Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yeah!!!! Lovely and calm...

Yaaaaa Hoooooo to all of us who made it through Christmas sober. Yay for us! Yes!  Great job for all of us who said 'no' left, right, and centre to drinks. It's a tough time, for sure, and one so usually associated with drinking and celebrating.

We were at the neighbors yesterday for a few hours in the afternoon and I batted away pims and white wine, opting instead for Sprite (booooring) but who cares that's the way it has to be.  Then today up the road for lunch and I was 'no thanks' to white wine, then red wine, opting instead for water. Zzzzzzzzz. But again, that's the way it just has to be.

Sometimes I can't believe I'm not going to touch alcohol for the rest of my life, but other times I can't possibly imagine going back to drinking it hard out all the time. I think it's just going to get easier and easier and more and more normal and ordinary to be a non-drinker.

And the kids, the kids, it's all about the kids. If I stop being so self-obsessed for a moment and take a second to look around me at the little people who are in the middle of their childhoods, I feel really good. They have no idea how I have changed their early years by kicking their boozy mother to the curb.  Even I don't know what exactly the difference would be to the childhood they're having now vs the childhood they would have had if I'd remained a wine-guzzler.

I do know that sober me was able to stay up late wrapping presents and organizing stockings, stay calm at 10pm when little eyes are still open, not get too grumpy at 3am when excitement breaks through slumber again and be ok with a 6am start to the day.

Sober me was able to take the time to search for the special lego arm that was missing, build the fancy 3-D tank puzzle, drive to a picnic lunch and drive to the beach afterwards, jump on the trampoline late in the evening, snuggle on the sofa watching Back To The Future and have a long chat at bedtime about the merits of Moshi Monsters. Sober me is very locked into my kids and really spending time connected to them. It's a lovely reality of a calm sober life.

That flatness that I often talk about, which is really just a description of my adjusting to being sober all the time.. was actually just a quiet peaceful state of mind that permeated my entire Christmas experience.

So yay for me and yay for you and yay for all of us who take the leap, deal with the downsides but embrace the upsides of living alcohol free. Next, New Years Eve - a party in our home town with a big crowd of old friends. Should be interesting.....

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, December 24, 2012


It's Christmas Eve here right now, 8pm and our kids are bouncing off the walls with excitement. Mr D has had a couple of wines. Me a cranberry and tonic and a soda with lemon. Bit sick of all the mini bottles of fizzy I drink, ginger beer, pink grapefruit etc. I think they're laiden with sugar.

It's definately hard doing the festive season sober... well only from midday onwards when I really feel like drinking is what would normally be going on to celebrate Christmas eve/Christmas day/boxing day/every day. This is only my second sober Christmas and last year was very noisy with us hosting 20+ people and me being all obsessed with and stimulated by my new sober existence. This year it's just the five of us for Christmas and being sober isn't so exciting and new any more. Anyhoo... there's nofuckingway I'm going to drink so... onwards and upwards!

I got into bed the other night with the laptop to watch the Russell Brand doco on addiction on YouTube. It's quite good actually.  Then I did some surfing around YouTube for sober stuff, as I  sometimes do, and ended up watching a BBC doco on Ecstasy, also quite good.

In between these two documentaries I stumbled across all these other bits and bobs about booze and drugs and sobriety. Amongst other things I watched a video from some female addiction counsellor/rehab worker giving tips for going sober. For the life of me I can't find it again now but she was talking about picturing yourself in your mind going up to friends who you'd normally booze with and shaking their hand being all strong and sober. Basically it was visualisation stuff and I think that this has been one of my biggest techniques in staying sober, and I'm still doing it today.

If it's tough going not drinking, and you're feeling low, or flat, or bored or bummed out... visualise yourself climbing into bed sober. Visualise yourself waking up with no hangover. Visualise yourself sober in the future. The immediate future, the medium future and the long-term future. This afternoon I have felt a bit flat I'll be honest. But I keep imagining myself waking up tomorrow morning with the boys all excited about their stockings and it's not normal drinking hours so I won't feel like the only sober loser then. I'll just be happy and hangover free and it'll be Christmas day!

Merry Christmas everyone! This isn't quite the joyous post I promised but as always I write just as I feel. And I feel fine. I feel sober. I feel low key.. actually .. it's peaceful. I feel peaceful.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The silly season...

I don't want to get all deep and meaningful and negative on it but I am finding myself driving around the streets at the moment looking at all the houses and thinking about all the stress that is building and all money that is being spent and all the inter-personal angst that is being dreaded and all the booze that will be sunk.

