Friday, August 1, 2014

You are brave and amazing...

So the movie I went to at 11.30 am the other morning by myself (what fun!) was 'Begin Again'. I totally 100% recommend it. Mark Ruffalo my all time favorite actor love love love him. Keira Knightly who I can usually take or leave but was just great. James Corden love him..Adam Levine great..Catherine Keener great.. everyone great.

But the story.. the story…! So lovely. And the wonderful music - a huge feature of the entire film - so moving and beautiful. And the themes of love and artistry and authenticity.. and yes.. there was a little bit about alcohol in there too.

There was one teeny moment late on in the film, I won't give it away but will say it was something that was said/done in relation to alcohol, it wasn't a big drama moment in the film, a throwaway line.. but shit it got me.

I burst into tears. I had this immense reaction to this thing that this dude said/did. Tears were flowing down my cheeks. I could feel my heart so raw and open and touched, bursting with emotion. Yes it was about the moment in the film, but it was about my place in the world and my relationship with myself.. it was everything and it was wonderful.

I'm an alcoholic living in recovery. I drank wine heavily and steadily my entire adult life until nearly 3 years ago and now I don't touch it ever. I am still learning how to be a fully emotional person. I am brave and amazing but I am raw and I am healing. I am also so grateful and happy for my sobriety. That is what those tears were about. That moment in the movie did all of that for me. Don't ya just love it when that happens?!

For everyone finishing Dry July but wanting to continue not drinking I say GO FOR IT!!! We don't need that shit in our lives! It's not true that it's necessary for good times. It's not true that it relaxes us. It's not true that it makes us more interesting or more fun. None of that is true.

If you're in the thick sludgy mud of early sobriety, busting your balls to break the habit and re-train your brain know that the longer you go without drinking the easier it will become. Don't worry about what other people think… focus on the truth that only you know and - most important of all - know that you are not alone.

You are beating an addiction to alcohol and that makes you brave and amazing. Any expert will tell you that it's one of the hardest things for a human to do.. but it can be done and you can do it.

You are brave and amazing.

You are brave and amazing.

You are.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Comments-a-rama!!

Holy SHITBALLS!! 100 + comments on the last post!! Wow you guys.. how wonderful that things have exploded here. This is exactly why I wanted to write the book and speak out.. to reach people who were like me and let them know what wonderful support could be found online. And now look at you all reaching out from behind your computers being brave and determined and kind and and supportive and nonjudgmental to each other. Yay!!!

But boy do we need this new site to be launched…! So we can shift into a space which will better serve us all. I've got a training session with the web designer tomorrow on how to manage the site and all going well with the agencies involved giving the design the go-ahead it will be up and running by the end of next week.

You'll be able to register to become a member and build your own page where you can post regularly and people can comment. You'll be invited to submit a photo of yourself holding a sign with your sobriety date or a wish or hope for the future (and you can cover your face with the sign if you want to be anonymous). I'll have my own blog page on there which will be open to all and I'll post every day about whats going on for me but also highlight issues that are arising for others, good points for discussion etc etc.

For example at the moment a big issue for many is how to transition out of Dry July and tell people around you that this non-drinking malarkey is forever (my advice would be just focus on the truth that only you know and don't spend too much energy worrying what other people make of it.) And on my Facebook page there's been some talk about alcohol in food that's been interesting…I think that'd make for a good discussion. I'll keep my page rolling with new stuff all the time so the site feels very rich and alive.

I'm never short of ideas on matters booze and recovery related! And I never tire of it! I love it! I'm fascinated by it!

But most of all I can remember what it was like to be stuck in a miserable boozy hell-hole.. and I know how magical it feels to be grateful and sober.. and I really want to drag as many people as I can to join me in wonderful sober-land.

I will keep blogging here but probably shorter posts than usual for a while, I'll really be trying to draw people into the new space. Anyone, anywhere is welcome to join FREE!! And we can keep an open dialogue on how the site is working for all of us .. so it will change and adapt as need be.

