Friday, September 4, 2015

Listlessly, Almost Resigned

"You're fucking crazy," she said listlessly, almost resigned.

She knew it was no use even talking.

I was up and gone and out the door, pulling my jacket on as I waited for the lift.  The numbers lit up above the sliding doors and then the lift pinged open.  I pressed the close button as soon as I could reach it and let myself sink down to the ground floor.

Forty Five minutes.

Outside the street was busy but empty in that middle of the afternoon kind of way.  I strode along with my hands in my jacket pockets and weaved in between slower walkers.  It was just three blocks to the liquor store, and once inside I scooped up a bottle of wine and sat it on the counter as I counted out the notes from my wallet.  Eight bucks.  Quality, no doubt.

Back on the street again, it was as though I leapt to the corner in a single stride and sank right into the empty seat beside the bus stop.  No one waiting, and people moving past without paying me attention.  I cracked the seal on the wine and drank with the practiced elegance of a heron swallowing a frog.

"If you're not going to do anything about it - then I will" She said, looking blankly out the window.

More a promise to herself than a threat.

I heard what she was saying, but I was too far along my way - on a roll and the momentum of my drinking was not letting me just step off like that.  It would take some sort of crushing outside event to wake me up to do anything differently.  That much I knew.

In three long glug glugs, the bottle was empty.  Eight bucks gone.  Seven bucks left.  I lurched with the swirl of a headspin and redirected myself to the deli.  Smiling and waving and nodding and not opening my mouth to the people behind the counter.  Swallowing my saliva to suppress the alcohol smell.

"Six slices of Swiss," I pointed next to the cold cuts under the glass.  A long breadstick with little seeds, tucked under my arm where the wine had been.  Five dollars 10.

Back three blocks, and across the street, and into the lobby of the building.  Wash my hands, and rinse my mouth and gulp two mouthfuls of warm water in the bathroom, scrape my tongue with my top teeth.

The lift opens unhurried and I step inside and feel the up and before I exhale the doors reveal my floor.

Inside, she is still sitting in the same position I left her.  Hands limply clasped, an expression of resolve around her mouth, the unmade bed like swathes of alabaster marble unsculpted.

This time, she says it again, and she can tell I've been drinking, without smelling me or seeing me or anything - she just knows - it's what a drunk does - drink.

"You're fucking crazy," she says, listlessly, almost resigned.

She knew it was no use even talking.

This first appeared in

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kurt Vonnegut "Damned if it was Worth it"

You can read the full original letter by Kurt Vonnegut here.
Dear People,
I'm told that you were probably never informed that I was anything other than "missing in action." Chances are that you have also failed to read any of my earlier blog that I wrote for the last five years.  No matter.  It leaves me a lot of explaining to do - in short -

I've been an alcoholic since I can remember.  But the real hard-drinking, end-stage alcoholic who licks the bottle top and wakes up dreaming of drinking - that was me these last seven or so years.  I've been in and out of rehab a couple of times and broken down myself into one of those sobbing sad cries a few times as well.  It's been horrible and confronting and lonely and there were times I wished I could end it all.  But not with three little girls - I had to fight on somehow.

I stopped drinking and went to therapy and group sessions and I talked and shared and spat out all of the bad shit I could think of.  And then some more.  And I wrote and wrote and wrote thousands of words and then with one press of a button deleted it all.  And then I picked up a drink and went on a bender and the Police picked me up and duly dragged me back into hospital.  It's been a sad, exhausting ride and one I'm glad, I think for now anyway, is over.

I start to cry when I write this because I'm not the man I used to be - I'm becoming the man I needed to be all along.  I'm not angry anymore.  I'm not worried about tomorrow.  I'm not concerned with what you think about me, either.  It all just doesn't really mean that much to me now that I have discovered the quiet peace and calm of being sober and just being gentle and accepting of myself.

Rebuilding myself after being so completely broken is such a feeling that I don't think I can really share it with you for all that is is worth.  Just don't offer me a drink to celebrate.  I've let it all go.  I don't do that dance anymore and anyway, the music in my head won't play that tune.  From here on it's all about living clean and sober and rolling my shoulders back and being myself and being OK with that.

Love you and hope to see you soon.  But also, I understand we may not be seeing each other anytime soon because of how I treated you back when I was drinking.  Which is fine, I understand, but I can't go back and change anything from back then.

read my latest post published here on Medium and please feel free to share a comment
PS, On a brighter note, I just tip toed through my second half marathon on Sunday!!  Yay!  Such a mind opener - and beat my best time by over 13 minutes!!  Very sore and going down to the ocean baths each morning to chill my leg muscles in the winter water - I've given myself a five days off yoga...

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Free ebook on Amazon

#FreeKindleBooks #ebook #BookGiveaway #Kindle #KindleBargain #FreeKindleReads #freekindle #freebook #ReadThis #authorshelpingauthors

Hi, My name is Bren and I am an alcoholic.

