PP 33 | Staying Sober

 

Many of us always have reasons to drink alcohol, and most of these reasons stem from our very own minds. Today, Tony Frischknecht interviews Belle Robertson, a sober coach and the author of Tired of Thinking About Drinking. Sharing her journey to sobriety, Belle narrates how she was able to resist all reasons prompting her to take a sip and illustrates the challenge of quitting and staying sober. She believes in the importance of rewarding yourself for being sober and how anyone can do it by taking one step at a time with your sober coach.

Listen to the podcast here:

Cannabis Angst: It’s Your Move With Belle Robertson

Thank you so much for joining me. I have a special guest coming up with us. She is a writer and sober coach for the website, Tired of Thinking About Drinking. She has written a book about how to quit drinking and has worked one-on-one as a sober coach with 3,103 individual sober pen pals. She hasn’t had a drink for 7.5 years and started her sober journey with a sober trial, a period of time of alcohol to see how she liked it. Apparently, she did. I would like to introduce Belle Robertson to Plant Problems. Belle, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it.

I’m happy to be here.

I was reading a little bit on your website. You’re a Canadian living in Paris. How did you get over to Paris?

I married a man from French Canada and we speak French at home. We wanted a break from French Canada because it’s cold in the winter and Paris is a place where you can speak French and the weather is better.

I had my first visit to Paris and what a beautiful place to walk.

Originally, we came for a year trial. I like to do lots of things as a trial because I don’t like to regret and I don’t like to commit to stuff that I don’t understand. The other stuff that we’re going to talk about, like moving to Paris, we came for “a year,” and it’s been 10.5 years. You go for a bed and then you decide that you’d like it more than you thought. In the beginning, we left our apartment back home and we left our car in storage and then after the year, we went back to Canada and sold all our stuff and sold our car. I couldn’t do that right off the bat. I needed the runway.

That little safety net just to know you’re able to return if you don’t like where you’re at, I’m sure, which makes it much simpler to commit after you’ve been there for a year.

In lots of things, certainly, to do with life and with business, it’s hard to commit in the beginning. If we frame it as a trial, it’s a little easier to then go back to the status quo if you don’t like the new thing.

I know with business, especially not fully living where your comfortability is, makes sense. The reason why I brought you on is I speak with a lot of entrepreneurs and it is hard for us to make decisions as business people sometimes and not change our minds every other day. With that comes a lot of different stresses. How you deal with stress is a whole other side of the mental game of being an entrepreneur.

Also, we’re afraid of making decisions because we’re afraid of regret and we’re afraid of missing an opportunity. You want to do everything, can’t do everything, but also don’t want to burn bridges while we’re trying out something. That’s the thing about being an entrepreneur is that you try seven things and 2.5 of them work. If you throw everything into one and then wait, you waste a lot of time. It’s easier to throw some energy into a couple of things at once to see what’s going to float and then prune and make decisions as you go.

The cannabis game is a lot of throwing into a lot of different pots for many of us. I spent several years going through that. I’ve talked to a couple of individuals in particular and they talked about the mental state of what our entrepreneurs are going to be in the next ten years. Worrying about where they’re physically going to be after their mental state breaks down. The high regulation of cannabis changes the whole dynamics of stress and trying to figure it out. The problem is that it’s new that everybody’s trying to figure this out. A lot of people are dealing with stress with alcohol, cannabis, and several other substances. You brought up about being able to understand those with only putting a little bit in here and a little bit in there. When you decided you wanted to stop drinking for a while, what situation did you come to where you’re like, “I need to make a change for a while and see what’s going to happen.”

Quit alcohol for self-help reasons, for feeling good, and feeling proud of yourself. Click To Tweet

It was a trial. There was something called Dry July, which is a fundraiser in Australia. Since then there are things like Stoptober and Dry January, but at the time there was Dry July. I thought I was drinking more than I wanted to and it wasn’t trending in the right direction and I knew it was affecting my sleep. I work as a caterer and had to get up early in the morning oftentimes to make bread and stuff. I thought, “I’m going to have to quit for a bit to deal with this big work project,” which I did. After that, I thought I should quit for a month. That should be easy.

