Sunday, December 28, 2014

A sober Christmas in photos..

Ever since I joined Instagram I've been thinking more about images I can use to promote recovery and illustrate my sober life. Instagram (features big photos with captions as long as you like) offers a slightly different outlet to this blog (words mostly), Living Sober (loads of words and interactions), Facebook (some pictures and words and links) and Twitter (links mostly, short words and some photos). Each online outlet has a slightly different personality in my mind.

I'm a social media slut for sure - but I don't care! I love being sober and I love sharing about my sober lifestyle. It's fun, it helps keeps me off the sauce and hopefully helps some other folks too.

Anyway, this past week ended up being very much about photos for me - I kept looking for images that I could use to illustrate my third sober Christmas.

I found myself snapping a photo at my Mum's house one evening last week and sharing it on Instagram with the caption: "The best chamomile tea in the world, candlelight, toffee biscuits AND Christmas cake!! Who needs wine? #notme #sobriety #recovery".

A couple of my sisters commented online that this teapot of mums was the 'best in the land'. That was fun (we only communicate via social media in our family ha ha). They're right - it is a magnificent teapot that pours brilliantly, for sure.

Then at my sister-in-law's house a couple of days later I spied a bottle of wine in a ridiculous 'costume' that had been gifted to her by a client - couldn't resist snapping a pic of it and sharing it with the caption: "Devil in disguise?! #sobriety #recovery"

I mean, honestly……

The next day I spent an obscene amount of money on limes and ginger because I'd decided I wanted to take full control of my liquids and was sick of sugary sodas. Another photo opportunity for Instagram! This one captioned: "Got my drinks organized for Christmas! $25 worth of limes. Bloody expensive but only a fraction of what I'd have spent on booze in the past. Squeeze half a lime into a glass of soda water, add a few slices of peeled fresh ginger and ice cubes - sorted! #refreshing"

Then I made the drink and shared a photo of that on Twitter (told you I was a social media slut).

Got loads of favorites and comments including one from my friend JJW (he writes awesome posts like this and this on Living Sober) which said "LIMES! You high roller". Yes Jackson, you are right, they were bloody expensive and I am a high roller.

At this point I was private messaged a photo on Twitter of one of our Living Sober members smiling broadly and holding out a glass containing a creamy mocktail. The message read "Having fun trying different drinks! Yay! #soberchristmas". Honestly the sight of her smiling face made me cry. I wish I could share it here but won't to protect her privacy, but imagine a very happy, healthy, proud looking lady holding a glass with a straw sticking out of it in one hand and a bowl of cherries in the other.  This image made my day, no doubt about it.

Christmas Morning I decided to prep my drink ingredients to take around all the houses we were going to that day. Of course I had to take another picture to share (are we over-sharing here? Don't care, don't care!).

And look what a Twitter friend who goes by the handle @OhioSQ tweeted me back!!!

Ha ha, brilliant!!!!!!!! This made me so happy!!!!!! She's rocking the lime, soda, ginger combo too! See how great the online recovery community is? We all share, share, share and in doing so we feel connected and secure in our sober lifestyles. What's not to love…..

My online interactions through Christmas were going on left, right and centre. Living Sober was buzzing with people forging ahead with a non-drinking Christmas, the Members Feed there was full of grit, love, wisdom & support. (It bloody works that site. If you're not in there go join right now. It's free and you can be anonymous. You have to register to get into the Members Feed and that's where the amazing real-time support goes on.) Facebook - where I'd also shared a photo of my limes and ginger plus my Sober First Aid Kit - had a nice supportive feel to it with a few likes, comments and private messages coming in. Sober folks on Instagram were sharing pics that I was liking and commenting on and Twitter conversations were taking place. I'm sure all my relatives think I'm crazily addicted to the internet, truth is I was on-and-off the iPad a lot, but I still felt very connected to what is going on in the 'real world' and I think they appreciate how important my online world is to my recovery.

Last two pictures of the day - the bottle opener I won in my Christmas Cracker "#notveryuseful" ….

And finally me wearing reindeer horn hair-clips, eyes swollen from days of crying over losing a loved one, but smiling and happy. The caption read: "Feeling the Christmas love. Love my family. Love my friends. Love getting loads of scented candles! And most of all LOVE MY SOBRIETY!!!!"

Yes indeed. Hope everyone had a lovely sober Christmas. And if you didn't quite manage it this year, don't despair. Keep trying and you will get there eventually. You must - sobriety rocks. Really it does.

Love, Mrs D xxxx

Monday, December 22, 2014

A sober funeral...

Tears, lots of tears. A small gathering in the garden. The shining sun. And this from the New Zealand poet A.R.D Fairburn.


What is there left to be said?
There is nothing we can say,
nothing at all to be done
to undo the time of day;
no words to make the sun
roll east, or raise the dead.

I loved you as I love life:
the hand I stretched out to you
returning like Noah's dove
brought a new earth to view,
till I was quick with love;
but Time sharpens his knife,

Time smiles and whets his knife,
and something has got to come out
quickly, and be buried deep,
not spoken or thought about
or remembered even in sleep.
You must live, get on with your life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winds of change….

So that was really interesting.. lots of lovely comments on my last post about dealing with death and many of the lovely commenters shared that they'd lost a loved one and everyone thought they were being so strong but the reality is that they were boozing their way through their grief and not feeling like they were coping at all…

This: "People used to think I was so strong but in reality I was dulling everything with alcohol."

And this: "Every one praised me for how strong I was but in reality I was just a coward and tried to escape the raw feelings."

And this: "Like others I simply drank my way through my grief originally and was praised for being strong when I was anything but." 

We all probably look at people who seem to be "holding it together" and think they are doing well, and look at people who are "falling apart" and think they are doing it hard… but the truth is we just don't know how people are doing really. 

My lovely friend Sue said the other morning that she thinks sitting somewhere in the middle of "utterly devastated" and "coping marvelously" is probably the natural way to deal with grief. Sometimes crying and deeply sad, other times feeling calm and at peace with the loss. 

But who fucking know what is the 'best' way to deal with grief. Is there a best way? Is anyone judging? Is there a grief competition that we are all taking part in at one time or another?

No. We each deal with it how we deal with it. 

I choose to deal with it raw. 

My beloved step-father just died about one hour ago. He was a kind, generous, warm, giving, unassuming, lovely man who had been in my life for 22 years. 

An hour ago I was sobbing and went through fifty tissues. Now I'm calm and typing on the computer. Tomorrow I get on a plane to be with my family.

Sorry this is not very Christmassy but this is life and I am feeling the winds of change.

And by the way. I am so fucking glad that I am sober.