I know there are many many lovely, lucky people who are going to have smooth, trouble-free silly seasons .. but there are so many others that are going to be pushed to the limit by their mum, or get really angry at their brother, or annoyed at their friend, or worried about their sister, or sick of their dad, or so over the whole family vibe...or whatever...and so they'll drink and drink and drink...

Or maybe there'll be people who were a bit like me and drank to chase some sort of fun or happiness that I believed wasn't already in front of me.  Desperately trying to reach some nirvana of joy, believing alcohol was the only thing that has the power to give it...

In the past I've found Christmas tricky, with the crush of family dynamics that comes in.  Hard to step out of my comfort zone, my happy equilibrium that I've found in my own space with my own circle of people and my own routines and my own comforts and no-one around to prick my bubble.

So what did I used to do to chase the fun or ignore the undercurrents? Get boozed!!! Yeahhhhh!!! That'll help!!!!  Woo hoo!!!! Wines!!! Fancy cocktails!!! Bubbles!!!! Beer? Hhhmmm... not really my drink of choice but why not!!!!!

I've got a photo on our piano of me and my Dad on Christmas day about 4 years ago. I'm wearing a pink paper hat that came out of a cracker and a lovely blue dress that cost a lot of money with a pretty broach on it. I'm leaning into my dad and he's got his arm around me. We look very happy.

Except every time I look at it I remember that this was the Christmas that I drank steadily from 8am until 9pm. I didn't fall over or vomit or slur much even (as far as I know). I just steadily drank alcohol all day, starting with champagne breakfast and never stopping.

Oh my god, honestly, thank god I stopped drinking. Really. I had a serious problem. You know, lately I've been having those thoughts 'was I really that bad?' and pangs that I don't get to drink any more... I mentally swat them away swiftly and angrily but they come at me like angry bees.

I've just got to look at that photo of me with my puffy face and remember that I was addicted to alcohol. I was totally and utterly addicted to alcohol. Quiet, steady, heavy, seemingly-functional, middle-class alcoholism. And now all I have to do is not drink and I'm ok. Hallelujah. And Merry Christmas Everyone!

Love, Mrs D xxx

(sorry this is a bit glum now that I read it back. Will write a more upbeat post before the 25th!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I don't know who this anonymous person is who just left this comment on my last post but their words are unbelievably inspiring and are worth their very own special post I think.

I just love this. I love the idea it gives me to embrace that flat feeling that I get sometimes and see it as a positive rather than a negative. I love that. It's a practical tangible exercise that I can work on, one that I really think will help me in the weeks ahead of the festive season.

Anonymous is responding to my last two posts and is acknowledging yes, we have left hell, but no, we're not in heaven.....we're somewhere in between...just have a read...

I was thinking purgatory which is much better than hell, but still life with it's ups and downs. Like in purgatory, if it exists, there is a sense of waiting. What are we really here for anyway? There's sense at times of wanting to go back and another sense that is hopefully stronger, of wanting to move forward. I think heaven, and peace is ultimately what we strive for, and our destination.

Becoming sober is one step on that journey. And yes, other Mrs D, I agree that the moments like that when we feel flat, in a sense I too believe it is a glimmer at peace and if we choose to open our arms wide open to it, we can have it more and more and the flatness will seem more positive. It only feels negative because we feel like we are missing, like we are missing an old sense of ourselves. But that's OLD, and not not happy and not where we want to do. Let's make peace and heaven our destination. We don't get there overnight though, so let's allow purgatory to teach us the lessons we need to learn. There is some excitement in that too I reckon. Love and light x

To anonymous I thank you and send back the love and light that you so graciously offered to me.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, December 10, 2012

So is this heaven?

So now I've left my personal hell behind, where am I? Am I in heaven?

Not sure. What I am, is sober all the time. Sober. All the time.

Yesterday we hosted a lovely christmas party/farewell for friends. 15 kids, 13 adults. Our house. Nibbles, drinks, pizza. Secret Santa (Mr D donned the suit!). Lolly scramble. Chatting, laughing fun.

I felt a bit flat. Sorry to say that but I did. Is it because I wasn't drinking? Maybe. Is it because I was tired from writing lots of my thesis all weekend? Possibly. But I think it was more to do with the fact that I was sober. Again.

Sober all the time.

So yeah... I love being out of my personal hell. I love not having hangovers and not having guilt and not feeling sick in my guts and sick in my head. I love respecting myself and feeling strong and healthy. I love that my skin is clear and I love that people think I'm amazing and strong. I love that I don't buy wine all the time and guzzle it like it's about to disappear from the earth forever. I love that I don't think about wine constantly and I love that I feel really in touch with my emotions. I love my blog and the online community that I have discovered and I'd have none of that if I hadn't decided to go sober and start writing about what I'm feeling to try and make sure I can stick to my resolve. I love all of that.

