Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lego lego everywhere...

Hey lovely people in the online recovery world.. boy are we a mixed bunch. Check out the comments section on the last post if you haven't already.. there's some fantastic interactions going on there. Some wonderful support, lots of grit, plenty of brave honesty, and a whole bunch of we're-in-this-together-ness.

Some people are feeling GREAT and on top of the Sober World!! Others are feeling bummed they're not quite managing to stay off the sauce yet, some are experiencing glimpses of wonderful FREEDOM from the evil clutches of alcohol, others are feeling glum like not drinking means they're missing out on all the fun.. and some are just ordinary - not particularly high or low - just ordinary.

I'm probably one of those last types right now. I've come through my slumpy-phase and can feel myself slowly lifting up again. Eating better, feeling the old 'gritty attitude' return.

Where-ever you're at it's ok. Relapse is often a part of recovery (so the experts tell me) so if your sobriety journey is beginning in a stop-start manner don't fret. Just keep being honest with yourself and talking it out with others here and reading, reading, reading lots of other people's journeys in the blogs down the left hand side of this page.

Getting sober is the ultimate in self-care and I often forget that I need to keep up with other self-care habits I've had in place for the last 3 years. For me it's little things like starting every day with a nice mug of my favorite Green Tea with Mandarin - that sends a message to me that I'm on the right track for the day. And I'm swearing off the floury/sugary foods again because when I do that I always feel loads better (body and mood).

There's a section on the new website (only about a week away now - yay!) called 'Sober Toolbox' where we can all share our tips and tricks for sober self-care. Here's a sneak peak of what it'll look like...


I'm sure once we all start contributing to it it'll be full of wonderful wisdom and great ideas. Things like yummy drink alternatives, different ways of explaining our not-drinking to friends and family, re-framing the reward concept, favorite sober treats, how best to get through the witching hour, how best to deal with tricky emotions... etc etc… I can't wait to see it grow and get some good ideas from y'all.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being sober? I LOVE BEING SOBER! I love it heaps and heaps and heaps. I love it to the moon and back. I love it because it just feels so right. I love being a non-drinker. I love being a non-drinker more than I used to love being a drinker, and that's saying something because I really did love my wine. But no longer. That shit has no place in my life.

And now if you'll excuse me I need to go clean up some little boy mess, because that's what I do allthefuckingtime.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, July 25, 2014

Honesty at the Book Store...

I spoke at an event at my local bookstore last night. I was nervous..! It was the first time I'd fronted up to a crowd of strangers. But it went really well. A good number turned out given it was a cold winter's night here in my home town. The book store staff made a delicious hot mulled apple juice (I'll put the recipe on my Facebook page) and I had some lovely chats with really nice people.

There was a little bit of formality. The book-store owner rang a wee bell and then stood behind the counter and said a few words about me which were very kind and then I had to do a bit of a 'talk'.  I'd been thinking for the past few weeks how I was going to run through the story of this blog and how it turned into a book etc.. but then on Tuesday I decided to just start by being raw and honest.

Truth is I've had quite a vulnerable week.. still eating really badly which awakens the awful dysfunctional feelings in my brain and reminds me of the awful dysfunctional feelings I had when I was boozing so heavily. The kind of 'you're shit, you're not in control' feelings. Question: Why did I abuse my body with alcohol and why do I now sometimes do it with food? Answer: Coz it tastes sooooooo good…..! But anyway I've been allowing myself to eat crap and it's been making me feel a bit low..

Then I'd spoken on The Bubble Hour about loving the feeling of booze in my body, and some people commented on my blog about loving that feeling too.. and I could feel some familiar sad longings inside myself regarding alcohol (the bloody monster inside me - my internal addict - moaning a bit in her sleep). Then my lovely fellow blogger Thirsty Still wrote a powerful post that I found quite challenging about that familiar lovely buzz of booze.. and Mr D's about to go away for 5 weeks..... 

