Monday, June 19, 2017

Gym bunny me!

I have just re-joined the gym! Woo Hoo! Enough wallowing in my emotional funk. Enough ruminating over how nervous and vulnerable I've been feeling about the new book coming out and all my boring thoughts about me, my book, me, my life, me yadda yadda. Enough insecure introspection. Enough emotional eating to distract myself from uncomfortable feelings. Enough bad TV to distract myself from uncomfortable feelings. ENOUGH!

(In case you thought I was the perfect example of a sober zen housewife, I'm not! I still use food and TV to distract myself when the going gets tough.)

Anyway... that phase is over. It's time for some forward momentum. I'm going to get my body back into shape (even a little bit of shape will suffice!). I'm going to pump myself full of all those natural endorphins and serotonin and whatever-else-comes-from-exercise and I'm moving on.

Feels bloody good to be honest. I'm back at the gym where I used to go when our littlest was a pre-schooler and he attended the creche there while I worked out. I know the place. I know they have a pump class at 9.30 on a Monday morning which I used to love. I'm going to start doing that again plus maybe another class or two and sometimes my own programme of weights and cardio.

I may be 45 but I am not giving up on this body quite yet! And I'm not going to stagnate in a pit of self-absorbed despair. I'm going to get back exercising and keep focusing on all the other stuff I do (parenting and housewifeing and running Living Sober) with increased positivity and a metaphorical spring in my step!

It's not that things have been terrible but it has been quite a gritty phase lately and I have fallen into bad habits and have gained weight so I'm feeling a bit blah. Not terrible, but blah so it's good that I've decided enough is enough.

I'm still a goddamn motherfucking legend for getting through all of my life without numbing and avoiding with booze.

I'm still a sober superstar who lives every single moment of her life with a raw and wide-open brain.

And I'm still a heroic recovery warrior who feels all the feels at full volume - 150% awake and alive to everything all of the time.

And now I'm a gym bunny to boot - ha ha!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A fully realised human...

Things are calming down now and getting back to normal. In other words my nerves and adrenaline are subsiding now and I am calming down and getting back to normal. 

I have to be honest I didn't hugely enjoy that whole 'putting out the new book' process. Bit of a bummer because I wanted to feel happy and proud and all my lovely friends and family were happy and proud for me but I can't hide the truth that overall I felt very edgy and vulnerable and insecure about the whole thing. 

Of course the fact that I'm sober means every experience I go through I feel acutely at 150% volume and this was no exception! Raw and real is how I experience things.. I'm cool with that because I LOVE being sober and out of the boozy trap I was once in.. but I'm not sure I will be writing and putting out another book any time soon. 

Or if I do it will be about something other than the innermost workings of my mind.

Anyway - got a wee bit of media around the book release which was nice and all the interviewers were very kind. Jack Tame on Newstalk ZB called me 'reluctantly introspective' which was right on the money I thought. His radio interview is here. Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ laughed when I told him I was a 'girly swat' when I set about learning mindfulness. His radio interview is here. Carly Flynn was very complimentary which was very nice of her and I really enjoyed talking to Tim Fookes as well. Also got a couple of print articles here and here

I'm never nervous when I'm actually talking to journalists because I always see it as an opportunity to get the word out about recovery and hopefully reach more people who might be living in a boozy hell. It's just when I'm sitting at home in the quiet that I feel a bit exposed and weird... but no more complaining! No-one made me write this book and overall I am pleased to have written out what I learned to make my sober life more manageable .. and there's no denying that consolidating it all into book form helped me further cement many of the concepts and tools I've been learning and developing. 

I've had a couple of people say the book isn't available overseas yet. The kindle is on Amazon (just make sure you're not looking at the print copy as they don't get it till November) and if you buy a hard copy from Book Depository they'll ship it straight away anywhere in the world for free!

Today I am pottering at home doing some blog writing, cooking dinner (getting a bit fancy and making Chermoula Marinade for chicken kebabs), and looking after the dog who has a cone on his head to stop him licking his infected paw. I am watching The Real Housewives of New York while I cook and drinking a delicious Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea. Later I will run the boys around to their rugby practice/drama classes/Scout Scavenger Hunt and finally will collapse into bed with a mug of chamomile tea. 

Sober life is good. It's gritty and gnarly at times but always rewarding and genuine. I finally feel fully alive truly experiencing what it means to be a fully realised human. 

So, so grateful I got alcohol out of my life 2102 days ago. 

Love, Mrs D xxx

P.S. Cheesy selfie taken at the airport when I spotted my new book on the shelf!

Monday, May 29, 2017

You are not alone...

My new book is now out! Very exciting. It's called Mrs D Is Going Within and it's all about the next-stage work I did on myself and my recovery after getting to around 3 years sober.

It is available on Kindle through Amazon but DON'T buy a hard copy through Amazon they don't get it in their American-based warehouse till November (which strikes me as extremely odd but there it is). If you live overseas best to buy it on Book Depository and they'll ship it anywhere in the world straight away. If you live in NZ MightyApe is best... or of course walk into a book store!

Opening up my buzzy mind to the world in the form of a book has lead to a crap-tonne of vulnerable feelings and lost sleep and nerves in the tummy so I have been pounding my tools to help me get through.

Number 1 tool is forgiving myself for being a nervy wound up mess and not a perfect shining example of a calm zen person and accepting that I am who I am and I can't control my emotions.

