Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Almost one year

It's coming pretty easily right now.  Just busy living and not thinking or caring about the no-alcohol thing.  Got a bit of stress on with my MA, have been forcing my way through some heavy-duty theorists ... trying to understand what they're saying enough to write them in my own words and not feel like a fraud.

Mr D is really busy at work and has been having a few boozy nights out and that's fine by me - he can have them. I think it's good for him actually, to blow off some steam with colleagues or friends every now and then.  He has a very stressful job and is a great husband and dad, he's also a normal drinker who can have some blow-outs and then not touch alcohol for a week or two and not even really notice.

Me, no such luck.

I've been hearing stories from friends about boozy parties. I'm the queen of the living-room disco dance and don't need to be determinedly filling myself with wine (as I used to do) to enjoy them.

As I said to a mate, I feel like I'm in Magical Sober Land which is such a different head-space to what I used to be in I don't want to tip up the apple cart.  I think I understand now that my heavy wine-drinking was me not feeling fully happy in my own mind (that plus being a good-time party girl and someone who didn't want to deal with serious emotions).

Now I look to other things to keep me happy.  Really trying to not let the little stressful or miserable thoughts crowd in but try to lift my eyesight (metaphorically speaking) and widen my view to what a full, lovely life I have.  Do the things that make me happy - studying and exercising my mind, the gym and exercising my body (not so much lately as the kids have been sick), enjoying my cooking and trying new recipes out, keeping the house neat and ticking over nicely (confession: I find washing and folding laundry extremely satisfying), keeping in contact with all my far-flung friends, caring and being kind to my family, loving and snuggling my little boys as much as I possibly can.  And loving and supporting Mr D.

I cannot believe that almost one year ago I was still boozing and about to make the biggest decision of my life.  To remove alcohol completely and wrap myself in a warm cloak of sobriety.  Thank god I did that.

Now, back to those bloody theorists.....

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why I love being sober..

I chatted with a friend the other day about about all the stuff that had been going on lately and opened up that it had been a hard time 'sober-wise' as I'd been hankering for a glass of wine to help me deal with things.  Told her that I'd pushed through OK (with the help of half a cigarette that tasted awful) and things were smoothing out now and I was getting closer to my one year 'soberversary'.  She said, "I often think of you. How amazingly strong you are. I wish I could drink less."

Ok so there's a lot going on here.  1) she's concerned she drinks too much 2) she's being honest with herself about her drinking and working to keep in as under control as possible and 3) she thinks of me and it helps!

I'd be a big fat liar if I didn't admit that I love that people are impressed by me giving up booze.  It's a vain, big-headed thing to say but it's definitely one of the big positives about living sober and I'll take the good along with the bad.

Good = people are impressed, people think I'm strong, I think I'm strong!, I respect myself more, I have a much healthier self-image, I make more effort with my appearance and personal grooming (the extra bits like nails and eyebrows), I'm saving money, I am healthier, I am calmer, I am more considered in my approach to interpersonal matters, I am ensuring my kids won't carry any shit from having a heavy-drinking mum, I am choosing a sustainable way of living well for the second half of my life.

Bad = I'm different from the majority, I won't be able to be 'silly pissed' at parties and might have to retreat if it's difficult to mesh with people who are getting tipsy or drunk, I have to deal with tricky interpersonal stuff in a raw and real state which is sometimes not as appealing as blurring the edges with wine, the angry and sad versions of myself are more pronounced when they're around, I don't get to taste alcohol any more.

These are the facts.  This is what I have chosen.  No regrets.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, August 18, 2012

An early start...

So the two little boys woke us at 5.15am.  Boy were we annoyed.  5.15am is THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!!!!!!  So there were lots of stern words as we tried unsuccessfully to get them to stay quiet until the sun came up or at least one bird started to chirp.

I lay with my head buried into the pillow feeling grumpy... grumbling .. grumpy .. but then .. made myself pause for a minute .. head buried in the pillow.. and think .. think of the wider picture Mrs D .. the bigger picture .. the whole entire picture.

It was 5.30am... my sons were giggling, my lovely husband was grumbling into his pillow next to me all warm and snugly in our bed .. the sun was about to rise on a clear Saturday morning and despite being a little tired I was also clear.  Clear headed and sober.

I'm bloody 40 years old and I've kicked a dysfunctional drinking habit to the curb and I am sober.

My life has it's ups and downs, way more than it used to.  Sometimes it's tricky. Sometimes it's gritty and I get grumpy or sad.  Sometimes shit happens to people around me and relationships get strained.  Life is tricky, people are complicated, people get sick, shit happens.  Shit happens all the time.  But dammit, all I have to do is not drink alcohol and I'm doing ok.  I am doing ok.

So I got up (I'm not going to embellish here and say all day was peaches and roses) but I got out of bed a damn sight happier that I could have done.  There was no hangover or guilt or concern about my alarming wine consumption, just a tired mother-of-three getting into the day earlier than she would have liked.

I'm feeling better.  I'm glad to hear people telling me that soberversaries can be hard.  I'm kind of annoyed once again to realise that I'll probably always be glum that I can't have a glass of wine or three to unwind.  But I can't.  I didn't.  I don't.  I used to.  Boy did I used to guzzle wine like it was water.  Hard and fast, lots of it.  In the glass it went.  Down my throat.  Bottles in the recycling.  Go get more.  In the glass.  Down the throat.  Wine, wine, wine, wine, wine. Not for me no more.