On my own quitting for a month, I got about nine days and then thought, “This is harder than I thought.” That was in March of that year and then it rolls around to July and there’s this Dry July thing and I think, “That’s it. I’m going to quit for a month and I’m going to quit for Dry July.” July 1st, it’s Canada Day. It’s a good day to start. It’s like July 4th for the US. It’s our National Day. It’s our fireworks day is July 1st and I thought, “That’s it. I’ll start then.” I could only commit because it was a trial. It was only for a month and that at the end of a month, then I would give up the new habit and go back to who I was before if I didn’t like the new habit. When I started, there was no way I was quitting long-term. There was a 0% chance I was quitting long-term. There was a high probability I wasn’t going to make it through 30 days. I had no track record of being able to 100% have none, no sips, no slips. My max was nine days before I started.

Once you achieved that month period, your next step was, “Let’s see if I can hang on to this a little longer.” Did you set yourself a deadline or another date at that point?

Yeah, exactly. I got close to the end of the month and I had to then decide what I was doing. I decided that there were enough positive aspects that I could go “a little bit longer.” I knew that I wanted to go long enough to experience what everybody said was coming, which was the voice in your head that asks to drink will stop. If you extinguish the habit and you don’t feed it, it will stop asking. I didn’t believe that. I thought they were lying to me. I didn’t think they were lying. I thought they’re exaggerating and a bunch of Pollyanna. I didn’t think it got better. I thought, “I’ll go 90 days then,” because 90 days seem to be the good number that people were tossing around where the voice stops asking.

The voice in your head that says, “How about now? What about now? It’s a good day. We should have a drink. It’s a bad day. You should have a drink. There’s a wedding, we should have a drink. There’s a funeral. There’s a snowstorm, there’s good weather, there’s bad weather. It’s not I drink for celebration. I drink for disappointment.” I had no faith in my ability to have none forever. I certainly was not quitting forever. That’s for sure. I still don’t say forever. I say for now, I have a new goal. I’ve had other goals along the way, but my initial goal from 30 was to go to 90.

In those 90 days, what did you see? How did you see your life change?

It was as large a transformation as any good self-helpy evolution thing. If you go from being a couch potato to running a marathon, what’s the transition? It’s large. It’s developing positive routines and having some reward system set up. You reward yourself for doing the hard thing even when you don’t want to and don’t feel like it. You wake up every day feeling proud of yourself because you’re doing the thing that lots of other people don’t or can’t do. It’s not dissimilar except that when you’re consuming alcohol, it creates other problems. It’s not the self-help goal of feeling proud of yourself, although that’s large.

When you remove something like alcohol, which is an addictive substance, we know that. It’s a depressant, which we don’t all know or we don’t talk about it much and it makes anxiety worse, which we definitely do not know. Once you remove it, you sleep better. You’re not as depressed and you’re not as anxious. There’s no way I would have known when I was quitting. When I was quitting, I was quitting for the self-help reasons. To have a challenge, to prove that I could and to feel proud of myself. The other stuff that happened was completely accidental to me. Although to anyone else who has an overdrinking issue, who’s quit, they already knew this. I didn’t know how to sleep better. You think maybe you’ll sleep better, but how much better? You can’t quantify.

If you feel proud of yourself, fine. You feel less anxious, there’s just no way. It’s not printed on the bottle. It does not say you’re consuming this hoping it helps you with anxiety and to unwind at the end of the day. What it’s doing in fact is creating a psychological dependence that then you’re anxious when you can’t get it. It makes your anxiety worse. There was no way I would have known that and I didn’t find it out until I was blogging and in this sober world and reading other people’s stuff and having people comment on mine. Did I even know there were any patterns? I thought it was just me. I thought I was weak, dumb, uninvolved, deficient or broken.