Love, Mrs D xxx 

Friday, December 12, 2014

How do YOU deal with death?

Because we are about to lose a dearly loved one (I know I said I was going to keep some of my life private but I can't pretend this isn't happening) I've become a compulsive researcher into how people deal with grief.

This is how I roll.. when I come up against something I research, research, research. My work has been all about researching (journalism & documentary researching), my studies have been all about researching (popular culture & media ethics), giving up booze for me was all about researching (how does one become a non-drinker?), when I first got sober I researched like crazy (how do people deal with emotions?) and now this.

I went onto YouTube the other night and typed in "How do you deal with death". Watched some great clips. This one was cutely animated and reassuringly told me "You can expect grieving to be rough." Also loved the way they illustrated the word 'grief' as a roller coaster and said of grief "there are peaks and dips and they don't always happen in predictable ways".

This man I loved - he was so reassuring about the process of death, he's studied near-death experiences and has undertaken major research talking to numerous hospice and palliative care workers etc to examine what happens for people when they die. His talk was fascinating and made me feel a lot calmer about the process.

There are sooooooo many Ted talks on dying and grieving and mourning etc.

And of course I've been listening to my beloved Tara. This talk and this talk are both great.

So where have I ended up?

Sometimes I feel very calm and at peace and accepting of what's going on.

Other times I feel deeply, heart-breakingly, devastatingly, gut-wrenchingly sad.

I think it's definitely what you could call a roller coaster.

Do I want to escape this feeling? Well… I'd rather my loved one wasn't dying, for sure. But they are and they will.

Do I want to numb the pain with booze? No fucking way. I am however eating as much as is humanly possible every day. It's like I can't possibly be full enough. So I know that I am hurting emotionally and I'm not dealing with that 100%. It's so dumb. But then again… emotional pain sucks.

I'll try harder not to eat so much from now on. Maybe confessing it here on my blog will help me with that.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Today in the Members Feed at Living Sober one of our most treasured members who posts all the time has been sharing that she's been in bed crying all day and this is not like her AT ALL. She wrote "I want to be strong and I know this will just be a passing thing, but it just isn't like me to be lying in bed sobbing my silly wee heart out."

I just logged in to Twitter and the top tweet in my feed says "Let your tears come. Let them water your soul."

Today my tears are quick to come, they're popping out and then going back again, popping out and going back. We are about to lose a dearly loved one and it hurts, it's hard.

I never used to cry much when I was boozing. And I always say that I cry more now I'm sober. I said that to Mr D the other day and he said "yes you did" (cry when I was boozing) which kind of took the sober wind out of my sails. But he is right - of course I did cry when I was boozing - but the crying I do now I'm sober feels different. It feels more authentic and proper somehow. Gentler, sadder, more uncomfortable. He can't possibly know that.

I was talking to a friend the other day about something big and bad that happened to me 20+ years ago and I suddenly burst out sobbing when I was talking to her. Sobbing. This thing happened 20+ years ago! But I couldn't hold in the gulping tears. They came from way deep down. It was unexpected, weird, and uncomfortable. But since that day I've felt somehow better about that thing that happened all those years ago. Like just expressing the deep sadness with tears was enough to shift it inside of me a little. How amazing that letting those tears out did that.

Earlier today I replied to the Living Sober member mentioned above "These tears are important…let them come… feel the deep awful just fucking uncomfortable sadness and pain… feel it… I promise when you look back at this day and all the emotion that you let flow you will feel more at peace with it. Your feelings are real and there for a reason.. so feel them and let the tears flow."

Like I'm some goddam guru of life - I'm not! But I'm speaking to her based on my experience. I've discovered that crying, when coupled with feeling my emotions in a raw state, is very cathartic and powerful. I don't know why. Maybe the tweeter above is right, maybe our tears are watering our souls. That sounds kind of a bit kooky. Another way to put it might be "Let your tears come. Let them fall freely so that you may free yourself". Also a bit new-agey and kooky. What about "Let your tears come. It's how we are built to live". Hhhmmm, not sure I've nailed a snappy line about why tears are powerful. What about this…

"Let your tears come. They are fucking amazing."

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What's not to love…?

What's not to love about being sober?

You feel strong, clear, in control.

You feel connected, alive, aware.

You feel brave, daring and tenderly vulnerable.

You have fun enjoying authentically fun and enjoyable things.

You work on proper techniques to deal with big painful things - and they work. so. much. better. than. boozing. ever. did.

You work on slowing down and accepting the mundane, gentle, plodding pace of life, and it's so calming and lovely.

You stand proudly aware of the obstacle you have overcome and can see in other people's eyes they're impressed too.

You've fought addiction and won, making you open and tender towards others still battling their way.

You appreciate that life is in the little things, in the simple moments, in the ordinary beauty.

You feel so grateful to have left behind a life of guilt and sickness and bullshit.

You feel delightfully immune to the lies we are fed by alcohol marketers and society in general - that alcohol is a positive, harmless addition to a person's life. Yeah right.

You feel free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do anyway.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Riding the waves of life!

I'm following some of my own advice for the silly season. Leaving functions early, choosing not to go to some at all. I'm definitely putting together a Sober First Aid Kit for our 3-night trip away over Christmas Eve/Day/Boxing Day, and I will be continuing to work my own programme of recovery right throughout the summer holidays. 

For me that means keeping my thoughts in the moment, listening to lots of Tara Brach, communicating with other sober people in the Members Feed at Living Sober, writing posts there and here in my original 'warm bath' blog, being active on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (for goodness sakes I'm spread across the internet like butter !)….. and most importantly staying lovingly connected with all the beautiful real, live, flesh-and-blood people in my life. 

To do that I work hard to keep the house tidy and organized, wash, dry & fold at least one load of washing every day, make 3 meals each day and endless snacks in between, read stories, test spelling words, drive to swimming lessons and football games and Cubs meetings and birthday parties and school assemblies and drama classes, answer questions, explain things, listen and commiserate and share and advise and laugh along with funny (and not so funny but trying hard to be funny) stories. 

Basically my life is a very ordinary housewifey life with a bit of amazing connectedness going on through the internet. It's ordinary but for one glorious fact. I never touch alcohol ever.

I got lots of kind messages from people after my last post when I was quite annoyingly cryptic about things that are going on for me. It was very lovely (friends who I didn't know still read my blog because they never say anything to me about it were emailing and texting to see if I was ok!) and online 'friends' also reached out. Very lovely, thanks everyone. 

