Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Peaks and troughs....

The longer I live sober the more I get to know my natural rhythms and flows. Ups and downs. Peaks and troughs.

I've just been away from home for 9 days.. busy busy family holiday with loads of other people around and very little (no) time to myself. Looking after the boys on my own mostly (Mr D was only with us for the first 3 nights), driving from place to place to place throughout the days, not getting my usual 8ish-hours of blissful sleep every night, harder to keep eating healthily, extended family matters taking up more brain-time than usual, lots of planning and negotiating activities.

I'm not complaining, it was a great holiday! Really stimulating and fun. Lovely reconnecting with a lot of my family. Fun being out of my usual routine and away from my house which I usually spend endless hours in. And the boys had a super-fun time with loads of activities and sleepovers and input from grandparents, aunties & uncles, cousins and friends.

It was all good.

But I KNEW that I would come home exhausted and I KNEW that after about 3 days at home I'd hit a bit of an emotional slump. I know now from having lived raw & sober for 3+ years that a big energy output like that I've just had on my holiday takes it out of me and I'll have a corresponding 'low' in the week following.

I know this and I was prepared for it.

So yesterday it hit and sure enough I felt exhausted, a bit low and itchy and irritable. I ate bad food. I surfed mindlessly on the computer too much (note to self: stay away from dailymail.co.uk!). I felt a bit blah.

{ha ha while I was writing this I just went over to the dailymail.co.uk and spent 10  minutes looking at crap paparazzi shots of celebrities. I MUST BREAK THIS ADDICTION!!! Mrs D is Going Without The Daily Mail starts NOW!!!}

Yesterday as 5pm approached I realised I was stuck in this emotional rut and needed to do something about it. Not something to avoid it and make it go away (like drink 5 glasses of wine). Something to just acknowledge that I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I needed to take care of me.

So I went to my bedroom and put my comfy pants on (comfy pants are my new 'glass of wine'. I wrote a post about that on Living Sober - here). I shut the curtain and turned on the lamps. I fizzed up a bottle of soda water using my SodaStream and poured it into a large goblet with ice cubes and lemon slices. I lit a scented candle.

These things sound trite and dumb but it was more about what was going on in my head. I was calm and gentle with myself. I was understanding myself and my rhythms. I was accepting my mood for what it was - it made sense to me and was ok. And I was being kind.

Nothing escalated with my internal feelings or behaviours with my family. I didn't freak out. I just went gently through the evening and then fell into bed and slept for NINE HOURS.

BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!! Try THAT with a belly full of wine!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm still tired today but that's ok too. I know that it will take me quite a few days to get fully back to normal. I know that because I stay fully connected with myself now 100% of the time. I don't blur myself and make myself harder to understand. I am sober, alert & aware of my feelings 100% of the time, and now only after months and months of living this way am I really starting to reap the benefits.

And people still ask me if I miss drinking. Ha ha no way. All of these benefits - like greater self knowledge - they can't be quantified. They are immense and wonderful.

That's my experience anyway.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I love you. Nothing trite about that. You have no idea about how many people you inspire. Xxx:D

  2. The Daily Wail I call it Lotta! Can't read it as I get too incensed ;) Self-care is good :) xx

  3. Dear Mrs. D,
    Today, I too am glad I don't drink anymore. I hope I feel that way more and more days.
    You were very smart to be prepared for a down time, and then take care of yourself.
    I am still learning this!
    Thank you for a hopeful post!

  4. Hi Mrs D, sounds like a wonderful but exhausting holiday! I hope that one day I can go on a wonderful sober holiday too. Take care of yourself and I hope you are back to your normal cheerful self soon. A xx

  5. Boo-Yah!!!! Awesome! Love comfy pants, wonderful fizzy drinks and love scented candles.

    Oh! and love you!!!


  6. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your book - what a great read and am very glad you are still hanging in there enjoying life over there across the Tasman

  7. You had me at Daily Mail! I am halfway through your book, which I'm finding insightful and inspiring - thanks so much for helping me to understand better your struggle with alcohol - will help me to be hopefully more thoughtful and effective with my patients. I will be recommending it! But I'm not sure there's any hope for me, with my Daily Fail addiction....

  8. Also known as the Daily Fail often here - best ignored if possible

  9. Holidays,even good ones seem to take us out of our comfort zone.I thought it was just me.Knowing others share my experiences is one of the biggest lessons I've learned in getting sober.It's constant source of wonder.

  10. Your journey is strength. My journey feels like crap at the moment. Just need patience but know sobrietry is full on and worth it...