The anxiety part is hard to explain to people. I wonder why nobody talks about that much. I know you do all the time by why is that not shared more openly? It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of information about that out there.

There’s not a lot of information about high bottom drinkers. If you’re new to this terminology, a person with a low bottom is a person that you might stereotypically call an alcoholic, which would mean someone who has consequences from their overdrinking. Usually, we can all think of an example, it’s the person sleeping on the park bench. It’s the drink driving arrest. Someone who’s been fired from work, someone who’s lost their kids. There’s some tragic, difficult, not unovercomeable, but quite low consequences from drinking too much.

PP 33 | Staying Sober

Tired of Thinking About Drinking: Take My 100-Day Sober Challenge

For people who have a higher bottom, because if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, you get to choose what floor you step off on. Most people don’t get the message until the floor is further down because we all are saying versions of, “It’s fine. I’m fine and I’m not as bad as those people. My friends drink more than me. Therefore I can’t be that far down on the elevator because she who is sitting beside me drinks more than me and so on.” When you step off the elevator on a higher floor, thankfully, it’s still hard, but then people are not walking around talking about it. To answer your question about why don’t people talk about it, if you think about television where somebody relapses or there’s an alcoholic on TV, they’re going to have a car accident, they’re going to have a relapse. First of all, no one’s sober and lives happily ever after. They’re going to have a relapse that’s going to come out of nowhere, which of course is not how it happens.

They’re going to have a car accident and then they’re going to go to AA. That’s what’s going to happen on the average soap opera show. No one on television says, “I’m drinking more than I want to. I wonder what will happen if I try to quit. It’s harder to quit than I thought it was. I feel much better.” Nobody talks about it. Nobody talks about this gray area drinking or high bottom drinking or whatever you want to call it. Overdrinking, I call it. Nobody talks about it at all. If you go to your doctor and you say, “I’m drinking too much.” They’ll do something dumb, like count up the number of units per week and tell you that to drink less, which is dumb.

It’s going in and saying, “I’m using too much cocaine. What should I do?” They’re like, “Have a little less. Why don’t you have less?” It’s like, “Why don’t you have none?” If you go to the doctor, they often don’t have a category for you because it’s inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, AA. This whole idea of online support and being able therefore to cater something to a higher bottom group is new. The internet is new. When I started this, there were fifteen of us blogging. Maybe another fifteen were blogging off and on relapsing and restarting. There was a small group of people doing this. This is pre-Facebook groups. This is before.

There seems to be a growing trend of sobriety happening, which is different than it used to be. I noticed that even when the restaurants, you’re starting to see a nonalcoholic cocktail mixes. You can have something else to drink besides water or ice tea when you go out. I saw a lot of that in LA. I’m starting to see it out here in Colorado in different restaurants. We’re starting to see this trend starting to continue further and further. Back then, nobody was doing that. 

If you had a voice in your head that said, “Drink now,” and you didn’t think you were an alcoholic, there was nothing available. There are no supports for you. Even now, there are lots of online supports that most people don’t know exist. In having a conversation like this, it encourages people maybe to go to the internet and type in, “How to quit drinking?” Instead of what I was doing, which is, “Am I an alcoholic?” Because I could do those tests and come out no by lying.

You’re also internally dealing with that fight all the time. You’re saying, “Am I an alcoholic? Am I drinking too much?” The anxiety coming from that makes it harder to start.

Also in the world, we think we must quit everything forever. If I have to quit drinking forever, then A, that tells people I have a problem and B, my head revolts at that and says, “I can’t do it forever.” If I said to you, “You can never eat cheese again.” You’d be like, “Grilled cheese?” What about Italy? The same thing with, “You can never drink again.” “What about when I go to Venice or France or whatever?” If you say do it for 30 days or on my side, what I eventually started calling it was 100-Day Sober Challenge. What if you did it for 100 days and then reassessed? Don’t talk about forever because there’s no way to quit something forever anyway. All you do is quit for now and then extend it. My personal plan now is to drink when I retire. My head is okay with that as an answer. It seems dumb. Our heads are not that smart, frankly. Our reward motivation system is not that smart and can be misled quite easily by saying, ” I will drink again later, not now.”

