Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No ETOH!

So delighted to see those two little words (or at least one word and one acronym) on my discharge notes from the hospital. Was also very delighted to tell two doctors (one in the emergency department and one in the ward) that I drank NO ALCOHOL!

Actually if I'm really honest both times the doctors asked me how much I drank I answered 'zero' and then giggled rather gleefully and then rambled "sorry I'm just giggling because I've been in recovery for 4 and a half years and it's always such a joy to tell someone that I don't drink any alcohol ever giggle giggle it's a real high moment for us sober people giggle giggle sorry but that was really satisfying giggle giggle..." at which point both lovely doctors laughed and said quite genuinely "that's great, good on you."

Maybe they just like it when someone says they don't drink alcohol because so often they see people with problems that are exasperated by booze? Or maybe they were just happy because I was laughing and happy and most people in hospital are a bit more unwell? Or maybe they were just genuinely happy for me that I was in recovery? Who knows...

Whatever the case I was certainly very happy telling two doctors at the hospital last week that I don't drink any alcohol ever and I was really happy when I saw on my discharge notes the words 'No ETOH'.

(If I'm honest again I had to google 'ETOH' just to be sure it meant alcohol as I thought it did.. and sure enough it stands for 'Ethyl Alcohol'.)

I was in the hospital for some unexplained abdominal pain which shall remain unexplained as all of their testing couldn't find a problem which is good news! And the pain has pretty much gone now too yippee.

My poor old creaky body has been making itself more aware to me lately. Have been having some sore neck/back problems as well which are finally coming right after weeks of pain.

For most of my life I've hardly given my body any thought. It's just been there below my 'floating head' not causing me too much grief. Now I am less of a floating head thanks to all my mindfulness work and focus on the moment and my breath and body.. and with all of this awareness work I have been starting to feel very kindly toward my body for doing such a great job of moving me around this earth for 44 years.

Good thing I'm feeling kindly given these small complaints my body has been making!

Good thing I'm looking after myself now!

Good things I'm sober!

Am also doing another Whole30 and aside from the 'decaf flat white' I ordered at a cafe yesterday without thinking it has been pretty easy this time to slip into a no wheat, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar diet. Mr D is doing it with me and we are both feeling better for it.

Right time to get this creaky body up off the chair and out the door to pick up my boys from school. No rest for the wicked!

Love, Mrs D xxx


Friday, June 10, 2016

Bit of a ranty rant...

The further away I get from my last drink the more I seem to forget how fucking BRAVE and AMAZING I am for getting sober!!

Yes oh yes I am!!

And so is ANYONE who takes the incredibly counter-cultural step of choosing to live without drinking booze ever. Holy Moses. Our worlds are awash with booze yet us brave and amazing sober people turn our backs on that 'normal' way of living and forge ahead with our lives never touching alcohol ever.

We still go to parties and BBQs and quiz nights and movie fundraiser nights and drinkies at friends and pizza parties and weddings and big birthday bashes all the rest of it.. but instead of taking the usual glass of chard or cheeky red or ice-cold beer or flute of fizz we say 'no thanks!' and 'not for me!' when these alcoholic beverages are offered.

Holy Sweet Mother of Bravery!!!!!!!

The longer I get away from my last drink the easier it is to forget how utterly terrifying and foreign it was when I first set out to live this way. How I would feel like an alien from another (boring) planet. How I would fear that everyone would consider me either a) a teetotaling weirdo with no personality or b) an appallingly weak and damaged alcoholic.

I am neither of those things! Well. .. technically I am a teetotaller and an alcoholic ... but I am not a weirdo, I do have a personality, I am not weak, and I am certainly not damaged.

I am just someone whose alcohol habit got completely out of control so I made the brave and amazing decision to stop drinking alcohol forever more.

Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Yay for me! Yay for you! Yay for all of us!

I could be writing about my sore neck or my tiredness or the huge bag of cheese supreme doritos I just ate or the cold weather or my new sheets or some other specifics about my life right now but I want to write about the BIG PICTURE and I want to FEEL GOOD!!!!!!!!

And so hence this ranty post full of caps and exclamation marks and too many es at the end of the word yippee.

Over and out from sober sober sober sober sober sober  SOBER me!!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

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