Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Holy SHITBALLS!! 100 + comments on the last post!! Wow you guys.. how wonderful that things have exploded here. This is exactly why I wanted to write the book and speak out.. to reach people who were like me and let them know what wonderful support could be found online. And now look at you all reaching out from behind your computers being brave and determined and kind and and supportive and nonjudgmental to each other. Yay!!!

But boy do we need this new site to be launched…! So we can shift into a space which will better serve us all. I've got a training session with the web designer tomorrow on how to manage the site and all going well with the agencies involved giving the design the go-ahead it will be up and running by the end of next week.

You'll be able to register to become a member and build your own page where you can post regularly and people can comment. You'll be invited to submit a photo of yourself holding a sign with your sobriety date or a wish or hope for the future (and you can cover your face with the sign if you want to be anonymous). I'll have my own blog page on there which will be open to all and I'll post every day about whats going on for me but also highlight issues that are arising for others, good points for discussion etc etc.

For example at the moment a big issue for many is how to transition out of Dry July and tell people around you that this non-drinking malarkey is forever (my advice would be just focus on the truth that only you know and don't spend too much energy worrying what other people make of it.) And on my Facebook page there's been some talk about alcohol in food that's been interesting…I think that'd make for a good discussion. I'll keep my page rolling with new stuff all the time so the site feels very rich and alive.

I'm never short of ideas on matters booze and recovery related! And I never tire of it! I love it! I'm fascinated by it!

But most of all I can remember what it was like to be stuck in a miserable boozy hell-hole.. and I know how magical it feels to be grateful and sober.. and I really want to drag as many people as I can to join me in wonderful sober-land.

I will keep blogging here but probably shorter posts than usual for a while, I'll really be trying to draw people into the new space. Anyone, anywhere is welcome to join FREE!! And we can keep an open dialogue on how the site is working for all of us .. so it will change and adapt as need be.

I'm in a good space. Eating well again, feeling strong and upbeat. Busy cleaning and tidying and cooking and running around after my boys .. but actually today I have a rare afternoon off because my youngest is going on a playdate after kindy.. so I'm free until 3pm. Off to the movies - whoop!

Have a wonderful sober Wednesday everyone.. and don't fret if you're not here yet.. with the help and support of this lovely online recovery community I'm sure it won't take long…

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lego lego everywhere...

Hey lovely people in the online recovery world.. boy are we a mixed bunch. Check out the comments section on the last post if you haven't already.. there's some fantastic interactions going on there. Some wonderful support, lots of grit, plenty of brave honesty, and a whole bunch of we're-in-this-together-ness.

Some people are feeling GREAT and on top of the Sober World!! Others are feeling bummed they're not quite managing to stay off the sauce yet, some are experiencing glimpses of wonderful FREEDOM from the evil clutches of alcohol, others are feeling glum like not drinking means they're missing out on all the fun.. and some are just ordinary - not particularly high or low - just ordinary.

I'm probably one of those last types right now. I've come through my slumpy-phase and can feel myself slowly lifting up again. Eating better, feeling the old 'gritty attitude' return.

Where-ever you're at it's ok. Relapse is often a part of recovery (so the experts tell me) so if your sobriety journey is beginning in a stop-start manner don't fret. Just keep being honest with yourself and talking it out with others here and reading, reading, reading lots of other people's journeys in the blogs down the left hand side of this page.

Getting sober is the ultimate in self-care and I often forget that I need to keep up with other self-care habits I've had in place for the last 3 years. For me it's little things like starting every day with a nice mug of my favorite Green Tea with Mandarin - that sends a message to me that I'm on the right track for the day. And I'm swearing off the floury/sugary foods again because when I do that I always feel loads better (body and mood).

There's a section on the new website (only about a week away now - yay!) called 'Sober Toolbox' where we can all share our tips and tricks for sober self-care. Here's a sneak peak of what it'll look like...

I'm sure once we all start contributing to it it'll be full of wonderful wisdom and great ideas. Things like yummy drink alternatives, different ways of explaining our not-drinking to friends and family, re-framing the reward concept, favorite sober treats, how best to get through the witching hour, how best to deal with tricky emotions... etc etc… I can't wait to see it grow and get some good ideas from y'all.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being sober? I LOVE BEING SOBER! I love it heaps and heaps and heaps. I love it to the moon and back. I love it because it just feels so right. I love being a non-drinker. I love being a non-drinker more than I used to love being a drinker, and that's saying something because I really did love my wine. But no longer. That shit has no place in my life.

