Sunday, October 4, 2015

With my tribe...

What an utterly amazing afternoon I had yesterday meeting up with a bunch of members of our amazing community website - Living Sober.

A number of the members from around New Zealand (and one from Australia!) had organised themselves to travel to central NZ where I live to hook up for the weekend. They organised their own flights and car rides... booked into the same motel where possible (some even sharing rooms!) and partook of a series of meals and get-togethers in cafes and restaurants.

I met up with them for a late lunch yesterday at a pub in town. They'd organised a private area and we came together for 3 hours.

I shared many warm hugs.

I shed many tears.

I heard many tales.

I listened to singing, poetry and prose.

I spoke briefly and answered many questions.

I had numerous moments when I paused mentally, looked around and really took stock of what was happening. Here I was sitting in a room full of people - most of whom I had never met in person before - and I felt incredibly comfortable and in the right place.

I felt like I was with my tribe.

The truth is my whole life I have been fiercely independent. I’ve never been what you could call a ‘joiner’. I didn’t play sports so I wasn’t in any teams. I never managed to stick at any music groups or anything like that. I didn’t do that many organised extra activities. I didn’t feel like I fitted in at high school... I always used to joke that I had ‘job commitment phobia’ because I would chop and change my jobs so often...and mentally I've always kept myself on the outer. I always felt like I was ‘pretending’ to be one of the gang – whether it be the 'cool kids'  gang at school or the TV journalists gang at work or whatever.

I've always felt in a bit of a bubble. Booze helped me maintain the bubble I think. It put a wall up between me and everything else. It helped me to not care - a self protection mechanism. If I don’t care about this group or this job or this whatever then if it goes it can’t hurt me.

I was always trying to stay one step ahead of things going.

Maybe this is why when I set about getting sober I embarked on it as a purely solo mission. Me in my bubble fixing myself. I don’t need anyone else. Fiercely independent me.

Little did I know that getting sober would finally lead to me finding my place. The group I belong to that I don't have to pretend that I feel a part of. My tribe. 

To be sitting in that room yesterday felt incredible. I felt at home. Really at home.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Finally I can be still....

I just wrote a post on my other blog - Mrs D Is Going Within - which summarises where I am at right now.

I know it seems a bit weird to have two blogs on the go but this original blog was started to help me get sober (which it certainly did!) and I keep it up to stay on top of my recovery and keep communicating with people who are also trying to get sober.

The new blog I started for the same specific purpose.. to use it as a motivation tool with something I am attempting to do. In this case it is my attempt to develop a mindfulness/meditation practice. In other words, to really 'go within' now that the hard work of removing alcohol from my life is done.

The new blog really helps keep me motivated to keep researching / investigating / attempting mindfulness & meditation, and although my work in this area has been very stop-start it is slowly bedding in. I love it. I love, love, love it. It is unbelievably affective. Trust me on this. All the hype is true. It is amazingly helpful.

Lately I've been feeling really good and strong in my sobriety. Very much of the attitude - 'what am I actually missing out on?' by not drinking alcohol. That was one of the most overwhelming feelings when I first stopped drinking.. that I would be missing out. But for Pete's sake.. what am I missing out on?

I can socialise. I can have fun. I can go to concerts and be really moved by the music. I can have lunch with my girlfriends and connect with that fabulous female energy that fuels every girls soul. I can communicate, care for and co-exist with my husband and sons authentically and brilliantly. I can attend dinner parties and go to restaurants enjoying every morsel of food and banter. I can spend time with myself and not go crazy.

I can be still. Finally. I can be still.

Gosh I just typed that and got teary. This is obviously a major major thing for me. Stillness.

I suppose boozing is the polar opposite to stillness isn't it? Maybe this is what I've been avoiding for my entire adult life. It's taken me four years of sobriety to get to this place where stillness is becoming the most important and restorative factor in my life.

Stillness. Finally, I can be still.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, September 21, 2015

Not so tired any more..

And the award for the most boring post title in blogging history goes to Mrs D!!!!!!!

Not so tired any more. Yawn. The post title itself is enough to make someone tired and bored.

Actually truth be known my life is very boring. Or if not boring then extremely ordinary.

I get up when the dog barks and put him outside. I shower. I fix my kids breakfast and pack their lunch boxes. I feed the dog. I negotiate between my sons and the dog not to all wind each other up too much and try to stop them breaking things/making a huge mess (all the while trying to be mindful that they are young boys/puppies and breaking things and making a mess is in their DNA). I put washing on. I badger my sons to make their beds & brush their teeth & pack their bags.

