Am I Alcoholic?

In Bloom - the best is yet to come.
Right now, there is a shift in the whole alcoholic paradigm.

I'm feeling it across the whole addiction frontier.

People are no longer ashamed to be survivors of addiction.

People are no longer shamed into silence or anonymity or denial.

People are no longer afraid to put their names and faces alongside their story of resilience and re-invention.

I know people run a million miles from the word alcoholic.

They associate it with the never-endingness of meetings, sitting through a lifetime of other people's drunk stories, and accepting things like being powerless and living in the past.

There's a shift going on.

Your past isn't your future - you don't have to carry the burden of some bad episode around your neck forever - it will only hold you back.

You can change yourself - your brain is plastic - you can reinvent how your neurons branch and divide and connect and re-imagine yourself a better version 2.0 -  Life is a beautiful mess - as Aldous Huxley wrote in his foreword to Brave New World -

Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.

But part of the beautiful mess is getting up, dusting yourself off, and getting right back into it. Evolving, growing,adapting - bending towards the light with resilience, grit and determination.

It's not you - it's not personal - you aren't the problem.  I'm not saying don't take any responsibility - but don't take things so personally as to be walking around in a constant state of "mildly offended" by everyone and everything.  Let it go, move on and keep your chin up.

Finally - put it out there!  Who really gives a fuck if you are vulnerable and open and show your real side?  For sure you'll encounter haters and a few opinionated style setters who will vainly try to impose their limits on you.  Just smile and wave.  Shake it off, just like my mentor Tay Tay would.

Ok, go get em.  I had this amazing revelation this morning as I was hanging upside down at yoga and repeating to myself "believe" "Believe" Believe"  It was mind blowing.

Blog Sober 2015

Getting Sober at Forty.  

How to stop drinking, get fit, stay married, reconnect with your children, and enjoy life, be real, and not just regurgitate a whole pile of shit from somewhere else.

I'm going to a public speaking class tonight - (it's the first night class I have taken since the ill-fated Spanish Guitar fiasco of 2002) and I'm honing my craft to be a better public speaker.  Excited - yes - nervous - yes - passionate - of course.  It's a step away from an alcoholic based meeting public speaking - so it will be out of my comfort zone.

I need to learn how to wave my hands the right way to move you emotionally.  How to speak with that low growl and build a crescendo where listeners will be pretending not to wipe tears from their eyes.  How to talk to chubby execs who are loafing through a training day and connect - not as a park bench drunk but as a person emerging from a dormant life into the full, radiant sunshine of sobriety.

It's mind blowing and terrifying at the same time and I just have this nagging feeling that it is completely ego-maniac-overload; but it's not.  It's what I have to do to take this to the next level.  People want to know and hear my story wherever I go - even if it is just to see a real live person talk about living with alcohol and then having the guts to make eye contact.

I'm awkward and raw and stumbling and stuttering right now and I'm not trying to be anything other than myself as I know people really connect with that.  More on this after the meeting.

Hit me up on Twitter - I need 50k followers to get on Dr Oz?

Successful Sober Top Ten

Ten Tips on Successful Sober

On the interwebs it's like there are thousands of monkeys tapping away producing top ten ways to have a better life in every way - every single day.

I can get fit, cut or ripped and make habits or break habits or even get to wear a habit.

So for today's sober writing challenge #livealcoholfree I am doing the list.

To stay sober, you have to actually do what other people only wish - "yeah, maybe I should try a whole summer without the booze - but what about those afternoons when it's just so darn perfect for drinking?"

Here's my version of a top ten life hack productivity list taken from or or LinkedIn or something like that.  Sustaining a successful sober recovery.  You might want to listen to this whilst you read through.  Maybe light a candle too.

1. “No one else is willing to do that’s what I will do.”

You have to step outside your zone of comfort.  And stop complaining or finding excuses to delay and just get on with it.  If no one else is doing it it's because it is hard.

You want change - go ahead and start changing.

2. “Wow. That wasn’t so bad after all.”

You have to handle midway success and not go and get drunk again to celebrate.  Been there.  Like having ice cream to celebrate your diet.

3. “I can’t do everything today...but I can take one small step.”

Sobriety doesn't mean you have to make amends for being a bit of a dick for the last decade - hey - one day at a time right?
It's not about doing one big sweeping statement and then resting on your laurels.  It's a bit by bit thing - everyday.  Like a marathon - oh - did I tell you about my half marathon?

4. “I should just be quiet.”

Shame.  Stigma.  Sobriety.  They go together and you'll want to rush out and get "Hey everyone I quit drinking!" burnt into the grass out the front of your house.  Maybe wait a bit.

Hold off - learn the depth of calm and mindfulness that comes with silence and not having to over-compensate for the ordinary in between times in life.