I don't know what else I can do other than be cryptic because I don't want to share all the details of my life but at the same time I can't regularly blog about my sober life and pretend things are peachy all the time and not tell the truth. So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place - wanting to share and be honest, but also wanting to maintain some privacy. It's ok really, the only casualty is readers who might wonder what the hell is going on.

Life!!! Life is going on. Life in all it's fantastic, messy, painful, crazy, up-and-down glory. It's ok. I'm ok. I'm better than ok. I am gloriously connected in a real, raw & calm way with all that is swirling around me. I am riding wave baby, and I'm not going to drown.

Not sure that metaphor makes sense but hopefully you get my drift!

Bye for now….

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Repeating myself...

Because I have come out from behind the lovely protective cloak of anonymity and most people around me know that I blog I'm far less inclined now to give details of what is going on in my life.

I'm not complaining, I chose to release a memoir about my drinking problem and then cry on prime time TV talking about it .. so I've no-one to blame but myself!

I continue to share regularly here on this blog and at Living Sober because I want to help others get free from the evil clutches of booze.. but I also want to maintain some privacy about my life.

So I can't (won't) share the details of a few big things that are going on for me… some things that have been occurring for me … some mistakes that I've made and some big shit that is going down.

But let me just say this.

Shit goes down.

It's hard sometimes. It hurts. It's uncomfortable. It's not nice. I'd rather not make mistakes, or have to feel emotional pain.

Or would I? Would I really rather sail through life with no trials and tribulations? Can anyone do that?

How can I love wholeheartedly and be open not feel pain sometimes? People get sick and die. People can be hurtful. That happens.

How can I be brave and open and avoid making mistakes sometimes? Without mistakes I wouldn't learn.

I want to stay open. I don't want to close up. I don't want to go into 'fright and flight' mode (to quote Tara Brach) and live in that scared miserable place. I want to be open and alive to all that comes. Even the hard stuff.

And that is why I choose to be sober, and to cry and to feel all the time and to never escape.

I didn't know that was what I was choosing when I decided to remove alcohol from my life 1170 days ago. But boy am I happy that this was the end result of my big decision.

I love being sober. Have I mentioned that before?

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, November 10, 2014

A post about exercise...

I just did a 44 minute walk around my neighborhood and I know that might not sound like a big deal but trust me, it is a big deal because it is the first official 'exercise' (of a structured nature i.e. I am walking for no other purpose than to get exercise) I have done in at least six months.

Have definitely let the exercise hole in my life get bigger and bigger and … yeah… haven't been doing any basically.

So today was a BIG day .. I got the boys off to school and then I parked my car by the library and got my iPhone out and opened up the new 'Map My Walk' app I downloaded on the weekend, and set it to start and then I put my iPhone in a little bag I was wearing over my shoulder and put my headphones on (connected to the phone of course) and hit play on my cheesy pop music playlist and then I WENT WALKING!!!!!

Honestly, you would have thought I'd run a marathon the elation I felt when I got back to my car 44 minutes later. It was AWESOME!!!!! I got super-hot halfway through because I was wearing a dress (!) with thick black tights underneath (!!) and it's coming into summer here and today is a scorcher.. so I had to stop at a bus-stop halfway and quickly take my tights off and tuck them in my little bag so that I wouldn't be so hot.

I think next time I'll dress a little more appropriately.

But I'd forgotten how true it is that exercise makes you feel soooo much better!!! More 'in your body' and alive and fresh and functional (as opposed to dysfunctional, my biggest hate as it reminds me of when I was boozing and feeling so dreadfully dysfunctional). I have known for a good few weeks now that I needed to get back on the exercise horse, I cancelled my gym membership before my book came out and haven't been doing anything since then other than the general running-around-the-neighbourhood that I do.

I have also started recording a show on the Living Channel called 'Yoga TV' every morning and have actually got on the floor in my living room and followed along with the 25-minute class a few times. Am going to try and do that regularly as well as keep up with the walks.

And I've decided I'm going to stop weighing myself. I'm eating well, very little sugar & wheat, and am sick of the scales dictating how I feel every day. So they can piss off.

That is all for now.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Totes Amazeballs!!!!!!

I've got that familiar feeling of life ebbing and flowing and I'm really appreciating experiencing all of it all the time raw … living sober is soooooo utterly fantastic.

Shit happens, I get through it, an easy patch happens, I slide through it, some more shit happens, I get through it, sleep is bad, I deal with it, sleep gets good again, I love it, shit happens, I get through it, things go smoothly for a while, I love it….. this is sober life.

And I always know what's going on. I don't get confused. I'm alert to things because my brain is never blurred. It's still gob-smacking to me the impact my habitual boozing had on my overall experience of life. Because I was high-functioning you wouldn't necessarily think the regular brain-bending was impacting me so greatly. But it was!

Taking the booze away has had a profound impact on my overall experience of life.

It's so freaking amazing. It's TOTES AMAZEBALLS!!!!!!!!!! A newspaper in NZ had that saying on their 'Going Down' list on the weekend.. meaning it's not cool at all and shouldn't be used. Dumb judgmental too-cool-for-school newspaper journalists being snippy about sayings that aren't hurting anyone. Totes Amazeballs!!!!! I'm not too cool for school! If I want to say 'Totes Amazeballs' instead of 'Totally Amazing' then I will!!!!! In caps no less with far too many exclamation marks!!


The biggest thing is the calming down. When I was boozing I was always reaching, reacting or moving somehow to do something to cope (usually in the direction of a wine or 3..). It was kind of frantic head-whipping way of living.

Quick I feel pain - do something!! (something that takes me away from the feeling i.e. drink)

Quick I feel sad - do something!!  (something that takes me away from the feeling i.e. drink)

Quick I feel angry - do something!!  (something that takes me away from the feeling i.e. drink)

And it worked the other way too...

Quick I feel happy - do something! (something that 'enhances' the feeling i.e. drink)

Quick I feel celebratory - do something! (something that 'enhances' the feeling i.e. drink)

Quick I feel proud - do something! (something that 'enhances' the feeling i.e. drink)

Alcohol doesn't 'take away' or 'enhance'. It numbs.

Now I don't drink I'm never numb to these feelings. I fully experience them. With the tough ones I get a sort of weary (calm) resignation that there is nothing that can be done, so I trudge through the pain/sadness/anger knowing that it will pass by. And it always does. And with the good ones - happiness/celebration/pride - I feel them so much more! My happiness is pure, my pride is real, my celebrations are amazing, it's cool!

Drinking away the bad also meant drinking away the good. And you can't do that. You can't selectively numb emotion.

Brene Brown is big on this.. she says "To fully experience positive emotions, we have to be open to our negative emotions. We have to resist the urge to numb ourselves and cultivate the ability to be vulnerable without feeling compelled to protect ourselves. We have to develop a sense of comfort with our discomfort."

