Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pain pain pain

There's so much shitty pain everywhere all the time. I'm hearing of nasty in-laws hurting friends of mine, other people I know in floods of tears over interpersonal shit going down, other friends back drinking after long stints off, someone over here grieving their mother, someone over there grieving their lover, someone just discovering their husband is cheating - grief, betrayal, tensions, sadnesses, stresses...pain, pain everywhere.


Life is pain. But to deny that pain is suffering (or however the saying goes).

We have to feel the pain. Numbing it away DOESN'T WORK. It doesn't. Maybe in the sort term.. but not in any substantive way. We have to feel the pain. And if the pain is too awful to sit with then do something proper about it. See a doctor, see a therapist, make big changes in your life. Do something that will actually be beneficial in the long run.

But know that pain will come again. It always does. This is life. This is our crazy, messy, painful human life.

Sorry if I'm sounding a bit bossy and philosophical and waffly all at the same time. I'm just blurting this post out late on a Sunday night. I'm tired and I'm aware of all this stuff that is going on around me - I'm hearing it all via text messages and emails and the Members Feed at Living Sober.

I'm looking out my window at many, many houses in my neighbourhood and am so aware that so many of them are right now the vessels for human pain and suffering.

Life sucks shit sometimes. It blows. It hurts.

So what do we do? We look for the good. We revel in the minor triumphs. We focus on the lovely things. We take small steps in the right direction. We try to look after ourselves. We try to be brave and sit with the feelings. We know that emotions won't kill us. We know that things pass. We know that life has an ebb and flow and that pain comes in waves but so does happiness and contentment and ease. We hug our loved ones. We distract ourselves with music and novels and colouring-in books and gardening and TV and cooking and exercise and stuff that isn't about self-sabotage. We seek out the people that make us feel good, the people that we gel with, the people that care. We try to think positively or at least not repeat over and over the negative thoughts. We put our comfy pants on and crawl under a blanket on the sofa. We put the leash on the dog and go out for a walk. We look at the sky and we watch the clouds pass by. We imagine ourselves on a plane to exotic climates. We press on.

We have to.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. So true. I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer after 8 months sober. If I'd still been drinking I'd be a mess in a gutter right now. As it is, I'm coping, for me and my children. Love to you, and thanks, as ever, for showing us the way. SM

  2. Love the colouring in books - the alpha types craning their heads top the left so they can not go outside the lines with their colouring in. So simple and brilliantly ironic - it is pain and it's there and something we all share.

  3. Lovely, and true post... and if all that fails, we lie on the sofa and cry, under a blanket... sob if we need to to. Let the pain and suffering flow through us, as it does through Life itself, and if it hurts too much to be alone with it all, we call a friend and ask them to come and join us while we cry away the sorrow, to allow us to stand up again, and carry on.

  4. Wow, this post was so timely for me. Thank you for, once again, hitting the nail on my proverbial head. Carry on warriors.

  5. Beautifully written, and true.

  6. Couldn't be better timing as another blow came via daughter from ex. After over a decade, (having been the one who left and ended up living in luxury), he still delights in hurtful power trips. I know that is nothing compared to health issues and serious loss, but - hell, all the natural blows of life are bad enough without sadists trying to make it worse. Thank you for the sane, true thoughts and reminders XXXXX

  7. Couldn't be better timing as another blow came via daughter from ex. After over a decade, (having been the one who left and ended up living in luxury), he still delights in hurtful power trips. I know that is nothing compared to health issues and serious loss, but - hell, all the natural blows of life are bad enough without sadists trying to make it worse. Thank you for the sane, true thoughts and reminders XXXXX

  8. Strong, wise and true words, thank you. May all of you who are suffering pain and anguish today be comforted by these beautiful words, and know that you are not alone while you are part of an online community that cares deeply for others.


    I have these words on my

  10. Thank you for this!

  11. Well Said Mrs D, Loving your blog, I've just bought up 8 months sober and am feeling great and can relate to alot of your writing! would love to chat some time! Please check out my blog sometime -

  12. Hi Mrs D. You are a real inspiration to me! Particularly in my work, but also personally. I am a nurse working with clients who have addictions. I heard about you about a year ago when a client bought your book to our relapse prevention group. I only had to read one or two pages to identify with you personally. Not so much in regards to how much you were drinking, but definitely around some of the going out and having too much (getting up close and personal with the loo etc). I'm nearly 10 years older than you even though I act about 25 sometimes and I think it's time to grow up a bit and also practice what I preach in my work and put my money where my mouth is....
    So I'm trying a bit of an experiment. Firstly, I am spending between now and the 31st of December trying all the tips and tricks I tend to advise for those who don't want abstinence but want to moderate their drinking to safer levels.
    Unfortunately this group really need to be trying for abstinence, particularly by the time they are coming to see me, but we persevere with the moderation until they come to that conclusion themselves.
    So after I've tried those things that I tend to use with clients on how to cut down, reduce to safer levels and attempt to "drink normally", based on recommended guidelines, on Jan 1st 2016 I am going to be abstinent for three months.
    I don't expect it to be easy, having a partner who drinks almost daily and many friends who drink but I will do it.
    Unlike you, though I think I will need a little assistance - because I don't think I can rely on will power alone. I'm going to use disulfirum (antabuse) if find the going tough. I'm sure you will have heard of it - makes one violently ill if they drink.
    I made this decision at 3 in the morning this weekend gone after waking with a very dry mouth and a bit of a headache after having had almost a bottle of wine on Friday night. I had spent all Friday at work reading your blog (because I had been encouraging a client to read your book) and I woke up and made the decision to make a plan. I sneaked out of bed at 4am and downloaded your book on my kindle then read half of it before 7am.
    One way of seeing this through is also to tell people what I'm doing - particularly the 3 months of abstinence. I also have the feeling that I'll struggle with the "recommended guidelines" of 10 standard drinks per week.
    I've always thought, it is easier for me to have empathy because I do drink alcohol myself. So now I'm extending that empathy to abstinence.
    If I get through it and like the results, I may just continue...

    1. Hi anonymous - love this comment thanks so much! And good luck with your plan. Will be interesting to see how it goes - keep me posted! And do join the community at Living Sober if you want to follow along with others who are also trying to stop xx

  13. I am in the middle of your book. I am beside myself. I was sober (via a 30 day in treatment stay) for 7 1/2 years. Two years ago I started drinking again and am beside myself. I stopped, started, stopped , started for the past two years. The voices you describe made me cry. I never knew anyone else heard these. I truly thought I was insane. I was sober for 5 days and now again I'm drinking. I don't know how to push past the desires etc. it is barbaric how we treat addiction :(

  14. Well it has been 4 months since my last drink

  15. You have a great blog - I would think your readership is very high?
    Everyone lost the war on Drugs