You're not completely fucked - you're still a lovable, gorgeous flawed bastard like the rest of us.  So go easy on yourself and embrace Radical Self Care.  It's a thing and you should be on it.

5. “I don’t care what other people think.”

You shouldn't.  I know how awkward it can be when you skip Friday afternoon drinks and the whole cosmos is calling for cocktails around the cabana.  The look on your soon to be ex-drinking buddy's face when you inexplicably decline the invite and go home to Friday sobriety.

It's not about them.  It's about you - and that feeling when you turn on your heel and trudge back to your car when you can hear the music and the conversation and it feels so so wrong to be walking away - that feeling is bravery and courage and life itself.  That's what we are seeking.

6. “I’ll show you.”

You don't have to show shit.

Just ride the wave of sobriety and feel yourself - it's OK to not be happy - fuck - it's OK to feel anxious and spare and left out and alone and as though it's not worth it after all.

It's OK to feel.  Cause that's what you're doing - feeling.

7. “It’s not perfect...and I’m OK with that.”

All those years drinking have melted your face and your body and there's nothing you can do about it - except by getting up and actually doing something about it.

So choose to complain and hide yourself or go and celebrate the simple joy of being surrounded by young fit people and for starters, just try keeping up with them.

Participate and be grateful your old abused body still has those bits that can lift you and move and give you that metallic taste of adrenaline.

Yoga is not about progress or milestones - instead it is about the process and the discipline of pushing open the door of the studio each morning, day after day.

8. “I should have done better.”

It's not about comparing your journey with anyone else - after all - how many of the other mothers at the school gate have slugged two bottles before lunch and then still made it through a lunchtime zumba class?

Just doing this sober thing is enough for today.  Comparing yourself to some vague notion of a potential you sucks.  Let it go on the exhale.

9. “That’s OK. I’ll just outwork them.”

If nothing else, trying and working hard at your sober recovery just has to work.

No one ever said they fucked their sobriety from working too hard at it - but then again, they probably did because any excuse'll do to go back to it.  Work hard on yourself because no one else is going to.

Becoming sober was really the first step in deconstructing a hulking ego that had grown triffid-like to infect every area of my life.  Now, my life is actually a little bare and sometimes I wonder if I am missing out because I don't have all the shiny friends and bullshit talk that used to buzz around me when I was on the piss.

YOU in My Next Book

A suggested book cover?

My name is Bren Murphy and I blog about my journey to sobriety.

I am offering you an invitation to collaborate on an book I am putting together to be 
published October 27 2015!  That's around 30 days.

The book is collection of sober writers (that's you and I and others) sharing their writing.

Each writer will answer the prompt

<  A trusted friend approaches you and reveals 
“I'm not sure I need to, but I think I need a 
break from drinking alcohol”  
What would you suggest?
What would you say to her? >

Your written response of between 300 and 1200 words will be published.

Please attach a bio and a link to your blog/website as well as one social media link.  I am
hoping I can publish images – but at this stage I am keeping images out of the book for ease
 of formatting.

At this stage the book will be either 99c or free – the idea is to have it as widely
distributed and spread as possible. I expect the book to be about 80 pages or so.

You will be able to distribute it as well, for example it will make a great giveaway
for readers to subscribe to your email list.

This concept was suggested to me by my mentor who said it works in other blog niches
(ie mommy blogs, lifestyle blogs, health and harmony blogs).  It is a great initiative
from within the community and participants will get to know each other and hopefully build
 some lasting connections.

This project is 100% about finding reasons to do it and execute and implement.  This project
 is not about discussing the best way forward or analysis paralysis.  Whilst I appreciate
you may have reservations about ownership of your writing or copyright concerns – look –
I'm not doing it with any ulterior motives.  It's an act of sharing, and being grateful for
where we are in sober recovery.

OK, one last thing  - would you like to be involved?  I am running multiple projects across
a few domains right now and this is a call out right off the bat to work with me on this one.

Let's do this - the concept is to launch this as an annual publication so it doesn't lose momentum.

Get in touch by email is the best way –

This project hinges on being completed and published in 30 days or less.
I have circled October 27 as the publish date, so act now please.

Here is the invite to the Facebook Group where I will keep you updated and you can see the book cover  go to that page and click the green
Join Group button please.

Look forward to collaborating with you on this one.


The F Word

I got so angry my legs were shaking.  I was trembling and my breathing was shallow.

I knew that things could go either way - depending on the next move I made - or how I reacted to the next move he made.

I hadn't paid the water bill.  I'm a start up entrepreneur and shit like this happens - you overlook a bill, you miss a payment - whatever - I've got a passionate story here that's unfolding and nothing like a water bill's gonna derail my progress.

