Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I am NEVER drinking alcohol again!

I seem to have been talking to people lately who seem to want to (inadvertently or otherwise) put some sort of fear in me about the possibility of me drinking again.

They're saying to me things like 'you never know' and 'life is long' and 'desires can come from deep inside' and 'you're only one drink away from a relapse'. One person asked if I believe in a 'shadow self' who lives within and wants nothing but for me to go back to being a wino.

I thought about this concept - that I have a shadow of the old boozy me still inside just waiting to burst out - and thought.. 'do I believe I have a 'shadow self'? .. before answering an emphatic 'no'.

I do not believe that there is a part of me that still wants to drink copious amounts of wine and be numb and blurry and disconnected. I REFUSE to live in fear of that happening again! Sorry but I don't and I won't.

I know others will have opinions about whether it's 'wrong' for me to not hold some fear close or else I will trip up ... that I should constantly remind myself of where I was (miserable and addicted) for fear of forgetting and kidding myself that it would be a good idea to go back there (as if).

Firstly there is no chance of me forgetting my past boozy ways because of the contrast between how I felt then and how I felt now. But secondly and more importantly and let me shout this from the rooftops.

I HAVE CHANGED AND DEVELOPED SO MUCH INSIDE OF MYSELF THAT THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT I COULD REVERT TO THE OLD WAY OF THINKING THAT REGULAR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IS A GOOD IDEA.

Yes some serious shit is going to happen in my life, things I can't even imagine that are going to hurt like hell and make me feel wretched, but why would I have so little faith in myself that when that happens I would suddenly shy away from genuine human emotion and go back to numbing and avoiding????

Everything I have been doing since I got sober, all of the work recognising that I was an emotion avoider, learning to sit with feelings, ways to ground myself and calm my brain, acceptance of the whole experience of being a fully realised human being.. all of this work is preparing me for the shit that is going to come. Why would I suddenly think (in the future when a loved one dies or some such) that I would throw away this incredible knowledge and understanding that I have developed to drink a shitty awful brain bending liquid drug???!!!

I'm sorry but that notion is just ridiculous and anyone that is fearful on my behalf that I am going to drink again has no real knowledge of the workings of my insides.

Well why would they? They're not me.

Maybe they are still misguided and think drinking alcohol is something to be desired? Something helpful? I don't.

Maybe they subscribe to the notion that remaining fearful of relapse is the best way to stay sober? I don't.

Really it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I know my truth. I know how I feel today and how prepared I feel for all of my sober tomorrows. And that's all that matters.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Busy Schmizzy....

Been veeeerrrrryyy busy. Crazy busy. Not wanting to complain, because I know everyone is busy. Just saying it coz it's the truth.

I like being busy but I don't. I mean, I'm usually busy but at the moment it's 'next level' busy and that I don't like so much.

Usually I like being busy but also having time to...

1) lie on the sofa sometimes during the day to relax and watch some TV before the kids get home from school

2) sit and go through my cookbooks and choose recipes/make shopping lists for the week ahead

3) sit quietly with a cup of tea and think about what I'm going to write about next (i.e. let my mind wander to see what ideas float up to the top)

If I can achieve these sorts of things then I know I'm not 'crazy busy' and my life has some balance.

All of the time whether I'm 'next level' busy or not I am keeping up with a lot of stuff; cleaning the house, interacting with my kids, cooking, walking the dog, having work meetings, meeting friends for coffee, driving my kids places, waiting at places for my kids to do things, keeping up with all the household emails & paperwork etc, keeping up with all my Mrs D emails and writing and stuff, staying in touch with the community at Living Sober, sorting rubbish and recycling, washing and folding clothes, grocery shopping, tidying, more cooking, more cleaning, more driving... yada yada yada.

Everyone can make a list like this right? Everyone is very fucking busy all of the time!!!!!!

But me personally I like a bit of down time and not just after 9pm at night. Time to have a cup of tea and sit quietly in the sun, go through cook books or watch TV in the day time. If I can do these 'indulgent' (sensible) 'me' things then I am at peace with the world.

I know that when I get through this crazy busy stage and things start to quieten down a little before I get my energy restored I will have an emotional slump and feel a bit low. I know my mood cycles now from having been sober for so long and I am prepared. I won't panic, I will tread carefully, treat myself kindly and tell those silly low thoughts to go away like the little brain farts that they are.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, May 2, 2016

Born Lucky...

So after I had my little rant at HuffPostWomen a couple of weeks ago (and had a great response from you lovely blog readers), I had an opportunity to write a follow-up article on the issue of the glorification of alcohol in social media here at The Addiction Advisor.

I shared this latest article on my Facebook page - where it also had a great response - and one person there commented.

"While I don't have a problem with drinking (born lucky), I'm surrounded in my life by many who do. Where do you draw the line between those of us who are able to have one drink that does us for days, and those where it's overtaken their lives? Does it mean preventing those of us from having that social drink? It doesn't bother me the memes are around - in fact I follow one - it doesn't affect me like it affects those who are grappling with a problem....where do you draw the line?"