The flipside is, I am sober. All the time.

That's a fact.

Sober me.


It's ok. Really it is. It's just a fact. It's just the way it has to be. So yesterday, yes, I did feel a bit flat. It was a party and other people were drinking. Wine! Beer! Whiskey! (yes the whiskey did come out towards the end canyoubelieveit?!). And I stayed sober. Sober Mrs D.

Is this heaven? Not sure. Whatever it is, it sure beats hell.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My private hell....

I'm not what I appear to be. I appear to be a happy, settled, middle class suburban mother of three. Happily married, in good health with a people mover, life insurance, successful relationships, a moderate interest in politics and an addiction to Reality TV.

I appear to have totally nailed this thing called life. I have the house, the car, the husband, the kids. Hell we've even got a cat.

But I have a sneaky secret and I'm locked in a private hell because I'm the only one who thinks it's a problem.

Wednesday is shopping day and I always buy two bottles of wine. They're gone by Thursday and the husband is lucky if he gets 3 glasses.

I make my decision at 10am the next day that I'm going to drink again that night. Wine is always on my mind.

The man selling alcohol down the road knows my name and asks me how my studies are going - he knows about my life. I hate that.

I attend a function and get a little too loud, a little too opinionated. I'm nervous and look at myself in the bathroom mirror knowing I'm drinking to much to cope. I drive home. I hate myself for doing that.

I roll my body over a swiss ball at the gym and my sick guts churn and my head throbs. I look at the ladies around me and wonder if anyone else is secretly hungover. I feel so miserable.

I'm conscious at home every time I take a big gulp of wine. Standing at the kitchen bench. Sitting on the sofa. Over and over and over and over and over and over again I gulp wine. I seem unable to ignore what I am doing. Can't anyone else see?

There are two voices in my head. One is telling me boozing is fun and I deserve it and I'm totally fine. The other is telling me it's not fun, I don't deserve it and I'm not totally fine.

I try to talk to my immediate loved ones. I try and write down every time I take a drink. I try to moderate. I have dry spells. But slowly and surely my drinking is getting worse. Heavier. Sloppier. Less fun. More miserable.

My personal hell is at it's blackest at 3am. I come to consciousness in my bed, my mouth is dry, my head is sore and my bladder is full. I walk miserably down the hall to the loo. I feel guilty. I regret. I just feel so unhappy.

Then one day, September 6, 2011, I'm sitting in my car at the intersection opposite Pac n Save with the indicator on to turn right. And the thought comes to me. I could just do it and stop right now. I could just fucking take that leap and remove alcohol from my life. And I do.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


We have four weddings coming up over the next three months, so on top of the four that I have already been to since becoming sober, that means by the time I have 18 months of sobriety under my belt I will have attended 8 weddings.

I must have lost the memo that advises not making any big changes or undergoing lots of stress or too much social pressure when you first give up the booze. Because in those 18 months I would have also gone through a relocation (emotion!) and written an MA thesis (stress!).

At least I should be bloody rock solid in my non-drinking come the end of March (my 18 mth mark). I'm not stupid enough to think that means I can let my guard down and expect not to have any pangs. I've had some bloody annoying pangs just in the last few days ... stupid sly wine-drinking fox still lurking in my brain and eyeing up Mr D's wine glass... anyway... won't dwell on those. Piss off stupid pangs.

The first wedding I went to sober I acted like a total freak and ran around fetching other people drinks all night. Desperately trying to show that I was still cool with alcohol?! Obsessed with other people needing to drink like I used to? Who knows.. but that's what I did.

Second wedding I smoked like a train all night, looked after someone else who got leggless and had quite a nice time in the end actually.

Third wedding I had it figured out a little better, had one Red Bull at dinner for a nice energy boost and danced until after midnight!

Fourth wedding, again one energy drink at dinner and quite a nice night (small wedding and I didn't know many people so it was never going to be a cracker).

Overall with all of these four sober weddings I look back happily and proudly at how I carried myself. Not like other weddings I've been to when I've got very sloppy. For me weddings used to be a glorious opportunity to get totally hammered with lots of other people! A heavy drinkers dream!

Looking forward to the next four anyway.. nice to know we won't have to pay for taxis on top of transport, childcare and presents. Nice to know I'll be trustworthy all night and not get loose-lipped or sloppy. Have to stay positive that I won't be missing out...

Love, Mrs D xxx