Friday, January 8, 2016

"Are you REALLY happy being sober?"

Wow the stats on this blog have gone nuts! I'm getting double the number of hits that I used to every day (hundreds and hundreds more). Must be the time of year. Living Sober is also incredibly busy - our membership is growing rapidly! This will also partly be due to the fact that the NZ Drug Foundation are running ads for the site on Facebook.

I'm also getting loads more emails than usual .. from people who are reaching out for the first time wanting help with registering at Living Sober, or just saying kind things to me, or asking for help and guidance.

I received one email which simply asked "Is it true that you are happy being sober and it isn't a lifelong struggle? I can't even imagine my life without alcohol"

Here is what I sent in reply....

Hi, yes it is true that I am happy not drinking and don't feel worried/miserable that I won't touch alcohol ever again. And I KNOW that must sound unreal to you because I can so remember not believing that could be possible myself when I was stuck in the booze trap. 

It is hard bloody work breaking free from booze but you must know that it CAN BE DONE (sorry for the liberal use of caps!). Lots and lots and lots of people stop and get to the place where I am now - happy and free. You just have to get through these early stages. 

Form a very clear picture of the person you don't want to be (sloppy and boozy and numb) and keep that image locked in mind because it will be a great motivator. 

Then form a mental image of the person you do want to be - happy and healthy and calm and just living an ordinary life! And keep that one really firmly in mind and BELIEVE that you can be that person because you can. Honestly. 

These mental images really helped me and I still have the image of boozy me in mind and will often use it when I have a little sad thought about not drinking. There is no romantic image of booze for me. I cannot control it and I become a sloppy numb disconnected person if I touch it .. so hence I don't drink. 

Good luck!! You can do this.


I don't need mental images of boozy me/sober me any more...I have the real thing! Out of the blue today we found an old phone card of Mr D's that held photos from before I got sober. Check out bloated me......!

And here's me over four years later, raising a glass of soda water this past New Year's Eve - sober, happy and healthy!

If these images aren't going to help keep me motivated to stay alcohol-free then I don't know what is!

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I am one of the lots of people who have found freedom by being sober.
    I never used to think it was possible either!
    Wow on the pictures!
    You look so happy and fresh, and full of life in the sober picture!

  2. You actually look voluptuous and pretty in the first one too-just saying

  3. I loved this question for so many reasons.
    I started reading your book prior to starting my new years resolution, eat clean and cut out sugar for the whole month of January, which also meant no wine... I always loved my glass of wine after a long day while preparing dinner, and after only 3 days I already miss it. And now it's Friday, seems like it will be so much worst and was asking myself this very question "Can I really be happy without my wine?". I very rarely drank more than 1 or 2 glasses of wine (ok, except for Fridays and Saturdays), during the week I can stop after 1 or 2, but if I don't get those 1-2 glasses I feel deprived and just miserable and sometime even moody. Most people I tell this too tell me "well one or two glasses a day is not a big deal, just drink them". But I'm tired of always feeling like I'm missing out if I don't have any. I'm tired of the control it has over me and my thoughts. Your book has been helping me get through these last 3 days. And this post gives me hope that after some time I will feel normal and not awkward not having my one or two glasses of wine, because I don't know if I can ever be a normal drinker either. I can't just take it or leave it even if I didn't have a bottle a day.

    You look so much more healthier in your second picture, which is fantastic incentive for me.
    Thank you!

  4. Hi! I stumbled across your blog sometime last month and have been hooked since. I can't even remember what I searched for that brought me to your blog, but it was exactly what I needed at exactly the moment I needed it.

    I haven't commented, but this particular post *really* speaks to me. I would say that I'm half-way into "fully addicted" territory: I have many times where I won't have a drink for several days or stretch one bottle of wine over an entire week, but can then turn around and go a week where I have 2 to 3 drinks a night.

    But, here's the thing... After I have a couple of days with no alcohol, there's this voice in my head that says, "Oh, you won't really be happy this weekend, you won't make the MOST of this weekend, if you don't have that wine with your dinner on Saturday night!" And then it ends up that I listen to that voice and have a drink or two (or five...).

    Thank you for posting this Q & A that you responded to! It's a great reminder that the voice telling you "you won't be happy" is telling lies!


