the rules? they’ve gotta go.

i am a blamer. i see that now that i’m on my own. when my husband is here, he does most of the housekeeping. i like the dishes done after supper. i like them all done, pots and everything. he does them. hahaha that’s so hilarious. because as soon as i’m on my own, i have been doing the dishes while I make dinner, which means that the dinner dishes themselves don’t get done. they wait on the counter till the next day.

i could nearly cry. this is so heartbreaking to see up close. i want him to do things that i won’t (and don’t) do myself. sometimes after we do laundry, i fold the laundry or he does. mostly it’s him. i suggest that if he folds the laundry we could put away the drying rack and it wouldn’t take up so much room in the already small bedroom. he does it sometimes, but mostly not. me neither it turns out. there is laundry on the rack right now. i don’t fold the laundry and put away the rack either.

i could nearly cry. i remember very clearly that when i was drinking, i would get into quite a snit about the state of the apartment. I’d feel so overwhelmed with mess and stuff. i would announce very judgmentally, with a glass of wine in hand, that surfing the internet should be a reward for AFTER the chores are done, not before. Then what happens? As soon as i’m alone, i surf the internet, hang out on facebook, and finally get shit done at 11 pm.

ok.  so there’s a remnant or two from my drinking personality that i’m still carrying over. i’ll be 20 months sober in 3 days. This realization about my crappiness wouldn’t have made much sense to me when i was on day 30.  But here, now, i can see that the patterns of communication, expectations, implied standards, and RULES that i had when drinking… well, it’s time to dismantle them. oh my god the rules i had. rules about cleaning that would somehow keep my over-boozing from showing.

and now? the rules? they’ve gotta go. i mean the booze is gone. it’s time for the rest of it to go too.

note: kindness welcome. no comments about me being controlling. (how controlling is that!). i’m just too tired and teary for much of that. here, let me control how i want this to go. my blog, my rules. i declare it. jesus a girl has to have some place where things are controllable! so here goes: no comments about me being controlling (!) or being codependent (!) or anything else crappy. just not for today, OK? I’ll be better prepared to take crap tomorrow. If you can’t relate to this post, or if you can’t think of anything nice to say, or you think i’m plain wacko, you can just write “pat, pat”  🙂


Happy Day 50 to Jessica!

Happy Day 50 to JackM!

Happy Day 50 to Kimf!

Happy Day 50 to LizzieJones!

Happy Day 50 to Robin Anne!

Happy Day 50 to Jacques!

Happy Day 50 to Sober Second Half!

Happy Day 50 to Laurie Lynn!

Happy Day 50 to BetterThisWay

Happy Day 100 to Miss Lynn!

Happy Day 100 to Shannon A!

Happy Day 100 to Bridget!

Happy Day 100 to Sober Senior Lady!

Happy Day 100 to Em Anne!

Happy Day 180 to JacksterT!

Happy Day 180 to ErinS!


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 think it is great you realise all this and grow even more! You’re already such a lovely person.. And you don’t have to be a saint, please not. I recognize a lot in the story, interesting! Because I Always feel I do much more in our house, and maybe this is so but not as much as I think perhaps.. And I DO clutter the place myself if I take an honest look around me, only my own clutter seems to bother me less. Mmm, thanks for bringing this up, obviously time to learn something new for me, too 😉

  • I echo the be kind mantra, to hubby and yourself. You are now a very important person in my life, so for goodness sakes take it easy and pause to realize your awesomness.

  • Rules. We all have them. I can relate to the clean house and everyhing in it’d place rule too. I grew up that way and I get anxious if things are not in order. I agree that it is an awareness of these rules and impact on our loved ones that is half the battle. Being able to look at ourselves honestly is one if the gifts of being sober. Some of its hard but it’s real. Now that you have had this revelation think how things can change and be better. You are an amazing person and a good partner. A little clutttter and messiness just represents that other things and or people are more important. Thanks for sharing and being honest. Big hugs!

  • Honey, you are growing and you should be proud of that. Slam the door in The Judge’s face tonight. Awareness is 90% of the battle. You are doing fine. Be kind to yourself. Hugs.

  • Oh I hear you….I soooo relate to this. Everything is so much better sober, even when it’s really tough ! 20 months ….wow ..I’m so proud of you, can’t wait to be there…..I was just thinking recently of a painful experience I caused a year ago that could have been avoided if I would have quit drinking already….now it just looms over this family and I’m so ashamed, but the great thing is GROWTH….press on sober sister!