Now, off to make pizza with Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced potato, anchovies and rocket at the end to finish. Yummy!  A pink sparkling grapefruit juice to drink with it while I sit on the sofa, read my supervisor's notes on my draft chapter and watch the All Blacks play Australia.  Who needs wine.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vulnerable? Odd? Not sure...

Hi all .. just a quick post, realised I'm feeling a bit odd and want to write it out to examine what's going on.  Have decided that I'm going to buy a packet of cigarettes in the grocery shop today and have a sneaky one before I pick the kids up at 3pm.  Haven't had a ciggy since Christmas when I was indulging a little, like it was my 'treat' for getting through the silly season without booze. Some stern talk from my lovelies out in the blog-o-sphere helped me decide that was bloody stupid and I stopped before it became an intrenched habit.  But now I've decided I want one or two.  That I 'need' one or two, or 'deserve' it or something.

Also feel like getting a Red Bull (!!shock horror!!).. I dunno .. this seems kind of minor and silly but the truth is I'm feeling a bit weird and ... vulnerable...?

It's all this talk of the one year soberversary which is looming.  I suddenly feel very overly aware of my 'point of difference' again, my sobriety, my living a dry life.  I feel like it's all very tenuous and delicate.

Mr D had a MONSTER glass of red wine after work yesterday (it was the only one he had but it was probably actually more like 2 1/2 glasses in one glass, it was that big).  It sat on the edge of the bench for 10 minutes or so while he helped get the boys to bed and .. I walked past it a couple of times .. and fuck it was really like looming large in my vision.

And then I let myself totally imagine just grabbing it and sculling it down real fast.  It wasn't an entirely pleasant imagining but I totally went there in my mind.  Like .. it would be just so easy.

Fuck.  This is annoying.  But anyway...

So, off to buy some cigarettes.  You know, for a treat.

And don't worry .. there's nofuckingway I'm going to actually have a drink because I don't do that because I'm an alcoholic and I'm way better off with that booze out of my life and I love being sober and I'm proud of myself and other people are proud of me and oh yes aren't I so clever and strong wow oh wow look at me clever sober fucking clever sober me.


Off to have a ciggy now.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things that happen...

I put white wine in my chicken casserole tonight and leaned over the pot as it bubbled away evaporating down.  Smelled nice but didn't trigger anything much.

They were doing wine tastings at the local supermarket - offering little plastic cups filled with good quality white varieties as shoppers entered the bread section. 'Not for me thanks', I said with a smile, then spent the next 5 minutes imagining myself explaining to her why I was turning her down.

Making plans for my 'soberversary', and how I'm going to make an elaborate cake and order myself some treaty takeaways to have for dinner.

Met my deadline for my first chapter of results to my supervisor, emailed it off last night.  Stoked! Totally stoked with myself.  Couldn't have done that if boozing.

Loving reading the new bloggers who have come on the scene and are still early days (less than 90), as it's so good reading them and being reminded about all that gritty, hard work that we do early on in recovery when we're re-training our brains.  Bless every one of you.

Woke up this morning after yet another long heavy good sleep and tried hard to remember what it was like to wake up hungover and knackered after being awake in the night with a fizzy brain, taking endless trips to the loo and feeling terribly guilty.

I am reminded constantly that things can change in a heartbeat, that life is hard, and that I am so pleased to be fully present in the midst of my extended family, clearheaded, openhearted and sober.  That is such a good thing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yo..(lack of imagination with post title)

So I've been a bit grumpy, had a tummy bug on the weekend and didn't eat properly for 4 days, have had two drinking dreams, kids are being really demanding and I'm up against a deadline with my MA so am spending all my spare time writing and the rest of the time stressing that I should be writing, hence the grumpy-at-the-kids attitude, Mr D isn't around half as much with the long hours for his new job so I'm doing a lot of the parenting stuff alone and my young guy is now toilet training so I'm cleaning up a lot of accidents, it's raining and I feel like a bit of a stress cadet.

So! Time for some gratitude as someone sensibly suggested to me.

1) I am so fucking happy I could scream it from the mountain tops that I am sober!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I fucking love that I am dealing with all of this shit without the added complication of necking loads of booze.  Sorry about the swearing.

2) My boys are beautiful.  They are noisy, rowdy, pushy, demanding, argumentative wonderful bundles of life. They live life at maximum level and as their mum I have to constantly negotiate, mediate, placate and nurture them not to mention feed, water, clean and rest them but I love them so much I really do. They are good, crazy, special boys.

3) I just bought a lovely scented candle.

4) I have a great husband.

5) I have many many lovely friends scattered around this country and around the world and even though I am still sad to not be close to my friends we have just moved away from I have decided that friends are like precious jewels that you gather up and they never go away.

6) I am actually really enjoying this MA work (although it is hard to be doing it while being a full-time mum, but that is my choice).

7) I have my health, aside from the afore mentioned bug, and did I mention that I am so-fucking-happy that I am looking after myself and not slowly ruining myself with booze??!!

8) I am one month away from being one year sober and that, my friends, is a very very good thing.

Love, Mrs D xxx