Friday, November 29, 2013

A must watch...

This is a really, really, really amazing powerful video.

I have been the blond woman in this video so so so many times. Not that I've been taken advantage of like she (almost) was.. but completely lost like she appears to be. Vacant eyes, stumbling, numb. Lost inside a drunk woman's body.

Just gone. Gone inside a body that is full to the brim with booze. That was me for years and years and years.

Young me at bars and clubs and parties and the like. Then older me on the sofa at home. Drunk me lost inside a drunk woman's body.

It is remarkable the fundamental shift I've had now that I have removed alcohol from my life. A phenomenal change in how I move in the world, how I feel to myself. How I am.

I really love being sober.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My sober guardian angel...

Phew, well thank goodness for that. The noisy crowd of people outside my living room waving their placards and shouting "you're a boring sober loser!" have moved on to the next recovering alcoholic's house and now I have my beautiful guardian angel back, floating around my head gently whispering 'you're great, drinking sucks and your life is better without it'.

Of course.

So now I'm pottering about my life once more being a contented sober person, not touching a drop of wine (or beer or whiskey or bubbles or anything) ever.


I have a flat day and I end it with a cup of green tea and a somber early-to-bed attitude. Not a bottle-and-a-bit of red wine.

I have something to celebrate and I might get some treaty foods and play some music loud or just punch the air excitedly and smile a lot.  Not drink many glasses of champagne.

It's a beautiful hot day and the city is buzzing with people happy that summer is here and heading to the pub for afternoon beers. I head to the pub too with the same happy-the-sun-is-out-attitude and drink a nice tall glass of lemon, lime and bitters. Not chardonnay.

And after all those moments pass with no alcohol entering my system I see that nothing is missing. I wake up without a hangover. I relish in the lack of guilt. I move through my days feeling grounded.

I am, however, back on the Whole30 until Christmas. That is, no wheat, dairy or sugar until we go away on holiday on the 23rd of December (except for milk in my coffee). This will make me feel much better. Much, much better. And my little guy is about to start morning kindy so I am planning on going to the gym to run on the treadmill every day. Well....maybe every second day...

These are things that I am going to do before Christmas and our summer holiday. That, and remember to smile at my sober guardian angel whispering sweet nothings in my ear as I move around my life.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pangs.. they come...

I had some sad pangs on the weekend about not drinking. The same old shitty sad feelings that tell me I'm kidding myself that sober is the new black, and actually I'm a sad sober loser.. that everyone thinks non-drinkers are boring, that being sober = being boring, that I should just get over myself and have a wine, that I should stop harping on about how amazing I am for stopping drinking and just shut the fuck up and crawl into a hole and keep my head low and what's the big deal I should just have a wine and get over myself ...

.. and stuff like that.

Which, frankly, is all bloody bollocks. These thoughts are NEGATIVE and TIME WASTING and ANNOYING AS ALL HELL (should I stop yelling now?).

But they come, these thoughts. I wish they wouldn't, but they do. They arrive in my brain for a variety of reasons and rattle around unsettling me. They are strong, they feel real, they ARE real at the time, and so I have to acknowledge them and deal with them.  I can't pretend they're not there. I can't bloody have a drink! (Could you imagine if I came on here and admitted that I'd had a bloody drink!! OMG!!)

I'm not fucking drinking. So here's what I do.

1). Think 'what is happening right now that is making me feel like this?' (Answer: Mr D is overseas for work so I'm lonely, I'm doing some extra-worky stuff that is making me feel a little vulnerable, there are inter-personal relationships rattling around me that are tricky). Recognise that these are triggers...

2). Tell myself firmly that these thoughts aren't true. That I'm not a dick for thinking sober is the new black. Work hard to convince myself again that it is cool to be sober and that I am fine being sober and that who cares what anyone else thinks anyway.

3). Remind myself about all the good things in my life and rejoice in them (I have a new spray mop with a water bottle on the arm - you pull a trigger and it sprays water as you mop OMG I am telling you this is a housewife's dream!!!!!!!)

4). Eat some ginger crunch and then make a green juice to counteract it (and the guilt), tidy out the garage, pick up a novel and read it, do something kind for someone else, look up and out at the horizon and appreciate the view, put my pyjamas on at 5pm, just chill the fuck out and let time pass.. if nothing else time passing helps ..  the thoughts fade away....

Slowly they fade away....

Love, Mrs D xxx

*** Update for those who have asked about Ginger Crunch - here is the recipe! I had no idea it wasn't a worldwide phenomenon, get into it people! It is decadent and divine. If I'm feeling really naughty I double the amount of icing....

Friday, November 15, 2013

We are not missing out!

Had some amazingly lovely comments to my last post - do go and look at them all. Yay for community! Wonderful to hear from a new local lady. Hello my kiwi friends xxxx

One comment in particular stood out, and I wanted to answer it directly here. It's from someone bravely reaching out through the all-important veil of anonymity. Anonymity is very useful in this environment which is why I always encourage anonymous comments. Lurking is very useful and powerful too. Hello lurkers!

Anyway, here is the anonymous comment from my last post...

"I was sober for 180 days. Now back on the booze; not happy with myself, but felt like I was missing out on life. What to do?"

The wonderful ByeByeBeer has already offered this reply; "Give it another go if you're not happy with going back. Many don't get it on their first try. It takes time to get used to sober life but the rewards are plenty when we stick with it :)" 

Very wise words. Here's my entirely unscientific and massively over-simplified answer to what is a very important and complex question. Here's what I humbly suggest you do if you want to stop drinking.

1) Decide that you are going to stop drinking.

2) Stick to that decision no matter what.