I struggled for years with drinking and paid a high price with missed opportunities and devastated relationships.  I went from living a rockstar lifestyle, buying and doing up houses - to being the last guy in the pub at closing - to waking up first thing Monday morning and pouring a glass a wine.

I stopped drinking for the final time just on two years ago.  I say for the final time because I quit and then relapsed for about four years before that.

Now, I do yoga four days a week, and this Sunday I compete in my second half marathon.

A crucial part of my recovery was to write a blog and I wrote for the last five years and connected with thousands of readers who are living a similar life.  Tired of drinking and in need of a change.

So, with some encouragement, I wrote my first book.  And then my second.  And I'm on my third right now.

Today, I am giving my 206 page Live Alcohol Free pre-quit program away for free and I am putting out a genuine call for you guys to leave a genuine review - it's a fair exchange - I spend twelve months of my life writing about my deepest darkest personal journey and you get it for free for just two lines of a review - that's fair!

OK, anything else - please let me know - can you please check out the flow of subscribing at and point out any weaknesses or flaws - don't be shy I am seeking some forthright feedback - I trust you guys - you have a good eye.

Thanks Bren

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to Get Over Yourself

Hi, I'm through with blogging right now - it's called a creative hiatus.

 I'm in the middle of my third book and it's really got me engrossed so I just can't be sitting on this blog pumping out all this beautiful content for free right now.

But, as a really cool way to keep offering you service, value and my own brand of self help alcoholism - here's an inspiring share from a creative guy who really resonates.

Here's how to listen - hear how this guy uses blocks to his creativity like we need unblocking our sobriety.

You can also listen to a full 63 minute podcast of James over here, it's highly recommended.

So my next project is "Who wants to be interviewed in a podcast - or even better - do you have a lovely silken honey voice that would contrast perfectly against my grinding Australian accent?"

Seriously - we need to do this!

Interviewing now for a co host - drop me a comment or email at br3nmurphy (at)

Keeping it sober, fresh,. fit and healthy.

Oh, and finally, I am available for BOOK Reviews - it's a service and about giving back to the community - so send me your details and let's get me reading and reviewing your book - any topic although I fall asleep during romances.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Alcohol Self Help

Alcohol Self Help
alcohol addiction recovery blog
Awesome - check out my latest article feature here 

No matter how long you have been sober, people will still shit you about it.  It’s just part of the journey when you make the switch from “he’ll be up for a drink anytime” to “oh, that’s right, he doesn’t drink anymore” - and it takes time for people to get used to it.

Just like I used to ask them to tolerate my obnoxious and shameful behavior when I was drinking, I have to extend to them a certain tolerance and understanding when it comes to their forgetting I don’t drink anymore.

 I don’t apologize for it any longer

I’ve stopped saying “I’m sorry, I don’t actually drink - maybe a ginger beer or something if you have it?” and then when they follow up with “Um, no ginger beer, but we do have some room temperature tap water - how’s that?” I just politely nod and smile and wave them to bring it on.  I love room temperature.  It’s like, you know, the room temperature - yumm.

I don’t cover up other people’s awkwardness about it

So when they say “come around for a few drinks” and I just sit there and watch as the husband unwinds and kick starts his coping mechanism of drinking 16 beers over five hours.  And I’m supposed to actively engage and keep talking about his dream of starting his own cafe or launching his own line of bbq sauces as he guzzles beer.

Me just sitting there, listening to him throw ideas for logos and potential retail sites and knowing this is all just piss talk like we have done so many other times.  What happened to the organic salt business - or the Asian Fusion dumpling house or the 4 hour workweek coffee cart or the other 99 designs you have brainstormed over 16 beers on a weekend?

Umm, Nothing, that’s what.  But it all sounds terribly grown up and sophisticated to talk fantasy business whilst you get drunk.  I’m not covering up your awkwardness over this anymore.  It’s your fantasy - go live it or shut up.  Just don’t talk about it when you are drunk all the time.  Whatever.

I can do fitness shit now I don’t drink all the time

Not being hungover everyday has its benefits - and one big one is that I have energy to do things - like yoga and running.  So I actually set the alarm, and get up out of bed at 5AM and go to a 75 min yoga class, or in the afternoon I run 9km along the beach.
Alcoholism Recovery
Alcohol Addiction Abuse Sucks

BUT - it still hurts just as fucking much as if I never drank!

Yoga has that deep, vibrant, warm pain - and you have to get out of a warm bed in the middle of winter before dawn to do it - and that has NOTHING to do with not drinking or being sober.  But I love how you make out it is sort of automatic and natural and something I have to do because I am in alcohol addiction recovery. Nope.  It hurts, it sucks getting up early and I still do it.

Oh, by the way, I'm new on Facebook and it looks really sad right now - can you pop over and like me here.

Same with running - anyone who tells you running isn’t painful for the first couple of miles is lying. And it has nothing to do with being sober either - so don’t make out it is easier because I am a recovering alcoholic.

Just because I am not hungover and I have the energy and motivation to exercise doesn’t magically make it any easier.  So there.