Basically a bunch of things have led to me feeling a bit shitty and vulnerable emotionally.  I could feel that as the week went on..have had the odd teary episode.. and so I decided to be all honest with the group gathered in the book store and tell them.

I told them that I'd been feeling vulnerable.. (tried not to cry) .. I told them that I'd been aware of a vague familiar longing inside myself recently which I identify as being my inner addict/alcoholic stirring in her sleep.. and then I told them how I'd worked to counteract those feelings.

How I'd written a post about how amazing it is to be feeling like there's a sober revolution taking place around me, how I'd visited lots of other blogs and left comments for people, how I'd reached out to The Fix to ask if they wanted another article from me, how I'd started planning what I was going to say at the Book Store, how I'd been to a meeting about the new website, how I'd posted some articles on my Facebook page, how I'd replied to many emails.

How I'd worked hard to stay on top of my thoughts.. and get myself through.. because there was no way I was going to indulge that sad longing. That sad longing can bugger off! 

That's why I do all this. That's the bottom line. It's not about book sales or publicity or showing off. It's because I'm an alcoholic and externalizing my internal struggle keeps me sober. I knew that the minute I wrote my first post, and I know that still today. 

And I know this vulnerable phase will pass. I know that I'm going to get on top of my eating GODDAMMIT! And I know that I'm going to stay sober. It's just an on-going, robust process, that's all. 

But then again… isn't that just a description of life? Life is an on-going, robust process. One I choose to go through sober.

Love, Mrs D xxx 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's a REVOLUTION!!!!

There are SOOOOOOOO many people who are getting sober around me right now! Have a look at all the comments on my last few posts… there are people on day 6, day 1, day 44, day 21. Someone's heading into week six, someone's reached 4 1/2 months, someone else at 3 years. And on my Facebook page there are people proudly exclaiming they're at day 16 or day 43.. and privately in emails many, many people are still reaching out to let me know they are giving this sober living thing a go too.

Yes!!!!!!!!!!

We are the revolution!!!! We are the ones saying 'you know what.. this shit isn't as ordinary as milk and bread (although it's sold in our supermarkets as if it is).. this shit is destructive and it's bringing me down.. I'M TAKING IT AWAY'.

That's what we're doing folks.. we are taking that shitty alcohol out of our lives, we are gritting our teeth through the rough early adjustment phases, we are retraining our brains to see alcohol for the shit it is (and not the golden ticket to fun) and we are becoming fully alive, fully emotional, fully realised human beings.

Raw. Real. Recovered.

I am LOVING all the interactions that are going on in the comments section on here.. all the lovely support and encouragement and togetherness. I am really loving it and please hang in there because I know this blog is limited in what it can offer all of us but we are very close to launching the new site that will be so much more interactive and personalized for each of you. It will be free and you can create an anonymous profile if you like. I'll be posting and commenting and interacting daily to keep us all together and engaged. It's going to be GREAT and even if we need to tweak the design as the weeks go by we'll do that so that all of us here in the online recovery community are happy (and that means you too lovely lurker who is reading but hasn't participated yet).

I've just spent the morning as parent helper at my Little Guy's kindergarten. Three and a half hours of playdoh and dress-ups and storybooks and finger painting. I looked into all the little 4-year-old faces around me and thought that these kids are going to grow up in a society that has shifted it's approach to alcohol. I'm convinced they're going to grow up in a society that is far more open & honest about the dark side of alcohol. A society where it is common, totally acceptable and not at all shameful for people to admit they don't drink alcohol because they can't control it.

One by one we are helping create that society.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Get off the computer mum!!"

It's cold here, we're coming to the end of two weeks of school holidays..things are ticking over ok in our household. My diet still needs a bit of work (the bad habits through the crazy 'coming out' weeks are proving a little hard to shift).. but my sleep is back to normal and I've started reading some novels again and am pottering around my house relatively calmly.

