Monday, August 21, 2017

Sobriety - it only brings good things.

OMG I can't believe I've been going SO LONG now without eating any sugar or flour and I'm feeling SO GREAT!! I almost can't believe it! Who am I? Maybe this is me and finally at nearly 6 years sober I've gotten my shit together regarding food and this will be me for the rest of my life....


Or maybe not. Whatever the case I am thoroughly enjoying being cravings free and guilt free and generally just feeling lighter and happier without those sugary/floury foods (and believe me, when I go for them I really go for them and the past year while writing and putting out the new book I was REALLY going for them....)

No big weight loss as yet but it's not about that (although I'd be lying if I said I'm not hoping for a bit of a drop!) .. mostly it's about feeling free mentally from the obsession and binging and guilt.

Just to be clear I would class myself as 95% free from flour and sugar. I do sometimes have some fruit cordial with my fizzy water or sweet chilli sauce with my dinner. A few times I've had a piece of pie with pastry around it or a little bit of pasta. So there is some flour getting in there and some sugar.

I've found that letting in these very small amounts is enough to keep the cravings at bay. And if I do eat something sweet (like the other night I went out with girlfriends for pudding and I ordered a fruit crumble but asked for no ice cream and left half the topping behind) I know that the next day I'll probably have a craving.. and sure enough after my crumble-eating night I did. The following evening I found myself itching for something sweet, my thoughts were pulling me in that direction.

But I was prepared for it and tried to observe the craving with interest rather than fight it and think stressfully about it (and certainly not act on it!). I noticed the craving thoughts but didn't let them bed in and dominate. I told myself the craving was like a wave and would pass. I visualised myself getting into bed without having had anything sweet (like I used to when I first quit drinking, I'd visualise myself climbing into bed without having a drink). I put on the jug and made myself a cup of tea and sure enough the craving passed and I didn't spend my entire evening obsessing and the next day it was gone!

If I don't feed the cravings (literally) they die!

Like I said earlier.. long may this healthy eating phase last!

So this isn't really about drinking and I'm sorry about that because I get the feeling a lot of people visit this blog to read about sobriety except to say there is NO WAY I would be here now living my best life, learning about myself, accepting who I am and how my brain works if I hadn't quit drinking nearly 6 years ago.

I challenge anyone to find someone in long term recovery who hasn't experienced positive developments in their life.

Also quickly just to end on I'd like to update my Blog List (running down the left hand side of my blog page in case you are reading this on email). If you write a blog or can recommend someone else's sober blog please let me know so I can add it to my list!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Introducing the Nucleus Accumbens

Had a lot going on lately. Very busy at home with the kids, doing my usual writing and social media and stuff, also working through some significant changes with my job at Living Sober, and had to give a talk yesterday evening in Parliament which also involved a bit of prep and some advance media (here and here).

Also managing to get in time to read some novels (this was great!), watch some of my beloved (crap) TV and go to the gym & walk the dog. Who am I??!! A busy sober housewife that's who!

Honestly I sometimes wonder how the hell I achieved so much when I was still boozing. Back then I was hellishly busy too - bringing up babies, working part time and doing my Masters etc... all of that and at least a bottle of wine a night. Sheesh... it's pretty amazing how much a human can handle.

Anyhoo it's far easier now I'm sober and I just love the end of every day when I'm snuggled up on the sofa or in bed with a mug of my favourite Chamomile tea. I LOVE my sober evenings, I LOVE laying my sober head on the pillow, and I LOVE sleeping all night long and waking up without a hangover. Bliss.

The Parliamentary talk went well. I was a bit nervous but not too bad - always happy to give voice to the thousands of us who are sober or busy getting sober. Bloody legends all of us. Happy to articulate our experience and try to get us more recognition. In this country we treat alcohol like a normal, ordinary, everyday, harmless commodity and that is simply not the case for all of us.

They had delicious mocktails at the event and I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo and asking for the recipe as it'd be a great drink to share!

And I am very proud to report that I am STILL avoiding flour and sugar and I'm feeling sooooo much better for it. I've been reading about the human brain and I now know that it's the Nucleus Accumbens which is responsible for dopamine production and when you pound it all the time with substances that cause major dopamine surges (alcohol, cocaine, sugar & flour to name but a few) it 'downregulates' and gets smaller, so then you need more of the stuff to kick out any dopamine.. and then you're in the addiction cycle, one that I know so well.

So now I like to think that I'm in the process of healing my Nucleus Accumbens back to normal size by avoiding these things and then I'll have a healthy brain capable of delivering normal, healthy doses of dopamine when appropriate - not when forced out by crappy stuff.

Love learning about my brain! Real practical information is really helpful for me when making decisions. And I'm so, so delighted to be free of ANY addictive behaviours at the moment. I truly feel free. Long may it last.

Love, Mrs D xxx