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


  1. Hey Mrs.D,

    Great to catch the feeling and deal with it. I unfortunately am very well versed with that low hum of physical anxiety and it needs to be quashed as soon as you can, so well done.

    In my view when the stressors are not ameliorated or identified the risk is that a weird biochemical loop gets going, when the chemicals of stress cortisol, adrenaline etc. just start squirting out willy-nilly and it becomes a perpetual state.

    Totally not scientific there but I don't know else to describe it.

    The physical nervy feeling is one to watch out for but also ruminating. We need to check the mental manifestation of the stress when we run away with a thought and hours can pass playing out a weird mix of reality, fears, negative creative visualisations of how things may turn out etc. All this is petrol on the fire of the chemicals that feed the yucky physical feeling.

    The pro's would recommend mindfulness/meditation but I find wlaking, listening to the radio, reading and other distractions just as good. Filling my my up with other stuff to drown out the nervous 'noise' over emptying my mind and not engaging as in mindfulness.

    Anyway, keep doing the right things Mrs.D as you do! That bloody anxiety stuff'll kill all the fun given half a chance.


    1. Obviously lots and lots of wlaking helps however I also recommend walking too!


    2. awesome thanks for this, I get that looping negative thing going on, not fun

  2. Thanks for this post. I think that drinking is a common solution for many of us that suffer with anxiety and depression

  3. Mrs D, that is the exact right thing to do. Taking a moment to listen to yourself and then a breath. Well done.

  4. No matter what, pausing and just "being still" is ALWAYS a good idea.

    I just love the term "naval gazing" it makes me smile.


  5. I reckon you are right on track with that one. Another is to consistently (like 3 x day) stop and inhale / exhale slowly 10 times, Kind of a mini mediation. Its really helpful - not that I ever do it, but I think meditation is the next thing I need to make space for in my life - it really works xx

  6. What you say there is the key to recovery for me...

    I'm feeling x or y? Or more often I just say "I'm not feeling right!"
    What is going on?
    Why am I reacting like this to it?
    What can I do about it? Often the answer to that is "nothing" - it that is so then work on accepting that and just letting it be

  7. LOVE your blog. Just posted my first on the bottleatemyhomework and I am scared to death.

  8. You are all so brave. Just made my first post and am scared to death.

    1. Head over to LIVING SOBER website, a warm, caring community to support you on your

  9. I feel anxious a lot of the time. Often it's debilitating but the positive side to it is that when I accomplish seemingly small tasks I feel a great sense of elation. For example, ordering a meal in a restaurant without a quiver in my voice. I'm hoping through diet, exercise and not avoiding situations it will improve. I'm not interested in pharmaceuticals, I think they'll lead to their own problems.
    Of course there's tea. Tea always helps :-)

  10. I relapsed yesterday hate myself today.

    1. It's not your fault, it's the disease you're fighting. Brush yourself down and go again.

  11. I love the term naval gazing, I can just imagine a line of people all bending their heads and looking at their belly buttons.

  12. I can imagine that it must be very nerve-wracking with all the usual and new responsibilities you have , Mrs D. But you'll be back to share them with you, soon, I imagine.
    Mrs Penelope Dropped, thanks for the smile you gave with your own response to the wlaking advice. Works for me.

  13. You are doing so much better than 'fine', Mrs D! Pausing and taking stock. It's a good thing. Nothing half-cocked or amateurish about that. Thank you for moderating and doing all that you do on the LS site too. And navel gazing..... that's a good thing. It's why I chose to stop drinking. I owned up to the fact that I didn't really like alcohol all that much. My body liked it even less. However we arrive at the place where we are comfortable is all that counts. And if that means stopping and closing your eyes and taking a breath, being present in your body; know that you are doing the best you can on any given day. In my mind that is all that matters. GeeA