Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real me...

I keep thinking about having a cigarette. I keep thinking I'll text Mr D asking him to bring a packet home with him after work. But then I think about actually having the cigarette and I feel kind of sick. So I don't do anything about it. But I keep thinking about it. I'm very stressed. I have 3 1/2 weeks to go until I get rid of this goddam piece of shit thesis.

I think about drinking in an abstract way like 'I used to have that option' but there are no real cravings there or gritty thought processes which is really interesting and quite heartening actually. 18 months sober and I'm under extreme stress about to deliver my MA and I'm not craving booze. That's good.

I certainly wouldn't win any "Calm Mother of the Year" awards right now though or "Loving Wife" accolades. I'm not a pretty stressed person by any stretch of the imagination. I'm a shouty, teary, unhealthy, tense, locked up stressed person. I think Mr D and the kids will be delighted when the normal me comes back.

But hey, I'm sober so yay for fucking me.

Some great things about being sober...

No hangovers.
No sick guts.
No headaches.
No avoiding things.
No crap sleeps.
No worry about my insides.
No spending lots of money on wine.
No overflowing recycling bin.
No guilt.
No addiction.
No crutch.
No embarrassment.
No worrying.

Some not so great things about being sober.

No avoiding how I feel.
No calming my stress.
No taking the edge off.

Other ways to achieve the above.

Positive thinking.
Trying really hard to do it on my own.

I'm a work in progress. I'm not really managing to do it on my own. Well, yes I am. I am doing it on my own but it involves a lot more outward stress on the people around me and I feel very messy, lurching from one emotional state to another. But maybe I just have to not worry about that and know that for all of us, the collective, me being sober is way better in the long run.  I could be drinking my way through this stress but I'm not. So there's more shouting and tears but hey, at least it's real.

Real. Yes that I am.

Love, Mrs D xxxx

Friday, January 18, 2013

500 days today!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is just a quickie...

I AM 500 DAYS SOBER TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


500 days baby. 500 days.

Might celebrate by going to a nice deli and getting myself some special cheese and bread for lunch. Fresh bread, special cheese, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. That'll do nicely...

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We just have to take it away

I'm getting some lovely (sad, honest, brave) comments from new people who are obviously trawling around the internet desperately seeking answers to their questions about booze, or support for their desire to quit it, or reassurance that life without alcohol is ok, or whatever else they might be seeking.

These comments I find immensely moving and I do honestly feel the pain of these people who are at the point of despair with their drinking. I've been there, and not that long ago (18 mths or so). It's so fucking hard and so fucking unfair that it's so difficult to get this substance out of our lives - those of us who just can't moderate and be normal drinkers.

The other day I was watching Channel E's red carpet coverage of the Golden Globes. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were strutting their stuff and I remarked out loud: "He's sober" as I often do when I spot a famous sober person. "Really?" said Mr D. "Yep" I replied. "Some people just have to take it away."

And that's the bottom line I think. For some of us there is no option but to just take it away. Just stop drinking alcohol and accept that you can never drink it ever again. Ok so it's not obviously as simple as that because learning how to live sober takes quite a bit of retraining and effort but it's definitely a journey I would recommend.

The alternative for us hopeless boozers is to keep the alcohol in our lives and spend years angsting about why we can't drink normally, feeling guilty about hardly ever being able to reign ourselves in, trying a variety of techniques to control booze (moderation, abstaining for periods of time, days on, days off etc etc), worrying, feeling like shit, not respecting ourselves and just thinking thinking thinking about alcohol all the time.

Or we could decide just to live as boozers and booze, booze, booze until the day we die. That's the other option.

But for those of us that are sick of the boozing, and sick of the angsting and the guilt (you lovely anonymous people who are commenting and lurking, who feel desperate and miserable) just know that you are not alone. There are many of us in the world who are these people who just have to take it away. We just have to take it away. Keith Urban, Rob Lowe, me!, my gorgeous brave friends whose blogs are in my reading list, countless others around the world. We are all the ones who just have to take it away.

It can be done. And I promise, life without alcohol is ok. Really it is.  Actually it's pretty fucking great.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Romantic pang (just the one)

We are home from our two week summer holiday that included 2 weddings, a New Years Eve party and four days camping with a bunch of friends. I was very happy for most of it being a non-drinker, aside from toward the very end when I got hit with a pang of woe-is-me.

