Monday, October 20, 2014

Road trip!

Feeling great! Fun pop songs keep coming on the car radio and I'm turning them up and getting hit with happy endorphins. I'm buzzing.. my energy has lifted right up in advance of this wee 'speaking tour' that I'm going on.

I feel a bit dumb calling it that.. but not sure what else to call it.. I've got a busy itinerary for the next 4 days where I fly down south, get picked up by one of the organizers, taken to meet some people at a bar (yes! a bar! sober people go to bars!), then to the venue to check that the projector etc is working, then out for a meal with some of the organizers, then back to the venue to speak and tell my drinking and recovery story to whoever shows up, drive to a nearby location to stay with a friend for the night, get picked up in the morning and driven to another town, out for dinner with more organizers, then to the evening event to present my drinking & recovery story again, home to stay with an old family friend, get picked up and driven to another town (I'm not sure of all these drive times? Some 30 minutes some more than an hour?), do an afternoon event telling a slightly shorter version of my drinking and recovery story to whoever turns up, rest at the motel, do an evening event telling my drinking and recovery story to whoever shows up, back to a motel to sleep, get picked up and driven to the airport early in the morning, fly home.


Can't wait. I'm sure I'll be nervous whenever I first stand up to speak but I really just want to breath deeply and take the opportunity to honestly and openly tell my story. I want to stand up as being proud of my recovery and explain how I experience life differently now that I've taken the alcohol away. And I want to talk about what's happened to my 'professional' life with this blog, the book and now our fabulous new community website Living Sober (which is an amazing, powerful and transformative space btw) so that more people get dragged into the online recovery community.

I just drove to the waterfront and got a takeaway decaff flat white (coz that's how I roll nowadays) and listened to a Tara Brach podcast to try centre myself somewhat. I want to try to balance this 'up' energy that I need to have to get through all of this busy-ness..with a calmness inside of myself. I want to remember very clearly why I do all of this… it's not to show off or for glory.. it's so that people who might right now be stuck in a boozy nightmare can see that there is a way out.

If one person imagines they too might be able to get sober after hearing me speak over the next 4 days then all my effort will be worth it!

And I'm very looking forward to coming home on Friday and spending the weekend lying around in my onesie. That will be nice.

Wish me luck!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The funk has started to lift...

I have to be honest though… it's taken a while. I kept trying to 'think' myself positive but I was just really stuck in this grumpy low place. It wasn't fun, but at the same time it was interesting.

Me being me tried desperately to come up with a reason WHY I was feeling like this.. managed quite a few reasons…..

* 2-week school holiday with me full time caring for our three boys who are gorgeous but full on (didn't organise enough playdates/holiday programme stuff. Note to self: Do this next time)

* For the first time trying to juggle full time care with the new website job = stressful (kept getting mad when I would try grab a quick moment to post up a new drink or spend some time interacting in the Members Feed or reply to an email etc and the boys would be coming at me with complaints or requests or whatever it is little boys need every second of every minute of every day…! Not their fault…but gggrrrrr)

* Coffee? (why do I drink it I'm now asking myself? Why? If it's for the lift then that's dumb and I should wean myself off that so I don't 'need' a coffee lift. If it's for the ritual - which I think it mostly is I love my 2x a day hot coffee fix feels like a special treat for me - then why not replace it with something else? So I've switched to decaf).

* Food/weight? (Still over 2kg heavier than before our hell month of September with Mr D away for work the whole time. Not happy with that .. but have completely cut out bad sugar and most wheat for the past 2+ weeks and have been on a crazy food mission loads of green juices, healthy muesli etc. No movement in the scales yet though. Might have to look at quantities next, sigh….)

* Upcoming events (Flying down to Central Otago next week to speak at 4 public events, me the invited speaker telling my story to a crowd 4 times in 4 different places .. power point presentation and all! I'm really looking forward to it, not that nervous but obviously it's going to take a lot of energy. That being said it is also going to take me out of my normal routine for 4 days and that's a good thing…!)

Anyway.. nothing insurmountable.. just the normal life of a busy person.. we all juggle 5 things at once, right? And we all cope in different ways. Sometimes funks just happen. Shit happens.

Everyone's shit is relative. But the bottom line is we all have busy brains and we all have loads of different personalities around us and we all have jobs or responsibilities or duties or requirements and we all have bodies that need looking after.

It's life!!!!! This is life. And this is my life. Here it is I am writing my life out in a blog because over 3 years ago I gave up booze and started writing about it. My life still goes on.. but at least despite any other concerns and my trial-and-error methods of dealing with things… I NEVER TOUCH ANY ALCOHOL EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bye for now…

Love, Mrs D xxxx

Friday, October 10, 2014

In a bit of a funk...

So yesterday I found myself trying to convince myself that it would be ok to get stoned.. because, like, you know.. marijuana isn't alcohol dudes….

Mmmm it was a lovely thought. I could have a wee toot on a pipe and put my sunglasses on so no-one could see my eyes and I could be locked in a wee bubble in my head.. a private stoned place where I could feel strangely removed from everything going on around me..

"What fun" my brain told me.

"Interesting" my brain responded. "Interesting that you are hankering after this feeling of being 'removed'". At that moment an attractive part of the mental image was definitely having the sunglasses on and kind of being in a private, removed place.

'What's going on?" my brain asked my brain (because that's the kind of twisted place my brain is in, where thoughts kind of do a Mexican stand-off and talk to each other).. "I don't know" my brain responded. "Maybe I'm just sick of being so goddam raw all the goodam time."

Raw and raw and sober and raw and here I am sober and raw all the fucking time.