I think that's what getting sober has done for me. It's led me to develop a sense of comfort with my discomfort.

Hallelujah. I'm telling you… it's totes amazeballs, and I am deeply profoundly grateful to be living this way now.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My friend Sue...

I had lunch with my lovely friend Sue yesterday (she who was on the Sunday programme with me, and writes guest posts and contributes 'Drink of the Week' ideas for Living Sober) .. it was her second soberversary - yay! - and we had a fantastic nearly two hours together chatting away. I had the waitress take a photo of us at the end just because I feel so fortunate to have her in my life.

I was looking at this photo last night and got worried that I was squashing Sue rather too tightly (look at my hands clasped together against her arm!) but then I thought no loving hug can be too tight can it?

Sue has said to me before, and I think that she's right, if we'd met when we were both still drinking we probably wouldn't have hit it off quite like we have now that we're both sober. I'm sort-of social and verbal and she's quite reserved and gentle.. and when we were drinking we became more extreme versions of ourselves and therefore further apart from each other. Funnily enough getting sober has moved our personalities closer together. I am definitely more gentle and reflective now than I ever was when boozing, and she has just blossomed in herself without wine in the way. I hope she doesn't mind me summarizing her this way…! Of course we are both very complicated creatures and this paragraph can't do justice to our personalities or what has transpired for each of us since we got sober but hopefully you get the gist.

The gist = Sue rocks.

At lunch we talked about how crazy it feels to have had our eyes opened to alcohol now that we've had to work hard to remove it and re-train our brains to accept life without it. It seems incredible to us now looking around at how deeply so many people are hard-wired to believe all of the fallacies that booze offers.

That it's the best way to relax (it's not, relaxing is about quietening your brain and dropping your shoulders and feeling calm and happy and not stressed or wound up or busy).

That it's the best way to enjoy a party (it's not, enjoying a party is when you feel genuinely happy with the company, your outfit, your mood, the music, the environment, the decorations, the chats & jokes etc).

That it's the best way to bond with a friend (it's not, bonding with friends is when you are listening and sharing and giving and connecting and loving and caring).

That it's the best way to be a good host (it's not, being a good host is about making your guests feel welcome and warm and comfortable and happy to be in your space, chatting to and sharing time, food & music etc with you).

That it's the best way to deal with stress (it's not, the best way to deal with stress is by thinking clearly through what is making you stressed, taking steps to reduce or manage that stress in a proper, productive, tangible, real ways).

Why does a brain-bending liquid get all the power? Because we give it the power. We're hard-wired to believe it has the power. Marketing and advertising tells us it has the power.

Well guess what? It doesn't. Booze doesn't have the power to do any of what it promises or offers. We have the power. We hold the power in all of us.

That's what me and Sue reckon anyway.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Home again home again jiggity-jig...

Mini-tour went well!!!! I loved it actually. I was knackered at the end of it but not lie-me-down-for-a-month knackered.. just quietly worn out from 4 days of chatting and interacting with lovely people.

Worn out but happy, and very full of warmth and satisfaction after having met a bunch of brave sober people working hard to turn their lives around… and also a bunch of hard-working caring people trying hard to improve our drinking culture (all the organizers.. public health workers and the like….)

The turnout was good.. one event in particular was quite a big crowd (70ish).. the other three were smaller but that made them intimate and chatty and warm which I enjoyed. I think maybe the organizers were disappointed in the turnout (not disappointed in me, just sad that more people didn't come to hear me talk) but I wasn't surprised to be honest. A big chunk of my presentation is about how great online recovery is because of it's safe/private nature (you can tap into it from home from behind the safety of your computer, you can hide your real identity and no-one judges you for it and you can still make real, strong, tangible connections.. etc etc) so really coming out of your home and into a community hall to hear someone speak flies in the face of all of that. It's scary, so I wasn't surprised.

And I was really proud of myself that I ate well throughout the four days and drank lots of water and slept pretty good and kept myself 'in the moment', and remembered to appreciate the beautiful scenery that Central Otago has to offer.

I don't know what it is about me but I don't get nervous before I talk. I just stand there listening to the person introducing me and think calmly about what I'm about to say. I'd practiced my presentation a bunch of times beforehand - it was an hour long with about 20 slides in a powerpoint presentation;  photos of me at 15 when I started drinking, photos of me drunk later on, photos of me at 39 the high-functioning boozer "classic example of the outsides not matching the insides", a few one-word slides when I talk about specific techniques I used when re-training my brain out of a lifetime of boozing, screen shots from my blog and Living Sober, photos of me crying on the TV, my book cover etc etc….. I just tell the story.

I actually cried on two of the evenings when reliving my last drinking days. I did not expect that to happen. It was intense, but ok. It's real. I can't hide the depth of feeling that comes with getting sober.

And always I'd imagine my one person that I do all of this for. The imaginary figure that I have created in my mind, a woman in shadow looking scared and miserable, trapped in a boozy hell, whispering to me "don't stop, don't stop".. it's her I'm doing all of this for and I don't care what anyone else thinks of me.

I got an email yesterday from someone that came to my last talk. It read "Thank you so much for being so open and honest with your sobriety. Today is my first day of not drinking in over 15 years. Wish me luck."

That makes the whole trip worthwhile in my book.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, October 20, 2014

Road trip!

Feeling great! Fun pop songs keep coming on the car radio and I'm turning them up and getting hit with happy endorphins. I'm buzzing.. my energy has lifted right up in advance of this wee 'speaking tour' that I'm going on.

I feel a bit dumb calling it that.. but not sure what else to call it.. I've got a busy itinerary for the next 4 days where I fly down south, get picked up by one of the organizers, taken to meet some people at a bar (yes! a bar! sober people go to bars!), then to the venue to check that the projector etc is working, then out for a meal with some of the organizers, then back to the venue to speak and tell my drinking and recovery story to whoever shows up, drive to a nearby location to stay with a friend for the night, get picked up in the morning and driven to another town, out for dinner with more organizers, then to the evening event to present my drinking & recovery story again, home to stay with an old family friend, get picked up and driven to another town (I'm not sure of all these drive times? Some 30 minutes some more than an hour?), do an afternoon event telling a slightly shorter version of my drinking and recovery story to whoever turns up, rest at the motel, do an evening event telling my drinking and recovery story to whoever shows up, back to a motel to sleep, get picked up and driven to the airport early in the morning, fly home.