Ok, have a wonderful week, enjoy yourself and stay sober - and cherish that crisp clarity you have right now.  Even if you don’t fully appreciate it, these are the best days of your life right here and now, so go and do something amazing and beautiful and make your world a better place!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Three Life Changers

The only topknot in the race!

Yesterday I ran a half marathon, the day before I did nearly 4 hours of yoga, and this morning I published my new book! Woot!

Yesterday; Half Marathon

As I crossed the finish line after running non stop for 2 hours and 19 minutes, I felt an enormous relief that I had run my first half marathon - 21.1kilometres (13miles).
It was even more sweet because I said I wouldn't stop or walk at any point, I would keep running no matter what.  And I did.
So running was very satisfying even though I did dip into a few mental spots where I had to mentally rest, refocus and re-align what I was thinking.

Since I have completely embraced Sobriety, I have also grown to deeply engage with the process of switching my mind from one thing to another (almost) at will.  When I was a devout alcoholic, I would let my mind wander unfettered from exuberance to depression to anxiety to joy.  
Now, as I grow into sobriety, I am genuinely re-directing my mind when I want to.  It is a type of emotional mastery and I'm really big on it right now.

Anyway, I did feel sore after around 16km, or 75% into the race.  My knees were sore, my calves were tingling like they could cramp up, and my quads were burning.

I went through my seven intentions (from Wayne Dyer) on my fingers a few times, (creativity, kindness, love, beauty, openness, abundance and receiving) and thought of an example of each intention.  This chewed up some distance.  Then I repeated my focus, flexibility and discipline mantra a few times.  This chewed up some more.

But half an hour later, my legs were still sore, and as the pain grew vibrant again it took my focus.

So I dug around in the back of my mind and pulled out some nuggets from yoga.

The Day Before; 230 minutes of Yoga

Yep.  I did a 90 minute class at 6.45AM and then a 140 minute class from 4PM.  In the morning we did an active flow and I eased into deep twists and opened my hips.  In the afternoon we lingered for 6 and 8 minutes in each pose, exploring deep muscles.  As we finished the class, the yoga teacher said "I bet you guys could've stayed for another hour" and he was right, I think.  My ears were ringing.

During our long holds, your mind does wander - not wonder - (there is a difference).  And the yoga teacher shares his unique perspective on life as you invite blood to flush tight muscles and loosen your joints.

There is a delicate balance between a deep stretch and going beyond, into the pain zone - so you are ever mindful of staying just this side where it is warm, but not electric.  It makes for an intense, present in the moment experience where time evaporates as you concentrate on a muscle deep in your buttock on each exhale.

What if pain feedback - where your body is telling you 

"Hey, um, excuse me, it's PAIN over here - " 

Could be ignored, and instead you just observe it without making a drama or story around it?

"ANYBODY?  SOMEONE? I said PAIN!  I mean, what do I have to do to get some service around here?  Don't you know who I am?  PAIN for crying out loud - let me spell it out for you - hello - I need to see your supervisor - who's in charge here?" 

Could I run along, in silence, and not make up a story about the sensory feedback I was getting?

What if the feedback was wrong and you were getting that feedback but it wasn't pain - it was just, for example, fear, or my fear of success, or my fear of growing, or my fear of being the best I could be?"

That's where my head was at as I ran from 17km onwards.  Those last 5 km I was telling myself that it wasn't pain, it was just a warm, intense feeling.  
A feeling of my body reminding me it was fit and alive and glowing with rich red blood and that I was, step by step, breaking new personal territory.  
It's life and it's beautiful and you're welcome!

And Today! - I published a Book!
"THREE BOOKS," she said "Write three books and by the time you have finished the third book, you'll have found your voice and you'll be ready to publish."

"Publish and be damned!"I spat, "I'm not waiting for permission - my life starts now and I'll learn to fly as I flap my wings!"

So I went ahead and published and today, just quietly, an email alert blinked and my book went live on Amazon.

Just. Like. That.
It's book one in the three book series.  The second book is published on September 8, then third on October 8.

Here's the book published today - Live Alcohol Free and a call out for all you avid readers to dive right in and shell out about the price of a coffee and then write a review - it really makes a difference!

Here's the second in the series, in final draft for September 8 Publication - it has the clock image as a countdown reminder.

Here's the third - for October 8. This one has a waterlilly for peace and calm.  I'm so ready to share all this work with you and hope you'll be patient as I finalise the drafts.

In other news, I'm in pre-production talks for a top secret venture so I just won't release that just yet.  But definitely maybe will share soon.

It's thrilling and humbling and all that at once! The book is a genuine 60k word exploration into setting yourself up for a long and powerful sober recovery.  I'm exploring a new paradigm, where you learn and prepare before actually doing it, and I think it has real merit.

PS I'm still really keen to publish your writing on - won't you pop on over and bang something out?  It's a community service thing after all!

 For a $3.99 copy of my new book, enter your best email...

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