I get to be ME. Louder.

and then bang, right on Thursday, right on schedule — day 7 — i started to feel better. boy our brains are complicated places. we just don’t like change, of any kind, even if the change is ‘for the better’. I’m the queen of thinking that the new thing is going to suck. and it usually doesn’t. I just work myself into a lather for absolutely no reason.

so on Thursday, I woke up and the coat hanger was gone.

you know the coat hanger?

it’s the big piece of metal that lives inside of me, the pokes me from the inside, that makes me feel tense, wound up, agitated. like I’d rather throw myself down the stairs than take them one at a time.

and after 7 days’ of the new thing (being mostly offline), most of the coat hanger is removed. [just like in sobriety, it takes 7-9 days to start to feel ‘better’]

on day 7, finally, it’s quiet in my head. I have occasional moments of “do i really want to do this,” but for the most part i’m convinced it’s a good idea. So i keep going. [sobriety much? my god, everything is like everything. again.]

Things I did on Thursday that seemed to help make it better day … turning point things (please add your turning point things in the comments, would love to hear)… Like, you’re having a crappy, irritated couple of days, what do you do to make it ‘better’?

Things I did: put on one of my husband’s t-shirts. nice and boxy. not tight fitting. I’m tired of being girlie. I’ve lived here for 5 years and i’m not going to fit in. i’m going to go back to being my MEC (REI) self and wear loose soft clothes again. this girl clothes thing? tiring. pinched. too tight. too much focus on boobs for no reason. really. i was a tomboy before, I will be a tomboy again. I thought when i moved here i should make an attempt to ‘fit in’. i’m done with that. i’m going back to being me.

on that same note, i got a hair cut. i’m done with the long hair thing here. I can’t do that either. I’ve done it for 5 years and I’m done with that too. Cut my hair off yesterday. finished with that.


things I did: I’m back to making the bed. I can’t really say when I stopped doing this. and really, we live in europe. our beds consist of a fitted sheet and a down comforter in a bag covering thing. That’s it. You shake the comforter, and plump the pillows. that’s it.

It’s like having my bed made makes me feel less anxious, it’s one place I can go and see that things are “OK” – and there’s nothing nicer than going to bed at night in a made-bed. I mean really. this shit is so simple.

Of course, this entire blithering mess of a blog today is all about self-care. It’s about me listening to me. I like loose, soft clothes. I’m going to stop trying to be someone else. I like to wear a few pieces of clothing over and over, sort of like a uniform. I don’t want to waste any more brain space on fashion. I like to run but I don’t like races so i don’t do those anymore. I have curly unruly hair, so i’m done with trying to coif it into something. I like to sleep so much that I don’t drink alcohol anymore. I like to bake bread at 6 am and so I don’t drink alcohol anymore. There are some things that I know about me. in being unplugged this week, I realize that I’m adding to that list now.

I’m sober by choice. It suits me. I get to be MORE me.

I get to be ME. Louder.


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

  • best turning point thing for me is saying yes or no, based on my decisions and my judgement – considered or off the cuff, sometimes a bit selfish and often not. And I know with a smile and surety that there is finally a trueness to self there.

    • Yes, AM, I recognise this emerging freedom too – it’s wonderful isn’t it. The missing link to being ourselves!!

  • I think it’s REALLY important to honour my commitment to rewards and treats so well done Anonymous. I love discovering self-care, how to be kind to myself. I am eating expensive chocolate ice-cream every day (not TOO much) and I love it. I’m buying flowers, taking bubble baths, eating well, listening to podcasts, buying little gifts for myself. Most importantly (and this is scary) I’m looking after my needs and not my partner’s needs. It feels wonderfully caring to myself to not drink alcohol.

  • I agree doing something for yourself is important, i find taking a hot bath to be my getaway instead of drinking. Eating ice cream after is even better, not everyday just in moderation.

  • This blog is so spot on and brings up a really important question..how to turn around the down…cleaning helps me, oddly…since I felt it was a trap when I was raising my kids. Now, it is a centering, an “I care” about my space/I care about myself. Cooking healthy food on Sunday to consume during the week…again taking care of myself…healthy bounty.
    So yesterday, I really practiced “treats” and I am not very good at doing that. I knew my husband and I had a tedious “rubber chicken” awards dinner that we were required to attend…the sort of event where in the past I would make a beeline for the bar and not stop till I teetered out at the end of the affair. This event was particularly loathsome because of the people who were being honored which would have required even more wine. In preparation for the evening, I told my husband while I was not going to drink , I was going to eat dessert. Dessert was going to be my “treat”. The evening ran long, unbearably long and when the end finally came and dessert was to be served, my husband said…”Let’s get out of here.” But, my dessert! The dessert was probably not worth waiting for and we left. But, where was my treat??? We went home and my husband said,”Shall we go out to the store and buy some ice cream (which we haven’t had in the house for months)? Yes! Ben and Jerry’s Toffee Bar Coffee Crunch. Yes, treats are a good source of honoring the hard work and balancing the lousy. Today, I wake with a smile, no hangover and a sense of honoring the commitment to myself.
    Thank you, Belle for refreshed perspective.

  • The Internet to me is like voices in my head, all talking at once, mostly bullshit…. ha ha ha .I like the REI style thing…Rock On Belle!…Staying true to yourself is EPIC! 63 days here, lost 25 lbs, feel amazing….. everything is better when you are incharge of your life instead of Vice Versa. Moe

    • I lived for a while on the west coast and got used to dressing like hippy granola. I miss it! were are my cargo pants, where is my plaid shirt, where is my goretex with a hood…

  • This is great, Belle!!!! I also have an Internet addiction that I desperately need to get on top of, so I relate to everything you say here, and I really admire your determination to do it right. Good for you!!!!!!! Many hugs

    • I started this by limiting the hours of internet just one day a week – like pick a night (tuesday) and turn off the computer/tv/phones/wifi by 8 pm. then just be bored and see what happens! if you’re me, you clean, have a bath and go to bed early. if you’re Mr. B, you get the guitar out of the basement…

  • Good for you, Belle!! I loved reading this and especially how you are listening to your gut and how you’re going to be “you”, even if it doesn’t fit exactly with where you live. I feel the same way where I live. Well done!

    • I just got tired of trying to be someone else. I didn’t grow up here. I’m not ‘them’ … so I’ll just be me instead… and that’ll just have to be enough 🙂

  • Totally with you on the bed making thing – it’s kicked in routinely but in a really loving, calming way since stopping drinking. I love walking in and seeing my beautiful bed at any time – sometimes I sit on the edge of it and just breathe – and you’re so right, getting in to a made bed ( with ultra-regularly washed sheets, now, too) is the loveliest. Especially to read, not pass out. It is so symbolic of self care with the best literal aspect too! xo

    • I do this too. I look in the room all day at the nicely made bed and lacy pillows. It reminds me I must be sober because I am not lying in the rumpled bed passed out or in hang-over pain.

    • ultra-regularly washed sheets! and I like ones slightly worn from years of washing. so I may set out to find a new set of sheets that are pre-softened!