all this performing for other people

dear me,

all this performing for your husband, for other people, it has to stop. what’s clear is that as soon as the husband is away, you stop doing a bunch of things. when he’s here, you plan the meals (mostly) and usually try not to have fish two nights in a row, for example. why? because of how it looks. the good wife does this or that. nothing about the fact that the guy likes fish and when i go out of town the most exciting part for him is he can have it every night without me nagging him with: pork, fish, chicken, beef, vegetarian.

dear me,

arranging yourself to ‘look’ like you’re productive right before he comes home from work is nutty. he is not judging you. you are judging you. he truly doesn’t care. he doesn’t nag that you’re unproductive. that’s your shit. you project your shit on to him. (how nice it must be to be married to me.)

dear me,

all that fussing and angsting about a clean house, and his mess, and wanting clean surfaces. he’s been gone for 48 hrs and what have you done? worked. slept. ran. eaten when hungry (versus ‘preparing the meal’ like it’s some kind of scene in a play about married bliss’). no cleaning in sight. no meals in sight, either. slept late, breakfast at 11 a.m., lunch at 4:30 pm, and dinner at 10:30 pm is sticky rice and mango (yum).

all of the performing to try to look like some kind of person? he doesn’t care, there is no one watching, and there is no relationship meal planning police coming to inspect.

dear me,

delegating things empowers the other person.

dear me,

you’re pretty lazy. that’s ok. just don’t ride him so much when he looks lazy. admit it, sometimes you look around trying to FIND something to be cranky about. admit it.

dear me,

you being sober means that you have the ability to see some of this stuff, whereas when drinking, you didn’t/couldn’t/couldn’t be bothered.

dear me,

the only person you’re trying to impress is yourself, and you’ve put the bar so high that you can’t please yourself AND no one else is judging you, and your mother isn’t watching you. it’s just you. and if you get to set the bar anywhere you like, maybe set it somewhere where you can feel happy about what you’re doing most of the time. there is no ideal person/wife/partner/business owner/sober penpal. there’s just people being people.

dear me,

you should make him go away more often, so that you can have more revelations. you should have more alone time. clearly stuff gets clearer when the noise is removed.

(remove the booze, and then everything gets easier).


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

  • Great post. Made me really rethink a few of my behaviors. I read it while working on meal plans for the week and updating my to do list of what needed cleaning and organizing by Friday All the while beating myself up for not going to the gym yet this morning (it’s 2pm) and finishing a work document that’s due today. My husband certainly doesn’t care about any of these actions–I put all the pressure on myself. Maybe even more so now that I’ve quit drinking since can’t use hangovers as my excuse anymore. The only time I lower the bar is when I go on business trips! I drank to numb the “must do more” voice and now it just doesn’t shut up now that I’m sober. It’s so stupid but how to stop the nonsense and the noise.

  • Dear me: stop looking at him and thinking he is lazy. Look at the reflection in the
    Mirror and understand that you are projecting. If you don’t like it, work to change it. Stop haunting yourself. Kick Wolfe to the door! Thanks for the post. One of your best yet:)

  • Thank you Belle! New to your blog and am in the middle of reading your first month. Thank you for all that you are sharing, it truly helps! Alcoholsim can be a lonely world, its nice to find some friends and guidance through it 🙂

  • I can’t even begin to thank you guys enough for saving my life and making me understand that we are all connected by God in some way. Stay strong and don’t ever leave us. I felt as though there was no hope then I found you guys and I am inspired again.

    Didn’t expect that but it happened

  • I’m learning to cut myself some slack. I’m hard on myself but understanding for everyone else. When drinking I tried to make up for the moments I fell short of because I was drunk or hungover. No wonder I was overwhelmed most of the time. Now I’m trying to take things as it comes. Tonight we had grilled cheese! It was so good and I spent time relaxing instead of cleaning and cooking. And guess what? Everyone loved it!
    Thanks Belle!

