Saturday, May 23, 2015

No temporary relief ever again...

Everything's fine. I'm doing ok on my goals list from my last post. Gym semi-regularly, have been making green juices, reading books again (an amazing memoir called 'Fish Pie is Worse Than Cancer'  about how the author coped when her husband got cancer), relationships all smoothly running in the family, my diet is pretty good (resisting the sugar witch).. yadda yadda.

I'm still settling into my new sober skin and learning new coping mechanisms daily. Have been working on a new series of posts for Living Sober called 'Sober Story' which recounts the recovery journeys of people in long-term recovery. Some are around the same stage as me (3-4 years sober) but some are YEARS ahead (like Shane here who has 35 years under his belt). Gosh it's fascinating to hear from those long-timers. Makes me aware that my 3 1/2 sober years, while long and fabulous in one regard, is a drop in the ocean in terms of the big picture of my life.

I can't wait until I tip my life's balance into more years spent not drinking than drinking. When will that be? Let me figure it out.

0-15 didn't drink alcohol (15 years)
15 - 38 drank alcohol (23 years)

So I need 8 years of sobriety before I start tipping my life's balance into the sober side of things.

My last drink was September 5, 2011. That means from 6 September 2019 I will tipping my life's balance into the no-alcohol side of things. Oh happy day!

You know.. booze works. It takes us away momentarily from the stresses and strifes and woes and troubles and worries of everyday life. It works! But the problem is it's temporary. So actually it doesn't work in the slightest and all the stresses, strifes, woes, troubles and worries remain. In fact they get worse because drinking makes us tired and increases stress and anxiety and ruins relationships and stuff.

But yet that temporary relief is there. And it's appealing. Because who doesn't want to be temporarily taken away from all that stuff sometimes?

The trick for us people in getting sober is looking past that temporary relief to the bigger picture. And deciding to forgo that temporary relief forever more. It's hard work and unfair (in some respects).. but actually so deeply rewarding and smart.

And I'm very happy with my choice. Onwards towards 2019.......

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, May 15, 2015


1) I'm going to sort my eating out and not eat shit any more. Crappy foods badly affect my mental health (as I wrote in my other blog here). If I stick to a healthy diet I feel proud and strong AND my mood is more level. This is a no-brainer. I must stop looking at crap as 'treats' and start seeing it as 'toxic' (which it is for me). I am an alcoholic and my body chemistry is what it is. Also - because I have removed so much bad crap (sugar, alcohol, coffee).. when I put some of it back in (sugar mostly) I am far more negatively affected by it that I used to be. So my body is becoming a temple. Slowly. And hopefully my brain will catch up.

2) I'm going to remember to stay loving and open and kind and generous with all the people around me. Especially Mr D and our boys. Doing this makes all of us feel happier.

3) I'm going to start reading novels again and tip the balance back in favour of enriching activities - not just depleting ones (like endlessly checking my online sites).

4) I am going to go to the gym DEFINITELY two times a week, sometimes three if I can manage it.

5) I am going to keep working on providing warmth, encouragement and stimulating reading material to members of Living Sober and people who visit my various online sites (but not over-check them all day and remembering to do other things like read novels see above ha ha).

6) I am going to make myself a green juice at least once if not twice a week. They taste good but also I feel healthy and functional when I go through this process.

7) I am going to put little 'gratitude' notes in my gratitude bowl next to my desk every day. Gratitude works. Remember all the good things I have in my life and even the tough ones that teach me lessons.

8) I am going to keep looking forward, upwards and outwards. Not inward, backwards and downbeat (i.e. positive not negative)

9) I am going to remind myself that I am a good person who works hard and has done well, not just in getting sober but also in family & professional endeavours and give myself a mental pat on the back (especially when I am lying on the sofa watching crap TV playing Words With Friends on my iPad and not reading a novel ha ha)

10) I am going to make more lists because making lists is fun!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hey, Mrs D!

I received a comment on my last post. It reads: "Hey, Mrs D! I think it's awesome that you're able to stay sober and remain happy. Many of my friends think that soberness equals misery. Do you have any suggestions that I could give them to find happiness?"

I understand why your friends think like that because I did too.

I was hard wired to believe all these bullshit things about booze. That it was the best way to relax. That it was the best way to celebrate. That it was the best way to show that you are a good host. That it was the best way to bond with friends. That it was the best way to enjoy a wedding. That it was the best way to commiserate.

And so of course when I took the booze away I feared my life would become miserable and I would be a boring sober loser forever more. Of course I believed that because I gave alcohol so much goddamn power!!!!

I gave a stupid toxic liquid all the power to make my life rich and fulfilling and enjoyable and satisfying and meaningful and fun.

Now after 3+ years of living sober I think back to all the bullshit beliefs I had about alcohol, and I look back at all the power I gave that brain-bending shit, and I feel a bit ridiculous that I felt that way.

 Sober does not = misery. Sober just = not drinking alcohol.

Now when I have fun it's authentic fun that comes from a deep place within me. I'm happy because my friends are the right kind of people for me and they make me feel good. I'm relaxed because I'm not at work or I'm focusing on genuine things that trigger the pleasure receptors in my brain. I'm joyous because there's great music playing or I've heard some happy news or achieved a fulfilling milestone. I'm feeling loved-up because I'm surrounded by people I love.

Most of all I feel proud, strong, calm and happy. Did I mention genuine and authentic?

Sober does not = misery. Sober just = not drinking alcohol.

If anyone thinks any different they've clearly still got a bit of brain re-training to do! I've done this brain re-training, and I've turned my thinking completely around. It can be done. And I heartily recommend it.

Love, Mrs D xxx