I get the boys off to school and then I spend the day until 3pm writing blog posts/interacting with brave and amazing sober people on Living Sober or via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc/grocery shopping/meeting friends/walking the puppy/going to work meetings/doing household chores/paying bills & doing banking//filling in forms and replying to emails for kid things like cubs & swimming lessons & drama lessons & school trips & rugby games etc/lying on the sofa watching daytime TV/cooking & baking/folding washing...etc etc...

Then at 3pm I get the kids from school/bring them home/feed them/do homework/badger my boys to empty the dishwasher & wash their lunchboxes/play games/drive to rugby practice & swimming lessons & cubs & drama & soccer etc/cook dinner/tidy up from dinner/do more interacting online with brave and amazing sober people/write blog posts/tidy up/get the kids to bed/watch TV/go to bed.

(Obviously the weekends are a bit different but you get the gist).

Things I wish I did more of:
Plucking my eyebrows
Painting my nails
Reading novels
Drinking and eating perfectly healthy whole foods

Things I wish I did less of:
Eating sugary/fatty foods
Checking my online sites
Worrying about the things that I should be doing more of...

The good news is I am feeling a bit better on the tiredness front, am trying to work my mindfulness techniques to keep myself in the moment and feeling calm. And today I had my hair done for the first time in months and it is short!


Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I'm just really farking knackered, it seems every morning I wake up and I am tired ... and I drag my tired sorry arse through the day. My eyes are stinging they feel so tired and sore. And my patience is slim at best.

Is my iron low? Is it because the puppy wakes me up bloody early every morning? Is it because I'm not getting enough sleep? (I average 7 solid hours sleep per night give or take).  Is it because I run a busy household? Is it because parenting three active boys aged 11, 9 & 5 is full on? Is it because I have a steady flow of writing and other work to do? Is it because my diet is less than stellar at the moment? Do bad food choices make you feel run down? (I know the answer to that).

Is it a combination of all of the above?


I'm pretty sick of it to be honest. But I keep trying to turn my thoughts in a positive direction and slide gracefully through the days without getting too grumpy or self-pitying. Because really I have nothing to worry about.

And EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE seems to feel tired all the time nowadays.

But the knowledge that everyone feels tired a lot of the time doesn't diminish my personal experience of tiredness. I can still feel it behind my eyes.

It's just so booooooooring going on about tiredness.

I want to feel fresh! And energetic! And sparkly! And not tired!

So I will....

1) try and make good, healthy, perfect food choices like all the perfectly perfect eaters of the world seem to do (they do exist these perfectly perfect eaters don't they?)
2) rest where possible but also....
3) increase my physical activity
4) feel grateful for my very nice life
5) go to bed earlier
6) buy a women's multi-vitamin that includes iron
7) keep feeling very incredible good about the fact that 1470 days ago I stopped drinking alcohol and I am very cool and brave and amazing for having done that and my life has improved in immeasurable ways as a result

Love making a plan - I feel better already! In a low-key tired out way that is ....

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Back from the addictions conference. I LOVED it!! My first ever conference and I was totally into the whole name badge/presentations/endless yummy food/stimulating people vibe. The addiction sector in NZ is full of lovely warm, kind & hardworking people and I chatted happily with many of them. Also sat in on loads of interesting talks, cried, sang, danced, and ate. Did I mention the endless yummy food?!

I gave my talk on the last afternoon and think it went well. Hard to know - feedback was good ... although no-one is going to come up to me afterwards and say "that was shit" are they? But I felt good and calm in my brain and happy to be telling my story and informing these lovely practitioners about our amazing website.

The local paper did a story on my presentation which has just been published online here. Wish I'd brushed my hair for the photo!

Flew home after 3 full on days and was so happy to get back to my domesticated reality. Yesterday was Fathers Day AND my four year soberversary! The boys bought us breakfast in bed which was cute and then we spent a nice family day together.

Today we are back into a normal week with school, work, dog walking, supermarket shopping, cooking, playing games, washing clothes, etc etc yadda yadda. Normal yet so fundamentally glorious.

I do not drink.

I don't waste any more time worrying about my drinking.

I don't wake up at 3am any more beating myself up for having over indulged the night before.

I am no longer a stranger to my emotions. I hate sadness but know that it heals. I'm uncomfortable with anger but know that it is a normal human reaction. I loath stress but now have far more effective ways to minimise it.

One of the speakers put up a slide last week which said 'Life is pain, but not accepting that pain is suffering'. Put that another way - pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Thank goodness I started figuring this out four years ago.

Love, Mrs D xxx