Making pumpkin soup today and getting ready to host some friends for a roast dinner tonight. They asked if there was anything special I'd like them to bring for me to drink - which was super nice of them - but I said "to be honest I'm mostly just drinking soda water nowadays".. which was a bit boring.. and she thought so too and said "wouldn't you like something more treaty..?" and so I said "whatever you bring I will happily drink".. so we shall see (so long as it's not booze it should be fine!).

The liquid fixation has definitely passed.

Did a wonderful Bubble Hour show this week. A whole hour of recovery-related chat but it felt like 10 minutes! We spoke at one point about how unique and individual everyone's drinking story is, just as everyone's recovery story is too.

I'm really careful to try and not judge others drinking habits or compare their recovery to mine My truth is my truth.. and my relationship with myself is all that matters at the end of the day. I can share my truth with all and sundry (which I do all over the internet all the time!!) and people can draw what they can from my story.. but their story will be different.

It might only be a little bit different.. or it might be a lot different… but it's guaranteed it will be different. I learn from so many others who share around this lovely online recovery community.. it's so freaking great how we can all learn from and support each other despite our unique experiences of addiction.

On that note my middle boy is sitting next to me hassling me to get off the computer so he can go on YouTube and watch some dude in another country play a video game he likes. So I'd best be off.

Have wonderful weekends everyone. Be very kind to yourselves.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Loving the naval gazing nowadays...

I hate to be all Pollyanna on it but I've had some truly glorious 'HOLY SHITBALLS I LOVE BEING SOBER!!' moments this weekend. Just these magical little snatches of time when I can't believe how amazing it is that I now work my brain completely differently to deal with life, and that I have discovered that booze is completely unnecessary for good times.

I flew to my hometown for the weekend for another wee book launch party for family and friends.. and my Mum invited along a woman who was 27 years in recovery…. 27 YEARS!!!!!! Anyway this gorgeous, amazing long-time recovery person made some comment to me that I was clearly having a 'meaningful recovery'.. I think that's what she said…? Or profound recovery? I can't exactly remember but what I think she meant was that not only had I just taken the alcohol away but I had experienced a significant shift in my entire experience of life.

I think this is the thing that has worked so well for me.. not only have I taken the booze away, beaten cravings and broken the habit.. but I have completely changed my approach to how I deal with things. And it's all this 'emotional management' work that makes me so happy to be sober.

I was having a conversation with my Dad and Step-Mum about Tara Brach and how wonderful she is at helping me think about the world in calm ways.. even when shitty difficult really tricky shit is going down (and yes I have a lot of shitty, difficult, tricky shit go down like everyone does that I keep private and never blog about). I was discussing with them how I think often about what Tara advises about the ways to deal with my fellow humans and our world in all it's messy glory, and how tangibly helpful she is to my day-to-day life, how I love flexing my brain in this way, and how grateful I am to be open to this stuff this nowadays.

I was reflecting on how just 3 years ago I would have poo-poo'd the HELL out of someone like Tara Brach or any kind of self-reflective, meditative, naval-gazing BULLSHIT .. that mumbo-jumbo was for hippies and boring introspective types and I'm not like that thank you very much shall we open another bottle? Glug glug glug glug..

I was so happy in this conversation about Tara.. happy to have just the evening before experienced a lovely party with lovely people.. happy to have driven myself home at 11pm, happy to have woken up fresh and content, just feeling so happy and I suddenly turned to my Dad and said "and people ask me if I miss alcohol??!! ALCOHOL SCHMALCOHOL!!!!!!!!!" I said!

For me being sober isn't about the LACK of alcohol.. it's about GAINING so much. For me anyway.. I have gained so much from changing how I live and deal with emotional stuff. Tara Brach is my guru right now.. I might get a new one next year. A new author or speaker or technique or mojo or exercise or new hobby or whatever is going to lift me up an keep me going and get me through. And I love this hippy-dippy mumbo shit. A lot. It helps, it's real, it's so fascinating and fun.

It's true what they say. Putting down the drink is just the beginning.

And now it's time for a cup of tea...

Love, Mrs D xxx