I was standing on the front grass outside my house - 9.05am, Tuesday morning - a tech guy from the Water Company with tools in hand, ready to disconnect my water supply.

(By the way - I don't care a fuck what you think either - it's part of being in business having to prioritize which bill gets the first slice of the cash flow - maybe that's why you're still stuck in your nine to five?  You have to be willing to pay the price - and this day, the price was having my water disconnected.)

Me, wound and ready to pounce.  He wasn't turning the water off and leaving me to spend the next few hours waiting on hold to helplines and making payment and then waiting for him to come back to reconnect the water.  Not happening.  Forget paying a $189 re-connection fee.  No way.  It just wasn't happening.

So here's the snapshot; Me, fresh back from yoga, standing opposite some tech droid from the utility company.  Blood pumping.  One of those awkward silences.

I had to make a choice.  How far was I prepared to go?  What if he insisted?  What would I do?


I've worked damn hard on forgiveness - it is the first traffic sign that rolls up on my horizon when I close my eyes to meditate.

Forgiveness is a challenge - a daily workout I submit to in order to be clear and fresh for the rest of the day.

I can see the three people I am working on forgiving right now, and I actively go to them in my meditation and offer them forgiveness.

I am sorry it happened - and they are recruited into my forgiveness.

I have the choice and the power and the abundant generosity to offer my forgiveness - and there is no way they can defer or resist or reject it.

The power, control and act of giving is all mine - I forgive them.

Forgiveness is like feeding the chickens - you spread it out by flicking your wrist and releasing your hand - and they peck it up around your feet.

Forgiveness is an act of control, and of letting go, of power and leadership - it is placing a lid on the hurt and shame and vulnerability and letting it go.

I forgive you.  It is mine and I have owned it.  You have nothing to do except feel my forgiveness wash over you like cool water.

Forgiven.  The f word is forgiveness.


"Hey man, It's just my job - once the connection is cut I'll go - I'm just doing my job -"

Whenever someone says "I'm just doing my job" I immediately think of a Nazi concentration camp guard, standing at the door to the gas chamber and the kilns.

He's a slack jawed youth, happy to have his first paid gig, ushering families and the frail into the gas chamber to be gassed and then burnt at 800 degrees.

That's what he would say "Hey man, I'm  just doing my job - come through - take your time..." and he'd help close the heavy doors and move onto the next gas chamber.  Hundreds and hundreds of shivering people, day after day.  Just doing his job indeed!

Don't ever just do your job...


On a lighter note > I've released a new video - full of my passion and energy and my unique take on being a recovery warrior and working through sobriety!

Here is the link if the video isn't showing.

Right now, I am writing a self help alcohol course - it's not re-inventing the wheel - it's not challenging the established dogma of any method (heaven forbid!!) - it is simply a unique and fresh way to approach sobriety without being too heavy and sombre about it (this from a guy who refers to concentration camps in his blog - what the?)

Anyway - it's fun and engaging and well worth your time - no matter what stage of the cycle you are at - but especially if you have been flirting with ending your drinking for a while longer than you anticipated.

As always, come and join me on Twitter or like my author page on Facebook.

Kray Kray as in Patsy Cline

I come from a family where mental health is not discussed.

So when I put my hand up and called myself out for severe clinical depression - people ran like Kray Kray as in Patsy Cline to get away from me and all I was left with was dust and those sympathetic sad faces with looks of “Aww, so you can’t handle life - is that what it is?”

Next thing I was straight to self medicating with alcohol.  Just like Uncle Fred, Aunty Bet, and the rest - a depressive episode in the early twenties and no real recovery point then retire to a life of heavy drinking thereafter.

And the scorn of unfulfilled potential.  Even worse - unbridled scorn!!

The shame - the sheer, so deep you put rocks in your pockets and nearly drown in it, shame.

Overlooked, released, let go, forgotten.

From that point my drinking was seen as a natural thing to do - I was a bit mental and I drank.  My life was mapped out for me by my family.

So I self medicated and drank and just got fat and older.


I’ve actually snapped out of it and changed my life completely.

I’ve cut the stigma and faced the shame and in the process confronted some of the big family bullies and sat them down on their narcissistic behinds.

It’s been very satisfying, but also, once all the screeching and screaming stopped - a little quiet and I’ve had to make a new life for myself.  New friends, no more heavy drinkers.

I’ve just published another video - It’s 17 minutes of my face and some pretty powerful stuff that will change the way you look at your recovery and the addiction to alcohol thing.  I’d love you to watch it and come along on this journey with me.

Are you up for it?

First, I want to give you my stop drinking checklist for free - go to my website, click the red button, and enter your email.

See you on the inside.