Can't wait. I'm sure I'll be nervous whenever I first stand up to speak but I really just want to breath deeply and take the opportunity to honestly and openly tell my story. I want to stand up as being proud of my recovery and explain how I experience life differently now that I've taken the alcohol away. And I want to talk about what's happened to my 'professional' life with this blog, the book and now our fabulous new community website Living Sober (which is an amazing, powerful and transformative space btw) so that more people get dragged into the online recovery community.

I just drove to the waterfront and got a takeaway decaff flat white (coz that's how I roll nowadays) and listened to a Tara Brach podcast to try centre myself somewhat. I want to try to balance this 'up' energy that I need to have to get through all of this busy-ness..with a calmness inside of myself. I want to remember very clearly why I do all of this… it's not to show off or for glory.. it's so that people who might right now be stuck in a boozy nightmare can see that there is a way out.

If one person imagines they too might be able to get sober after hearing me speak over the next 4 days then all my effort will be worth it!

And I'm very looking forward to coming home on Friday and spending the weekend lying around in my onesie. That will be nice.

Wish me luck!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The funk has started to lift...

I have to be honest though… it's taken a while. I kept trying to 'think' myself positive but I was just really stuck in this grumpy low place. It wasn't fun, but at the same time it was interesting.

Me being me tried desperately to come up with a reason WHY I was feeling like this.. managed quite a few reasons…..

* 2-week school holiday with me full time caring for our three boys who are gorgeous but full on (didn't organise enough playdates/holiday programme stuff. Note to self: Do this next time)

* For the first time trying to juggle full time care with the new website job = stressful (kept getting mad when I would try grab a quick moment to post up a new drink or spend some time interacting in the Members Feed or reply to an email etc and the boys would be coming at me with complaints or requests or whatever it is little boys need every second of every minute of every day…! Not their fault…but gggrrrrr)

* Coffee? (why do I drink it I'm now asking myself? Why? If it's for the lift then that's dumb and I should wean myself off that so I don't 'need' a coffee lift. If it's for the ritual - which I think it mostly is I love my 2x a day hot coffee fix feels like a special treat for me - then why not replace it with something else? So I've switched to decaf).

* Food/weight? (Still over 2kg heavier than before our hell month of September with Mr D away for work the whole time. Not happy with that .. but have completely cut out bad sugar and most wheat for the past 2+ weeks and have been on a crazy food mission loads of green juices, healthy muesli etc. No movement in the scales yet though. Might have to look at quantities next, sigh….)

* Upcoming events (Flying down to Central Otago next week to speak at 4 public events, me the invited speaker telling my story to a crowd 4 times in 4 different places .. power point presentation and all! I'm really looking forward to it, not that nervous but obviously it's going to take a lot of energy. That being said it is also going to take me out of my normal routine for 4 days and that's a good thing…!)

Anyway.. nothing insurmountable.. just the normal life of a busy person.. we all juggle 5 things at once, right? And we all cope in different ways. Sometimes funks just happen. Shit happens.

Everyone's shit is relative. But the bottom line is we all have busy brains and we all have loads of different personalities around us and we all have jobs or responsibilities or duties or requirements and we all have bodies that need looking after.

It's life!!!!! This is life. And this is my life. Here it is I am writing my life out in a blog because over 3 years ago I gave up booze and started writing about it. My life still goes on.. but at least despite any other concerns and my trial-and-error methods of dealing with things… I NEVER TOUCH ANY ALCOHOL EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bye for now…

Love, Mrs D xxxx

Friday, October 10, 2014

In a bit of a funk...

So yesterday I found myself trying to convince myself that it would be ok to get stoned.. because, like, you know.. marijuana isn't alcohol dudes….

Mmmm it was a lovely thought. I could have a wee toot on a pipe and put my sunglasses on so no-one could see my eyes and I could be locked in a wee bubble in my head.. a private stoned place where I could feel strangely removed from everything going on around me..

"What fun" my brain told me.

"Interesting" my brain responded. "Interesting that you are hankering after this feeling of being 'removed'". At that moment an attractive part of the mental image was definitely having the sunglasses on and kind of being in a private, removed place.

'What's going on?" my brain asked my brain (because that's the kind of twisted place my brain is in, where thoughts kind of do a Mexican stand-off and talk to each other).. "I don't know" my brain responded. "Maybe I'm just sick of being so goddam raw all the goodam time."

Raw and raw and sober and raw and here I am sober and raw all the fucking time.

Like other  people can have alcohol sometimes and sugar because they can MODERATE and they're not a freaky GIVE-ME-LOADS! person like I am when it comes to those substances.

Last night I had HARD-OUT sugar cravings and I'm having them again right now. I am really hankering for some sugar. Something hard core like a handful of lollies or 10 marshmallows.

So what is going on? I'm feeling vulnerable that's for sure. A bit needy where normally I'm not. Kind of 'itchy' and uncomfortable… feeling the need for something….. pot/candy/not wine no fucking way.

Just in a bit of a funk I suppose. It happens I suppose. Moods. Life. Pesky emotions.

But I am not going to get stoned, nor am I going to eat some hard-core sugar dressed up like fun, and certainly I'm not going to put any poisonous alcohol in my body. I am going to make myself a cup of tea and go gently with myself (this is so funny because this is what I say to all the newbies at Living Sober all the time) and I'm going to go to bed and wake up in the morning and hopefully by then I'll feel better.

Because this is uncomfortable emotion and it will pass. Time alone will heal it.. I do not need to reach for a substance to 'help' me 'deal' with this. I just have to be kind to myself, go gently and go to bed.

Night night.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My online time...

I just wrote an update in the 'Members Feed' (our rolling communication space) at Living Sober alerting members to the new 'Drink of the Week' recipe that I'd put up. It was for Mexican Limeade, yum yum!

Someone replied and said "Hi, missing your regular blogs on Mrs D Is Going Without.. you don't blog as often as you used to."

Dammit. Sprung. Was hoping that no-one had noticed!

So yeah.. before Living Sober launched I was writing on here twice a week - regular updates on my sober lifestyle and the ups and downs that came along. The ideas for the posts would come to me pretty easily and I'll type them out in just 15 minutes or so.

Then Living Sober launched and I got super-busy over there. I now write twice-weekly posts on my blog page there, create & photograph a fancy new drink each week, constantly monitor all the member activity to ensure people are staying kind, supportive and encouraging (which they are), and blitz spammers to cyber-hell.

It's a on-going job for me now and one that never ends because our 1000+ members are busy in there  continually posting updates and interacting with each other.

Luckily I love it.

I love watching all the grit, determination, and loveliness that goes on in the 'Members Feed'. I love all the fantastic suggestions that are are being left in the Sober Toolbox, I enjoy replying to all the comments that are left on my blog posts, and I love being able to use the site to keep working my own personal programme of recovery (which is largely based around online support).

