Thursday, March 27, 2014


I was talking with a gorgeous girlfriend yesterday about how I get wine in the house if we have visitors who are drinkers. And she said something like 'it's so great that you can do that and not be tempted'.

I didn't respond immediately but my brain was whirring so a couple of minutes later I found myself revisiting her comment and blurting out a response…

'Sorry I just have to go back to what you just said about me not being tempted. There is not even the slightest bit of me that is tempted by alcohol any more. There's not even point-nought-nought-nought-nought-nought-one percent of me that is tempted by alcohol. You guys can all have it.. I don't want that shit in my life. I even feel angry now that I was lied to for most of my life that it was necessary and the essential ingredient for fun.. maybe it was me lying to myself .. but now I'm free of it I don't want to touch it in the slightest. I don't find it difficult not drinking AT ALL. What I do still find difficult is being emotional.. but I'm getting better at that all the time.. but not touching alcohol isn't hard at all."

(She was smiling at me, not minding my fired-up speech at all).

People who have yet to stop, know this. That voice in  your head telling you to drink will go. That pull you have towards alcohol will go. This is an addiction that can be beaten. So long as you keep at the not drinking for long enough… and properly examine the reasons why you want to drink… the longing for alcohol will go.

So there's two things; first there's the grit and determination needed in the early weeks and months to resist urges, and second there's the proper examination needed into the reasons for drinking. Doing the second thing properly will help the first thing fade and eventually disappear. Each time you get a hard-out pang look honestly at what is going on and explore that rather than reaching for alcohol to make it go away. If it's some really big shit going on you may need outside help from a trained professional to help you deal with that shit.. but it's dealing with that shit and not pushing it away with a liquid drug that will get you to the point where you don't crave alcohol any more.

I know I'm over-simplifying massively and feel free to disagree but I want to send a big message of HOPE because I am living proof this can be done. And if I can do it - me being completely addicted to wine as a life choice after necking it steadily and heavily for 20 years - then anyone can.

And by the way the reason I get wine in the house for guests who are drinkers is because I understand completely what it is like to rely on wine and I don't judge anyone for that.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Getting away from feeling bogged down...

Mr D has been overseas for the past 8 days for work. I'm having an ok time.. took me a few days to realise I needed to 'work my programme', which doesn't really mean anything official because I don't have an 'official programme' .. just a few techniques and things that I know help me feel better as I move through my days. Although I do love being able to use recovery jargon and sound like a pro - I'm working my programme baby!!

I spent the first part of the week going through my manuscript for the final time and then couriering it back to the publishers. An intense and introspective process that always gets me wrapped up inside myself.. but I know I go on about that every time I mention my book so I'm not going to mention it again now until it comes out…

Then I got major tech-angst trying to get a 'Follow By Email' button working on this page.. took a couple of failed attempts and this is stuff I'm not very good at (oh to have an IT support person I could call on for help). It's finally working (witness the happy me when I received an email from myself alerting me to the new post I'd just written!).. but then I've also been getting the odd email from people saying they're having trouble leaving comments on my posts.. GAH. More tech-angst.

Then with Mr D away I was finding myself on my phone all the time in the evenings.. checking for comments, checking if the missing plane had been found, checking twitter, Facebook, checking twitter again, news sites, Words with Friends…

It was all very narrowly focussed… literally my eyes on a small screen (or bigger screen if at the computer worrying about tech-y stuff)… and figuratively me just being in my head and too much tech-y stuff and then I realised… I'd stopped cooking and listening to music and making the house nice and stuff.

So I started 'working my programme' which means doing the things that make me feel grounded and calm and relaxed. Centered. Connected. In the real world and not my 'head' world.

* Burning oils like a hippy in my groovy oil-burner on the window ledge.
* Playing all the cheesy pop songs that I know make me feel good. Turning up the lovely ballads that I can sing along too. Hunting out old albums from my youth that are sentimental (In My Tribe by 10,000 Maniacs.. love it!)
* Cooking. Old recipes that the kids love. New recipes to make me feel creative. Taking the time to look at cookbooks and choose recipes and gather ingredients and experiment.
*  Looking up and out at the horizon. Imagining that I am a bird flying (sorry but I do do that).
* Listening to Tara Brach. This link is to one of her best talks. I love her. Just imagining Tara Brach talking can calm me down.
* Watering the flower pots outside and the new vege garden me and the kids are building. Making plans to plant bulbs now as we head into winter to get daffodils in the spring.
* Reading books. A great memoir this week by Jackson Galaxy called 'Cat Daddy'. He writes really well on addiction and getting sober.
* Having baths. I haven't been having any baths since we've been in our new house but I had two this week and I think they're important for me. They're symbolic of self-care.
* Making sure my thoughts are kind and positive and constructive, not negative or uptight.
* Eating well. Letting little bits of sugar and wheat in without beating myself up but maintaining a nice healthy base-line diet.
* Not touching alcohol ever and feeling really fucking great about that.

It's all 'work-in-progress' stuff. Sometimes I'm better at it than at other times. But it works. And life continues on, the days come and go, and it's all ok.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Some people get sober and discover they're naturally introverted and happiest being cosy at home.

