Sunday, October 4, 2015

With my tribe...

What an utterly amazing afternoon I had yesterday meeting up with a bunch of members of our amazing community website - Living Sober.

A number of the members from around New Zealand (and one from Australia!) had organised themselves to travel to central NZ where I live to hook up for the weekend. They organised their own flights and car rides... booked into the same motel where possible (some even sharing rooms!) and partook of a series of meals and get-togethers in cafes and restaurants.

I met up with them for a late lunch yesterday at a pub in town. They'd organised a private area and we came together for 3 hours.

I shared many warm hugs.

I shed many tears.

I heard many tales.

I listened to singing, poetry and prose.

I spoke briefly and answered many questions.

I had numerous moments when I paused mentally, looked around and really took stock of what was happening. Here I was sitting in a room full of people - most of whom I had never met in person before - and I felt incredibly comfortable and in the right place.

I felt like I was with my tribe.

The truth is my whole life I have been fiercely independent. I’ve never been what you could call a ‘joiner’. I didn’t play sports so I wasn’t in any teams. I never managed to stick at any music groups or anything like that. I didn’t do that many organised extra activities. I didn’t feel like I fitted in at high school... I always used to joke that I had ‘job commitment phobia’ because I would chop and change my jobs so often...and mentally I've always kept myself on the outer. I always felt like I was ‘pretending’ to be one of the gang – whether it be the 'cool kids'  gang at school or the TV journalists gang at work or whatever.

I've always felt in a bit of a bubble. Booze helped me maintain the bubble I think. It put a wall up between me and everything else. It helped me to not care - a self protection mechanism. If I don’t care about this group or this job or this whatever then if it goes it can’t hurt me.

I was always trying to stay one step ahead of things going.

Maybe this is why when I set about getting sober I embarked on it as a purely solo mission. Me in my bubble fixing myself. I don’t need anyone else. Fiercely independent me.

Little did I know that getting sober would finally lead to me finding my place. The group I belong to that I don't have to pretend that I feel a part of. My tribe. 

To be sitting in that room yesterday felt incredible. I felt at home. Really at home.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. What a bunch of beautiful and healthy looking people, too! That's what struck me!
    Gorgeous. :Dx

  2. I am still glowing from the after effects of our weekend......and some family that I overnighted with last night (on the way home) - said whatever I'm doing 'looks good on me'! It's not drinking alcohol - which they knew. And find difficult to comprehend. And it's also the fact that for the first time in my life - I have allowed myself to be 'the real me'. And too bad if it doesn't suit some folks....... cos it fits me perfectly! Loved the photo Mrs D. We all look so happy..... and what's more we are!

  3. Freaking bloody fantastic!
    I'm a little envious.

  4. Oh Lotta - tears are streaming down my face. "I've always kept myself on the outer" Ditto and I'm so happy you've found your tribe xx

  5. Mrs D I am sitting in the sun in Malta on holiday reading your book back home on Saturday to my new life of sobriety. You have inspired me, made me laugh made me cry but most of all made me determined to have a happier life thank you xxx

  6. This. Is. Brilliant. So wish I could have been there.



  7. Beautiful.
    It is shocking how the vulnerability and connection of sobriety can bring out the best in each of us.

  8. I think it's great that you all came together. I belong to your community board too, and I'm from the USA. You've got fans from all over. :)

  9. I read and re-read this blog several times this week, Mrs. D, and I just wanted to tell you that it is one of your best! I wish we could find a way to find "our tribes" wherever we live. I am in New England USA and someday I am going to locate all my tribeswomen and have a party just like yours! It made my week!

  10. Lottie I haven't touched a drop since chapter 1 which I read on 16 January. A very good friend said to me in the early days "don't you realise you never needed it....You have the personality anyway" her words and yours gave me strength ...that and my own independent stubbornness. Thank you so much. It's a shame not many people realise drinking DOES NOT equal "fun" and that abstinence is a viable (and easy) option. It's fulfilling to be an example to others and for them to see me dancing at 3am sober and have them consider themselves and wonder if they could do the same.
    Without you introducing me to the foreign world of abstinence (honestly, before I had NEVER considered that as an option....It's never suggested) I wouldn't have the much happier life I have. I owe you so much.