But sadly all of this time and love that I am pouring into Living Sober means it's harder for me to pop out twice-weekly posts here on my original blog. I'm finding it more difficult to come up with ideas for here because I'm putting most of my thoughts and feelings into posts and interactions at Living Sober.

This is NOT a goodbye post to my lovely original blog (my 'warm bath' as I like to think of it). This is just an explanation why I'm not posting so regularly over here. I'll keep it up.. but it's going to be sporadic. That's just the reality for me now.. my 'online time' has shifted and changed.

But I would encourage you to regularly visit the 'Mrs D's Blog Page' over at Living Sober. It's at the front of the site and you don't need to be a member to read it and comment. If the 'social network' vibe of the site isn't for you (and you don't want to regularly interact on the Members Feed) that's cool.. but at least you can still read my regular ramblings on my blog page there.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, September 22, 2014

Report card on the last month...

Made it through the hell month - yay! Mr D flies home today - double yay! I'm really exhausted but happy.

I'll give myself an A for effort and general parenting skills (the odd super-grouchy outburst but overall pretty ok on the dealing-with-little-boys-front)…

An A- for overall mental health.. have kept myself feeling generally positive and good, busy and focused.. at times of stress or sadness or whatever (that emotional malarkey that comes with being a fully alert i.e. sober human being) I've managed my way through ok..

And on the not-drinking score I get an A++++++++++!!!!! I never crave booze, I never have mournful thoughts about what I'm missing out on, I never regret being sober or worry about the rest of my life having no alcohol in it. So BIG UPS to me that I am nailing this living sober thing - YES!

However on the other lifestyle / personal care factors I'm afraid I get a D.

Have gained 2 1/2 kg. Am in a black hole of piggy-dom. Sometimes I just eat toast for lunch. Just 2-3 pieces of toast covered with butter. Thoughts of making a green juice might flicker through my mind and then I just reach for the toast. Chocolate buttons have regularly been finding their way down my throat at night. Any excuse for chips and dip is fine by me. Sometimes in the afternoon I'll just eat 10 rice crackers - buttered. Yes you read that right. I put butter on rice crackers.

It's not been pretty. On the diet front I am seriously struggling. And exercise…. what exercise..? There is none. Other than running up and down to the car and in-and-out of kindy/school/the supermarket/various houses & shops etc I am doing nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I may have nailed the biggest nasty of all - booze. But I'm no saintly angel gliding around with my lithe body, toned arms, ripped abs and washboard stomach. Shit no. Ha ha far from it. I'm definitely still a work in progress.

I get pissed off because I have a low-grade guilt about my diet (especially sugar) which is very reminiscent of the guilt I carried for so long with my boozing. It's not helped by my Facebook feed being full of 'I Quit Sugar'! recipes and photos of happy smiling slim sugar-free people. And so many bloody newspaper features and magazine articles about sugar and wheat and diet and general terrible-ness we do to our bodies …

It's enough to drive a girl to butter her rice crackers, I'm telling you.

Progress not perfection. Baby steps in the right direction. Go easy on myself.

I've got through this month.. I'm going to give myself a break and feel affectionate toward my extra kg that they helped me get through without killing the children .. and right now I'm going to go make myself a green juice.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, September 15, 2014

My amateurish emotional management techniques...

I had this kind of low-grade hum of nerves (anxiety?) in my belly & chest this past weekend. I could feel it there… and I kept trying to pause and figure out what it was about.

- Mr D being away and me being on my own and solely responsible for the house & boys?

- Having a bit of work on - needing to write an article for the HPA's AlcoholNZ publication and needing to work up my presentation for these speaking events in October?

- The ongoing responsibility of monitoring Living Sober, making sure interactions are kept friendly, spammers are banished to cyber-hell and technical queries are answered?

Probably all of the above. I couldn't think of anything else specifically that I had to be worried about..

Or this just what being a raw (sober) human being with a busy brain entails..? Thinking, thinking, thinking all the time.. planning, executing, interacting, worrying, general rushing-around madness?

I just wrote a post over at Living Sober about the amount of naval gazing I do nowadays and how it helps. It really does. Even though some of the techniques I have developed from all my research are quite half-cocked and amateurish (I'm sure) - at least I'm trying.

So what do I do? Well for this low-grade hum of nerves (or anxiety?) in my body this weekend … three times I literally paused what I was doing and closed my eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. Once when I was standing in the middle of the kitchen, once when I was sitting on my bed and once when I was in the bathroom. I just paused, closed my eyes and took a deep breath, looked inward and thought 'what's going on in there..?'. Kind of tried to think it through and reassure myself with positive thoughts that everything was ok, I was doing fine, there was no immediate danger and this was just normal life.

Told you my techniques are sort of half-coked and amateurish…!

But it seemed to work somewhat. I think partly what is helpful is just pausing and recognizing how I'm feeling. Acknowledging it .. recognizing it.. accepting it.

And in the end I got through just fine.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Soberversary breakfast..

I've got the most gorgeous photo of my sons approaching the bedroom on Saturday morning with my soberversary breakfast. Son #1 was holding a tray with my card on it (I shared the picture they drew on  Facebook) and a bagel that had been warmed in the toaster then covered with cream cheese. Son #2 was holding a mug of tea in one hand (made with lukewarm water, I don't think they waited for the jug to actually boil) and a glass of orange juice in the other hand. And son #3 was holding a new cookbook for me behind his back.

It was all organized by Mr D before he went away for the weekend and executed by the boys themselves. It was so cute!! I'd been under strict instructions not to get out of bed .. so I'd been lying there in the half dark listening to them get it sorted .. and thankfully thought to grab my phone and snap a photo as they approached the door. I've got it set as my wallpaper now. I love it. They all look so excited and cute.

Taking a soberversary breakfast to their mum.

What does this mean for their lives? They know that mum going 3 years without alcohol is something big and fun to celebrate. Obviously they don't fully understand alcohol and addiction .. but they know there is an element of danger attached to booze, and they seem to have a strange deep knowledge that mum is doing something big by not drinking any more. I don't know how exactly this translates in their minds but I know they are really proud of me. I can see it in their faces. They understand just enough to know it's a big deal.

It is a big deal.

I love that my boys are growing up with the full facts about booze - that it can be fun and enjoyable but it has a dark side. I love that they know alcohol can affect people differently - that they have a mum who doesn't drink alcohol and is open about why that is ("because I can't control it, because once I start drinking it I find it very hard to stop") and they have a dad who models moderate drinking.

