yes, i’m taking very good care of me

Lynda (about those of us doing the 100+ day challenge): “You are all the most incredible gang of accomplishers I have seen in years.”

I have had a weird few weeks. My heart thing acted up quite dramatically, i had an appointment with a cardiologist, got drugs, improved somewhat, then had a truly terrible day and saw him again. Now i have increased medication, and miraculously have quickly returned to 95% normal. Best news? My husband has stopped tiptoeing around like i’m about to expire. And i’m able to run again after a long break of about 4 weeks…

At no point during these past few weeks did drinking cross my mind as a ‘good idea’. Not one single time. I know that no one is ever ‘safe’ from wolfie, but i do feel like i am well protected. I can (and did) wake my husband at 5 am when i’m feeling scared. I can (and did) email sober penpals to express my strange fear that the medication was going to kill me, and that i was waking myself once a hour through the night to … well, to make sure i wasn’t dead. i know. it sounds ridiculous. i’m glad that phase is over 🙂

Being able to run again now makes me feel like my life is ‘back to normal’.  You know, when something bad happens, we start to cry and we crave NORMAL. We want it to be like it was before.

Sometimes this is a good, regular, sad feeling.  “I just want to feel well,” we say when we’re sick. “I just want to run and read the paper and have breakfast and be normal.”

(Thankfully, i got my wish yesterday, as Mr. Belle unexpectedly and miraculously made crepes for breakfast, never having done it before, and i stayed out of the kitchen, abandoned all ideas of hovering. he just did it. His way. And the crepes were great, full of nutmeg, and he was so fucking proud of himself).

Sometimes though, if you’re drinking, you want to feel well, you want maybe not what you had before, but a NEW normal. But you don’t know how to get there.

It’s like there’s a glass window between where you are (drinking) and where happiness, health, and nutmeg pancakes are (in the fantasy version of sober world).

Cardiac conditions require shirtless tests, boobs hanging out, electrode things stuck to you, breathing manoevers that don’t work, drugs that do, and being given your cardiologist’s private cell phone number.

Solving the sadness that comes from drinking, and wondering how to get to NORMAL, requires patience, kindness to yourself, not taking on too much at once, feeling brave, and asking for/accepting some help and support and cheerleading.

I can’t solve an electrical problem in my heart without help from mr. heart man. i trust him to help me find normal again.

And maybe you can’t figure out how to get to a new and sober NORMAL…

or maybe you haven’t been in NORMAL for so fucking long that you’ve forgotten that it even exists. if you’ve been drinking for a long time, you may believe that a sober life is unachievable to you.

It isn’t.

Paul: “I feel like a loser … alcohol has this way of making you feel like a loser and a quitter….”

me: “key phrase here is *alcohol makes you feel like a loser and a quitter*. Alcohol MAKES you feel idiotic.  Alcohol MAKES you feel broken. But you’re not. Remove the alcohol for a period of time and the grip is loosened, the ease returns, and you’ll see that all this other stuff that alcohol MAKES YOU FEEL is all made up of lies and bullshit. Many hugs from me.  You’re describing the hell that, yes, lots of others describe, and yes, others have also escaped from.  Booze is the thing making you feel this way. It’s not you. You are not broken.”

and so on this sober sunday morning, let me close with this.

I am well. I did no catering this week. i rested and hung out with Mr. Belle and Mr. Heart Man. I’m back to running. I’m happy. I feel like i’m on vacation. Mr. Belle has stopped looking at me like i’m about to croak though he did make me breakfast again today (this time he only made toast, so clearly he’s not as worried about me!).

I am completely 95% well. I am responsible for my own happiness and I am responsible for my own wellness. and i’m taking very good cre of me.



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 so happy that you are feeling better Belle. We all need to listen carefully to our bodies. They will tell us what they need – we just need to listen carefully. My body told me for years to quit drinking, eat better, exercise more, and breath fresh air. I’m finally listening, and rewarded with a very happy self!

  • Thanks for today belle, amazing what a few words of support can do. Day 5, it’s not a lot, but it’s the longest for 2 months, thanks to you.


  • What a good ending to your post….I am responsible for my own happiness! It is amazingly true!

    I am so happy you’re doing better Belle! I’ve been out of the loop for a while but back with a vengeance.


  • I am so happy to hear you are doing so much better…for you and for me. I admit to my selfishness in needing you to be around. You’re like the best prize I ever found in my cracker jack box! Hugs to you and Mr. Belle : )

    • I entirely know and have felt that same selfish feeling… that’s why I wanted to post today to reassure you that I’m OK. and that I’m being careful, and not doing too much, and that generally all is well : ) and that it rocks to be healthy! (and sober!)

  • So glad to hear you are feeling better and the scare is behind you. How nice to have the kindness of warm meals lovingly prepared…by someone else. How nice to wake up in the morning without dread, sweat, headache….to be clear, to be certain of who you are, to welcome the day instead of just trying to negotiate it. Best wishes for a beautiful day, week, month, year, sober life.

  • Take good case of yourself. Like Paul, alcohol fed my negative thoughts of myself. I had little self worth always comparing myself against others negatively. Now? I still have a negative nature but at least I know that I don’t feed it booze and I cope with it mostly.

  • Glad to hear your heart is beating properly! So jealous about your husband cooking. I do have a son who does that though. It is a cooking Sunday for me- chicken stock, hummus, cannellini chile, polenta etc….and now you gave me the idea to have crepes or maybe yeasted pancakes that you set up the night before! Toast is always good too- esp. when someone makes it for you 🙂

    • it’s true. toast with ham and cheese was divine BECAUSE it was made by someone else. I just sat in my chair reading, and waited to be served …

  • Excellent post, Belle and it truly hit the nail on the head. I’ve been such a mess for so long that I have no idea what “normal” feels like. I’ve forgotten. I’m slowly, slowly working my way back to normal.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Belle!

  • Belle, you always hit the nail right smack on its head! Alcohol DOES make you feel debilitated, broken- but it also clouds your vision so that you don’t realize the alcohol is responsible. You begin to think that you, yourself, have a fatal, unfixable flaw. And the way past this is kindness and gentleness with yourself- and the I am Not Alone feeling that comes from your blog and the other sober bloggers who are big enough to share their trials and experiences so that we readers can feel like there is a place where we are Enough, we are At Home. Thank you so much!

  • When you’re ill or caring for somebody who’s ill, it’s very disorientating because all the normal patterns change which is distressing. I’m so glad you’re recovering and that you’ve got your running back and that you recognise ‘you’ again. Hoorah!

  • I am feeling much better this morning since I didn’t cave into that which ends up making me feel worse. If I observe the timing of the feelings – it’s that wicked ‘hour’ or hours – and the weekend so today I plan on just keeping very busy and getting things done off my to do list. And treating myself to something today for not giving in yesterday!

    Glad you’re feeling better. Mr. Belle sounds like a wonderful man! You are one lucky lady!