Friday, September 6, 2013

2 years sober today..

Woke up at 4am. Thought about how today is my two year soberversary. Thought about how I don't feel any huge elation about this soberversary. Thought about how soberversarys are strange events, more of a low key 'getting on with it' rather than a high energy 'Whoop Whoop!'.

Thought I felt a bit cold so flicked my electric blanket on to 1. Realised I was wide awake and wasn't likely to go back to sleep so reached for my iPhone. Read this brilliant post by ByeByeBeer. Thought about how lucky I am to never feel alone in my sobriety because of all of the lovely people who write sober blogs, read sober blogs, comment on sober blogs.

Thought about the book I am writing about how I got sober (yes, I have a publishing contract!), about what an intense, introspective process it is writing this book.  Thought about how writing the book sometimes feels like trudging through thick mud, reliving and trying to articulate what I went through after I chose to take alcohol out of my life. Thought about how there was so much was going on inside my mind that I never put into words. Thought about great it is to be writing it all out before it fades completely away.

Thought about how I cried the other night when I was writing the part that explores how after a couple of months of not drinking it became very apparent to me that I used wine to fill a lot of 'empty space', and that the honest truth is that even now 2 years later I still don't know how best to deal with that 'empty space' all of the time.

Thought about how a lot of the time I do well at filling the 'empty space' with family and friends and blogging and pop music and dancing and green juices and green teas and lovely oils and reading books and bubble baths and hugs and Tara Brach and exercise and cooking and homemaking and pop culture and reality TV and politics and new dresses and beauty products and stuff.

But also thought about how sometimes I don't do so well at filling the 'empty space' left when I took away the wine, and I fill it with dysfunctional food habits and uncomfortable glum thoughts. Thought about how I am going to tackle my sugar / carbs issues by doing my dear friend Sherry's 30-day challenge starting on September 18.

Thought about how I don't know if 'empty space' is a normal feeling. A normal part of the human condition that I just have to get used to sitting with, or whether the 'empty space' is something I need to keep working on, need to figure out.

Thought about how the kids would be waking soon and a cup of tea would be nice so snuck out of bed and boiled the jug and put a green tea bag (flavoured with mandarin) into my favourite mug then sat at the computer.

Thought about how really, incredibly, quietly, amazingly, brilliantly, truly, wonderfully cool it is that I live without alcohol. Maybe there is a little bit of 'whoop whoop' in there after all.

Thought about what to write. Wrote this.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Mrs D

    I so very much love reading your posts, and I do love your style.

    This: "I don't know if 'empty space' is a normal feeling"... I think the fill for this space is what we all live in pursuit of, to a greater or lesser extent, but that we all eventually realise, there is no one person nor thing that fills it...

    I believe (at least at this age - shall let you know if I am wrong a little later in life!) that it's a part of the human condition. Some people feel it more keenly, some people try to ignore it, some people try to hide it, some people don't talk about it... but more or less, it's at least an occasional, normal thing. Hence one million bloggy ladies on the Internet writing up their "gratitude" lists... hence one million "you can be happier" books... hence etc.

    And in the end, I think we learn to focus on today - and all it brings us - and stop hunting for the fill... and all of a sudden, somewhere there, perhaps in our grandma years... we realise... that happiness lies in the addition of many small things... that it is the small things that fill us up each day. And that very often, the really big things that should make us happy (finding a life partner, a big promotion, etc) very often are too overwhelming to really fill up the need they thought they would.

    Maybe I'm wrong... just really wanted to say... I think you're normal (and lovely!).

    Best-est wishes from the Alps

  2. Hi Mrs D. I'm so pleased that it's your 2-year soberversary, and not just because you're out leading the way for lots of us. Big congrats on 2 years, and on the book contract, too! Now that's a book that will be worth reading! I really like your writing, the combination of honesty and humour you seem to naturally bring in, and reading through your blog, I see your writing voice has changed over time, I guess as you have. My thoughts on the empty space you're talking about: I think this has something to do with the existential dilemmas that are part of being a person, but that contemporary culture doesn't make much room for. I'm curious what you'll have to say about those spaces in another year. OK, enough from me, I mostly just wanted to say a big hooray for you being you!!!

  3. Congrats on your first two years of freedom Mrs D!'s good to know I can expect about the same as this year; next year lol. Normal life with a little whoop whoop thrown in :)

  4. Happy Soberversary!!!

    I agree with 'Thirsty stil' about the existential dilemma. Sitting in the emptiness, in the moment, is arguably the hardest, bravest and most important thing we can all do. Not sure.

    But all the other things that bring us joy and peace are so important on this journey called Life.

    Love you sis and have a Extraordinary day.


    ps. I just pulled a card for you and it says this:

    The individual epitomizes the universe.

    Where exactly does your influence on life end? You'll never know the full power or consequences of your actions and choices. Enhance the whole of life today through your actions.

  5. Congratulations! Two years is AWESOME but even more awesome is the lovely awaking and serenity, or maybe that's not the right word....calmness or contentedness might be more accurate, that emanates from your posts now. The lovely lovely thing about your writing is that I feel like I can "see" you, it is so real. That is why I think what you have done has touched so many people and made it seem possible for them too. THAT deserves a massive WHOOP:) Have a wonderful day.