They'll all try alcohol.. one or more of them might have 'the gene' (is there such a thing?) and go through a period of drinking too much..? Maybe..? Maybe one or more of them won't drink much at all..? Who knows..? Maybe the world will change dramatically in the next 10-20 years and alcohol won't be as prevalent and wedded into our society then as it is now. I don't know.

All I know is that right now we are bringing up our boys with full knowledge about the pros and cons of booze, and an understanding of the importance of honesty and self-awareness. And as parents that's all we can do.

That, and teach them how to boil the jug.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, September 1, 2014

Almost 3 years sober!

I'd give myself a B- right now on my targets for this intense month of parenting without Mr D around. I'm managing ok. Me and the boys have set some very clear rules about behavior and they're doing ok. They're busy, boisterous boys - completely self-absorbed, wonderful creatures in development - and we're muddling along ok.

Yes sometimes I yell but that's just a fact of life and I'm not going to beat myself up about it too much. It's ordinary yelling I'm sure and there are loads of hugs and calm interactions going on during the days as well. Every evening ends with a sober me chatting with each boy in bed, reading a story or having a cuddle and I'm happy about that.

Every night when I walk out of each boys room I say 'I love you', and in that moment I am thankful for being sober, it's a very good moment to practice sober gratitude. I'm very present now at that 8pm-ish point in the night and I never used to be because I had a drug in my system. Sorry to be so blunt about that but that's how I call it now. Alcohol is a drug and when I drank alcohol I was under the influence of that drug. Even one wine makes a difference. Only now that I have no alcohol at all in my life can I see what an impact that drug made to my connectedness.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being sober?

So anyway the parenting is going fine but the self-care not so much. It's the bloody sugar again. I just wrote a post over at Living Sober about this.. you can read it here. I've been a very bad girl. So starting today I am sugar-free for September.

Take that you fucking Sugar Witch living inside of me!!!!! I'm going to starve you to death!!!!!!! I'm going to stare you down and resist your cravings and in doing so I am going to feel strong and good once more!!!!!

I am three years sober on Saturday. Hhhmm what to do, what to do..? Maybe not much at all. Maybe just have a lovely ordinary sober day. Maybe just kiss my boys goodnight with an 'I love you' and feel just so happy that I have that shit booze out of my life.

Yes. That is enough.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, August 24, 2014


It's all on. We are all systems go in this house.. (well I am anyway). Mr D has packed his bags, picked up his guitar and walked out. Yesterday. He's gone and I am left to fend for myself….

For a month that is…

Ha! Trying to be dramatic. No but seriously.. Mr D is away for pretty much all of the next month working … he will be popping back occasionally (hopefully 2 nights a week but maybe only 1).. and he'll be a shell of a man very preoccupied with the mammoth work task he has on.

I've been laid up with a health complaint this past week.. feeling very sorry for myself, in pain, low energy, moving slowly etc etc.. Because I've been sick I've been feeling low mood-wise and because I've been feeling low mood-wise I've been eating crap. I've been locked in a terrible cycle of low-grade misery. But now I'm back to (almost) full health.. Mr D has gone and I am raring to go!!!!!

I am going to meet this month-long challenge head on. Here's what I'm going to do…

* I'm going to stay really on top of the household clutter and chores. If my space is clean & tidy I feel better. Sorry if that makes me sound like an anal control freak but it's something I know about myself… if I am feeling shaky inside tidying up makes me feel better. Yesterday after Mr D had gone to catch his plane the boys and I put our onesies on and watched an Adam Sandler flick eating chips and dip. I then let them play the Xbox while I got crazy-busy clearing up junk and wiping down surfaces and organizing little cluttered areas in the house (old magazines went out! All the sauces & spices that had accumulated on the bench went back into the pantry! Old broken lego creations got dumped into the big lego containers! Board games got tidied and piled up! It was super-satisfying).

* I'm going to eat and drink well. I'm going to cut down to 1 coffee a day. No wheat if I can help it. Very little amounts of sugar. Try and have 1 fresh juice a day. Gluten-free muesli with almond milk for breakfast (not sure if I'm going to like that but I'm going to give it a try). Lots of veges, fruit, eggs, meat & nuts. My body is a temple! If I fuel it right I will feel better mentally and physically. Just watched this clip of Jason Vale (he wrote the booze book that helped me so much) about treating our bodies well. It's short talk - only about 15 minutes long - but he makes a good visual point about how the way we choose to fuel our bodies plays such a massive part in our overall well being.

* I am going to work on the upcoming presentations I need to give so that I don't feel too nervous about them. I have been invited to speak at three public events in October about my drinking & recovery story. I need to deliver a presentation about myself articulately and entertainingly. I want to be prepared so I started working on my presentation last night. I'll keep honing it until I think it's ready…

* I am going to stay busy over at Living Sober communicating with others in the Members Feed.. keeping an eye on all the interactions to make sure everyone is being lovely (they are! Not one bit of nastiness or snippiness.. it's an amazing, amazing, amazingly kind and supportive space. It's working so well I'm blown away and so happy). And I'll keep posting on my blog there with interesting discussion points..

* I'll pop in here to keep an eye on other sober blogs and to update this my 'warm bath' blog which feels much more personal and intimate (weird I know given this blog is open to all just like Living Sober is, but this feels like my space whereas Living Sober feels like a public space and I don't want to make it all about me over there…). All of this online activity, while somewhat my job nowadays, also serves me well in my recovery ..

* And last but not least I'm going to stay very engaged with my three sons who are going to miss their Dad hugely. They are busy, emotional, developing people whom I love to distraction and I want to ensure they stay feeling supported and secure - while also teaching them the importance of HELPING OUT AROUND THE HOUSE!!!!!

And now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go make a green juice. Hopefully I can hold strong to my list of good behaviors for the month!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Big-Ass Sober Test...

Ok so this is new for me in my sobriety. Working again. Work stress. Juggling. Time pressure. Keeping calm under pressure. Trying to stay on top of things and manage all the demands of my life and remain feeling content and peaceful within (which is my ultimate goal. I hate it when I'm wound up!).

I suppose I had the relocation and the masters thesis to contend with after I got sober.. so I've had stress in sobriety before.. but for some reason this feels different. This Living Sober gig is a job. So I'm juggling now. I'm a classic juggling mum.. trying to run the house, keep the kids fed and happy and under control and attended to.. the husband attended to (not that he needs much, he's awesome) and myself calm and happy (the most important thing).

So yeah.. this is a big-ass sober test.

I'm up for the challenge. I can recognize when I'm starting to get stressed.. I can feel it in my body - my shoulders go up and a pressure comes on in my chest, and my head gets a lot of white noise.. none of this is major or crippling, but I can sense it when it comes...