In a way, you’re tricking yourself. Is that what you’re saying?

Yes and very consciously. When I explained this to people, they don’t think it works. If you think about cognitive behavior training, you reward the good behavior and you delay, stall or ignore the other behavior. If you have a three-year-old who’s having a temper tantrum in the grocery store because they want a donut, which is the same thing as your head saying, “Drink now. My boss is an anus. Sheila in accounting has been up to my nose. I have to drink to deal with this.” It’s the same thing as a three-year-old screaming, “Donut.” You’ve got a three-year-old on the floor in the grocery store screaming, what do you do? You give that kid a donut, God helps you because the next time you go back to the grocery store, it will be there again. If you distract, then replace. Don’t go to the grocery store at 5:00. Leave him home for the next three trips and then try it again. It’s the same thing. Reward good behavior, distract or ignore the other behavior.

How have you changed your reward and how do you reward yourself when you say the 100-Day Challenge? What’s the reward after 100 days for you and what have you suggested to people to do? I know when you’re at that point of 100 days, “I want to make 100 days.” How do you make something big enough to where you want to succeed to get that 100 days?

You have to have rewards along the way. You have to have a reward every two days for the first fourteen days because it’s hard or every day. It’s like saying to a child in grade five, “I’ll give you a bike in June if you don’t fail the grade.” That’s nonmeaningful. Rewards have to be tied to the event almost at the same time. It’s like dog training. You can’t give the dog a treat three days later. It’s got no idea what’s going on, “What’s that treat for? We’re not dogs, but you understand what I mean about the event and then the reward. It’s the same thing with the three-year-old in the grocery store. You wouldn’t then get a sticker on the calendar six days later. The three-year-old will have no idea what that meant. If you get through the grocery store and you go home, put a sticker on right away, then it’s a reward.

One of the problems that we all suffer from is feeling overwhelmed. Click To Tweet

Rewards can be to take a coffee, it can be a reward sandwich, flowers, bubble bath, download a movie, some special replacement drink. It doesn’t matter what it is. For me, I used raspberries and pineapple. I would buy myself the pineapple and then I would say to myself, “This is my reward for being sober because this is hard and I’m doing it,” but that’s it. I’d eat the pineapple and then two days later I get something else. This is a pretty typical textbook cognitive-behavior modification. Most people don’t use it to do with mental health things. They use it to change behaviors like habits, nail-biting or dogs or children. They don’t think about using it in terms of changing their behavior, particularly to do with mental health things.

One of the toughest things with alcohol is it becomes a habit and you didn’t even know that’s what it is. You’re deep into it and it’s scary to get away and planning out that 100 days and it’s like, “I don’t want to quit forever.” Nobody wants to quit anything forever.

No and lots of times people don’t want to quit for 100 days either, in which case we do the rewards every two days. If you do it with accountability where you have to email your sober pen pal every day and say, “How are you doing and what day are you on? What was your treat? We’re checking on you.” I’d say, “Happy hooray on day 21,” and there’s some cheerleading as well. You and I know that we can set all goals and then we press snooze and sleep right through it. If you’ve got somebody at the gym waiting for you, you’re more likely to go. If you have some sober accountability and it could be set up in any way. I’ve got stuff on my site, but it could easily be a sponsoring AA or another sober person or some online system that works for you, we’re way more likely to do anything in life.

This is business stuff too. How much better do we do with a mentor where we ask somebody who’s already done it? How were they successful? Try some of those things, including the stuff that doesn’t make any sense, but we don’t have any context. We’re not successful yet. Everything is going to seem dumb or weird. Whereas the successful person has figured some stuff out. Like in business, you’d find somebody who is successful and then ask them and then do it. Rather than saying, “That won’t work for me,” did you try it? “I need to borrow money for the bank.” Did you write a business plan? “I want to do it without a business plan.” That’s how the bank gives you money. You need a business plan. “I’m going to try it without it.” Come back to me then in three weeks when you’ve tried that and we’ll talk about some other things.

