast 282. ​Why Now?

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 ​SP282. Why Now?​

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)

​sober art thanks to mr.belle, this is painting #302 here.


It’s hard to quit, no matter what. You can be single or married. It’s still hard. People who are single say “I wish there was somebody supporting me.” People who are married say “I wish I didn’t live with someone who drank.” It’s hard to be sober no matter what. Your voice in your head will tell you that somebody has it easier than you, but everybody has their own weird, particular challenges. We think we’re all special and broken and deficient and that our situation is worse and more difficult and more heinous. You have a voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do it because your situation is worse. And that’s not true. You have kids? Somebody else says “I could be sober if I had kids” while you’re saying “I find it hard to be sober because I have kids.” I want you to know that all of that is wolfie. None of it really contributes to how hard or easy it is to be sober. It’s a distraction. [listen to this as an audio]

* if you’re following on facebook, you maybe saw my first facebook LIVE video – it’s an experiment (and a badly lit one at that), where I record a short message and you can see my christmas tree (ha!). you do NOT have to be signed up on FB to see the video, nor do you have to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ — but if you DO follow the page, i believe it’ll tell you the next time i’m live…

Exit 297 Personalized
Exit 183 “Potential”
if you could ask mr.b to write anything on your personalized painting, what would you choose? Maybe Hope? or Exit? or Potential?



is it normal to feel like crying every time I listen to a podcast?

from me:

when you think you’ll sell 10 books a month, and you start selling 10 a day (december 31st was 32 books that one day). when you order 7 new FUW bracelets for january and they’re claimed within hours so then you swiftly point out the silver Stay Here ones instead. when things change, under your feet, without you even realizing it.

it’s just like being sober, isn’t it. you go along, you go along, some days are easy, some days are hard. and you THINK you know where you’re going, but then …

well, I’ve always equated being sober with driving across the country, from Maine to San Francisco (or from Plymouth to Inverness-ish here).

you start off, you head in the right general direction, you make a bunch of small decisions every day. you adjust your course every day. you look at maps, aim, recalculate. you add in more sleep when required, more fuel when required, and you have faith that if you put in the days, let the calendar pages flip over, one after the other, that you can arrive in a new place.

and, importantly, it’s a new place that you can’t see when you begin AND you cannot adequately know or understand until you get there. 

the advantage to having a day-by-day approach, though, is that you can do all the small adjustings required. you’re not just plopped in the middle of the new place, unprepared. you get to practise your self-care each day, refining the process. you get to deal with smaller hurdles before larger ones come. you learn about prelapse so that you can prevent it. you learn when to put gas in your sober car and when to have a snack.

it’s in the travelling that you are preparing. it’s in the travelling that you’re learning what you need to know.

and then some day you’ll wake up on day 2,384, having worked individually with 2,914 penpals. you will have no idea HOW this happened, except by repeating one successful sober day, repeatedly, and showing up, and making the small adjustments required. you’ll get ready to post the 299th sober painting since the end of august.

it’s like writing a book, right? page by page. you can write a book 100 words at a time. You can build a sober life one day at a time, one page, one story. keep layering. keep adding to what you’ve built before. continuous days. they count.

you’ll arrive somewhere lovely and unexpected.

from my inbox:

here are a few messages that are quite literally in my inbox this morning, wednesday

Lace (day 10): “Yesterday was grim. I didn’t drink but it was a close run. Daughter has taken up residence at home as her mental state has imploded. I am trying to be supportive and caring and that leaves little room for me to care for myself. Self-care and self-love is an alien concept for me. I need to compartmentalise but it’s hard. I know we all have shit stuff to deal with, so I will walk the dogs and tune into one of your podcasts. Very down.”

S1: “Hi Belle, I’ve read your amazing book, and it spoke out to me. It sounds stupid but I felt like I was talking to me: similar situation and similar way of talking. I was inspired, really fucking inspired. I know what I need to do now, I’m there. But I keep making excuses, especially around 4pm when I’m feeling normal again now the hangover is a distant memory and have to face the noisy, awful kids-bedtime routine. That my main excuse. What do you suggest I do at witching hour when wolfie is telling me the evenings are hard and wine will make it easier? Because I’m tired and still need to plough through it somehow. Any techniques for the witching hour? Thank You and I’ll get there eventually, I know day 1 will happen for me very soon.”