  6. Congratulations Mrs. D! BIG WOOT WOOT! I think that the empty space is normal, I just think that we used to fill it up with alcohol and now it is just there. But the space is ok, to just be is ok, at least for me and it sounds like you have found some calmness and serenity in it. It may still feel uncomfortable but it's a good place. No drama, no craziness, no shame, no guilt. This is sobriety. Sending many hugs to you and congrats again!

  7. You are so awesome - a huge WHOOP WHOOP from over here on your two years. I am soooo glad you're out here writing about it all and you have helped me and others so, so much.

    I think it's amazeballs about your book, because I really think there is this gap in understanding about women like you (us) who maybe don't fit the social stigma stereotype of a down and out alcoholic but are desperately unhappy about their drinking nonetheless. And the more voices like yours that are out there the more that stigma will lose its power. I can't wait to read it.

    Love and green tea,

    Lilly xo

  8. Congratulations! Your real-ness is so much appreciated and I know your book will be awesome!

  9. Mrs D - your blog is the very first one I found when I decided to get sober. Today is day 55 for me, and I check in with your blog every day. You are a huge inspiration! Big congrats to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  10. Awesome, epic, wonderful, A+! I can't wait to read your book, Mrs. D.! Congratulations, in a low-key sort of way. :)

  11. Congrats on the two years.

    The empty feeling is normal, I think, we can't all be swinging from the chandeliers all the time life goes up, comes down and sometimes just sits there and learning that that is ok and it is ok to sit with that and just wait and not have to create something unless really necessary or really needed is part of the trick of the serenity we strive for.

  12. How lovely to see you earn another year. You are a miracle and an inspiration to the rest of us.

    Happy, happy birthday!!

  13. You're a lovely, warm, engaging writer Mrs D. I've been lurking on your blog for a while and am really thrilled you are going be published! I'd love your thoughts on one thing though - and maybe your book can address this - the one thing I really struggle with (as a mum-of-two who recently ruined 2 and a half years of sobriety with a 6 month bender, which to be honest hasn't finished yet ...) is precisely how and when and why people decide to stop drinking. Why don't we talk more about people's low points that catalyse their quitting? And why, even if we think we've hit a new low, do we sometimes uncork the bottle again? I know you often say about the memoirs that you've read, that they gloss over the actual recovery part and focus more on the lows. But I'm interested in the nexus between those two. Any thoughts?

  14. Congratulations on two years and on that book contract Mrs D! I'm sure it'll be the first of many books and many many years of sober living.

    So good to read you today.

  15. Thought about how blessed I feel that the blogosphere has brought you into my life and how miraculous it is that sobriety has brought me a friend I love that lives on the other side of the planet.

    Thought about how proud I am that I know a real love author and how I can wait to read her book - even if I have to pay shipping costs from NZ to the US.

    Thought about how one day I'm going to visit NZ and we'll sit and enjoy some tea and talk about getting and being sober in a non-sober world and we'll feel like we've known each other all of our lives.

    Thought about YOU. Have soberversary my friend.

    Love and hugs and (as usual) endless belief,

  16. Happy Soberversary Mrs D!!
    Oh how I wish we could all get together and celebrate when we pass these milestones and then you could see how totally thrilled all of us out here are for you at reaching another massive sober goal!
    Little did you know this time two years ago that you would be touching all of these lives, inspiring people, saving souls. It's huge it really is and it deserves a shout it from the rooftops, shout out...
    Love you
    Carrie xx
    ps. Awesome news re the book, can't wait for that!

  17. Wow, congratulations on 2 years. That is a truly marvelous accomplishment. Have a lovely, peaceful anniversary of your sobriety today. ~Jen

  18. Happy 2nd birthday, congratulations on that and on your publishing contract.

  19. A day late, but celebrating with you as you usher in year three. What a joy to read your blog and watch you grow. Watch you help others (that includes me). Hoping this next year is as wonderful.
    with love, Lisa


    Makes me want to do my Carlton Happy Dance!

    So happy for you.

    And yes, those empty feelings are normal. I think we are just not used to *feeling* them. The more we get used to sitting with and feeling those feelings, the more normal they will feel.

    Congrats my friend, so glad things are going well,

  21. Congrats on your 2 years! What a trip! You're such an inspiration and prime example that, even after two years, sober life still keeps getting better and better.

  22. Oh my dear sweet Mrs. D. A belated sincere congratulations on your 2 years!!! Couldn't be happier for you and also to hear you have a book in the works, which I look forward to reading.

    Know what you mean about the empty space and leaning towards it being a normal/unavoidable state at times. Don't feel I'm the healthiest at how I deal with the lows or emptiness, though perhaps it's getting better over time (slowly, ever so slowly).

    Congratulations again on your 2 years sober!!!

  23. Happy Late Congratulations on Two Wonderful Years! Sometimes I think we need to feel the empty space in order to be motivated to do something special (or not so special); just to do (or think) something. But then again, what do I know. I'm relatively new to empty spaces. I used to fill those spaces with wine, beer and liquor until Oct 1, 2012.