And now if you'll excuse me I need to go clean up some little boy mess, because that's what I do allthefuckingtime.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, July 25, 2014

Honesty at the Book Store...

I spoke at an event at my local bookstore last night. I was nervous..! It was the first time I'd fronted up to a crowd of strangers. But it went really well. A good number turned out given it was a cold winter's night here in my home town. The book store staff made a delicious hot mulled apple juice (I'll put the recipe on my Facebook page) and I had some lovely chats with really nice people.

There was a little bit of formality. The book-store owner rang a wee bell and then stood behind the counter and said a few words about me which were very kind and then I had to do a bit of a 'talk'.  I'd been thinking for the past few weeks how I was going to run through the story of this blog and how it turned into a book etc.. but then on Tuesday I decided to just start by being raw and honest.

Truth is I've had quite a vulnerable week.. still eating really badly which awakens the awful dysfunctional feelings in my brain and reminds me of the awful dysfunctional feelings I had when I was boozing so heavily. The kind of 'you're shit, you're not in control' feelings. Question: Why did I abuse my body with alcohol and why do I now sometimes do it with food? Answer: Coz it tastes sooooooo good…..! But anyway I've been allowing myself to eat crap and it's been making me feel a bit low..

Then I'd spoken on The Bubble Hour about loving the feeling of booze in my body, and some people commented on my blog about loving that feeling too.. and I could feel some familiar sad longings inside myself regarding alcohol (the bloody monster inside me - my internal addict - moaning a bit in her sleep). Then my lovely fellow blogger Thirsty Still wrote a powerful post that I found quite challenging about that familiar lovely buzz of booze.. and Mr D's about to go away for 5 weeks..... 

Basically a bunch of things have led to me feeling a bit shitty and vulnerable emotionally.  I could feel that as the week went on..have had the odd teary episode.. and so I decided to be all honest with the group gathered in the book store and tell them.

I told them that I'd been feeling vulnerable.. (tried not to cry) .. I told them that I'd been aware of a vague familiar longing inside myself recently which I identify as being my inner addict/alcoholic stirring in her sleep.. and then I told them how I'd worked to counteract those feelings.

How I'd written a post about how amazing it is to be feeling like there's a sober revolution taking place around me, how I'd visited lots of other blogs and left comments for people, how I'd reached out to The Fix to ask if they wanted another article from me, how I'd started planning what I was going to say at the Book Store, how I'd been to a meeting about the new website, how I'd posted some articles on my Facebook page, how I'd replied to many emails.

How I'd worked hard to stay on top of my thoughts.. and get myself through.. because there was no way I was going to indulge that sad longing. That sad longing can bugger off! 

That's why I do all this. That's the bottom line. It's not about book sales or publicity or showing off. It's because I'm an alcoholic and externalizing my internal struggle keeps me sober. I knew that the minute I wrote my first post, and I know that still today. 

And I know this vulnerable phase will pass. I know that I'm going to get on top of my eating GODDAMMIT! And I know that I'm going to stay sober. It's just an on-going, robust process, that's all. 

But then again… isn't that just a description of life? Life is an on-going, robust process. One I choose to go through sober.

Love, Mrs D xxx 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


There are SOOOOOOOO many people who are getting sober around me right now! Have a look at all the comments on my last few posts… there are people on day 6, day 1, day 44, day 21. Someone's heading into week six, someone's reached 4 1/2 months, someone else at 3 years. And on my Facebook page there are people proudly exclaiming they're at day 16 or day 43.. and privately in emails many, many people are still reaching out to let me know they are giving this sober living thing a go too.


We are the revolution!!!! We are the ones saying 'you know what.. this shit isn't as ordinary as milk and bread (although it's sold in our supermarkets as if it is).. this shit is destructive and it's bringing me down.. I'M TAKING IT AWAY'.

That's what we're doing folks.. we are taking that shitty alcohol out of our lives, we are gritting our teeth through the rough early adjustment phases, we are retraining our brains to see alcohol for the shit it is (and not the golden ticket to fun) and we are becoming fully alive, fully emotional, fully realised human beings.

Raw. Real. Recovered.

