Thursday, August 3, 2017

Introducing the Nucleus Accumbens

Had a lot going on lately. Very busy at home with the kids, doing my usual writing and social media and stuff, also working through some significant changes with my job at Living Sober, and had to give a talk yesterday evening in Parliament which also involved a bit of prep and some advance media (here and here).

Also managing to get in time to read some novels (this was great!), watch some of my beloved (crap) TV and go to the gym & walk the dog. Who am I??!! A busy sober housewife that's who!

Honestly I sometimes wonder how the hell I achieved so much when I was still boozing. Back then I was hellishly busy too - bringing up babies, working part time and doing my Masters etc... all of that and at least a bottle of wine a night. Sheesh... it's pretty amazing how much a human can handle.

Anyhoo it's far easier now I'm sober and I just love the end of every day when I'm snuggled up on the sofa or in bed with a mug of my favourite Chamomile tea. I LOVE my sober evenings, I LOVE laying my sober head on the pillow, and I LOVE sleeping all night long and waking up without a hangover. Bliss.

The Parliamentary talk went well. I was a bit nervous but not too bad - always happy to give voice to the thousands of us who are sober or busy getting sober. Bloody legends all of us. Happy to articulate our experience and try to get us more recognition. In this country we treat alcohol like a normal, ordinary, everyday, harmless commodity and that is simply not the case for all of us.

They had delicious mocktails at the event and I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo and asking for the recipe as it'd be a great drink to share!

And I am very proud to report that I am STILL avoiding flour and sugar and I'm feeling sooooo much better for it. I've been reading about the human brain and I now know that it's the Nucleus Accumbens which is responsible for dopamine production and when you pound it all the time with substances that cause major dopamine surges (alcohol, cocaine, sugar & flour to name but a few) it 'downregulates' and gets smaller, so then you need more of the stuff to kick out any dopamine.. and then you're in the addiction cycle, one that I know so well.

So now I like to think that I'm in the process of healing my Nucleus Accumbens back to normal size by avoiding these things and then I'll have a healthy brain capable of delivering normal, healthy doses of dopamine when appropriate - not when forced out by crappy stuff.

Love learning about my brain! Real practical information is really helpful for me when making decisions. And I'm so, so delighted to be free of ANY addictive behaviours at the moment. I truly feel free. Long may it last.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. It's amazing how important this "brain" thing is, isn't it? I remember reading about the possible damage to the brain while drinking, and I thought, well that's not so bad. It was the premature aging (complete with photos!) that got my attention. I think that shows the state of my brain right there.
    I also gave up the sugar and white flour, and feel amazing. I'm reading your new book and following your trail through yoga and meditation, and love the humor, as always.
    Do you know what bothers me aside from alcohol in the grocery stores? The super high-potency beer and cocktail mixes they are making. Can you imagine if you'd started out on beer or wine coolers with double the alcohol content? And sold right next to the diapers. Ugh.
    Love your blog, Mrs. D. ��

  2. Wow!!
    Look at you in Parliament! That is so fantastic, you must be so proud of where you have come Lotta.

    So amazing xx

  3. Alcohol free for the rest of my lifeAugust 10, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    This is my first ever attempt at being on line other than fb and i'm even pretty bad at that. My story is so very similar to yours except I have about 15 years on you. I too started drinking in my mid teens and haven't really stopped except when I was pregnant. I woke up on a Sunday morning 3 weeks ago in my usual state of feeling guilty, sad, angry disappointed and sick. My lovely understanding husband, who has never once judged me and has only been a rock in our 33 years of marriage, handed me an article in the Sunday paper which was about you Lotta and your struggle with alcohol. I read it and thought this is me! I went out and read both your books and have been following your blog. You have inspired me to change my life forever.
    I want to let you know the timing was perfect and without being to sloppy, mean't to be. I am 19 days sober and I feel good. I am going to do this for me but also for my family who have already noticed and have been unwavering in their support.
    To know that there are other women out there with the same issues as me has been so inspiring and so helpful. To know I'm not alone is a great help. I feel ready to tackle this and am already enjoying the feeling of being sober.
    Thank you xx

  4. I have a nuclear what in my brain?!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!!! You speaking in parliament was probably about as daunting as it was for me to speak to you!!!