The accountability part of this is such a key aspect. Just like you said, in anything, you have to be held accountable to make that change and make that extra step.

We don’t do it with mental health things. We do it when we want to train for a marathon. We buy the book and then we’d sign up at a clinic. We don’t buy the book, can’t figure it out, don’t run the marathon. We sign up for a group. We do some accountability thing. Most people who run their first marathon are in some group. Most people who want to improve their swimming don’t read a book and watch a video on YouTube. They get somebody in the water beside them, at least in the beginning. Anybody who wants to learn to drive has somebody sitting in the seat beside them saying, “Switch lanes, slow down.” That’s exactly what a sober coach can do. Switch lanes, meaning avoid that thing coming up that you can see and slow down meaning, don’t take on too much at once. Make sure you’ve got enough buffer. Don’t get too overwhelmed. Make sure you eat enough. Have your snack, have your replacement drink and have your audio. This is what a coach does. It’s the same as what a driving instructor would do.

Do you need a driving instructor forever? No. Eventually, can you do almost all of those things automatically? Think about you when you were learning to drive. It was two hands on the wheel. No radio, no passengers. It’s only in the daytime. It’s super safe. Later, you can drive on the highway with one hand and need a hamburger at the same time, but you still have one hand on the wheel and you don’t abdicate responsibility for the car. You don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Sobriety is the same thing and large mental health changes things, like sobriety, are the same thing. It takes two hands on the wheel in the beginning with somebody saying switch lanes and then eventually it’s one hand and then you can listen to the radio at the same time and then later you can drive even if there’s bad weather.

If something bad happens, you turn off the radio and put both hands back on the wheel. That’s what you and I do every day when we’re navigating snow. We know how to drive in snow. You turn the radio off. You need to concentrate on what’s going on. If you have a sober life and something happens as your mother dies, you do the equivalent of turning the radio off, which is to cancel out of the volunteer things. You say, “I’m sorry I can’t do carpool,” and you go back to basics.

It seems as if accountability is having a pen pal and having somebody to back you up to have more success at the end of this. Is that how you work with your clients? Say they’re going into a situation where they’re going to a networking event. I have tons of them that I go to. You have to meet people face to face. I think one of the scariest points when I was staying sober for a period of time when I was saying, “I got this month, I’ve got two months, six months, is going to these network events trying to re-learn. That was a scary point for me, is relearning how to be social without using a substance like alcohol and walking around and meeting people. How are you dealing with your clients in those types of situations?

First I should say that 80% to 85% of what I do is free. People can sign up on my website, get free daily emails. I do audios. I have live Facebook videos, I do live audio events, I do Meetups and we do send stuff in the mail, all free. There are lots of stuff that people can access. If you want personal accountability, which is my one-on-one, emails or phone calls and people can pay for that. The people who pay for that, for example, might email before they go to the event, during the event and when they get home. It’s bookending. You email before, during and after, including going to the bathroom and texting from the bathroom. “I’m here, I’m fine.” You text again when you get home.

I know that sounds dumb except that when your head thinks that I’m going to pay attention to whether or not you check-in, then your head is more likely to be sober. It’s not that I am magical. It’s that you reaching out changes things and when you aren’t alone in your head with it, it changes things for you. In that exact case, somebody would email me and say, “I’ve got this networking thing coming up.” They’ll either say to me, “I’m going,” or they’ll say, “Do you think I should go?” Depending on which thing they say, my approach is different. I try and meet people where they are. Are they asking if it’s a good idea or are they asking for strategies because they are going? Fine, we’ll do it either way.