I am LOVING all the interactions that are going on in the comments section on here.. all the lovely support and encouragement and togetherness. I am really loving it and please hang in there because I know this blog is limited in what it can offer all of us but we are very close to launching the new site that will be so much more interactive and personalized for each of you. It will be free and you can create an anonymous profile if you like. I'll be posting and commenting and interacting daily to keep us all together and engaged. It's going to be GREAT and even if we need to tweak the design as the weeks go by we'll do that so that all of us here in the online recovery community are happy (and that means you too lovely lurker who is reading but hasn't participated yet).

I've just spent the morning as parent helper at my Little Guy's kindergarten. Three and a half hours of playdoh and dress-ups and storybooks and finger painting. I looked into all the little 4-year-old faces around me and thought that these kids are going to grow up in a society that has shifted it's approach to alcohol. I'm convinced they're going to grow up in a society that is far more open & honest about the dark side of alcohol. A society where it is common, totally acceptable and not at all shameful for people to admit they don't drink alcohol because they can't control it.

One by one we are helping create that society.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Get off the computer mum!!"

It's cold here, we're coming to the end of two weeks of school holidays..things are ticking over ok in our household. My diet still needs a bit of work (the bad habits through the crazy 'coming out' weeks are proving a little hard to shift).. but my sleep is back to normal and I've started reading some novels again and am pottering around my house relatively calmly.

Making pumpkin soup today and getting ready to host some friends for a roast dinner tonight. They asked if there was anything special I'd like them to bring for me to drink - which was super nice of them - but I said "to be honest I'm mostly just drinking soda water nowadays".. which was a bit boring.. and she thought so too and said "wouldn't you like something more treaty..?" and so I said "whatever you bring I will happily drink".. so we shall see (so long as it's not booze it should be fine!).

The liquid fixation has definitely passed.

Did a wonderful Bubble Hour show this week. A whole hour of recovery-related chat but it felt like 10 minutes! We spoke at one point about how unique and individual everyone's drinking story is, just as everyone's recovery story is too.

I'm really careful to try and not judge others drinking habits or compare their recovery to mine My truth is my truth.. and my relationship with myself is all that matters at the end of the day. I can share my truth with all and sundry (which I do all over the internet all the time!!) and people can draw what they can from my story.. but their story will be different.

It might only be a little bit different.. or it might be a lot different… but it's guaranteed it will be different. I learn from so many others who share around this lovely online recovery community.. it's so freaking great how we can all learn from and support each other despite our unique experiences of addiction.

On that note my middle boy is sitting next to me hassling me to get off the computer so he can go on YouTube and watch some dude in another country play a video game he likes. So I'd best be off.

Have wonderful weekends everyone. Be very kind to yourselves.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Loving the naval gazing nowadays...

I hate to be all Pollyanna on it but I've had some truly glorious 'HOLY SHITBALLS I LOVE BEING SOBER!!' moments this weekend. Just these magical little snatches of time when I can't believe how amazing it is that I now work my brain completely differently to deal with life, and that I have discovered that booze is completely unnecessary for good times.

I flew to my hometown for the weekend for another wee book launch party for family and friends.. and my Mum invited along a woman who was 27 years in recovery…. 27 YEARS!!!!!! Anyway this gorgeous, amazing long-time recovery person made some comment to me that I was clearly having a 'meaningful recovery'.. I think that's what she said…? Or profound recovery? I can't exactly remember but what I think she meant was that not only had I just taken the alcohol away but I had experienced a significant shift in my entire experience of life.

I think this is the thing that has worked so well for me.. not only have I taken the booze away, beaten cravings and broken the habit.. but I have completely changed my approach to how I deal with things. And it's all this 'emotional management' work that makes me so happy to be sober.

I was having a conversation with my Dad and Step-Mum about Tara Brach and how wonderful she is at helping me think about the world in calm ways.. even when shitty difficult really tricky shit is going down (and yes I have a lot of shitty, difficult, tricky shit go down like everyone does that I keep private and never blog about). I was discussing with them how I think often about what Tara advises about the ways to deal with my fellow humans and our world in all it's messy glory, and how tangibly helpful she is to my day-to-day life, how I love flexing my brain in this way, and how grateful I am to be open to this stuff this nowadays.

I was reflecting on how just 3 years ago I would have poo-poo'd the HELL out of someone like Tara Brach or any kind of self-reflective, meditative, naval-gazing BULLSHIT .. that mumbo-jumbo was for hippies and boring introspective types and I'm not like that thank you very much shall we open another bottle? Glug glug glug glug..