I'm in a good space. Eating well again, feeling strong and upbeat. Busy cleaning and tidying and cooking and running around after my boys .. but actually today I have a rare afternoon off because my youngest is going on a playdate after kindy.. so I'm free until 3pm. Off to the movies - whoop!

Have a wonderful sober Wednesday everyone.. and don't fret if you're not here yet.. with the help and support of this lovely online recovery community I'm sure it won't take long…

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lego lego everywhere...

Hey lovely people in the online recovery world.. boy are we a mixed bunch. Check out the comments section on the last post if you haven't already.. there's some fantastic interactions going on there. Some wonderful support, lots of grit, plenty of brave honesty, and a whole bunch of we're-in-this-together-ness.

Some people are feeling GREAT and on top of the Sober World!! Others are feeling bummed they're not quite managing to stay off the sauce yet, some are experiencing glimpses of wonderful FREEDOM from the evil clutches of alcohol, others are feeling glum like not drinking means they're missing out on all the fun.. and some are just ordinary - not particularly high or low - just ordinary.

I'm probably one of those last types right now. I've come through my slumpy-phase and can feel myself slowly lifting up again. Eating better, feeling the old 'gritty attitude' return.

Where-ever you're at it's ok. Relapse is often a part of recovery (so the experts tell me) so if your sobriety journey is beginning in a stop-start manner don't fret. Just keep being honest with yourself and talking it out with others here and reading, reading, reading lots of other people's journeys in the blogs down the left hand side of this page.

Getting sober is the ultimate in self-care and I often forget that I need to keep up with other self-care habits I've had in place for the last 3 years. For me it's little things like starting every day with a nice mug of my favorite Green Tea with Mandarin - that sends a message to me that I'm on the right track for the day. And I'm swearing off the floury/sugary foods again because when I do that I always feel loads better (body and mood).

There's a section on the new website (only about a week away now - yay!) called 'Sober Toolbox' where we can all share our tips and tricks for sober self-care. Here's a sneak peak of what it'll look like...


I'm sure once we all start contributing to it it'll be full of wonderful wisdom and great ideas. Things like yummy drink alternatives, different ways of explaining our not-drinking to friends and family, re-framing the reward concept, favorite sober treats, how best to get through the witching hour, how best to deal with tricky emotions... etc etc… I can't wait to see it grow and get some good ideas from y'all.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being sober? I LOVE BEING SOBER! I love it heaps and heaps and heaps. I love it to the moon and back. I love it because it just feels so right. I love being a non-drinker. I love being a non-drinker more than I used to love being a drinker, and that's saying something because I really did love my wine. But no longer. That shit has no place in my life.

And now if you'll excuse me I need to go clean up some little boy mess, because that's what I do allthefuckingtime.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, July 25, 2014

Honesty at the Book Store...

I spoke at an event at my local bookstore last night. I was nervous..! It was the first time I'd fronted up to a crowd of strangers. But it went really well. A good number turned out given it was a cold winter's night here in my home town. The book store staff made a delicious hot mulled apple juice (I'll put the recipe on my Facebook page) and I had some lovely chats with really nice people.

There was a little bit of formality. The book-store owner rang a wee bell and then stood behind the counter and said a few words about me which were very kind and then I had to do a bit of a 'talk'.  I'd been thinking for the past few weeks how I was going to run through the story of this blog and how it turned into a book etc.. but then on Tuesday I decided to just start by being raw and honest.

Truth is I've had quite a vulnerable week.. still eating really badly which awakens the awful dysfunctional feelings in my brain and reminds me of the awful dysfunctional feelings I had when I was boozing so heavily. The kind of 'you're shit, you're not in control' feelings. Question: Why did I abuse my body with alcohol and why do I now sometimes do it with food? Answer: Coz it tastes sooooooo good…..! But anyway I've been allowing myself to eat crap and it's been making me feel a bit low..

