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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hotel mini bars...

So our three sons went to my sisters for the weekend and Mr D and I went to a HOTEL for TWO NIGHTS with NO KIDS!!!!!!

It was awesome. It was low-key and relaxing and treaty and peaceful and lovely. We just hung out happily in each others company doing not much but reading books and surfing the net and watching tele and I did a face pack and painted my nails and we went out for brunch twice and dinner once and to a couple of movies.

If I was the old me - the boozy me - I would have seen this weekend as the perfect excuse to drink more than usual. Fun treaty weekend! Time for bubbles! Bloody Mary for brunch! Lets have cocktails before dinner! A nightcap before bed! Glug glug glug.

I would have boozed throughout, slept like crap, dragged my sorry hungover body around during the day.. I would have just been that boozy version of me that I was for so long. I've written about this before here.

And the hotel had made it easy for me to do that… I'm telling you, the mini-bar was stocked to the gunnels with booze. There was sooooo much grog in that tiny fridge I'm surprised there was room for anything else. It'd be hard if you were still being tempted by booze if you had that little fridge in your face. I'd call ahead and have it emptied if I was in early sobriety I think.

But I'm not tempted by that shit any more or swayed by their fancy labels. Their labels might as well read 'EVIL DRUG THAT WILL MESS WITH YOUR LIFE'.. coz that's how I see the stuff now. No offense to clever beer brewers or talented wine makers. I respect your craft. But for me - quite simply - your product is an evil drug that will mess with my life.

I took half of it out to make room for the deli foods I'd bought along… and had a ginger beer on Friday night in a martini glass, and on Saturday night I had an iced tea with an ice cube in it in a martini glass. The rest of the time I drank herbal tea or coffee.

It didn't matter one bit. Booze couldn't have added anything to this weekend. It would have taken away. I did lush out a bit on pate and tasty cheeses and ginger crunch and stuff. But those things don't dull my senses or affect my sleep or fuck with my addicted brain.

I got interviewed this afternoon for a parenting magazine about my drinking and sobriety and the blog/book/new website. It was fun - the journalist was lovely. At one point she asked me "do you feel sad thinking that you won't be able to drink ever again?"

I answered her from the deep down honest bottom of my soul.

No. I do not feel sad that I will never drink alcohol ever again.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, August 1, 2014

You are brave and amazing...

So the movie I went to at 11.30 am the other morning by myself (what fun!) was 'Begin Again'. I totally 100% recommend it. Mark Ruffalo my all time favorite actor love love love him. Keira Knightly who I can usually take or leave but was just great. James Corden love him..Adam Levine great..Catherine Keener great.. everyone great.

But the story.. the story…! So lovely. And the wonderful music - a huge feature of the entire film - so moving and beautiful. And the themes of love and artistry and authenticity.. and yes.. there was a little bit about alcohol in there too.

There was one teeny moment late on in the film, I won't give it away but will say it was something that was said/done in relation to alcohol, it wasn't a big drama moment in the film, a throwaway line.. but shit it got me.

I burst into tears. I had this immense reaction to this thing that this dude said/did. Tears were flowing down my cheeks. I could feel my heart so raw and open and touched, bursting with emotion. Yes it was about the moment in the film, but it was about my place in the world and my relationship with myself.. it was everything and it was wonderful.

I'm an alcoholic living in recovery. I drank wine heavily and steadily my entire adult life until nearly 3 years ago and now I don't touch it ever. I am still learning how to be a fully emotional person. I am brave and amazing but I am raw and I am healing. I am also so grateful and happy for my sobriety. That is what those tears were about. That moment in the movie did all of that for me. Don't ya just love it when that happens?!

For everyone finishing Dry July but wanting to continue not drinking I say GO FOR IT!!! We don't need that shit in our lives! It's not true that it's necessary for good times. It's not true that it relaxes us. It's not true that it makes us more interesting or more fun. None of that is true.

If you're in the thick sludgy mud of early sobriety, busting your balls to break the habit and re-train your brain know that the longer you go without drinking the easier it will become. Don't worry about what other people think… focus on the truth that only you know and - most important of all - know that you are not alone.

You are beating an addiction to alcohol and that makes you brave and amazing. Any expert will tell you that it's one of the hardest things for a human to do.. but it can be done and you can do it.

You are brave and amazing.

You are brave and amazing.

You are.

Love, Mrs D xxx