Friday, November 16, 2012

Why it's better...

Rather than whittle on about how I'm stressed again (MA) and emotional (kid dramas) and tired (lots of solo parenting) I'm going to try instead to articulate why I think it's better to go through tough feelings sober and raw, rather than reaching for a wine or five.

I could use all the well-worn phrases like; I just feel more connected to my feelings and I feel a lot more whole and I can understand more clearly but I remember reading shit like that before I got sober and those words just washed over me. They're such well worn phrases that they've almost lost their meaning.

Christy had a great turn of phrase; "How amazing that we can sit at the table with these funky depressed moods and just have a stare down with those suckers until they get bored and leave us be."

So why is it so amazing?

Well I had a major emotional upheaval earlier this year and had to pack up my life and leave a community that was rich with love and warmth and support. It was so hard and boy did I cry. I cried and I cried and I cried. I cried so much it was ridiculous. I couldn't stop the tears. I cried saying goodbye to my sons' school teachers. I cried saying goodbye to my neighbours. I cried all over my friends. I cried doing the dishes. I cried in bed at night. I cried driving the car. I cried so much I stopped even trying not to cry and was just an openly crying sooky mess. I cried as we left and I cried as we transitioned and I kept crying even after we arrived.

And then I stopped crying, and I kept moving forward, and ... well it's all gone. Not gone like I've pushed it away but gone like I dealt with it. I didn't hide the problem like filing away a bill I didn't want to pay. I paid it and it went away. Now I feel really at peace and resolved about the whole move. Not that I don't care to have left those people any more.. but clean like I expressed to myself and the world my sadness. And unbelievably that alone made it better. Nothing changed except how I expressed my feelings but just doing that made it better.

So (I'm working this out as I write) just expressing and honoring how you feel about something, cleanly and wholly, makes it better even though you can't change the thing itself.

Now when I think back to that time of the relocation and all that emotion and all those tears I feel clean. I feel really clean about it. It's hard to explain but it feels great. Resolved. Done. It feels like I totally honored my feelings by expressing them so openly and in a way that kind of cleared them.

Ok even now it's hard to explain, this is a bit convoluted sorry.

But to try and apply this logic to general sober life now, fairly regularly I get in funky moods .. grumpy, stressed, sad (but I am a fucking full time mother of 3 demanding boys and a bloody supportive wife trying to write a difficult MA thesis sorry just had to rant there) But instead of pretending I'm not grumpy, stressed or sad (which wine consumption used to help with) I actually just let myself be grumpy and stressed or sad and ... well overall it feels much better. Much better. Cleaner. It just feels cleaner. Better.

It's hard to articulate, and once again I don't think the words are doing the feeling justice. So don't just take my word for it. Try it, you'll understand too.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I think you explained that perfectly! I totally got it! I loved your term...."clean." I can really relate to that. Dealing with what we are feeling creates a clean slate...rather than not dealing with our feelings which leaves our minds and heart feeling polluted and chaotic. Loved this post.
    Also, thank you for your encouraging comments on my blog today. It's been about a month of piggish behavior on my part! I must reel myself back in!!!! Thanks for the encouragement. : )

  2. (Sloppy punctuation in the deleted post, nominally better punctuation in this one, I think)

    Now the problem is explaining to people that we live with that we get to feel grumpy, bitchy, pissy... but,unlike them, we don't get to pour booze down our gullets to make us psuedo-happy anymore. No more "Don't Worry, (glug-glug), Be Happy Now." for us.

    And then try to explain to them why we choose to live this way, ha!

    It's better, it's real.

  3. Real life is just so much better all around than drunk life. Soooo much better.


  4. What a great description. Real life is so much more real! Loving your Sober Mojo, Mrs D!

  5. I understood and related to every single word Mrs D. It's almost like until we accept, feel and process an emotion, we're doomed to keep repeating it and re-living that hurt. Just like the bill that we don't pay and hide in the drawer, it still ain't getting paid until we deal with it. And in the meantime, they send MORE bills, then they start making phone calls, then they turn off the lights, and that one little bill we didn't want to deal with has turned into an eight-headed monster that we for sure don't want to deal with.

    This was a very helpful read for me, thank you. It fits in with my angry outburst the other day. I felt bad about it at first, but now I see I had to have to it. I had to feel it, accept it, process it and move on. You and bbb are so right about that.

    So thank-you very much. (and thank you for the mention!) xx Christy

  6. I'm really enjoying your stories. I just spent a weekend away with my closest friends/family who are big drinkers like me...I stayed sober. I planned ahead & had tasty soft drinks just for me-used other tips I gathered from reading you too. I told everyone I wasn't drinking so I could quit smoking... I really relate to you...I'm a high functioning drinker of wine who is totally addicted to reality TV! : ) Most people would need to be convinced that I am an alcoholic but I know the truth. Thanks for the inspiration to try life without novacaine. So far so good.

  7. I just want to say that I've recently discovered your blog and have been dipping in and out learning about your journey. It's a great read and so inspiring. I'm glad you have found such terrific sober success and have put it all out there for others to learn from too. Thank you.


  8. I love this one. Cry, cried, and cried some more. You reminded me how natural it is to just be in the emotion you are in as opposed to the one you or others think you should be in. thanks for that Mrs. D :)

  9. Don't put yourself down Mrs D. You explain it all perfettamente x

  10. This post changed my life a few days ago. I was in full fledged mourning of losing my drinking self. You gave me a big "Aha" moment when I read this post in your book and the rest of Chapter 27. I woke up the next day with this clear silent acceptance and smiled thinking about the future, dealing with things clear headed - both good and bad. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  11. Little kids express how they feel all the time. No wonder they're so happy!