if you take care of YOU, can it fix your marriage? (not literally, but still …)

since everything is like everything, i will tell a story about getting up early.

wanted to get up early for weeks (years) because i like the calm and quiet, and i feel better about me when i do it. (wanted to be sober for years because i like the calm and quiet, and i feel better about me when i do it.)

i think it about it for years before there’s any action. (ditto.)

then i fuck around a bit, try it here and there, don’t really take it seriously. don’t set up any accountability. ask someone with no authority to hold me accountable. generally do nothing. manage one day then crash again.

ok let me back up a bit so that this will make more sense.

for about 6 weeks my husband and i had been up each other’s noses. completely. sky is blue? not it isn’t. spoons face down in the drawer? what’s your problem with that. and for a while i literally thought he should ‘go on vacation’ without me but his passport had expired.

then 2 weeks ago, after one of the shittiest days, it was a saturday night, i thought oh god my life is so out of control, i can’t get anything, i spend all of my time looking at him wondering why he can’t be different. that’s it. i’m getting up tomorrow (sunday) at 6 a.m.

which i did. emptied my inbox. had 3.5 hrs alone in the morning. he gets up, i’m already feeling centred and accomplished (!) and so he seems pleasant. is it me who’s different? i’m sure it’s him.

we have the best day, and since then we’ve been fine again.

did getting up at 6 a.m. save my marriage? (if you do some good self-care can it help you be sober?)

sure. (to both.)

if i turn and face me and take care of me and do what i need to do, am i easier to get along with, less up his nose, and generally more comfortable in my own skin? (duh.)

a week goes by. i plan to get up every morning at 6 a.m. after that one time, but i don’t.

then this past week, that’s it i’m doing it. set my alarm for monday morning, then when i wake up i promptly turn it off, sleep too late, don’t get enough done, feel behind and irritated all day. i KNEW there was something that would make me feel better, but i just wasn’t doing it. (sound familiar?)

tuesday. same thing. set alarm, turned off alarm, slept late.

wednesday morning. alarm goes off 6 a.m. and i think to myself … (get ready): “Try Different.” If turning off the alarm repeatedly isn’t working, try getting up. just try it. try different. (i won’t like it, it’ll be too hard, i’ll have to go to bed early all the time, how will i cope with some future imaginary event where i have to be up late.)

wednesday morning i got up. did a long run in cooler temperatures. had a bath (look there’s time for baths again if you decide you’re going to focus on taking care of you). i worked straight through till 5:30 pm. same thursday. same friday. all good days. very good days. one was even a 9/10 day.

ok, long story for nothing. today is sunday. 2 weeks later. got up this morning at 6:30 a.m. It’s a good day. there was bread made today. there was lounging in the park. there was lunch with friends.

already told my husband that i’m going to bed at 9 p.m. tonight. (you’ve already told your husband that you’re not drinking tonight.) he made a face. (ditto.) i’m still doing it.

it’s what’s best for me. (oh and i’m not drinking, either!)


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 only just read this, so funny in light of the things that I have been saying lately too! I sometimes feel like we are in sync or something. I keep thinking I should get up in time to exercise, but I would have to be up at 5:30am, I don’t want to get up then. I get up at 6:30am, but only because I have to!

    I definitely agree that I’m less affected by my husbands mood when I have taken care of myself first 🙂

  • Getting up early was one of my favorite parts of self care as a young woman living on my own so many years ago. Why on earth did i swap that out for headaches and oversleeping? Why did i stop caring about self? Did i mean to?

  • Oh this is so true…I was having the most dreadful time at work last year and it always ALWAYS helped to get up early and own my morning before heading in to that shithole…did I do it more than once a month?! Did I buggery! I love what you say about self care. Why does it take us so long to realise?

  • Waking up early (6am) was one of the first changes I made after a bit of sober time…it wasn’t really all that purposeful at first…I was just sleeping so well, that I was ready to get up by then. I truly enjoy that hour and it has become part of my routine….guess it’s like sober momentum, except it’s wake-up momentum…and I don’t fuck with it. I’ve even scheduled a few of my sober coaching calls with Belle during this time. If you can swing it while still getting enough shut-eye, I highly recommend it!

  • fantastic post. And so so true. On day 22 right now. Getting up earlier would be fantastic. Then I wouldn’t have to be so stressed about nothing getting done. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  • Hi Belle,
    I relate! I get up at 5:00 AM every morning by natural alarm. (Grew up on a farm-dirt between my toes by 4:30 AM oh so long ago).
    Nothing worse than husband in the face and like ALL DAY.
    My mornings are like gold to me. Sobriety has given me the gift of waking up clear headed and not so irritated at others (husband).
    I added therapy to my tools and she says the most important thing in a marriage at our age (60 somethings) is PEACE.
    I never really thought about THAT before. Now there’s a concept.
    To keep my sanity (sobriety) on Saturday I drove myself to husbands family booze party. I arrived late and left early before the drunks got drunker and started repeating the same stories I’ve heard for the last 25 years. That’s taking care of me.

  • I want to give this a try too. There’s nothing like late starts to put you in a negative frame of mind and not getting up early has definitely affected my moods and happiness. Hard work, productivity and completion makes a person feel very satisfied. You know what they say, “early to bed, early to rise ….. “

  • I could have written this!!! I finally have made it to 160 days sober but still want to wake up at 6am. It’s sooooo haaarrdddd! Wahhhh! Just like getting sober was but guess what? It’s worth it!! So, I guess this is my sign that I will give early wake-ups a try! Thanks, Belle!!!