Some people get sober and realise they are naturally shy and stop trying to force themselves to be the life of the party in social situations.

Some people get sober and realise wine isn't the necessary ingredient in social situations and they're just as happy and chatty without it.

Some people can naturally do small talk. Some people can't. Taking alcohol away makes it plain which of those you are, and eventually… the more practice you get at being sober in social situations.. the happier you'll be being the natural you.

I've always admired people who can stay quiet and introverted in social situations and be comfortable with that. I think that's cool. We don't all have to sparkle and suck up all the oxygen. It takes all types.

If you can't do small talk well getting sober won't help you with that. But it'll make you more comfortable with that fact about yourself. I think it's all about becoming authentic.

The authentic you.

I love the word authentic. I love it. I love how it looks on the page, I love how it sounds, and I love what it means. There is nothing even the slightest bit bad about authenticity. I even love how you can turn it into a word that sounds like electricity…!

Taking the alcohol away just helps you figure out who the authentic you is. And don't you think when we're all sitting on our porches in our rocking chairs aged 80-ish looking back over our lives, the thing we''ll be most happy about is that we lived authentically? Lived comfortably as who we really are.

There are so many things I love about being sober. And there are some things that are still tricky (for me it's figuring out how to sit comfortably with uncomfortable emotions). But what I love most of all is that whether I'm up or down or happy or sad or stressed or chilled or laughing or crying, what I am being is authentic to me in that exact moment. And the more of those moments that I accumulate, the better I feel about myself.

Figuring me out.

Get sober folks. It's awesome.

And with that it's goodnight!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I wish I had more sober-tastic news to share but it's just been me bodging around my housewifey life the last few days.

I did go out to a bar one night last week with a girlfriend (after a spot of late night shopping) and had a delicious hot chocolate while she enjoyed a red wine. And another evening I went to a gathering with some other girlfriends where they all drank fancy wine while I enjoyed a sparkling lime drink. It doesn't really register with me any more that I'm depriving myself of the opportunity to drink alcohol…I don't feel nostalgic about the stuff.

Stupid dumb alcohol that lies to us and makes us believe it has all the power to make events fun.

Got sent the final page proofs from the publisher to check over before my book goes to print. Once again I'm having to trawl back over my last miserable drinking days and hard-going early sobriety days.  I made myself cry again. I'll sure be glad when it's signed off and committed to print - then I'll never have to bloody read it again!

I'll just have talk about it all the time with other people who have. That's ok. I soooooo loved doing The Bubble Hour I think I'm going to relish the opportunity to talk about being sober and our awesome online recovery community as much as I can.

I've confirmed with friends who own a bar/cafe in town that I can hold my book launch party at their place.. and we're going to get Mr D's cousin to DJ again so we can dance like crazy to 80's pop tunes all night - yeeee haaaa!!

I want to have a party coz I'll be a bit nervous when the book comes out.. and I think pulling all my friends and family together to send the book on it's way will help me to 'own it' (if you know what I mean).

Lots of people ask me if I'm going to have a dry book launch party and I'm like 'No way!' My whole point is that living sober is very personal for me but doesn't mean others can't do what they want. Fact is most people drink at parties and I certainly don't want to be the fun police. So I'll provide a nice mocktail at the start and after that a cash bar will be running so other people can drink what they want. I don't care what other people do. I have always just focused on fixing myself and my dreadfully unhealthy attitude to booze.

Actually I was quite chuffed when my publishers said to me 'I don't think we've ever had a book launch  party with a DJ before. Or a book launch party on a Saturday night for that matter!'

How ironic that it's the sober author of their new recovery memoir that is doing just that. Maybe I do have some sober-tastic news after all.

Love, Mrs D xxx

P.S. Check out this awesome post by Drunky Drunk Girl who is nearing her one year Soberversary and planning a party in a wine bar to celebrate. Sober-tastic indeed!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not perfect, happy

Lots of lovely comments.. lots of positive vibes.. lots of wonderment and bravery and appreciation and general gorgeousness coming from around this wonderful community of ours we call the sober blogging world.

COMMUNITY. That's what it's all about people. Us helping each other. The circular world. I remember the first time I left a comment back on someone else's blog.. a person who had just given me my first ever comment.. and it was like a double whammy of support. Being supported and supportive. Looking outward and helping others as much as we are looking inward and helping ourselves. It's vital and so very cool.

I got a snippy comment on my last post which did feel a bit like a slap in the face. It said something like "self-satisfied much? Look at you with your perfect life." Ouch. I deleted it because this is my blog and I don't want snippy negativity here but obviously someone felt I'd come over a bit arrogant.

But then I thought that honestly my last post did have smug overtones (me in my fringed kimono living my fabulous life) so fair enough (sorta).

And then I thought.. who is this person that is visiting a blog written about someone who has gotten sober, reacting badly to them feeling sober-tastic and feeling the need to leave a snippy comment pulling them down? It might be a person who is actually really lovely and kind and nice but is feeling like utter shit because alcohol has it's grips in so deep and they feel so bad about themselves they don't want to bask in the glow of someone else's (temporary) sober glory. I dunno.