S2: “I don’t think I will get a reply to this as we are not penpals. But if you read it I will be pleased enough. I’m on day 7. I think you would say that I made the decision to quit while I still had a high bottom! but it was still all-consuming in my mind. Finding you and your book seems like fate! I’ve wanted to find a way, but never really considered actually stopping altogether. I want to do this. I’m 51 and turning 50 was a bit of a wake-up call in terms of realizing that we only get one life. I was fed up of not feeling as well as I knew I could and thought I was going round the twist waking up in a panic every time I drank. You are currently helping me more than you know. But is it normal to feel like crying every time I listen to a podcast? Partly it is with relief I think. That you understand, that I’m not on my own. Friends are proving to be tricky, I have only told two. One is totally supportive even a little in awe I think. The other, well she says ‘you don’t need to do that just drink at the weekend’ — I was tempted to ask her if her middle name was Wolfie 🙂 She wasn’t really listening I don’t think, but it has made me realize that I might need to choose who I tell my truth to. My hubby knows. and he suggests that I just tell them it is because I have events to train for and then I don’t have to explain anything.”

S3: “This is the second painting I have acquired. I LOVE it!!!  And I thank you for helping me & being a part of my days in your own way. You are a gem!  And Thank Mr. B for his paintings, to help us out here to not only have a more beautiful decor, but at the same time remind us of how we want to live – sober.  And we can have that reminder in our face and enhancing our space without anyone else having to know it or judge it. Thank you seems minor, but it is heartfelt & what I can offer.”

Dallas: “i’m on day 1 for the last time, i’m trying different, i will email when i feel good AND when i feel bad. i will NOT wait to feel bad to reach out. i will fucking do it in advance, wolfie, so that i can get some fucking traction, wolfie, cuz this waiting around to feel better ain’t getting me anywhere, wolfie, and so i’m going to try different which means emailing and listening to audios when i feel GOOD. oh, and wolfie, you can blow me. love, me”

Mrs. Bobby: “Belle, I’ve right royally messed myself up, straight away. After my 60 days sober, I had a few drinks on Saturday night and enjoyed them  – as I said in my email. But then I had more on Sunday night. My husband and I had some drinks together, which, for me, turned in to a bottle of wine, at least, possibly more as there was some left from the other night. my hangover yesterday was excruciating … But you know the thing I am most ashamed of? I felt horrible late morning yesterday and my brain said – “alcohol will make you feel better”. And I listened to it … I am now full if self loathing and I am upset I have wasted so much time and energy, and for what? When I compare how I feel now with how I felt for the previous 60 days sober, there is no contest. I want that life back. I don’t want this. Sorry Belle, just feeling the shame and self-loathing today. I just want to get back to where I was. And the voice in my head is still saying – ‘alcohol will make you feel better’. But I’m not listening this time. Bobby xx”


This is sober art, painting #301, here > link

new years 2019 compilation audio

new years 2019

so i have a short audio with a collection of voices for you … people from all around the world, readers of my daily emails, sober folks (and sober hopefuls), everyone coming together to make a compiled, mosaic of good feelings 🙂 I think you’ll like it. it’ll make you smile. press play. see the big blue button? you can’t miss it. free. press play. it’ll start just like that!


you can get some more support, starting today 

I have a 5-part audio series to help with the beginning part of being sober
$10 US (about £8 GBP)

In these audios, I talk about getting started, how to THINK about the idea of quitting drinking, advice on tools and supports, and we’ll talk about how to get ready to begin (and how to keep going if you’re already going).

If booze is an elevator that only goes down, it’s time to find the exit.

Exit → Exist [audios for lurkers, sober-curious, not sure sobriety is for you] > Sign up here.

huglets from me.me