I'm going to meet this challenge head on. I'm going to listen to the clever people who can help me manage this (Tara, Dan Siegel, Byron Katie) I'm going to drop my shoulders when I feel them rising.. look up at the clouds when I notice my eyes have been stuck downwards for too long, keep checking in with my head and my chest - I don't know how to explain this but there are ways that I can 'check in' with myself and notice what I'm feeling and ground myself momentarily…

And mostly I'm going to remember that this year - 2014 - is a monumental year for me.. what with the book coming out and going so public about my drinking problem.. having overwhelming, amazing and lovely response from people who self-identify as being in a similar position with booze and wanting to change themselves and get sober, and now having created (with the help of expert partners) a new online space where people are actually finding support and changing (it's un-fucking-believable what is going on inside Living Sober already.. wow wow wow it's full of people turning their lives around. Like actually turning. their. lives. around).. but yeah.. this is a big year, and this year will pass and these things will become less intense, more just a part of the woodwork, and it will be 2015, 2016, 2020, 2025, and life will move on and I just have to keep moving through it trying to be smiley and lovely…

So this is where I'm at.

And now I'm going to go brew myself a cup of the new Chamomile & Lavender tea that I just bought. Will it be yummy? Hope so!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, August 11, 2014

** crickets **

Feels like a bit of a graveyard over here. Hellooooooooooo…… anybody out thereeeeeeee………

I always said that I was going to keep up with my blog here at Mrs D Is Going Without after we launched Living Sober. I'd say to people 'my blog is like my warm bath.. and the new site is like the netball court. I'm going to run onto the netball court and play like crazy but I want to have my warm bath to come back to…'

So here I am settling into the warm waters of my lovely Blogger blog… tired out and sore from all that running around the netball court that is Living Sober.

And WOWSERS!!!!!!! The site is going great guns!!!! Honestly.. it's buzzing, humming, fair rolling along with loveliness, grittiness, honesty and togetherness. Exactly how I imagined it might work. There's still some issues to work out in terms of the members 'feed' where all the updates get posted… but the web designers are brilliant at responding to stuff so I'm sure we can work it out.

Over 400 members in less than a week! And many of those aren't interacting yet which means they're lurking and (hopefully) starting to reflecting on their own lives and the role alcohol plays in it … and most importantly realise that it's actually possible to remove booze, retrain your brain and live a wonderful, full, fun life with no alcohol in it.

Jeepers sometimes I can't believe the turn my life has taken since I got sober!!!!!!! So many wonderful things have transpired since that massive decision on the morning of Sept 6, 2011 when I thought to myself 'I've got to get this shit out of my life'. I'm loving all this noise and busy-ness.. loving the new website and the book and stuff. But most of all I love being sober. And in 20, 30 years when some of this other stuff has moved away or morphed into something else or whatever is going to happen.. I'll still be sober. Gloriously, robustly sober. Hooray.

I'm doing good.. but I'm definitely busier and more distracted by the computer. I'm going to have to set myself 'rules' of when I'm on and off (so bloody tempting to keep checking to see what's happening).. but I want to make sure I look after me and my sober lifestyle.. keep a balance between work and home.. stay focussed on my boys and myself - diet, positive thinking, sleep, sober treats etc etc.

Paul wrote this brilliant post recently about making sure we turn that advice we always give others back on ourselves. So Mrs D, go gently & treat yourself very kindly.

Will do.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Living Sober is live!!!!!

Well that took for-bloody-ever..! I've been pacing around the house like a cat on a hot tin roof with ants in my pants (mixing metaphors) waiting for word that the site is live. But good things take time and finally we are good to go.

Please come join the community at Living Sober. Come one, come all. Everyone is welcome. Whether you're just beginning to think about the role booze plays in your life, actively trying to get sober or have been happily in recovery for a while - please join in. The site needs people at all stages of recovery. Because we can all help each other.

Even you lovely lurkers.. come on over and lurk away!

Big thanks to the amazing people at Curative (I'm looking at you Eddy!), the clever folks at 96Black,  and the wise, wonderful support partners at the NZ Drug Foundation, Health Promotion Agency and Matua Raki.

Now what are you waiting for….. get over there….Living Sober is the place to be...

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One Day To Go!!

Ok dudes… we are but one day away. One day until our fabulous new website launches!! So get ready tomorrow to hop on over to 'Living Sober' and register your fine-selves to become members. I'll post the web address here tomorrow when we're live but for now here's the logo.

OMG excited!! Nervous!!! Have just gone out and bought myself some new stationery for my new 'office' (same old desk at home but new exciting 'job' requires exciting new stationery).

When you register on Living Sober you can call yourself by the name you are using on here so that we'll know it's the 'you' from the blog (if you know what I mean). And then you can interact to your hearts desire in a space that is much more interactive than this limited post/comments format.

When you register on Living Sober you get into the members section where you have your own profile page where you can put a profile image, write your own updates/daily musings and people can comment directly to you there. In the members section you can also see all the other members profile pages, when they were last active, what their updates are and you can comment to them directly on their profile pages.

We also have a 'Faces of Recovery' page where you can upload a photo of yourself holding a sign with your sobriety date or a wish or hope for the future (you can cover your face with the sign if you want to stay anonymous). These images are really powerful.

In the main (non-members) part of the site there's a 'Mrs D's Blog' page which is sort of like the common room where we can all hang out. I'll be positing one or two times a day with my usual personal shit and also topical issues, juicy discussion points or interesting links or whatever…anyone can comment on my blog page and interact there.

Also thanks to you guys and how you've been interacting on here lately I've had the idea to put up a new post every day at 3-4pm-ish called simply 'Today's Witching Hour' which will create a fresh 'space' for those who want to come online to talk to each other through those difficult hours of the evening when we'd usually start drinking….

In the main area there's also a 'Sober Toolbox' with 5 different pages in there (Getting Through Wine O'clock, Socialising Sober, Drink Alternatives, Sober Treats & Reading Material) that anyone and everyone is encouraged to add to with their own tips and ideas. And there's a 'Drink of the Week' page with fancy recipes and photos.. and a sobriety calculator... general information pages …. (am I giving too much away???!)…

Very exciting…! As I've been writing this post there are emails flying back and forth between me and the web designers and creators… we're all very busy tweaking and finalising things… cross fingers for tomorrow…!

So I'll post the web address up here tomorrow and then I'll be going quiet here for a while. Partly because I'll be busy on Living Sober.. and partly because I really want to encourage you guys over to the new space….

But I will be back here.. Mrs D Is Going Without is not going anywhere….

Love, Mrs D xxxx