I replied: "I think this is one of the most difficult questions regarding alcohol, and why it's tricky for those who regulate it's sale and marketing. Because for many people it is a relatively harmless liquid (they can moderate it and have it not be a problem), but yet for others it's quite the opposite (incredibly harmful and difficult to moderate and control). Personally I think as a society we haven't got the balance quite right of having it be freely available for those who can enjoy it safely yet make moves that acknowledge it isn't a simple commodity for others. E.G. by all means sell it but perhaps out of the supermarkets next to the bread and milk. And I think you 'draw the line' with the sharing of these memes etc when it is coming from a large influential media company. That's why the HuffPostWomen image annoyed me so much. Of course individuals can share and enjoy these memes if they want, but from a massive social media account celebrating women - not ok in my book. But that's just me! And I realise it is a futile fight. Just felt like having a rant for once. x"

Anyway - enough ranting! Today is a day of celebration because school is back after a 2-week holiday and my darlings have left the house. Finally I have some peace and quiet. I am sitting with a cup of tea, the dog sleeping at my feet, and the only sound I can hear is of the dryer churning away in the wash house. Bliss.

Just one last point. The Facebook commenter described herself as 'born lucky' for not having a drinking problem and I think that is fair enough for her to feel that way. But I consider myself to be born lucky as well.

I feel lucky that I developed into an alcoholic because only by recognising that fact and digging deep to get myself out of it have I experienced the wonderful gift that is recovery. Only by beating my addiction have I discovered what I am truly capable of. The turnaround I have experienced since I got sober, the connections I have made in the recovery community and the connections I have developed with myself and with my loved ones are so valuable and good.

I'm also lucky because I have discovered how great it is to live completely 100% sober, never touching alcohol ever. I have that stuff out of my life, I don't want a casual drink ever, I'm free.

So really - I'm the lucky one.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, April 23, 2016

And now for a happy rant!!!!!!!!!!!!

I AM SO GODDAM HAPPY I AM SOBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just cannot believe my good fortune that I managed to get myself rid of that shitty, lying, brain-numbing, stupid, life-avoiding liquid.

I don't blame myself for spending so many years drinking it. It was presented to me by my society as an ordinary, everyday drink that is to be used at every social occasion, used to help with stress and sadness, and used to make evenings more fun and enjoyable. It was simply presented to me as an ordinary part of life.

And so for 20+ years I adopted an enthusiastic-alcohol-drinking attitude that fitted me like a glove.

Until it didn't.

It all turned to shit, alcohol turned on me and I hit a really low place and went through an incredibly intense few years of getting that shit out of my life and re-adjusting to a life that wasn't awash with booze.

OMG I can't even summarise how much work went into that transition but it's all here in this blog which I have been writing since the start. Suffice to say a HUGE amount of 'work' (brain-retraining, practising a raw life, learning new ways of being) has occurred and now here I am a sober woman living without any alcohol at all.

And holy smokes.. boy am I DELIGHTED that I am here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's incredible!!!!!!!! Alcohol is so not necessary!!! Sure, it appeals because it's a drug that re-creates happy endorphins and feel-good emotions ... and it blurs and numbs which is incredibly attractive because being a human is HARD FUCKING WORK! (that annoying over-working, over-dominant frontal lobe which is hard to get away from)... I get it, I get why so may humans drink it.

But being here now in this place that I am in, living a life which is free of any mind-bending drugs, living day after day after day being clear in my head, enjoying the slow accumulation of lovely benefits that comes from this... its all just so incredibly rewarding and lovely.

That's the thing. It's not what I'm missing, it's what I've gained.

I have gained a sense of calm that is out of this world. Pride and self-belief that is priceless. A level of connectedness with myself, my family and all the humans around me which is deeply satisfying. And most of all a life which is incredibly interesting, stimulating and fascinating. Anyone with half a brain would relish the pure interest that comes from the recovery process.

It's just great. I love, love, love, love living sober. Where I am now is worth all of the hard work, all of the uncomfortable re-adjustments, all of the grit and tears (those that have already occurred and those that are still to come).

It's all just so worth it.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, April 14, 2016

'Huffpostwomen' SUCKS!!!!!!!!

I just got angry with 'Huffpostwomen' on Instagram because they posted a cartoon picture of a wine glass with the words 'Wine is always the answer' written in comical writing above it.

Usually I just let that shit pass by. But today I've just been writing a guest post for a female-focused rehab in the States and have been thinking about all the tender and brave women of the world who are working hard to remove alcohol from their lives. Women who are courageously navigating the rocky waters of early sobriety to reclaim their natural and powerful whole-ness.

I know these memes are ha ha funny jokes, they're all over the internet, all over Facebook, all over greeting cards, all over everywhere... and most of the time I just roll my eyes mentally and ignore them.. but today I just felt pissed off and had to leave a comment and respond.

"That's just bullshit." I wrote on Instagram under their dumb image, "Being a fully connected, fully emotional, fully empathic female is actually the answer".

And then I unfollowed their account.

It's not likely they'll care. They have ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE THOUSAND FOLLOWERS!!! Their Instagram account purports to be about 'What it means to be a woman'.. and yet they're telling their followers that wine is always the answer?????? For fucks sake!!!!! Are they living in the real world? Do they know what a massive problem alcohol addiction is - it cuts through every socio-economic group, class and race.

Do they really believe a brain bending liquid that mimics genuine positive feelings and depletes your brain of natural feel-good chemicals is the answer? Do they really believe a liquid drug that disconnects you from your family and own emotions is always the answer? Do they really believe every problem, worry, concern or fear will be resolved by a glass of wine? Give me a break.

Sorry but that is utter bullshit and that message is utter bullshit and it does nothing to advance the female race. And I just wish the managers of the 'Huffpostwomen' Instagram account were a little more sensitive and attuned to that fact.

Rant over.

Love, Mrs D xxx