  • Pat pat sweetheart. Even on day 50 sum thing I see my own little patterns I once wasn’t aware of, but I do think you are being a bit hard on yourself. Also, remember it’s only been a few days since hubby has left, although they have been surprisingly easier thank expected, your emotions about his absence and the office change upon his return could be influencing your mood. Be easy on yourself, those are all small habits that could (but don’t have to) change. You nor the house or your past have to be perfect 😉

    Rest , relaxation, less hard on yourself is your script! Take two and call us in morning.

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself Belle. Sounds like your inner critic is lurking cause you’re low and a bit vulnerable.
    It’s enough just to get through this being on your own – cut yourself some slack!
    Hugs from London xx

  • First, let me say, you are in good company here and your post sheds a lot of light on my snitty-ness to my husband last night. I asked Mr. V to transfer the laundry to the dryer because I was too tired and going to bed. Did he do it??? No!!! (she says full of resentment). Reading your post today, I realize..but wait a minute. I didn’t do it either. I am angry at him for not following my rules. He was tired too! Why should my rules (I don’t care if you are tired, just do it!) apply to him and not to me?

    I am humbled. I think we could all just use a dose of nice, a pinch of grace, and a big hug today.

    A big hug to you today Belle. I am here and sober because of you.

  • So the other day I came home and looked at our dining room table with loads of irritation, because it was all cluttered up with stuff and my immediate gut reaction was that it was my husband’s stuff and his fault. I felt grumbly and resentful that he “always” clutters up our space and can’t clean up after himself. So then I really started looking at the stuff on the table and realized… it was ALL mine. Every single, cluttery piece of crap was MINE!! I was the mess-maker and I was subconsciously blaming him. I, quite literally apparently, have not been able to see my own crap for a long time. Each day I’m sober I’m seeing more. So, yeah. I totally get this!! You are amazing and inspirational and a few dishes in the sink don’t change one single thing about that. We’re all human. xoxo

  • I hear you Belle – and I do the dishes whilst I cook! Are you moving from blaming someone else to blaming yourself…? There’s always more we could do, that’s the danger, and Wolfie’s always lurking to tell us so. There’s a lot on your plate, there’s some big changes happening in your life – you’re amazing, and sober, and doing lots already (including washing the dishes as you go) lest you forget!

    Thanks for the inspiration and the honesty. Pat pat x

    • I think Mr. B is really great to deal with me… but tom you’re right, i need to be kinder to him (and to myself) going forward. shit either gets done or it doesn’t. no one dies from laundry.

      • I think and hear we are all going through a big change, and mercury retrograde all month is wreaking particular havoc on many of our emotional lives. It helps to know I am not alone, whatever is to blame. I have been very teary suddenly almost every day, my past wounds are rearing up, presenting themselves anew. We should take extra care. there there. be and breathe. fm

  • We share the chores so I feel it immensely when he is gone. I try to clean out the sink every nite so that it at least is clean, don’t look at the floor, it is always full of crumbs etc. not much of a cleaner, never have company so who cares?
    hugs to you today.

  • Ooops!! I probably shouldn’t be posting on this issue but, I’m the one who does 98% of the chores in our house, inside and out. Somehow I was able to do it even while drinking. I probably enjoy it more now that I’m sober. I admit it, I’m a perfectionist. Something that I’m trying to overcome now that I’m sober. Did I mention that I’m a Virgo? Sigh!

  • Oh I can relate all right. I’m just glad I’m online and nobody can see that state of my house. My husband is away right now and I think he’d totally flip if saw the state of the place. He’s due back on Saturday. Guess what I’ll be doing on Friday – ALL DAY?????? For now, I just have another cuppa and see who’s online.

  • Another we are all the same people. I’m lucky our bedroom is large because there are always piles of folded clean clothes to put away. I mean really–how hard should it he to put them away at that point–and yup, usually I blame my husband only to find out I’m worse. And I’m really good about putting dishes in the dishwasher and claim”I always do the dishes” but my husband constantly has to ask me if the pots and pans on the stove are “clean” or “just rinsed.” He usually gets to clean them after my answer is “rinsed.”

    Pat pat

    • I am on a day two again and I have been doing a lot of cleaning (while sweating and shaking). Over the last 20 years of marriage my husband has taken over all of the cleaning including the laundry and yard. We tried AA more than once and they told us he was enabler. Finally, after my many relapses and our arguments about me going to the store drunk to buy more booze he gave up. He said he was not going to refuse to go get me another bottle when I am too drunk to drive and desperate for more; he was not going to leave me in my own mess; and he was not going to live in a house that is a mess. I have been cleaning for two days now, in spurts, and not committing to my usual whole house remodel to make up for the binge. I have taken Belle’s advice in the podcast and I am doing some cleaning and leaving some for later, not trying to tackle the whole 20 years of backlog and abandoned projects. I am just doing some laundry and dishes. I did dust a table, too.
      Thank you.