Monday, March 18, 2013

Mood enhancers...

I remember one day before I gave up booze sending my out-of-town sister an email in which I wrote in very witty style (I thought) all that I had achieved in the day. I was buzzing from a really crazy busy day - and obviously wanted to share/gloat about what I'd been doing... running around after kids, in and out of school and kindy, appointments, gym, supermarket, making beds for guests yadda yadda yadda. I remember being very proud of what I'd achieved and how well I was managing such a busy life.

'Oh look at fabulous busy me' (was the subtext of the email).. 'how craaazy is my life!!!'  My gorgeous sister responded with an appropriate 'Wow! What a day! You're amazing!' - type email, and I felt very proud of myself.

I neglected to mention the bottle and a half of wine that I had managed to fit in (glug) during the latter part of the day (starting at 5pm ON THE DOT of course). Something made me leave that detail out. But sure enough, as was my want, I had managed to fit in some enthusiastic wine drinking on top of everything else.

It's amazing how I managed to run around achieving everything a busy housewife/mother/part-time-worker needs to achieve AND drink wine steadily and heavily throughout the week. How great is the boozy housewife's capacity to add extra pressure to an already busy life? You get that numbing sensation, sure. But also the hangovers and sick guts and mental guilt and anguish. Why do we punish ourselves so?

So here I am now, still a busy housewife and mother although the part-time-work isn't around any more and my MA thesis is delivered so the studies are over. And of course I'm sober.

I've still got a bit of work to do in learning how to deal with gritty emotional states without reaching for something. Lately it's been crap food and sugar. I've got to step up the other things that make me feel good. Exercise is a MAJOR mood enhancer for me and even though it doesn't come easy I really have to make sure I keep doing it regularly.

Other cliched things like burning lovely oils to make the house smell nice. And I've just bought a juicer! That is a big cliche right there but I want to try making those green juices that everyone is raving about.. full of goodness and fills you up nicely.

Also just remember to lift my eyes and look to the horizon - look out of my immediate surroundings to lift my mood. Look for beautiful things. And music - music definitely makes me feel better.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. The biggest adjustments I have had to make in my recovery is exactly what you are talking about. I had to get past the "what now?" question and also to get through the "reaching" part, where I was looking at externals to get me through emotional times...I didn't have booze, but I had other things.

    I have had to really learn to have quiet lately. It's been taking me time to just sit and *be*, but I am getting there more and more, and it's a beautiful thing. I don't feel the need to be busy. I think the practice of removing what didn't serve me helped me along. Simplifying my life has helped me too. But I understand what you are saying about your work there - it was intense, and when it was done, you got that buzz, and now.....quiet. nothing much going on...and I was the same with other things...I would chase the buzz of doing X, Y or Z and when they were done, I felt let down. Like a postpartum kind of thing. but it was just in learning to sit with myself and enjoy the quiet that those needs dissipated.

    The crap food and sugar I get too - it's been about 3 1/2 months since I cut sugar out of my diet, and it wasn't only for the health reasons - I was starting to use sugar as a way of medicating again, and I didn't want to have to deal with that, so i cut it out...and it's forced me to look inward when I am disturbed about something. No chocolate bars to pounce on when I was anxious. Just me and nothing else. Scary as hell, but needed.

    So stay the course! Keep looking at that horizon!

    Wonderful post :)


  2. I used to have to be to work at 5 AM. I always felt so proud when I had 4 or 6 glasses of wine the night before and still managed to get up at 4 AM and get to work on time. And then work like I was fine when I was really exhausted and hungover. Wow. How impressive. *sarcasm*

    I love my juicer. :) Kale, apple, carrot, cucumber, and ginger root. Delicious.

    Oh, the sugar. Like you, like Paul, I get started on cookies and I'm like a woman afire! :)

    "I've still got a bit of work to do in learning how to deal with gritty emotional states without reaching for something." ME TOO!!!


  3. "I've still got a bit of work to do in learning how to deal with gritty emotional states without reaching for something." Hell... ME THREE!!!

    Looks like it's the juice corner over here kids. I've recently rediscovered my love of mine. I've had mine a few years and find I go through juicing crazes of using it all the time, get over it, put it in cupboard to gather dust for a few months, then pull back into it again, usually when the weather heats up or I'm on a healthy kick.

    My current favourite morning drink pre gym is carrot, green apple, ginger and beetroot. I like to add spinach and herbs too if they're lying around. It's good to mix it up. So many great combos you can do.

    I'm a bit skeptical about the whole Jason Vale "juicing cures EVERYTHING" thing but he does have some great recipes on his site, which I was just looking at earlier tonight funnily enough.

    So keep us posted on your juice discoveries Mrs D :)

    Lilly xo

  4. You'll figure this out the same way you figure everything out. With grace, and love and tenderness.

    But extend those qualities to yourself as well. Do you really have to figure this out RIGHT NOW. Why not give yourself a little time to learn to do...nothing.

    That has been the greatest gift I've given myself since getting sober. Learning to do nothing is easy...they gift is learning to be okay with it.

    And ooooo...I've been thinking about the whole juicing thing. Let me know how it goes.


  5. Again i can relate. I have also got space in my life now and i dont know how to fill it. Major house renovation?.....maybe....but been there done that and what about the downsizing, minimalist life I think I could aspire to? Studying again? Too much structure. Same with a job. And so the searching and in my case excuses go. And all the time this overriding guilt that I am in this lucky position! So I will be watching you to see if you can give me a lead on this one (too)! xx

  6. Sitting still is not my thing either... In early sobriety I filled up my days so I would not have any time to drink. I still feel weird sometimes when I have long periods,of time with nothing. But then I am realizing that I am just running thru my life, seriously the days are melting together. I want to slow down and smell the roses! Reading blogs has actually really helped, I make time to sit down and read, pause and absorb. Also I am trying the thing that Paul wrote about on his blog, about just sitting and listening to the sounds around me. Thank you for the post and I can totally relate. Can't wait to see what your next thing may be!

  7. I tried to reply to this from my phone but somehow it would not let me put my user name in. Darn WordPress. Anyways, as always, you are just awesome. It really is amazing just how much MORE we can accomplish when we are not losing hours of our time in a fog and/or recovering from a fog. So glad to be amongst your company!

  8. Do you think we're afraid of sitting still, of getting bored? Because you know that was our big worry when we quit drinking, what in the world will we do with all of our time now? So we all jumped in with running, and writing, and toy drives, and thesis's, and new jobs....Sounds a little manic doesn't it? Filling that void up until it overflowed.

    I think we can relax a little now, maybe read a book or two, or just stare out the window. The booze is no longer beckoning from the liquor cabinet. Maybe now we can stop to find our happy medium.

  9. I am new to the blogs and I have to say you have inspired me so much to blog to help me not to drink. I am only one night in, but I made it last night without the wine and I feel awesome today. One of my biggest obstacles was what to do with myself. I got all my laundry done, washed my sheets, played with the kids. But still I feel like from 6 to 9pm is one big hole that I filled with wine. Thanks for inspiring me, I look forward to learning how to do this. Jackie