Tired of Thinking About Drinking

Archive for the tag “100 days sober”

Audio: Q&A Quitting Together & Medication (episode sp160)

Last week I recorded a quite long question-and-answer live broadcast for my weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

Part 2 of the Q&A call (episode #160) covers these two questions:

~ How would you work with a couple who are both trying to quit drinking at the same time (with warnings also for online communities or other places where you’re ‘quitting together’)

~ What is my non-medical opinion about medication to control cravings being started AFTER someone has already quit drinking (with comments submitted live from listeners as I was answering the question)

Chihiro says: “I like the fact that you are now in my head. Better than my own voice in my head right now. Day 3.” [and she’s on day 8 today!]

The full audio recording for this episode is 15 minutes long. Here’s a 2 minute preview. You might need to hear this part today.


Download the full audio episode 160

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anonymous confession booth: things we can’t control

step right up. for one day only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth on the subject of “things we can’t control”.

I want to focus on things we need to let go of. Like crazy in-laws, compulsive behaviours, and those people you are forced to visit where you’re afraid to eat in their homes because you’re not sure if you’ll get food poisoning or not. “I just scraped off the mould, they say.”

This came to me because of a one-on-one call i had with a sober penpal this week. We are all carrying around this backpack of rocks of things we just need to let go of.

i personally hate dwelling in the past — unnecessarily. Yes, sometimes we have to excavate. But i don’t want to wallow. And there’s a very fine line between the two. And then there’s the shame. and the guilt. yeah.

So here’s the deal.

  1. Post a comment below.

  2. For this to work you MUST leave your name and your email and your website address BLANK in the comments form (if you forget, i’ll go in and delete that info manually). all comments are to be anonymous. one of the comments will be from me, you just won’t know which one.

  3. I have no way of personally knowing who posts what. Promise.

  4. In your comment, write two or three sentences (max.) about something that you’d like to stop in your life, some weight you’ve been carrying around, that being sober is going to help you let go of. For example, i’ll make one up: “I’d like to step out of the way of my crazy MIL and just recognize that she’s a flawed human and it’s my job to remove myself from her reach.” OR “I have been a compulsive laundry freak, the clothes I wore today must be clean and folded every night when I go to bed. Now that i’m sober I’m going to let that go. I don’t need to be in control of my laundry anymore. I’m going to let it go.”

  5. Then take a second and post an anonymous ‘reply’ to ONE of the other comments already posted, and say something comforting, consoling, forgiving, kind.

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all have a backpack of rocks that we’d like to put down, right? What’s in your backpack?

PS. if your name/email automatically shows up when you start to enter a comment, you can manually delete them OR you can ‘log out’ of your blogging profile.

Audio: Q&A Post-Goal Letdown & Collecting Sober Tools (episode sp159)

Yesterday I recorded a question and answer live broadcast for my longer, weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

Part 1 of the Q&A call (episode #159) covers these two questions:

~ What to expect after day 50 (which ties in with the idea of post-goal letdown at day 50 or 100 or 180, more ideas about rewards, and looking forward)

~ Mom of twins on day 6 asks how to keep going (i talk about not just collecting sober tools, but also having accountability so that we USE our tools)

Heidistar says: “I opened your live broadcast link and listened from my office on low-low volume. There are people coming in and out. Chance of boss walking in. I still listened. I’m finally putting my sobriety before everything else. I should have been doing work, but making sure I got all the way through day 40 today was more important. Great to hear the questions and answers. I’m sober right now. It doesn’t matter what stressful happened at work earlier today. Who said what. What email was the most irritating. I’m sober, la dee da.”

The full audio recording for this episode is 15 minutes long. Here’s a 3.25 minute preview of perhaps the most important part of this entire broadcast.


Download the full audio episode 159

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(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

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Audio: Plan B (episode sp158)

Yesterday I fit in a really lovely, if spontaneous, live broadcast of Sober Podcast Episode #158 for my longer, weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

This new audio is based on a quote from Sheryl Sandberg:  “I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave. I want Option A.’ He put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.’”

And if being sober is your Option B, or your Plan B, how do you rock the shit out of it?

