i like vacations more than real life

If you knew me in real life, you’d know that I say this all the time:

“I like vacations more than real life.”

And maybe everybody says this. But i really mean it.  I’m a goal-directed girl, and i can work really really hard if i know that there’s a reward coming.  vacations are the best reward for me.  four days of beach, movies, french pastries, reading on the beach, listening to podcasts. Even the travel itself is part of the vacation: planes, trains, metros. I just open up my book and read until we get there.

This was my first sober vacation (yes, thank you very much, today is day 66). I did OK 3 out of 4 days, which is pretty good.  I drank lots of tonic water, tons of tea, gallons of bottled water (Badoit with tiny bubbles), and only one day did i want to kill my husband.

We had a movie pass for one full day during the 4 day vacation, and the movie pass gave us unlimited access to see movies back to back. The first one we wanted to see started at 11:30 am. Seems reasonable. Woke up at 10:30 am (gotta love quiet hotels with dark curtains that let you sleep forever). Headed off on foot to the movie part of town. Figured we’d get breakfast on the way.

Now, breakfast in France is tricky business. France is an entire country full of people who don’t eat eggs (or protein) for breakfast. Coffee, pastry and juice — YES. Eggs and home fries and bacon and toast — NO.  Yogurt and fruit and granola — NO.  Tofu scramble? Definitely non.

So let’s take this newly sober girl, who’s used to eating lots of protein, and let’s give her … oh, i don’t know, a regular french breakfast which is straight sugar and adrenaline:  coffee, OJ, croissant, and then white bread with butter and highly processed strawberry jam.

She eats it all, of course, it’s very yummy.  And off she goes to watch the first movie.

Fast forward 2.5 hours, the end of the first movie. Starvation isn’t really the right word. It is more like an all-encompassing feeling, head-to-toe blanket of murderous rage.

I cannot seem to communicate to my husband that i am STARVING and that i have to eat right now.  No i can’t sit on the beach and eat baguette with cheese. I need to eat an entire cow. Are you listening to me? If i don’t eat a whole chicken, head first, in the next three minutes, i’m going to fucking implode.

My husband really cannot figure me out, and so i say something shitty like “why don’t you pretend just for one minute that you love me, you know, like you used to, and just for one minute imagine that what i’m saying is important to you.” He glares, he really has no idea why i’m yelling. And this makes me even more furious so I start shrieking, in a crowd, and yes people actually turn to look at the poor man whose wife is going off on him.  He says “do we have to run?” (i’m walking very very quickly, yelling, not looking back to see if he’s behind me any more). Yes, we have to run, I say, I have to eat something. He says: “fine, you can go alone then.”

which means we’ll get separated in this big crowd.

And I really really don’t care. At all. I keep walking and i don’t look back. I’m as close to drinking as i’ve ever been in 66 days. murderous rage. completely out of proportion to the event, and i know i’m hungry but i can’t seem to control my mouth, or my mood, or my pace of walking, or my yelling.

i arrive in front of a bad hamburger place. Husband is behind me (of course). We eat. I try very lamely to explain. I say “please don’t be a dick.” and he says “please don’t be crazy.” and then i start laughing.  because crazy is exactly what I am.

There was no alcohol involved. I ate some cow and felt better. The burger was terrible but did the job (the French aren’t great on making American-style hamburgers either, but in a pinch they’ll do).

The next day (yesterday) I ate terrible runny eggs for breakfast (runny yolks and runny whites). Husband had to avert his eyes, it’s truly gross. I didn’t care what they looked like, i knew i needed protein. And thus, yesterday, the runny egg day, i had the best day of the entire vacation. Relaxed, happy, even, un-anxious, well rested. We sat on the beach for 3 hours reading. We had tea and quiche for lunch (Look!  More Eggs!).  We bought apples to eat on the trip back.  We got home late last night (11:00 pm) and went out to our favorite corner place for roast chicken.

I have more to say about vacations, about september, about this time of year. but i’ll save it for later.  this is already too long and i want to put in a few more pictures : )


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I’m finding that lean protein is SO important to start my day and stabilize my mood. I’m glad I’m not alone in this.

  • Oh, the evils of wheat! I know exactly how you feel! I eat hardly anything but protein, veggies and dairy now that I’ve stopped eating wheat, but let me slip and have some and you’d best move out of the kitchen because I’m going to eat every freakin’ thing in it. The wheat we eat now is MEANT to make us eat more. Seriously. And it causes the mood swings.

  • Isn’t it amazing that yet again we all experience similar mood swings? I used to think i just hated shopping but i know now the crankiness diminishes once i’ve eaten something. Does booze stuff up our metabolism??
    Great to have you back : )

  • Hey Belle, take your blood sugar issues seriously. There are medical journal articles in print correlating alcoholism and hypoglycemia. In these early days of your sobriety, you cannot be vigilant enough.

    My first year of sobriety was a nightmare in this regard. I had the same kind of husband; he could go hours on a bowl of bran flakes whereas I would be convulsing with low blood sugar if I didn’t have some sort of protein.

    • I am definitely aware when i’m home, it’s just when traveling that i need to be more vigilant. i started buying apples to keep in my bag and then i began (drinking) runny eggs. protein bars don’t work for me because their sugar content is too high and they make me feel more wacky. i really crave cheese, eggs, tuna fish, and a cow when i’m starving. thanks for the warning! i will know now to be more careful when traveling next time …

  • Separated at birth we were! All I have to say to my husband is ” the blood sugar, she is dropping…………..” and he knows he has about 5 minutes max to get food into me before I become a complete crazy bitch.
    Somehow the problem also arrises more on holiday…………food not under your own control, eating to some weird schedule etc. Thanks for pics and so pleased you had fab hol. Nice to have you “back”! C xx

    • yes, it’s definitely correlated with vacation-eating, and french seaside eating is pretty limited for breakfast. there was a buffet style bfast at the hotel that we shunned as not being ‘local’, but it had ham and cold cuts, so it might have been a better choice after all…

  • Hi belle, is there a twelve step program for runny eggs? Eggs-anon ?

    The first step is to admit how freaking crazy you are. Somewhere you are going to undertake a fearless moral inventory….make amends….help others with protein product problems….

    You crack me up. Really, truly totally, crack me up. Take care, Paul.

    • eggs-anon. like, who i am to want to teach the French anything about cooking? That said, France needs a good chain of American breakfast diners, with real bagels and a egg-white-scramble with peppers and sharp cheese…

  • Carbs and caffeine sounds like my kind of breakfast. : ) I can relate to the hunger though; I always try to carry a protein bar or an energy bar with me in my purse so I don’t go too crazy for too long.
    Welcome back, glad you had a good time overrall!

  • OH MY GOD. I love this entry. this made me laugh SOOOO much because I am the exactly the same way when I get hungry , and no one ever really gets it.

    Loved the pics!! I’m glad you had a great time. I am leaving for the beach saturday evening for a week. I cannot wait!

  • oh i’m not alone, that’s good! mine was truly the most murderous i’ve felt towards my husband, ever. we usually get along really well. he just couldn’t seem to hear me (attributed partially to the fact that he doesn’t speak English and so my second language skills are 85% and sometimes i’m legitimately hard to understand fully). i should have said: must eat. must eat now. stop asking questions. stop talking to me. find me a chicken or a cow. no more bread and croissants. cow. chicken. comprende?

  • I can relate all too well to that late morning/afternoon hunger on vacation last month. I don’t remember anything like it, and it probably was from having a more carb based breakfast. Love that you were able to laugh about the experience with your husband. Hate those crazy moments, but glad I’m not alone in having them.