PP 33 | Staying Sober

 

If they’re asking for strategies, then we talk about things like arriving late and leaving early, having your own drive so you can leave when you’re done, not carpooling. Having a plan for what you’re going to drink when you’re there. Including having a plan for what you’re going to say, if somebody says something to you directly, like, “What? You’re not drinking? Can I get you something? What’s that you got there? What are you drinking?” To have standard answers for those things prepared. To have some treat planned for after back to the treats, bubble bath, cake, some music and clean sheets. Knowing that you’re going to go home sober and climb into a clean bed is quite motivating. You go home and you have a shower and you’re sober and then you get into bed and you’re sober. It’s like, “I’m a flightless super rock star. I’m like a superhero.”

You wake up in the morning and then your morning is great and then you email me and you say, “I’m glad I didn’t drink last night.” I say to you, “Nobody wakes up wishing they drank the night before.” Nobody wishes they drank last night. Everybody is happy to be sober in the morning. There’s some version of rinse and repeat on that. If you’re going to the staff Christmas party, it’s a version of that, including don’t go. It depends on the person. There’s a version of that when it’s going on a vacation with your family, with your parents or your brothers and sisters are all meeting in some house somewhere. There’s a version of how to deal when your sister-in-law dies and you’re strange and you don’t know where the lines are and you don’t know how to do it without alcohol.

When I work with somebody for a year, they might be on day 365 at the end of the year, in which case we have worked through one birthday, one Christmas, one Thanksgiving, one death, one travel. We worked through one of everything. At the end of the year, they’re on day ten in which case we’ve worked through how to get started? How to stay going? What to look for? Add something else that wasn’t enough. Add another tool. Add two more tools. Let’s add more accountability. That wasn’t quite enough. What do you think we could add? Let’s adjust this. At the end of the year, maybe you’re on day ten. I’m not saying that that’s a great outcome. I’m saying that people often say, “Why do I need support for a year for?”

One of those two options is going to happen. Either you’re going to go right straight through and have a bunch of things to deal with or you’re not going to go straight through, which is most people and you’re going to need some encouragement and strategies on how to get up again and then keep going. I can say of the last 100 people that signed up to do it with me one-on-one, I’ve got tens of thousands of people following the free daily emails. A word to your readers, if you’d like to have a large email list, send them stuff that’s useful to them, not to you, in which case you can email your list 2 or 3 times a day, which is what I would do. They’ve opted in and it’s actionably helpful. It’s a story from somebody else or something for me or it’s a tip or it’s a good story or it’s a bad story because they’re both motivational. Do this, don’t do that. Those are both helpful. I don’t even know where my train of thought was. They sign up for a year, they do pen palling back and forth. There are coaching calls included, there’s audio included or someone will follow along and do only the freestyle.

I’d like to point out too is that for accountability, for anybody out there that is struggling with it, alcohol or drugs, this is totally anonymous. You can be anonymous, and Belle, you are anonymous as well, correct?

Exactly. I encourage my pen pals to be anonymous because to be fair, AA is anonymous, but you’d need to put your head in the room. I have psychiatrists in my group who need one-on-one support to quit drinking. They can’t go to AA or they feel that they can’t. I shouldn’t say that they can’t. There are medical special AA groups for medical professionals. If you’re a psychiatrist, you might sign up with me. For example, if you’re a medical doctor or you might sign up with me because there’s a fear of sanctions from your licensing board. If you’re a pilot, you might sign up with me. If you’re a mother of three children under the age of eleven, all of whom have autism, you might sign up with me because getting childcare to go to a meeting is going to be impossible. I’ve worked with all of those people. I have a judge in my group, I have one anesthesiologist, I have good 24 lawyers and a good 36 doctors, nurses and midwives.

Midwifery is pretty stressful. There are lots of stressful baby situations, lots of PTSD stuff, lots of alcohol and lots of abuse of different substances, of course. I have lots of men in my group. I have people with kids. I have all ages too, 26 to 76. People often say, “What’s your demographic?” The answer is anybody who has a voice in their head that thinks the drink is a good idea. I remembered what I was going to say, which was of the last 100 people who’ve signed up to work with me one-on-one, which does not count the free people, the last 100 who signed up to do it, 72 of them are sober. I’m not prescreening. I don’t require them to be on a certain date when they start with me. I don’t require them to have had any success before. The people self-select. If they want the service, it’s available.

