Keeping It Clean with Eddie Mitsou, Part 4

Keeping It Clean with Eddie Mitsou, Part 4

In the final post of her series on finding sobriety, Eddie shares her biggest triumph…

It was only 26 days after I quit drinking that I realized my first significant goal: going to NYC. That, in comparison to the 246 days it took me to travel from Stockholm to Istanbul, was an amazing achievement. Putting my mind to something and actually focusing on its end was what truly brought me there. “If it was easy, then everyone would do it” was a saying that, after hearing it a first time, began to really make sense.

I remember sitting on the plane listening to “People Are Strange” with a big smile on my face. I had made it. I was finally on my way, thanks to hard work, sobriety and refusing to listen to others’ negative comments about dreaming too big.

While drifting in and out of the clouds, I thought about finally living the life once I arrived in New York. And that I would probably start drinking again. I pictured my winter-NYC life: tight (p)leather pants, Rag and Bone boots, Alexander Wang tee, vintage bomber jacket and Balenciaga purse with a Blackberry in my left hand and a martini in the right*. I had reached my goal and it was time for a big celebration!

*Hey hip fashion gals! Remember this is was the beginning of 2013 — this was a pretty hot look!

Well, my arrival into New York January 29th didn’t bring with it the light cinematic snow I had pictured, but rather a full-on storm. Wearing double layers of stockings and a huge vintage double-breasted wool coat, I struggled with the snow mountains down in the Lower East Side.

My first dinner as a sober woman was held a new hip restaurant on Lafayette and Prince. 12 people in total…. all very trendy, all very important. Trendy editor. Trendy blogger. Trendy jeans designer. Trendy art director. Trendy model. And then me, a struggling vegan model with fat thighs (thanks to the double layers of knitted stockings). Even the carrot I nervously chewed was trendy tricolor cool.

Jokes aside, the night ended up being one of my favorites and, despite not wearing the pleather pants, I was happy and the night went exactly how I pictured it to.

About half of the group continued onward to a very exclusive pop-up nightclub to dance off our food. One of the guys, an art director/blonde version of a skater boy who broke my heart one year earlier, started dropping me hints. And winks. And touches.

We ended up kissing at the dance floor. Made out in a yellow cab heading east. The rest is secretly written in my diary (but if you send me an email I could tell you the rest).

The storm was over when we woke up, and with clumsy small talk he helped me lock my rusty door on Henry St. We walked a few blocks to a coffee shop. He bought me my almond milk cappuccino (I was so excited for this cos’ back in 2013 almond milk was pretty rare!) and we sat by a window seat.

“Gaaah, I’m so hung over,” he said with half a scallion cream cheese bagel stuffed in his mouth.

“Me too.” I lied, and smiled the biggest smile ever.

I had done it. My euphoria was indescribable. I had partied, I had danced, I had been trendy and I had a one night stand — SOBER!

It was truly then that I realized  alcohol was not necessary in making my life exciting. It was all within myself. I didn’t need to celebrate with a drink – I could celebrate with a green juice and be just as happy!

+ Be sure to read more from Eddies’ series here!

Photos by Jana Kirn.

Free People Blog

Keeping it Clean with Eddie Mitsou, Part 3

Keeping it Clean with Eddie Mitsou, Part 3

 I felt slightly confused and my future was unsure…

This is the 3rd post in a series from model and friend, Eddie Mitsou Pettersson.

I was living in Istanbul when I turned 19. It was modeling that brought me there…not because the Turkish market is the best for a blonde Swede but, at that time I had few options. During Christmas holiday, most fashion capitals slow down for obvious reasons. My dream was to move to New York but I was so ready to get out of my hometown that I told my agency to send me anywhere, even as a pit stop. So Istanbul it was…

And what a magical city! The Turkish food culture quickly sucked me in — its bounty of fresh local produce inspired me to eat healthy and clean: tahini, dried figs, amazing hummus and grilled vegetables, so much better than I would have expected. It was the first time I had to take care of myself, i.e. making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Luckily, I really liked it — experimenting in the kitchen was new to me and quickly became a hobby. It was a good way to relax after a long day of meeting client after client after client…

My weekdays consisted of shooting editorials and hitting up endless castings. When the weekends rolled in, there were always big dinner parties and shredding at clubs. And so, there were many pre-game drinking competitions being held in our little model flat.

I enjoyed it at the time, but realized it wasn’t propelling me in a good direction. My destructive weekend behavior forced me to press the restart button every Sunday night. I was eating clean, going to the gym on my working days, but my free time was filled with liquor and chocolate bars and Turkish cheese pastries. Oh, the suffering of the morning afters. (Or let me say afternoon, because I rarely woke up before 1pm).

