Being sober is like being bald

from an new, undetermined-as-of-yet writing project

Being sober is like being bald.

At first, you look around and you don’t see anyone who looks like you.

Some people have a lot of hair, long and curly, no fuss. Other people have crew cuts. Some go bald in their 20s, some never (some people quit drinking in their 20s, some never).

Do you look around and feel pissed off that you’re going bald? Do you resent it?

Some do, not you.

Some go to great lengths to look like they’re not (comb-overs, ponytails, baseball caps, photos cropped at the forehead). Some go to great lengths to look like they’re drinking (juice in wine glasses, mocktails, fake beer).

OK, so as it turns out, lots of people have naked heads and wear wigs. But I want my own hair, you say, tears squirting from tiny tear ducts. And it’s nice that you want your own hair. But now what? You don’t have it. Yes, other people have it, you don’t.

Sheryl Sandberg: “I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave. I want option A.’ He put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.'”

So here’s to Option B. And anyway, it’s a relief to be sober (bald). You can dress up and have a nicer time with friends than you did before (you can put on a wig and have nicer hair than before). You spend zero money on booze, dumb restaurant tabs, paying for taxis, paying for rounds for people you don’t even know. (You spend zero money on hair cuts, colour, cuts, clips and curling irons.)

Moderation is like a comb-over. You cannot pull it off. You look ridiculous, it’s obvious, and in any stress (or wind) it fails.

The real you. Option B.

The real you has thinning hair and then is bald. Blame your mother if you like, might as well, you blame her for everything anyway.  Her genes.

Now you have choices. Look lame, waste time, spend money, feel bad.

OR you shave the fucker off. You can be proud and bald (if ya like) or you can hold a mocktail and say no thanks. That part’s up to you.

~ this is a different article ~

But to sit on the bus (in the restaurant) staring at the back of someone’s head (at their glass) wishing you were them, is crazy-making. Because let’s say you WERE them. They’ve got something else you don’t want. That ‘normie’ has one thing that looks positive (to you, her alcohol consumption) but has at least two other things in her life that you want no part of.

The person you get to be is you.

You’re a non-drinker. You get to keep the other things you like about you, all the aspects that you’re proud of. This is another one to add to the list: sober. You are sober and you’re done with looking at the man with the Tom Cruise Hair wondering if you could be him. Do you want to BE Tom Cruise? Didn’t think so.

You can be you. Rocking the shit out of Option B.


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

  • “Moderation is like a comb-over. You cannot pull it off. You look ridiculous, it’s obvious, and in any stress (or wind) it fails.”
    Yet another priceless gem, Belle. I’m compiling my own book of “Belle Quotes” that I can refer to quickly. xxx

  • I just found this blog last night. I have started a 30 day period of no drinking for the month of September. I don’t know when it started but I have found I drink 6-7 drinks per night (usually mixed hard liquor drinks or straight hard liquor on rocks, but I don’t discriminate against beer or wine). Approaches double on Friday and Saturday.

    I just feel I drink too much and want to drink in moderation. That’s my mindset going in, and to reset my tolerance, which is high, to say the least. And to see if I can do it. Can I go 30 days without a drink? I doubt it. I started off with 5 days and then had three beers over a 3 hour time period at my weekly golf league. Nothing since. That is a significant reduction for me.

    It hasn’t been over-the-top, horribly difficult so far, but I sure do think about it a lot. I wonder to myself: what the hell do I do, now, after work? All my “friends” are at the pub. I have still gone in to the pub this month 3 times at happy hour, but haven’t drank.

    But who am I kidding? That’s how I feel. I try to tell myself, wow, you have gone two weeks with just 3 beers one evening. But so what? It seems like it’s been a year and I think about drinking every day.

    I read half the first month of Belle’s blog which started July 2012 and so many things are spot on with how I feel. I have not signed up for the 100 day challenge because I would never make it. This is an attempt to make it 30 days. But maybe, just maybe it can turn into something more.

  • Very awesome analogy, so freaking true! I was at day 20 and on Labor Day went to the end of the year pool party and felt terribly bald and uncomfortable. I was really feelig so great up until this point. Sadly i gave in and now have to get the momentum back once again . Over the past few weeks i felt so sorry for myself and tuned into all of the events in my life THAT ALWAYS INCLUDE ALCOHOL. Can’t seem to escape and i guess that is the point : That won’t ever change, I HAVE TO CHANGE.Thanks again Belle , for a great post and for the work that you do.

  • Day 15 and I feel great. So much so that the thought crossed my mind I didn’t have a problem with drink after all and somewhere in my future I can have a drink again. Thank God I read about this here 🙂 I think I can wear sober and pull it off 🙂

  • Did you write this for me? 🙂 it’s exactly what I needed today, Belle. I seriously have to stop feeling sorry for myself!

    I have a great life. Wine isn’t part of it now, so it’s plan b life instead of plan a. If I choose to stop whining and complaining about giving up plan a, then I can focus on rocking the crap out of plan b. Who knows – maybe plan b will end up better than stupid plan a anyway.

  • Love the bald metephor… We just returned from a little trip to the beach, and for the 1st time since I was 15 ( I am 55 ) I did not drink….I am so proud of myself:). I am on day 32 another first, I have only made it to day 29 in the past. Thanks for this blog, thanks for the 100 day challenge.
    Off to treat myself to some dark chocolate covered roasted almonds….yum
    free at last

  • For the longest time as I tried (unsuccessfully) to be a normie and moderate. I felt if I gave in and gave up being able to drink I’d look weak, different– like I belonged on an afternoon self help show. Lol
    Then after one of my failed moderation attempts…then after a binge kicked off an illness I’ll have for the rest of my life…after all that, my husband Pointed out that it’s not shameful or weak to not drink. It’s actually strong and cool. I start d to think…if this is my choice (and it is) be proud, own it and I am!! The metaphors in this post are perfect!
    Here’s something that occurred to me—there are tons of vegetarians, vegans, paleos and gluten free folks. Everyone I know is trying some special diet. Same with boozers, we have an allergy so to speak. It’s not good d for us, it makes our body’s do strange thing. Gives us joint pain, head pain, etc…

    Belle once again right on!

  • I have a similar story about hair. I stopped dyeing my hair years ago and as it turns out my real hair color is now a stunning shade of white that looks almost platinum blonde…yes all natural. Who knew? I just needed to recognize the real me and stop spending all that money on expensive coloring and chemicals on my head. I get tons of compliments now on my hair color. Just like quitting drinking – the real you shines through and you become a more loveable person.