In this audio, I mention conscious creation, customer designers, and flashlights on a dark highway.

from cauliflowerears: “This audio is so tremendous. I’m on day five and I’m going to rock the shit out of it. Instead of beating myself up because it’s another day five I’m going to make this my last day five. I needed to hear that I have to let go of  plan A. It is not available. Here’s to rocking the shit out of plan B and making each day my personal best. Thank you so much for this podcast.”

The full audio recording for this episode is 32 minutes long. Here’s a 3.5 minute preview starting at the very beginning of the podcast:


Download the full audio episode 158

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(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

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Audio: Dating (episode sp157)

This afternoon I had a few minutes before my salad and dessert lunch date with a friend, and I hopped online and recorded Sober Podcast Episode #157 for my longer, weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

In this podcast, I answer a question from MsM about dating. How do you know if it’s time to date? (We all know that newly dating + early sobriety = stress and overwhelm.) Is it time to date yet? If so, what should you watch out for? I also talk about being married, evolving in relationships, and the kind of partner you DON’T want to attract.

GK says: “Just listened to your dating podcast—it was wonderful and covered a lot more than dating…”

The full audio recording for this episode is 28 minutes long. Here’s a 2.5 minute preview:


Download the full audio episode 157

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(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

Archived Podcasts


Audio: Prelapse Part 2 (episode sp155)

Yesterday I recorded Sober Podcast Episode #155 for my longer, weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

In this episode I talk about Prelapse (the time before a relapse), the things to watch out for, in the period of time that would come BEFORE a relapse, including any time you hear “this is all too hard.”

This is my second full podcast on the subject of Prelapse. The first one is archived podcast episode 46. so it’s been a while.

The full audio recording for this episode is 28 minutes long. Here’s a 3 minute preview:


Download the full audio episode 155

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(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

Archived Podcasts


Audio: The Contrarian

I just sent out Episode #151 for my longer, weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

and for this audio, i’m doing something very new. For this podcast you are going to hear someone interviewing ME!

One of my sober penpals (Conn) was celebrating his day 100 this week (hooray) and asked if i would be a guest on his podcast to talk about being sober.

As i mention in the audio preface, Richard’s politics (The Contrarian!) may not match your own, but you can hang out and listen to the sober stuff, right? oui. his site if you want to learn more about him is http://www.contrarianonline.com/episode-36/

And if you would like to interview me for YOUR podcast, lemme know. or if you want to recommend me to someone else’s podcast, please do so. i need the practise 😉

Usually i only put up an extract of the podcast and then tell you to go buy the whole thing and/or to sign up for the monthly podcast subscription.

For this weekend, i’m going to today i’m going to post this audio in its entirety. And i’m going to leave it up for 48 hrs so that you can hear the whole thing even if you’re not a podcast subscriber. So please listen now. right now.

[ link has been removed ]

Feedback on the audio

Case Study Michelle: “I really, really liked hearing you as the guest … in a strange way, I was able to hear your message like someone who is not familiar with you. Hearing about corn on the cob, the drink-now voice, you’re not broken, the elevator that only goes down. You have so many great talking points … How do we get you on more of these? How do we get you on a panel to talk about drinking and the various methods/tools?   How do we get you to TED talks?   More, more, more!”

Download this podcast, Episode #151

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search engine results

here are some of the search engine terms that people have used to ‘find’ my site through google in the last month … i searched for some of this stuff, too, when i was looking for online sober support.

  • tired of thinking about drinking
  • belle 100 day challenge
  • how to get sober without aa
  • belle robertson tired of thinking book
  • afraid to drink, afraid not to drink
  • more to life than drinking
  • how to want to get sober
  • clarity with sobriety
  • true nasty sex confessions
  • when to expect weight loss in sobriety
  • i regret drinking again
  • very afraid of relapse
  • how to stop thinking about alcohol
  • what is it like to be sober?
  • is there more to life than alcohol
  • poop video
  • would it be okay to have a small brandy each night during dry july

You can vote for the strangest (leave a comment!), or for the saddest, or for the one thing would make a good audio topic…

novelty and sobriety.

Novelty. What’s that got to do with quitting drinking?