  • This may now officially be my favourite thing you have written belle! Mainly of course because like many others here I recognise myself in what you say…this made me laugh and cry. I’ve been known to be irritated when I’ve been busy cleaning or cooking and then 2 mins after I’ve sat down my OH walks in….because obvs I have to be seen to be busy, sometimes I drag the task out so I am not sitting down when he gets in, crazy crazy stuff. Glad we are all here, as bonnie said, sorting this crap out xx

  • I have a ring binder in case the meal planning police launch a surprise raid. And projecting? I used to decide exactly how rubbish my partner was going to be then lurk about watching and waiting until THERE THERE HE DID THE THING!!! So reassuring to hear how many of us are soooo similar. But here we are, sorting the crap out. Yay us 🙂 x

  • I can so relate to many parts of this saga, well mine is a saga. I appreciate the reminder that I can set the bar lower. My story is that I must be the best wife/cook/home maven since I am not working a job these days. I can be lazy, but mostly I’m not. I’m just not working in ways that produce much income at the moment. Relationships – with ourselves – and with spouses are a dance. I’d like to walz more and jitterbug less.

  • Yep Dear Me is Me. I thought no one noticed when I was drunk all the time….then no one noticed when I took it down to every 2 weeks and then thought no one noticed when I came to work hung over…..but, we think everyone notices when we don’t do simple silly tasks. And the only one that notices is US! You hit it on the head, Belle! Great post!

  • Great post!
    The cooking, cleaning, organizing and the need to accomplish for a partner/ husband is ridiculous! My type A personality is being forced to relax, I don’t need to impress my husband (he truly doesn’t care) and I no lonver need to impress myself, because I am doing the best I can every day and I acknowledge that!
    I am getting better at saying “fuck it” when I feel like “doing my thing and being me” I have not waxed my legs in a month, ha ha ha, just lazy, oh the horror 🙂
    I am a sober gal with hairy legs, happy Day 35 to me!

  • Wow I feel like I wrote this. Every single line I live. It really brought some good perspective of things to me. Thank you!

  • Brilliant post. Especially the bit about the relationship meal planning police which actually made me physically jump in recognition. I have a record card a mile long with those guys 😉

  • Not sure whether to laugh or cry. So typical how we beat ourselves up. Why do we do that? I’m on day 8, thanks to these blogs. (About 40 days without vodka, which was my deamon. Tried wine in moderation, but….) I’ve been hiding behind my perfect family, perfect job, perfect lifestyle. Hiding sucks, and the notion of perfection is exhausting. Of course, the guilt and shame can be crippling. Think I’ll print this out as a reminder – especially when Wolfie is in my head. Thanks to everyone who shares – couldn’t do this without you guys!

  • I joined this site two weeks ago , made it three days and started.drinking again. I’m so sick of myself and have so much hate for myself, I felt that admitting it here would force me to hold myself accountable. I can NOT go on like this anymore, please someone give me some advice, please. Before I lose everything I care about (my kids)

    • Lori, you may find it easier to get some traction if you add in some more support. if you’re having a hard time getting going, it’s not really about trying harder … it’s about trying different. resetting to day 1 again but not changing your supports/tools is just too hard. the noise in our head is too loud. let me know if you want me to send you some ideas for tools/supports. send me an email: xxoo hugs from me

  • Did you write this just for me? Oh, I forgot, you write everything just for me. It’s scary because you just jumped right into my brain.

  • Thank you Belle. Day 5 for me and it’s Friday night- I didn’t buy wine and don’t feel like drinking even. It’s a miracle but I know reading through your 1st month has kept my “forgetter” from working. Truly you have given me so much courage and strength. Just thought I’d take a break and see what you were up to today. So I am committing to 100 days. One day at a time. Thanks again for all your amazing support.

  • This could have been written by me. I feel my worth depends on how much I get done, which is just bullshit. In sobriety, every day is a school day!

  • Absolutely loved this, Belle. You sound just like me. Didn’t realize that there were two of us running around doing such ridiculous things — for what?! Insanity! Thanks for helping me keep my own crazy thoughts/actions in perspective.. Btw, 20 weeks sober today. Yay me!?

    • OMG, I love this. It is also my “Dear Me: especially the pretending to be productive right before hubby gets home. What is funny, is when he is out of town I eat a simple, whatever I want meal, when I am out of town he does the same, when we are both home (robotic voice insert) WE.MUST.EAT.A.PROPER. MEAL.