I do know living sober is FUCKING HARD sometimes so when I'm feeling great and on a high I want to milk that feeling for all it's worth THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! (That's my defensiveness coming out.)

And now I'm off to put the washing in the dryer, go take the library books back and pay the car registration and buy some tracing paper for my 9-year old. Me and my fabulous life.

It's not fabulous all the time. Sometimes it's mundane. Sometimes it's gritty, glum and flat. And sometimes it's upbeat and fun. The only thing it constantly is, is sober. And that is a good thing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, March 9, 2014


It's Sunday morning and I'm about to make pancakes! Sorry to gloat but today I am just so happy to be sober!!!

It's a crazy busy social weekend and I've got my kick-ass sober attitude embracing me right through. This the attitude that refuses to give alcohol all the power to make events fun. Go ahead and drink if you want ... but for those of us who have taken it away because we can't moderate … I believe we should just forge ahead with the parties not caring that our glasses contain no brain bending liquids.

On Friday night Mr D and I hosted a dinner party. It was so fun planning the menu! Four courses of deliciousness. It was my sisters birthday and I decided we needed to kick-start the night with cocktails so off to the bottle shop I went and purchased a small amount of white rum for mojitos. It felt so treaty and fun getting the cocktail shaker out and of course mine was a virgin. Didn't care.

I had a great, fun, chatty night and felt good right through to the last course (honey poached peaches served in dainty tea-cups) and final hugs goodbye. Filled the dishwasher before falling into bed and completing all my moves on Words With Friends before sleeping soundly all night. Whoop whoop sober glory!!!!!!

My 3 year old nephew is staying for the weekend and Mr D had to get up and travel away for work so it was just me and four little boys all day yesterday until the BABYSITTER arrived and I got dressed up to go out to a RESTAURANT!! Sorry for the use of caps but I'm just so impressed with myself being so grown up and glamorous (ha ha).

Wore a fun fringed floral kimono top and drove myself to a new, trendy restaurant to join a huge group celebrating a dear friend's 40th. I was late arriving but some friends had saved me a seat and from the moment I rocked in it was lovely, chatty evening in a busy, buzzing environment.

Everyone at the table was ordering wines by the glass.. another round… another round… but I just had a soda water with lime and then a herbal tea which arrived in the cutest vintage tea pot with a matching cup and saucer. That really made my night. Have I mentioned before how much I love teacups? I love teacups.

Dropped a friend off, drove home to pay the babysitter, checked the kids, took off my makeup, put on night cream (I never do that), slept soundly all night. No bursting bladder, no sick guts, no headache.

And now it's Sunday morning, the sun is shining, my nephew has just come over for a cuddle, I'm about to make pancakes and spend the day taking kids to birthday parties then going to friends house for a BBQ.

Like I said at the top … sorry to gloat .. but seriously folks… who needs wine. WHO NEEDS WINE? #whoneedswine?

I ask you. Who needs wine?

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The phoenix she rises….

Went to see The Wolf of Wall Street the other night.. wow nothing like watching a bunch of horrible people get right royally fucked off their tits for three hours straight to put you off being a wastoid. Please excuse my language but OMG that's all these dudes seemed to do. Get utterly wasted on drugs and alcohol at every opportunity.

There's this scene late in the movie when the Leonardo DiCaprio character has been sober for a while and his friend comes to visit and asks him what it's like "not being able to get wasted any more". The Leo character says; 'It sucks. I want to kill myself.'

I'm not surprised he felt like that. The dude (the Leo character) struck me as an emotionally stunted, hollow person with a vacant soul. He needed the drugs and alcohol to feel alive.

But, you know, it's different for everyone. And I'm just judging from the outside anyway. Inside (where the truth lies) everyone's reasons for drinking/using is different.. what the drink/drugs did for us is different.. what we discover about ourselves in recovery is different and how we develop as people when we get sober is different.

As I said on The Bubble Hour.. reading widely lots of recovery stories is helpful because various bits of different stories might resonate. But your story is your own.

Me, I used alcohol to stay upbeat and squash down negative emotions. And I believed alcohol was the necessary ingredient to have a fun time. I'm simplifying massively but this is the quick gist of it.

Recovering for me meant learning how to live with feelings I did not want to feel (like sadness, anger and stress), and learning that alcohol does not have the power to make fun times fun (other things do like people and food and music and atmosphere and the sun shining and new shoes and all manner of glorious things that don't fuck with my head like alcohol did).

I'm still a work in progress… I still feel like I'm wearing a hair shirt on the weeks when I'm a bit glum and flat (like last week).. but I'm happy to report that like a phoenix from the flames I have risen again this week to feel cheery and positive.

Ebbs and flows. Life's like that. And now.. off to watch American Idol! With a cup of herbal tea and NO CHOCOLATE!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, March 3, 2014

Me on The Bubble Hour!

I just took part in The Bubble Hour, the amazing internet talk show about recovery.

It was so fun, wow what a lovely bunch of women to talk to I could have gone on and on and on...

If you want to listen (and hear what my New Zealand accent sounds like!) it's here…

Soberiety Bloggers 03/02 by The Bubble Hour | Lifestyle Podcasts