  5. Why is it so hard to believe, when there are so many live witnesses? And, we, Mrs, D and I and so many others, aren't witnesses that stood on the sidelines, we are witnesses that took part in the crime. We are the girls that were kidnapped at 14 or 15 and never made it back home because booze held us locked up for years, in my case, decades. It's almost as if we got Stockholm Syndrome and our captor, booze, brainwashed us into thinking it knew what was best for us. If you are drinking and it is making you miserable but you continue to drink, you have succumbed. You need to listen to us, we were just like you, but we escaped and we're not only happy, we're free.

    1. This is a GREAT way to put it. I, too, started drinking at a young age PURELY to get drunk and for the forbidden thrill of it. And now, at 54, the voice in my head keeps trying to convince me that I can be a "normal" drinker even though I really don't know what that is. I'm on day 14. Loving the guilt-free feeling of sobriety!

  6. And THIS is why you are one of my favorite people on the planet. Love and lots of squishy hugs my friend.


  7. Hi Mrs D. Great post as usual! I'm on day 48 today and I really hope I get to the stage you are at one day. A x

  8. Thanks for your blog and book, they have really inspired me!

  9. Hey Mrs D thank you for your blogs.
    I've been "moderating" since May. I had a year off prior to that. This blog today has been more incentivising that most sobriety things I have read.

    I get sloppy, numb and disconnected when I drink.
    And I want to be vital, alive and connected.
    So quid pro quo - doesn't make sense for me to drink.
    Thank you and wishing you a good year.

  10. Amazing and beautiful and always inspirational! Like they pull you aside and whisper, "So, seriously though - It must suck - right - like what else is there?"

  11. Awesome before & after pictures Lotta! You look amazing now - so bright eyed and happy :) xx

  12. Im 6 days away from my soberversary and dug out your book again to see how it was for you Lotta. (Incidentally i havent touched a drop since chapter 1). OH LOTTA! Once again your story resonated so strongly! You talked about feeling things raw, particularly your relocation. We moved a month ago to Welly and i too cried and cried and cried. I now realise i was feeling things raw too! Im teary realising that!! From the bottom of my lemon lime bitters, thank you Lotta. How do I get to come along to your next group get together? Im in this for life now (my mantra is i wont have one because i wont have one) and id love to be a part of the sharing with like minded soberettes.
    Im going to reread your book now and am looking forward to seeing the words through different eyes. Xx

  13. I am happier on my worst day sober than I was on my best days when I was still drinking.
    No regrets, no fear. My life is a joy. And a gift!

  14. This post reminded me so of how I felt wandering around in an oblivious fog for so long -- a friend said to me once that alcohol is a very crude anaesthetic, dulls and kills any subtle noticing or feeling. Here's to a great sober 2016, Mrs D!

  15. So, I bought your book yesterday after lurking around your blog and FB page for the last week. I started and finished it last night. It resonated with me on so many levels. I too was a 7 bottle a week person, waking with the guilts at 4am and a hangover most days at 6.30am. Unfortunately, I also used to blackout and make bad choices (and due to the blackout often didn't remember the bad choices until someone told me). I am 12 days free and have had a total mind-shift. I love the fact I am talking and thinking about drinking me in the past-tense! My parents (divorced for years and both heavy drinkers) are in shock: my mother is desparately trying to find me low alcohol options so I can moderate... "No Mum, I'm not drinking alcohol at all... Ever! My Dad just came right out and said "You cant do that"! "Yes, I can Dad and I am! Tricky when your support network tries to sabatotage you lol! I know it is early days yet but I have taken over a year to make this choice and I am determined. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. I have felt happy and usefully whole. And I know what peace feels like, and serenity. But I can also say that it is not a permanent feeling. I have to work for it! Thanks for the post. It was a nice reminder of the life I can choose to live!

  17. I was very happily sober for 12 whole days,it was calm and peaceful but the voices got to me, the ones whispering in my ear that it was ok to drink..I knew it wasn't ofcourse deep down.
    2 days of hell, but today I start again.
    Thanks mrsD for being there.x

  18. This has been such a help...when the thoughts creep in....I read and become inspired. Day 5... trying to remember the life I had that was 9 years sober. 20 years ago! It's time. T