Like other  people can have alcohol sometimes and sugar because they can MODERATE and they're not a freaky GIVE-ME-LOADS! person like I am when it comes to those substances.

Last night I had HARD-OUT sugar cravings and I'm having them again right now. I am really hankering for some sugar. Something hard core like a handful of lollies or 10 marshmallows.

So what is going on? I'm feeling vulnerable that's for sure. A bit needy where normally I'm not. Kind of 'itchy' and uncomfortable… feeling the need for something….. pot/candy/not wine no fucking way.

Just in a bit of a funk I suppose. It happens I suppose. Moods. Life. Pesky emotions.

But I am not going to get stoned, nor am I going to eat some hard-core sugar dressed up like fun, and certainly I'm not going to put any poisonous alcohol in my body. I am going to make myself a cup of tea and go gently with myself (this is so funny because this is what I say to all the newbies at Living Sober all the time) and I'm going to go to bed and wake up in the morning and hopefully by then I'll feel better.

Because this is uncomfortable emotion and it will pass. Time alone will heal it.. I do not need to reach for a substance to 'help' me 'deal' with this. I just have to be kind to myself, go gently and go to bed.

Night night.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My online time...

I just wrote an update in the 'Members Feed' (our rolling communication space) at Living Sober alerting members to the new 'Drink of the Week' recipe that I'd put up. It was for Mexican Limeade, yum yum!

Someone replied and said "Hi, missing your regular blogs on Mrs D Is Going Without.. you don't blog as often as you used to."

Dammit. Sprung. Was hoping that no-one had noticed!

So yeah.. before Living Sober launched I was writing on here twice a week - regular updates on my sober lifestyle and the ups and downs that came along. The ideas for the posts would come to me pretty easily and I'll type them out in just 15 minutes or so.

Then Living Sober launched and I got super-busy over there. I now write twice-weekly posts on my blog page there, create & photograph a fancy new drink each week, constantly monitor all the member activity to ensure people are staying kind, supportive and encouraging (which they are), and blitz spammers to cyber-hell.

It's a on-going job for me now and one that never ends because our 1000+ members are busy in there  continually posting updates and interacting with each other.

Luckily I love it.

I love watching all the grit, determination, and loveliness that goes on in the 'Members Feed'. I love all the fantastic suggestions that are are being left in the Sober Toolbox, I enjoy replying to all the comments that are left on my blog posts, and I love being able to use the site to keep working my own personal programme of recovery (which is largely based around online support).

But sadly all of this time and love that I am pouring into Living Sober means it's harder for me to pop out twice-weekly posts here on my original blog. I'm finding it more difficult to come up with ideas for here because I'm putting most of my thoughts and feelings into posts and interactions at Living Sober.

This is NOT a goodbye post to my lovely original blog (my 'warm bath' as I like to think of it). This is just an explanation why I'm not posting so regularly over here. I'll keep it up.. but it's going to be sporadic. That's just the reality for me now.. my 'online time' has shifted and changed.

But I would encourage you to regularly visit the 'Mrs D's Blog Page' over at Living Sober. It's at the front of the site and you don't need to be a member to read it and comment. If the 'social network' vibe of the site isn't for you (and you don't want to regularly interact on the Members Feed) that's cool.. but at least you can still read my regular ramblings on my blog page there.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, September 22, 2014

Report card on the last month...

Made it through the hell month - yay! Mr D flies home today - double yay! I'm really exhausted but happy.

I'll give myself an A for effort and general parenting skills (the odd super-grouchy outburst but overall pretty ok on the dealing-with-little-boys-front)…

An A- for overall mental health.. have kept myself feeling generally positive and good, busy and focused.. at times of stress or sadness or whatever (that emotional malarkey that comes with being a fully alert i.e. sober human being) I've managed my way through ok..

And on the not-drinking score I get an A++++++++++!!!!! I never crave booze, I never have mournful thoughts about what I'm missing out on, I never regret being sober or worry about the rest of my life having no alcohol in it. So BIG UPS to me that I am nailing this living sober thing - YES!

However on the other lifestyle / personal care factors I'm afraid I get a D.

Have gained 2 1/2 kg. Am in a black hole of piggy-dom. Sometimes I just eat toast for lunch. Just 2-3 pieces of toast covered with butter. Thoughts of making a green juice might flicker through my mind and then I just reach for the toast. Chocolate buttons have regularly been finding their way down my throat at night. Any excuse for chips and dip is fine by me. Sometimes in the afternoon I'll just eat 10 rice crackers - buttered. Yes you read that right. I put butter on rice crackers.

It's not been pretty. On the diet front I am seriously struggling. And exercise…. what exercise..? There is none. Other than running up and down to the car and in-and-out of kindy/school/the supermarket/various houses & shops etc I am doing nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I may have nailed the biggest nasty of all - booze. But I'm no saintly angel gliding around with my lithe body, toned arms, ripped abs and washboard stomach. Shit no. Ha ha far from it. I'm definitely still a work in progress.

I get pissed off because I have a low-grade guilt about my diet (especially sugar) which is very reminiscent of the guilt I carried for so long with my boozing. It's not helped by my Facebook feed being full of 'I Quit Sugar'! recipes and photos of happy smiling slim sugar-free people. And so many bloody newspaper features and magazine articles about sugar and wheat and diet and general terrible-ness we do to our bodies …

It's enough to drive a girl to butter her rice crackers, I'm telling you.

Progress not perfection. Baby steps in the right direction. Go easy on myself.

I've got through this month.. I'm going to give myself a break and feel affectionate toward my extra kg that they helped me get through without killing the children .. and right now I'm going to go make myself a green juice.

Love, Mrs D xxx