I've had a little bit of media around the book which has given me a good opportunity to also talk about Living Sober and it's been great to see some new people hear about our community and come and join us to start talking about their own circumstances regarding alcohol. Hopefully we can all pull together and offer them lots of kindness and understanding and they'll start to climb out of the boozy hole.

It breaks my heart to imagine all the people who are right now in that awful, stuck, lonely place like the one I was in when I was deep in my alcohol addiction.

It's such an awful place to be in - especially because you feel like something is wrong with you that you've got to this miserable place and everyone else is having a fine and dandy time supping their chardonnay and being totally in control.

But believe me YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so, so, so, so, so many of us who are (or have been) locked into a place of boozy misery. Alcohol is a readily available, cheap, glorified, normalised, highly addictive drug that causes masses of harm to huge amounts of people.

If you are reading this right now and you are feeling stuck and lonely and miserably then please know that it IS possible to change. BELIEVE that change is possible. KNOW that you can get to a place where you won't miss that shit at all. REACH OUT and connect with others who are going through and have been through the same thing, and then START working towards living the rest of your life sober.

You won't regret it. I promise.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Profoundly, deeply, overwhelmingly....

I just had a great boogie at the school disco! Danced up a storm at the back door where I was on duty letting the cool air come in and no kids go out. The DJs (Dads) were playing all manner of brilliant cheesy hits and the kids were having a blast showing adults how to have fun without bending their brains. It was a lovely ending to a day which started sadly at the funeral of a friend's dad.

Home now, kids are in bed and I am lying on the sofa in my PJs watching TV and drinking chamomile tea.

I know there are loads of people who will be out and about this Friday night .. boozing it up merrily at bars and clubs in town. Or maybe creating their own private party at home with wines or some such (like I used to). I don't worry about that or feel like I'm missing out. I did that sort of thing for years and years. I know what it feels like.

I know what it feels like to get smashed with friends chatting and laughing and dancing the night away.

I know what it feels like to glug, glug, glug my way through the night with my foot to the floor, charging on all cylinders, necking booze like it's going out of fashion.

I know what it feels like to get hit with waves of nausea on the dance floor.

I know what it feels like to ask the taxi to stop so you can lean out the door and puke onto the road.

I know what it feels like to vomit in the front garden then lie down for a wee nap in the bushes.

I know what it feels like to check your bank account for late night transactions that you can't remember ("must've been another round of chocolate martinis").

I know what it feels like to wake with a pounding head, sick guts and a brain full of nerves and regret.

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Then said goodbye, traded in that life for a new one. Re-shaped my identity and became a sober woman.

I love living sober. Living sober means I front up to every experience in my life - whether it be sad or challenging or fun - and experience it 100%. Full throttle. Full noise. Full human experience all day every day. Love it. Love, love, love it.

I often say that I don't regret any of my drinking because what's the point in looking back (and a lot of it was fun let's be honest). But to say that I am grateful to have gotten booze out of my life and be experiencing a totally different way of living is an understatement.

I am so profoundly, deeply, overwhelmingly grateful to be sober. There is not one teeny tiny percent of me that wants to be anything else.

And that is a fantastic way to feel.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What other people think of me is none of my business..

I absolutely love this saying. What other people think of me is none of my business. It sums up such a great attitude to have. I can waste so much time worrying; did I say something stupid when I chatted to that person this morning or does this person think I'm a dickhead or is everyone secretly thinking I'm a yawn fest of a housewife??

But if I remember that what other people think of me is none of my business then I can get myself in perspective and drop the worry.

Getting myself in perspective also involves remembering that most people aren't really thinking of me at all most of the time! I regularly look around and remind myself that every single other person is crazy busy and preoccupied with their own worries and commitments and pressures and close relationships and aren't paying me much attention at all (if any). I find this very calming and relaxing.

Mr D has just gone away overseas for 2 weeks of work and my new book comes out in 3 weeks so it would be fair to say I'm a bit edgy. I'm trying to channel my edginess into good endeavours like getting my smashed wing mirror fixed (whoops!), painting the living room wall deep red (a job for Friday), making online albums with our digital family photos etc etc. Plus all the usual online writing etc and housewife-ing and parenting that I do.

I told the community at Living Sober this morning that I'm going to work hard not to turn into a blobby pig for the next two weeks and to keep up with the things that improve my day just that little bit (dog walking, yoga, healthy drinks and food). And of course no alcohol ever!

It's funny - Mr D being away or out for the evening used to always be a good excuse for me to drink more than normal. So glad those days are over.  Being a heavy boozer seems so foreign to me now.. abstract almost like I can't imagine it ever having been a reality. Five and a half years since my last drink and I am firmly cemented as someone who lives sober. Hallelujah!

Hang in there those of you in the tough early stages. It does get easier and easier the longer you go on.. especially if you do some concerted work on your life to fill in the gap left by alcohol. Find lovely treats and endeavours that will improve your days little bits at a time.

That walk outside might only make things better by 5% but it's better than not having it at all.

This is the trick - to realise these good, nourishing, authentic things (like dog walking, yoga, healthy drinks and food) are subtle and slow-burning. They don't offer quick, dramatic fixes (like booze did), but they are lovely and very effective ... and my lifestyle would certainly be much poorer without them.

Love, Mrs D xxx