3) Prepare yourself to lurch all over the show emotionally for a while. Like ALL OVER THE SHOW. Prepare yourself for annoying tears and pure rage and deeply uncomfortable sadness and crazy moods and just lurching, lurching, lurching like a crazy person. Know that it will even out eventually. It always does.

4) Remind yourself constantly why you have decided to stop drinking and why you are going to stick to that decision no matter what.

5) Make lists (write them down or just think them) about all the good things in your life and all the little things that make you feel happy. Cling to those things like beautiful life buoys. Nurture and foster and embrace all those good things. Seek out new good things.. grow your list of things that make you happy and make you feel good. Things that ARE NOT alcohol (which lies to you and is not your friend).

6) Keep reminding yourself why you have decided to stop drinking and why you are going to stick to that decision no matter what.

7) Find community. Find it in your neighborhood, in meeting rooms or online. Communicate with or listen to other people who have made the decision to stop drinking. Know that you are not alone.

8) Know that you are not missing out by not drinking. Know that not everyone drinks. Know that it is entirely possible to have a great life full of laughter and dancing and fun WITHOUT booze. Sounds crazy but it's true! I was petrified of that too - that I was going to live a miserable alcohol-free existence feeling like I was missing out on all the fun. But the longer I live sober the more I realise that it is people and music and camaraderie and relaxing and chatting and sharing time with people that makes things fun.. not booze. Do not give booze the power to make everything fun. It doesn't have that power. We do.

Any other thoughts for anonymous?

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Back to the scene of the crime

Been doing a lot of crying in the past week. Sad things happening and upsetting things too. This is how I live now.. when I get sad or upset tears fall out of my eyes. They just come out, sometimes when I'm talking to people I'd rather not cry in front of, but they come out and I wipe them away as I talk and .. it's fine.

I do think that the people witnessing the tears are cool with it.. often they appreciate being shown the real emotion..

Me, I'm sometimes embarrassed but at the same time, when I look back on the moment I always feel 'clean' somehow like I was just expressing and honoring how I was feeling.

This is all a bit deep so I'll move on to talk about last night...

Last night!!! Big posh dinner!! So very posh.. pomp and ceremony and black tie and evening wear for ladies.. so many waiters and beautiful chandeliers and candles and flowers and very soft squishy carpet and big sweeping staircases, drinks in a reception room then through to a ballroom for dinner, three courses of delicious food, speeches, toasts.. I'm telling you this was the whole nine yards ..

We went to one of these dinners many years ago and it is not my fondest memory. Got absolutely hammered (along with a bunch of other people).. badly behaved.. there was broken glass at the end (not by me but I was in the group of hammered people being ushered out at the time)...

Yeah .. what can I say .. not my proudest moment...

Last night I got the opportunity to return to the scene of the crime. Same event, same pomp and ceremony, different me.

Borrowed a gorgeous Karen Walker dress, had my hair done during the day (salon hair!), wore funky boots that are cool yet stylish and (most importantly) comfortable.. put my coral lipstick on and drove to the venue feeling happy and excited.

Had a great time chatting and mingling and eating and laughing and just quietly feeling so proud of the new me and to be perfectly frank not feeling like I was missing out on anything by not drinking the alcohol.

The friendly waiter kept filling my wine glass with appletise, someone at the table asked if I didn't drink and I told them no and why ("I couldn't control it so I cut it out altogether") and that was fine, it's just a fact, I don't care what anyone thinks..

Sober is the new black don't you know!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Small pleasures..

So much great, gritty stuff going on with others in the sobersphere - I am totally grateful to be reading and thinking and processing all that is happening for other people with regards to their relationship with alcohol.

Me, I'm just so unbelievably happy to be sober and to be living without any alcohol. Sorry, I know that's boring but that's just where I'm at in my mind.

I do have this weird, twisted thinking going on right now that being sober is actually the 'cool' way to live. That living alcohol free is interesting and real and healthy and cool. Maybe I'm deluding myself.

Maybe it's because I'm not out in bars or at parties much at the moment so I'm not seeing what I'm missing out on. But am I missing out on much?  If I do go to bars or parties I can usually still laugh and talk loose and joke around and even have a boogie if I'm in the mood.

Maybe it's because I can vividly remember the loser boozer that I was.. always drinking wine and avoiding emotion and numbing myself constantly .. so for me to come from that place to where I am now is pretty damn cool (I think).

But don't think I'm a bloody saint. I got really really really grouchy at my boys yesterday for being boys and bickering and moaning and whining and I lost it and yelled a lot which wasn't cool. I calmed down and we had a nice afternoon and this morning we have had a 'meeting' about rules and screen time and stuff.. so I'm not beating myself up too much for losing it like I did, it's part of being a mother of three boys and also a sober person I figure.

And I'd rather be sober and raw and lose it sometimes than boozing and numb and detached..

Also have been reaching for the sugar again which is annoying. The Whole30 programme did such great things for my body and mind and diet. Since I've been off it I've hardly eaten any wheat or dairy or sugar.. I mean I do eat it but in much smaller amounts than before. Loads more meat and vege and fruit.

But then Halloween came along and heaps of candy entered our house and went down my throat. Must. Stop. That.

Got a voucher for a facial for my birthday and had it done on Friday afternoon. Talk about lush! An hour on a warm bed with lovely lotions and potions being administered to my face. Bliss. Before the treatment I had to fill out a long form about my skincare habits and lifestyle. Question: How many alcoholic drinks do you consume in a week? Answer: None!

Can you imagine how ridiculously happy I was at being able to give that answer!!  Small pleasures....

Love, Mrs D xxx