It was the end of a long day camping, the kids had finally nodded off in their tents all sandy and sunkissed from a day at the beach. The sun was low in the sky and all the adults were sitting around in deck chairs playing guitars or chatting or reading magazines. I sank into a deck chair to rest and just at that moment a friend came into view and crossed in front of my field of vision holding a glistening bottle of chardonnay.

WHAM! I got hit with a pang. It was a classic moment where the alcohol, all chilled in the bottle, looked so inviting and offered all sorts of mythical enticements and promises. I will relax you, it said, I will reward you, I will comfort you. You deserve me. (Clearly I'm in a waxing lyrical sort of mood).

So there I am sitting in my deck chair feeling all sad and left out that I can't start drinking like the rest of the crew.  So I went there... in my mind...and imagined myself actually pouring a glass and actually drinking it. I totally went there just to see what it felt like allowing myself to fantasize about drinking .. and low and behold! I didn't want to!! That pang was just a blind shot in the dark of my addiction trying to trick me again into thinking I needed to blur my brain. 

I did take myself off to bed earlier than most of our camping crew most evenings but I think that was mostly major MA stress. I have 6 weeks to deliver my thesis and it would be fair to say that stress and I are well acquainted at the moment (Mr D did all the day missions to the beach etc without me and I stayed back at the campsite working on the laptop).

Now I have six weeks to pull my 40,000 word thesis into a shape that will hopefully be passed by my markers. I'm wondering why the hell I ever wanted to do this bloody Masters, but I'm sure when it's done I'll wonder what the hell I'm going to do next. One step at a time I suppose. Oh, and don't drink. That'll help.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wedding No. 2

I was sitting at a table in the marquee at about 10.30pm chatting with some friends. We were all having a great laugh. The DJ was spinning some 80's tunes (Madonna, Cyndi Lauper etc) and the bride and groom were on the dance floor in a big circle with all their mates (all mid-twenties, sporty types) having a total blast.

There were people dotted all around the huge marquee, at tables with candles lit. Fairy lights were strung around the ceiling and there was a really happy buzz on. I was having a great time - it had been such a perfect, lovely, loving wedding right from the start, a real festival of love - and I suddenly thought, what do these people who are drinking have that I don't right now? And the answer? Nothing! There was nothing that they had that I didn't. What I mean is, I didn't feel left out, or that I was missing out, on anything.

Does this make sense? We were all at the same table at the same wedding having the same fun except they had wine and beer in their bellies and I didn't. And from where I was sitting I couldn't see that I was missing anything. We were all having a great time it was just that I happened to be sober and they weren't.

Daft Punk got us on the dance floor! Had a good boogie for about 5 songs then had lovely goodbye chats with the hosts and the bride and groom etc (everyone tired and a bit blurred and happy) and then it was midnight I drove us all home.  I LOVE DRIVING HOME!!! (almost as much as I love waking up the morning after).

I'm helped now by the fact this is actually the 6th wedding I've done since giving up the booze and I keep getting better and better at it. Every time I do another thing sober, another party or wedding or dinner or function or whatever, it gets easier. So try it once. But don't give up. Try it again. Try it again. And try it again. It starts to get easier and easier and then more fun and more fun. Honest.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wedding No. 1 & NYE..


We have four weddings to go to this summer and the first of these was on the 30th of December. It was the most warm, lovely, intimate, chatty wedding. The food was unbelievably delicious, the bride looked gorgeous in silver/grey, she and the groom were ultra-chilled out. I just had the best time. I chatted and ate and mingled and felt really calm and happy. There's always a moment early on when the room starts buzzing and I feel a little detached because I'm not drinking but that passes and after that I don't give a toss and nor does anyone else.

Sober me was able to make the effort to talk to people like random sisters-in-law of the bride and groom (2 of them) both of whom were lovely and really interesting. I know I wouldn't have bothered approaching them if I'd been boozing because neither of them were boozing. I would have hung with the boozers. And there were a few of those! I was so pleased not to be one of them. I feel sick in my guts if I imagine filling up with booze again. It's been so long.

Happy me driving home!

Then last night a New Years Eve party. A BBQ. Loads of kids and food and fireworks and fun. Had a lovely time. Had a dance even. Talked to lots of people I hadn't seen for a while and had some great catch-ups. It was a big mix across the spectrum of alcohol consumption and I am fitting comfortably at one end of that.

Had a dance! Then drove the kids home at 10.45 and marvelled at the fact that it took me so long to discover that I don't need alcohol to have fun. Who knew? Happy New Year!!

Love, Mrs D xxx