Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Life In The Raw

I 'watch' an awful lot of people getting sober nowadays - through their blogs or the many updates they share at Living Sober. I am constantly amazed at how similar our journeys in sobriety are despite the huge differences.

Differences = the specifics. What we drank, how we drank, where we drank, how alcohol affected us, what support systems we do/don't have around us, what support systems we use to change, how long it takes for us to start feeling better when we quit, what we find difficult when we give up, what we find easy, what we discover about ourselves.

Similarities = the generalities. When we get to the point of change after a long period of heavy drinking we feel weak, wretched, and miserable. Our self-esteem is damaged, our self-worth is low. We stop drinking and it's hard bloody work at first. We are so focussed on the LACK of booze in our lives. It's hard having all that empty space where before we regularly experienced the warm, artificial 'high' of alcohol in our systems. We miss the drug. We grind through. Then we start to feel better, sleep better, look better, we hit a high - a pink cloud! Life is great! Our eyes get opened to what our drinking has done to our whole experience of life. We feel incredibly strong and grateful. It's not hard resisting booze. Then something emotional happens (because life is like that), we crash off our pink cloud and things get tough again. Physical cravings might come back. Emotional cravings come back (we feel left out, boring, emotional), we grind through, eventually we lift up again, we feel great!, then something emotional happens, things get tough again, we grind through, eventually we lift up again, we feel great!, then something emotional happens, things get tough again, we grind through, eventually we lift up again, we feel great!, then something emotional happens, things get tough again, we grind through, eventually we lift up again, we feel great!, then something emotional happens, things get tough again, we grind through, eventually we lift up again, we feel great!, then something emotional happens, things get tough again, we grind through....

Get the picture?

Welcome to life in the raw. It is up and down and up and down. This is actually what human existence is like. Who knew? I certainly didn't until I got sober. I had no understanding of the natural ebbs and flows of life. How could I when I interrupted that natural flow of my emotional state constantly with the drug of alcohol.

The good news is the longer you are sober the natural ebbs and flows get easier to manage because;

1) the longer you go without drinking the less extreme your mood fluctuations are
2) you start to understand yourself and your moods better
3) you stop thinking that alcohol is the answer to the low phase
4) you start to develop better coping mechanisms for the low phases
5) you work out natural, effective, authentic ways to lift yourself out of a low phase
6) you worry less about the low phases because you know they will pass
7) you accept that ups and downs are normal and that everyone has them
8) you feel much more connected and at peace with yourself, other humans and life in general

I'm generalising here and obviously this is based on my perspective and experience and there will be people who don't agree with all of this. But I wanted to type out a summary of what I understand a sober life to involve.

Life in the raw - it's totally the life for me.

Love, Mrs D xxx

P.S. Someone commented on my last post asking where they can find my book online. It is available on Amazon here, on Fishpond here or on Mighty Ape here.


  1. Oh yes. Yesterday, I could have drunk a whole bottle of I feel fine and think how stupid. That walk with the dog and a good night's sleep, must have made the difference.

  2. I feel like Ive encounered a whole new person. My whole personality has changed and at times it been hard actually accepting who I authentically am sober. As a young child I was incredibly shy and introverted and was deeply ashamed of being this way, so you can imagine the joy I felt in discovering alcohol. I could suddenly be that outgoing, social, sexually uninhibited person I so thought I admired. Hmmmm. Now 10 years sober I have had to make friends with the shy, quiet introvert and try to honour myself as I trult am. To be honest, its not been easy, especially living in a world where being introverted is not exactly welcomed by many people. Or understood. But if youre going to stay sober then probably accepting who you authentically are is probably one of the biggest things. And I deeply love being sober. I guess its called self love. And most drunks dont have a lot of that. Its a slow building thing but worth every second of discomfort.

    1. Thank you for this comment. It has really struck a chord with me.

  3. Love this! Rings very true for me. Culturally we are taught to stay in the middle with our emotions. No devastation and no euphoria. Alcohols helped us to keep that middle ground. But the highs and lows are what life is all about!

  4. SO true! I legit started to think I was bi-polar once I had been sober for a few months. Surely all this up and down couldn't be normal? Ummm...well 1. my body was still trying to repair itself 2. ups and downs are a normal part of life.

  5. I celebrated one year of sobriety yesterday! I am so glad I made this choice for myself.

  6. Life in the raw! I love this!
    Yes to everything you said about low moods!

  7. I'm about to go into detox and rehab and am really looking forward to feeling better. Quite scared too. I admire you for what you've done xxxx

  8. Congrats to Angi above!

    Love this post so very much Mrs. D. Thank you. Adding to my "sober motivation" folder. I always was aware of the ups and downs of life but I used wine to deal (I'm happy! Let's have a drink! OR I'm miserable! Let's drink!) Getting through them now sans alcohol had been so weird and eye-opening. And as you said above, they are less extreme and when I do hit a low point, I know it will pass (at least I tell myself that). I am so grateful to be living my life this way than turning to a toxic, mind altering substance.

  9. I am 14 days sober, I feel sad!! I have no reason to be sad. I have been drinking heavily for a couple of years, steadily at home and bingeing at social gatherings, friends used to ridicule my weak bladder when I was drunk, and I would wake everyday with what I call beer fear. I often couldn't recall the night before and got into very embarrassing situation. Tonight I'm supposed to be at a celebratory meal with ten boozy girlfriends, but I got so anxious about telling them my plan to sober up. I lied, made up an excuse and stayed home. I feel likewise should be happy but today I'm not sure its all worth it. Where are those pink clouds?

  10. TOTALLY agree Mrs D! Life is just so calm and simple now. Not fuelled with wine. Socialising for me has significantly changed on the weekends etc - no longer is our house the party house and I don't go out as much to other events etc, but I feel so much happier. And don't want to be anywhere else other than here at home with my beautiful family. My enthusiastic wine drinking is over but my amazing sober (emotion filled) life is here to stay. My heart is calm and content.
    Funny how no one ever wakes up in the morning after being out sober at a 'do' and says, 'God, I wish I'd drunk last night'!!!
    Waking up is one of the BEST feelings ever these days. Bliss!

  11. I am not very technologically minded so don't know if you would have seen this reply to your comment you left for me. I wanted to make sure you saw it so I am putting it here too. With much love and respect to you Mrs D.
    "I would be honoured to grace your blog list Mrs D. Yours was the first ever blog I found and it is still my launchpad for reading most of my other favourites. Thank you for everything you do online, so many people are here because of you."
    It has taken me almost 15 months since I first read your month by month account of your first year to even make 89 days but here I am. You really do do great work here and thank goodness I and so many others found our way here. Just wanted to to say thank you and tell you I delighted I was when I saw your comment, felt like I had been nominated 'Prom Queen' ha ha.

  12. I wonder if any of your readers have felt the same way as I do now? I have been drinking steadily for 15 years and have been contemplating giving up booze and living a healthier lifestyle as i feel so totally rotten and unhappy. I made that decision last weekend and have now been sober for a week - maybe it is early days and all the nasties have yet to come out of my system but I still feel miserable, tired and very vunerable. I think the drink may have covered up something that was missing in my life, a big hole that is still not filled - how do you find that? I feel that if i don't find what it is that i could easily start drinking again because I am not feeling great like so many others have mentioned on the blog - am I being too impatient? has anyone any suggestions or hints? as i would be very grateful to hear them, thanks :-)