That’s a pretty high number but what it means is those people are still self-selecting. The people who sign up for it are the people who think that they’re likely to be successful, otherwise they wouldn’t pay for it. That said, people sign up and then relapsed within 24 hours of handing me money. It’s not a walk in the park and it’s not paying for support makes it easy either. The reverse is also true. It’s not anything magical happens, but when we’re not alone in our head, it changes what we can do. It changes the narrative. It changes the outcome when it’s not us in our heads flailing around unsuccessfully for years.

Knowing that there are other people out there like you are, it changes things too. It changes things in your mind and you’re like, “I can be sober and meet other sober people and do sober things. There are other people out there. This is amazing.”

You realize you’re not alone because like you said, why don’t people talk about this or why isn’t anxiety talked about? Why isn’t depression talked about? Not only that, but we don’t realize how large the numbers are. I have 30,000 people signed up for the free daily emails. That seems a large number. I’ve worked one-on-one back and forth, emailing directly one-on-one for 3,103 people. I’m one girl on the internet you’ve never heard of. There’s stuff going on in the world that you don’t know about and there are people getting help in ways that you don’t know about.

Everything’s global. It’s changed with the internet. People like yourself are popping up all over the world. You’re not from Paris, but that’s where you live. That’s what’s amazing about the internet is it’s connecting people that are doing incredible stuff like you. If they’re having issues on one side of the world, it’s similar to another side of the world and they can catch up with you. I enjoy that it’s happening. It’s amazing what the internet is doing. Belle, share how best can people reach out to you and if they want to contact you and talk about anything or listen to your podcast or anything like that.

PP 33 | Staying Sober

 

Probably the easiest place to start is the website where you can sign up for free daily emails because then most of the stuff is introduced through there. One of the problems that we all suffer from is feeling overwhelmed. I have a squeeze page. I have a page with nothing on it except sign up for stuff because people go down a rabbit hole and get freaked out. If you sign up on the front main page, you get a daily email. It slowly introduces you to me. It gives you some stuff to read, little audio clips, bits and pieces. You begin to get the free daily emails that I send to everybody, and that’s a TiredOfThinkingAboutDrinking.com. That’s the website with the one button that says, “Sign up for stuff.” I’m on Facebook and Instagram. I have a free podcast and I have a paid podcast. The free one is on Apple Podcasts. If you search Sober Insights or search for Sober and Belle, that’ll give it to you. I have paid stuff as well. I have a book that you can find either on my site or Amazon. It has a clever title. It’s the same name as my blog, which is Tired of Thinking About Drinking. That’s probably it. That’s the most of it.

I encourage people to check out our website as well as your book. I want to thank you, Belle. To my readers out there, I’ve struggled with alcohol in the past and I know how challenging it is. To have somebody out there to support you along the way is a huge help. You’re not the only one. Thank you so much for being on the show. If you are interested in subscribing to my podcast, please go to PlantProblem.com as well. If you have some comments about this interview or any others, I’d be more than happy to dig deeper into if you have some questions for me. Thank you so much. Belle, I appreciate it. You have a great day. I love Paris, so enjoy your home.

Thank you.

I hope to catch up with you sometime soon. I’d love to do something else with you in the future.

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About Belle Robertson

PP 33 | Staying SoberBelle Robertson is a writer and sober coach, with a website: Tired of Thinking About Drinking. She has written a book about how to quit drinking and has worked one-on-one as a sober coach with 3,103 individual sober penpals (as of today!). She hasn’t had a drink for 7.5 years, and started her own sober journey with a ‘sober trial’ – a period of time off alcohol to see how she liked it (and apparently, she did).

When she’s not recording sober audios or coaching by email, she works as a caterer and a text designer. Originally from Canada, she lives in Paris with her husband, who is also Canadian. Fun fact – her husband doesn’t speak English, so they speak French together at home.

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