Then I'd spoken on The Bubble Hour about loving the feeling of booze in my body, and some people commented on my blog about loving that feeling too.. and I could feel some familiar sad longings inside myself regarding alcohol (the bloody monster inside me - my internal addict - moaning a bit in her sleep). Then my lovely fellow blogger Thirsty Still wrote a powerful post that I found quite challenging about that familiar lovely buzz of booze.. and Mr D's about to go away for 5 weeks..... 

Basically a bunch of things have led to me feeling a bit shitty and vulnerable emotionally.  I could feel that as the week went on..have had the odd teary episode.. and so I decided to be all honest with the group gathered in the book store and tell them.

I told them that I'd been feeling vulnerable.. (tried not to cry) .. I told them that I'd been aware of a vague familiar longing inside myself recently which I identify as being my inner addict/alcoholic stirring in her sleep.. and then I told them how I'd worked to counteract those feelings.

How I'd written a post about how amazing it is to be feeling like there's a sober revolution taking place around me, how I'd visited lots of other blogs and left comments for people, how I'd reached out to The Fix to ask if they wanted another article from me, how I'd started planning what I was going to say at the Book Store, how I'd been to a meeting about the new website, how I'd posted some articles on my Facebook page, how I'd replied to many emails.

How I'd worked hard to stay on top of my thoughts.. and get myself through.. because there was no way I was going to indulge that sad longing. That sad longing can bugger off! 

That's why I do all this. That's the bottom line. It's not about book sales or publicity or showing off. It's because I'm an alcoholic and externalizing my internal struggle keeps me sober. I knew that the minute I wrote my first post, and I know that still today. 

And I know this vulnerable phase will pass. I know that I'm going to get on top of my eating GODDAMMIT! And I know that I'm going to stay sober. It's just an on-going, robust process, that's all. 

But then again… isn't that just a description of life? Life is an on-going, robust process. One I choose to go through sober.

Love, Mrs D xxx 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's a REVOLUTION!!!!

There are SOOOOOOOO many people who are getting sober around me right now! Have a look at all the comments on my last few posts… there are people on day 6, day 1, day 44, day 21. Someone's heading into week six, someone's reached 4 1/2 months, someone else at 3 years. And on my Facebook page there are people proudly exclaiming they're at day 16 or day 43.. and privately in emails many, many people are still reaching out to let me know they are giving this sober living thing a go too.

Yes!!!!!!!!!!

We are the revolution!!!! We are the ones saying 'you know what.. this shit isn't as ordinary as milk and bread (although it's sold in our supermarkets as if it is).. this shit is destructive and it's bringing me down.. I'M TAKING IT AWAY'.

That's what we're doing folks.. we are taking that shitty alcohol out of our lives, we are gritting our teeth through the rough early adjustment phases, we are retraining our brains to see alcohol for the shit it is (and not the golden ticket to fun) and we are becoming fully alive, fully emotional, fully realised human beings.

Raw. Real. Recovered.

I am LOVING all the interactions that are going on in the comments section on here.. all the lovely support and encouragement and togetherness. I am really loving it and please hang in there because I know this blog is limited in what it can offer all of us but we are very close to launching the new site that will be so much more interactive and personalized for each of you. It will be free and you can create an anonymous profile if you like. I'll be posting and commenting and interacting daily to keep us all together and engaged. It's going to be GREAT and even if we need to tweak the design as the weeks go by we'll do that so that all of us here in the online recovery community are happy (and that means you too lovely lurker who is reading but hasn't participated yet).

I've just spent the morning as parent helper at my Little Guy's kindergarten. Three and a half hours of playdoh and dress-ups and storybooks and finger painting. I looked into all the little 4-year-old faces around me and thought that these kids are going to grow up in a society that has shifted it's approach to alcohol. I'm convinced they're going to grow up in a society that is far more open & honest about the dark side of alcohol. A society where it is common, totally acceptable and not at all shameful for people to admit they don't drink alcohol because they can't control it.

One by one we are helping create that society.

Love, Mrs D xxx