I was so happy in this conversation about Tara.. happy to have just the evening before experienced a lovely party with lovely people.. happy to have driven myself home at 11pm, happy to have woken up fresh and content, just feeling so happy and I suddenly turned to my Dad and said "and people ask me if I miss alcohol??!! ALCOHOL SCHMALCOHOL!!!!!!!!!" I said!

For me being sober isn't about the LACK of alcohol.. it's about GAINING so much. For me anyway.. I have gained so much from changing how I live and deal with emotional stuff. Tara Brach is my guru right now.. I might get a new one next year. A new author or speaker or technique or mojo or exercise or new hobby or whatever is going to lift me up an keep me going and get me through. And I love this hippy-dippy mumbo shit. A lot. It helps, it's real, it's so fascinating and fun.

It's true what they say. Putting down the drink is just the beginning.

And now it's time for a cup of tea...

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Staying sober matters the most...

Lifting up again - coolio! - knew I was getting my mojo back when I embarked on some new recipes last night. They were met with mixed success (the pineapple, thyme & feta salad was a hit.. the peas smashed with garlic, parsley and avocado not so much…)..

I keep lifting my eyes to the sky and watching the clouds.. imagining myself flying away on an airplane.. looking at the birds… remembering there is a big wide world out there and I am but one spec in it. A tiny spec, a minute drop in the ocean. Sometimes I get caught up believing that my worries, desires, troubles, triumphs are the most helps me soooo much to look around at everyone everywhere all the time and remember they are all as wrapped up in their own lives as I am in mine, believing the same thing about themselves… it helps…

Getting the odd bit of shit thrown at me.. someone said my book was 'too self-congratulatory' for their liking… also a bit of 'what's she got to worry about in her life'.  You know what.. it's shit I can take. I'll take all the shit that people want to throw at me.. those people don't matter. The people that matter are the people that are like me - those that understand what it's like to be locked in a miserable battle with yourself about booze. Those people matter.. and I'm not going to let anyone else stop me from standing up proudly as a person in recovery.

I have to remember where I came from.. and stay strong and sober. I have been having the odd sad pang about not drinking ever again. Wouldn't call it cravings but just kind of freaky "whoa am I honestly never going to touch alcohol ever again my whole life????!" thoughts. Hardly surprising given the intense phase I'm going through. It's ok.. it'll pass.. I'll stay strong and sober. I'm not going to pick up a drink.

I have to remember that I am still very much a 'newby' when it comes to my sobriety. Nearly 3 years sober is an eternity when you are trying to get to 2 weeks without a drink.. but in the grand scheme of a life, 3 years isn't much. Especially when you consider I spent 20+ years enthusiastically boozing. I'm still adjusting to my new way of life I'm sure.

The only thing that matters is that I stay sober.

Snippy reviews don't matter.. staying sober matters…

Failed dishes made with peas don't matter.. staying sober matters…

I'm staying sober forever.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, July 7, 2014

Grumpy as hell...

So much lovely warmth and support in the comments section.. I check all the time and it's just making me feel so great that you are all facing up to booze issues and helping each other out.. community! Can't wait till we get our new site which will be much more interactive and easy for everyone to use. I've seen some of the graphics now and they look cool.. similar colors to my book cover.. I'll put a sneak peak up soon.

Anyway if I'm brutally honest today I'm super-grumpy and everyone in my family is super-grumpy. It's been the grumpiest morning in the history of grumpy mornings here in this house but thankfully Mr D has now taken everyone away and I've got 3 hours to myself.. to answer emails, write content for the new site and do 3 more publicity interviews for the book. It made it to the bestseller list last week - WTF! - couldn't believe it.. after only a few days of sales.. so that was really exiting.

But I have to be honest I think the adrenaline that has been carrying me through these intense past few weeks has well and truly run out.. my cortisol levels have peaked (I made that up, is there such a thing?).. my synapses are fried (?) and my feel-good hormones have flown the coop (!).. or to put it another way I'm shitty and tired and grumpy as hell.

Don't think I'm being helped by the fact I've been eating CRAP. Lots of wheaty, biscuity, bready, sugary, weighty, heavy crap that always makes me feel sluggish and moody. I now know that I definitely feel lighter and happier if I eat real food - veges, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts, etc etc etc yadda yadda yadda…

(Just had to take a break to do a radio interview with Andy from More FM Rotorua and it was fun! He's cheered me up a bit so thank you Andy..!).

Anyway.. where was I.. oh yeah.. grumpy me. Enough of my moaning..