Our brains want excitement. Life is deemed boring or uninteresting, so we drink to have ‘fun’. It’s like jumping from an airplane without a parachute: fun (perhaps), but dangerous. It’s like gambling: the losing, the waiting to win, then winning but wanting more, not knowing why. The thirst not even quenched by winning. It’s like wanting that one mythical drink, and then drinking more, and more: you’re pouring two bottles of wine on your head and you don’t even know why.

So let’s say you are sensitive, often over-stimulated, a bit ADD. Being sober seems dull. What will I do for fun? How will I unwind (how will I lose track of time and just turn off my brain?).

How do you get novelty when you’re sober? You actively, constructively, with intent. Manufacture it.

Novelty = read, learn, sample, create.

If we need novelty, then we count days. Record our sober momentum. Get high numbers of continuous days sober, don’t break the streak, have a new personal best every day.

If we need novelty, we train for a 5K run. A 10K. A half. A full. Trail runs, triathlons, relays, midnight ‘over the hill and back again with a flashlight’ runs.

If we need novelty, we actively create it. You’ve seen me do this. I’m always experimenting with different ways to build community (what can I learn if I do this? Does this work? Can I apply that technique to this situation?). You’ve seen me create novelty: host a live call on Mixlr, a group conference call with free conference software, send out paper newsletters (with lovely French stamps), write case studies, record one-minute audios, film videos, make longer (ranting) podcasts, conduct interviews, write blog posts, write for Medium, write a book.

I’ve also created a lot of novelty in the catering work that I do: naked wedding cakes, savoury pancakes, can you make a good vegetarian panne cotta, can you use the whey from home ricotta to make bread? (yes)

You say: Being sober is so boring. Without alcohol, my whole life seems dull.

And I say: it’s ok to crave novelty. in sobriety, you CREATE your own novelty. Here are some ideas, you can read them, dismiss them as not applicable, and then pick 5 and do them (ha!).

  • Survey: go to all restaurants in the Washington DC area that serve dulce de leche cake for dessert. Or find the best tacos. Or sample all of the food trucks outside your office. Or eat a different sandwich every Friday. Document with photos.
  • Go for a long run, and take a new picture of something every 10 minutes.
  • You’re a parking lot attendant? Why aren’t you learning Italian on headphones for 8 hours a day?
  • Read. There is no frigate like a book. Donna Leon, Susan Hill, Nicci French, Timothy Taylor, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Read all of Dickens in order, sampling one perfect phrase per day and posting to Instragram
  • Write. Get an app like Commit, and do 15 minutes a day, every day, of writing or editing. I’m on day 163 of continuous writing.
  • Keep an end-of-the-day gratitude diary. It causes you to scan your day while you’re living it, to see if THIS is the best moment of the day.
  • Track your weekend cycling logged against a map of the country, and ‘ride cross country’ marking your progress.

You want novelty? The world is an amusement park. Your life is as interesting as you make it.

  • Buy dishes at yard sales and resell on eBay. Or silver. Or baseball cards. Or Led Zeppelin memorabilia.
  • Use your photography skills to take quirky photos for Airbnb listings in your city (contact the ugly ones, offer to fix for free, create a before and after series on Facebook). do it for free. for fun.
  • Collect clothes from co-workers and cut them up to make quilts for the women’s shelter.
  • Grow ten different kinds of roses and document their progress.
  • Do a daily photo diary of your lunch for a month.
  • Learn how to make an alcohol-free version of tiramisu with regular grocery store ingredients.
  • Visit 10 small grocery stores until you find one who will save their dead bananas for you so you can make banana bread and donate it to the food bank.
  • Watch YouTube videos to learn to make doughnuts, paint leaves, promote your real estate business, or put on makeup.
  • Take piano lessons with the sole intent to be to learn how to play the Peanuts theme.
  • Watch 2 versions of West Side Story and 3 versions of Romeo and Juliet and compare. Create a version with sock puppets.
  • Sample 8 kinds of vanilla ice cream then try to make your own.
  • Take the train/bus/car to a new town. Eat in a new place. Walk a new way. Go to the new theatre. Novelty.

(Wake up every day with a hangover, mentally wrestle with your brain, dreading the day ahead; quit drinking every only to buy wine at dinner time and begin again.)


Wake up every day without a hangover, and see the world as an amusement park, where the biggest wrestle of the day is: What should I do first?

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?


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.


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.)

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