Monday, April 29, 2013

The power inside...

There's a really amazing feeling in the air... like things are shifting and's a positive feeling...a good feeling....I feel kind of excited and forward-moving. It's hard to explain, and there's nothing specific happening for me.. it's just that I feel like my life is shifting and moving forward and there's positive momentum. I've hit some sort of different place where the 'getting on with living sober' is occurring.

It's an amazing feeling... I have to tell you. And I would LOVE to know from those sober longer than me (just checked I'm 601 days, 20-odd months sober) if this is a normal step in the process. It's lovely, quite freeing... my life is wide open before me.

Maybe this happiness is related to the amazingly wonderful weekend away I just had BY MYSELF staying with a girlfriend.

Maybe it's because of the wonderful Cupcake Brown book 'A Piece of Cake' I read before I went. So life-affirming and powerful - how to turn even the shittiest life around. I do so recommend it.

Maybe it's because of this article I read in the Guardian online by a concert pianist about following your dreams. It's so inspiring. Read it, then find him playing on YouTube and have a listen. It will lift your soul (it did mine anyway).

Maybe because of all this I've started reading The Happiness Project again .. by Gretchen Rubin. It's kind of silly and ridiculous in its simplicity, and a kind of uptight and really methodical way of making yourself feel better but it is full of ideas of things to do to improve day-in-day-out living.

I think if you make a decision to do something like remove alcohol from your life.. if you work fucking hard to follow through with that decision, gritting your teeth through the really hard times.. slogging away sluggishly through the low times... adjusting and coping and managing to do it... over time you start to believe... really start to believe in the power that you have inside to direct your own life. I firmly believe we all have that power. Feel it... know that it is there...poke it... prod it a bit... exercise it... built it up... watch it grow. Go for it.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Online life...

I joined twitter a few weeks back and that's been a fun addition to my life. I've followed loads and loads of rehabs and addiction counsellors and a few ordinary people I've found who are like 'sober tweeters' (is that how you'd describe it?). It's been quite fun. I tweet about things I'm feeling, and I also tweet links to articles in the local media here in New Zealand about our drinking culture etc etc.

I'm quite enjoying some of the inspirational quotes that the people I follow are tweeting, and clicking on links they post with interesting information ... like this for example which is all about what knowing moderate drinking limits can do for you. It reminded me of the big jolt I got when I actually measured my glass sizes and worked out that my 2-3 wines a night was actually more equivalent to 6-7.

If you're interested in giving twitter a go set up an account, then look at my page (icon to the right) and then click on the people I am following and follow them to build up your own list. The more people you follow the more interesting your feed of information is.

I also got asked to contribute a story to this website/app thingy, Today's Step, you can subscribe to their daily newsletter and get emailed tips and inspiration and stuff to help you along your way.

So there's lots of great stuff online for people like me who are trying to stay sober and live sober. I am mindful of trying not to get too obsessed with my online life though, and have a new rule that I can't take my phone into the bedroom at night - it stays on the kitchen window ledge. And right now, I need to go outside and get some fresh air. Must not eat toast for dinner tonight...!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Like clockwork....

For boozy housewives like me 5pm is a magical, mystical, crucial time of the day. I'm in the kitchen at this point finishing up dinner and flick on the radio to hear the start of Checkpoint the nightly current affairs show. The theme music would play (da, da da da da da, daa, daa, daaaaaa) and I'd reach for the wine glass. The announcer would come on ("Good Evening, welcome to Checkpoint") and I'd open the bottle. The programme would begin ("On tonight's show...") glug glug glug.

It's the moment at which I'd escape the monotony. The kids incessant demands became more bearable. I'd feel a little bit glamorous, a little bit naughty. I'd feel like I was part of a grown-up gang - no different to those well groomed office workers heading to their local wine bar. It was lovely. I loved it. Loved my nightly wines.

Drink one at the bench while getting dinner ready. One at the dinner table when eating. This is the point at which you should stop and put the glass away in the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes!!!! Damn. Lost that memo a few years ago. Wine glass stays on the bench. Another drink when cleaning up. Sometimes I'd take it into the bedroom when reading the kids stories. Sitting on the sofa later having yet another (few) while watching tele - this is the point at which you start to question the habit. Is this normal?

At 5pm now I don't even pour myself a sugary fizzy drink in a wine glass like I was for a good year or so after I cut out the wines. But something still shifts in me, the point of change is there. But there's no brain bending, mind numbing, back warming escape any more. So I'll have a water with dinner. Put the jug on while the kids are brushing their teeth and by the time they're in bed I've got a mug of green tea on the sofa.

But at 5pm I think about all the housewives in all the homes around our beautiful country and wonder about the ones who are going start on the wines and find it hard to stop, the ones who are going to end up on the sofa later on still going strong. Boozy housewives of the world unite! Ladies - we don't need that shit.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, April 4, 2013

All good....

Back into the routine (drinking a green juice as I type!) and feeling calm, a bit low key but good. The Easter holiday went well, the kids had a great time, I reconnected with lots of my family and that is important to do each year, and for the most part it was great.

Yes I struggled being around people boozing all weekend, as any fairly new sober person would do. And yes it caused me some grief and tears, but that is my cross to bear for the choice I have made with my life. Everyone has shit to deal with. I'd rather deal with the shit caused by adjusting to living sober than any other shit.

Just plowed through Clarissa Dickson Wright's memoir "Spilling the Beans". She's a famous British chef and was a terrible alcoholic who got sober. She writes without a doubt one of the best descriptions I've ever read of the rehab process, getting sober and living sober. Clearly spelt out, brilliantly understood and articulated. She's a 12-stepper (which I'm not) and I've never had the steps explored and explained so well. I recommend it heartily!

Love, Mrs D xxx