Had someone put a comment on my last post asking "Is that how you know you are an addict - that conversation in your head? That fight? I am trying to decide if I am an addict or not." and I also received an email from someone else who said; "I always wonder why I can have a few drinks with my partner then he's fine to head off to bed but I can't  - I need to administer myself with layers more alcohol - usually stronger versions."

To answer the first question, yes. I think it is that internal dialogue about alcohol that sets us hopeless boozers apart. I don't think Mr D spends any time whatsoever thinking about his drinking. Me.. I spent hours and hours thinking and worrying about my drinking.

And to respond to the email .. you can wonder forever why your partner is different to you when it comes to booze.. but the bottom line is.. he's not been bit by the booze bug - you probably have. Why you and not him..? Who fucking knows!!!!!!!! It's just not fair!! But it's the way of things.. some of us get bit.. some don't.

I think that's the hardest thing about this whole journey.. the point at which we have to accept that for whatever reason or reasons (and they are irrelevant what those reasons are) we are one of 'those' people that alcohol has got it's claws into .. one of 'those' people who cannot control or moderate.. one of 'those' people for whom the combination of alcohol + our brain is not a healthy or functional one.

That point of acceptance is hell and I for one certainly resisted it for a long time.. until I had proved to myself (after many more miserable binges, vomits and intensifying guilt) that it was true. I could not control and moderate alcohol and the only way to win the fight was to take it away.

Then you get hit with the FEAR of facing a life without alcohol (who does that? Who lives without any alcohol ever??!!) and then you get hit with the NERVES about how that is going to happen.. but hopefully somewhere deep down there is also great EXCITEMENT about what might develop as a result of this acceptance.

This post is convoluted because I'm grumpy and tired. Sorry. But just know.. that point of acceptance heavy with fear and nerves and deep misery (because of where the booze has got you to).. that is the magical, powerful, wonderful, sparkly point at which you take control back of your life.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reprogramming addictive thoughts...

The road to Sobersville is not easy - as GG brilliantly put it in a comment on my last post. It's not easy. I'm not going to gild the lily. Your body will pull you towards the booze and your brain will FREAK OUT and try every trick in the book to entice you to pick up again.

Thoughts like "I deserve it" or "I need it" or "everyone else drinks" or "it's a special occasion" or "I'm not going to have fun or relax without it" or my personal favorite the incredibly helpful "fuck it". That's just a general thought "fuck it I'm just going to drink".. it doesn't have any particular reason attached just a general "fuck it".

Those thoughts are not your friends.. they are not helpful or kind or wise.. they are the thoughts of your inner addict trying to get you to stay using the drug. So at first you have to be really really staunch about fighting them off. Talk about them out loud. Vocalise them to a friend or family member or just to yourself privately in the kitchen or while you are driving. Get them out.. separate them from you.. talk to them and tell them they're SHIT and have to go. Then work on replacing them with helpful kind thoughts.

Thoughts like "It's bollocks that I need it, I need it like a hole in the head" and "Lots of people get sober and happy and I can too" and "I'm going to be so happy tomorrow if I wake up with no hangover" and "I'm going to buy myself a fabulous new {insert object here} on Friday if I resist till then" and "I know that this will get easier and I will get to a place where I don't have this yearning" and "I only want the booze because I'm hungry/angry/lonely/tired/stressed what else can I do to deal with that."

Please add your own helpful kind thoughts below that you use to fight off cravings .. these are just some of mine. But the point is you need to identify that these desperate drinking thoughts are addictive thinking, you can start to turn them around and they will fade. That much is guaranteed!!!!!!

For me they used to come like a wave around 4.30pm but if I made it to 7.30pm ish I'd start to relax. Of course the house was always spotless by then because I'd be cleaning like a freak to keep myself distracted.

I've got in this lovely habit of having my slippers by the door and as soon as I get inside I pop them on - a relaxation trigger! Yes the onesie is getting quite a bit of use too (almost put it on at 4pm the other day, thank goodness I didn't because someone popped over unannounced! That never happens! Would have been very embarrassing if I'd been caught in full pink onesie glory).

I am really feeling the love. So many lovely people still reaching out and interacting on here and on Facebook. So many of us in the same boat. It's amazing, heartwarming, heartbreaking (at times), but strengthening and real. So very real. I keep saying it over and over but I'll say it again.. we need each other. That is all.

Love, Mrs D xxx