The hard work I was putting in at the gym was really for nothing. I missed out on much of Istanbul’s historical and cultural beauty, too, because most time off was spent in a rusty bunk bed, ice pack on my sweaty forehead. 

One sunny December day, as I was walking around Hagia Sophia, I made the decision. I was going to stay sober, be healthy and 100% vegan (no space for cheese pastries here!) until I made it to New York. What was it worth, to be so good 5 days a week and then ruining it on the last 2. Funnily enough, my walk was in the early morning because I had skipped a promoter’s dinner the night before. How good it felt to walk around in the sun with a clean head!

To be honest, I felt slightly confused — my thoughts were spinning and I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but I felt that a sober, ultra-clean detox was what I needed. With Jim Morrison’s sexy smoky voice in my ears I sat down with a salted sesame tahini cookie and created a list. A list of what I needed to do in order to make it to NYC and what strategy would look like. His words echoed in my head:

 You’re lost little girl 

You’re lost little girl 

You’re lost 

Tell me who 

Are you? 

 I think that you know what to do 

Impossible? Yes, but it’s true 

I think that you know what to do, yeah 

I’m sure that you know what to do

I saw even more of the city then ever before. I moved out of the model apartment (the norm) and discovered the streets and bars and restaurants and people of Istanbul (the freedom) by myself. I wasn’t a lost little girl any more — I was a focused young woman, now with a goal in sight. My local fruit store salesman taught me more about the importance of a joyful life than any Russian model friend ever had. 


+ Check back next week for part four from Eddie, and be sure to read the start of her journey here!  

Photos by Jana Kirn.

Free People Blog

Keeping it Clean with Eddie Mitsou

Keeping it Clean with Eddie Mitsou

Maybe you’ve been considering it… Sobriety may not be for everyone, but it might be right for you?

Let me be the first to say… I love partying! Dancing, hanging out with friends, flirting, coming home at 3am exhausted with my lipstick half gone, LOLing at my Instagram story while peeing and brushing my teeth.

What may separate me from man others is what happens next — I wake up with my makeup perfectly removed, IG stories still intact, with no fear of finding that dreaded embarrassing video. I make myself a green smoothie and I’m on my way to a Pilates class before 9.30 am.

So, why is that?

Because I don’t drink.

The thought of it might scare you.

But…maybe this is something you’ve been considering yourself. Sober partying may not be for everyone – but it might be right for you?

I have many girlfriends who have gone out with me and follow suit – and most of them really like it, usually quite surprised at how easy it can be. AND! how much fun they can actually have without booze flowing through their bodies. Some, as a result, have decided to quit drinking – or at least consume very little – while some continue to go out and get wasted.

And I don’t blame them for that. Everything is a choice — you do what feels best or right in that moment.  However, there is also a fear of simply breaking the norm. You simply stick to what you know and how you’ve been raised to live, courtesy of family, culture (television, movies, magazines) and society.

Several years ago, the idea of sobriety seemed impossible. I struggled with it during my last semester in school. I had just started dating someone in the deep house underground party scene. The only thing my heart wanted was to be tequila-tipsy, kissing him in the darkness of a grungy garage, every night of the week.

But, I had to focus — good grades on my final exams and beyond. There was also the potential to do modeling in Milan,  and my agency asked me to be in perfect shape, which demanded both more hours at the gym and a healthy diet. Despite my new love, my mission had always been to move abroad as soon as I graduated.

But I couldn’t. I really couldn’t give up being boozy. It was so important to me. Drinking was the only way of partying in Stockholm, so maybe that rubbed off on me?  My point is that there wasn’t a time when I could picture a life without alcohol. I was young, but my mom nervously made jokes about me becoming an alcoholic. I had a great opportunity right in front of me, but I wasn’t ready to make the sacrifices to achieve it.

I’m a very strong believer in refraining from judgment or telling people how to live their lives. I would never tell anyone that it’s bad to drink, or that they shouldn’t. No, no, that’s not my vibe. It’s an individual — and personal — choice, and whatever you choose is hopefully right for you. What I do is right for me.

So all I intend by this post is to inspire you. To maybe introduce you to a new or scary path and know there are different ways to go. Follow your own gut, and try to push away the fear of being different.

I didn’t make it to Milan that summer, after all. It took me over eight months to finally leave Stockholm. I wasn’t ready to stop drinking and didn’t fight for my dreams. I ended up in Istanbul, but even there I realized that other paths existed…

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