Monday, September 1, 2014

Almost 3 years sober!

I'd give myself a B- right now on my targets for this intense month of parenting without Mr D around. I'm managing ok. Me and the boys have set some very clear rules about behavior and they're doing ok. They're busy, boisterous boys - completely self-absorbed, wonderful creatures in development - and we're muddling along ok.

Yes sometimes I yell but that's just a fact of life and I'm not going to beat myself up about it too much. It's ordinary yelling I'm sure and there are loads of hugs and calm interactions going on during the days as well. Every evening ends with a sober me chatting with each boy in bed, reading a story or having a cuddle and I'm happy about that.

Every night when I walk out of each boys room I say 'I love you', and in that moment I am thankful for being sober, it's a very good moment to practice sober gratitude. I'm very present now at that 8pm-ish point in the night and I never used to be because I had a drug in my system. Sorry to be so blunt about that but that's how I call it now. Alcohol is a drug and when I drank alcohol I was under the influence of that drug. Even one wine makes a difference. Only now that I have no alcohol at all in my life can I see what an impact that drug made to my connectedness.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being sober?

So anyway the parenting is going fine but the self-care not so much. It's the bloody sugar again. I just wrote a post over at Living Sober about this.. you can read it here. I've been a very bad girl. So starting today I am sugar-free for September.

Take that you fucking Sugar Witch living inside of me!!!!! I'm going to starve you to death!!!!!!! I'm going to stare you down and resist your cravings and in doing so I am going to feel strong and good once more!!!!!

I am three years sober on Saturday. Hhhmm what to do, what to do..? Maybe not much at all. Maybe just have a lovely ordinary sober day. Maybe just kiss my boys goodnight with an 'I love you' and feel just so happy that I have that shit booze out of my life.

Yes. That is enough.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, August 24, 2014


It's all on. We are all systems go in this house.. (well I am anyway). Mr D has packed his bags, picked up his guitar and walked out. Yesterday. He's gone and I am left to fend for myself….

For a month that is…

Ha! Trying to be dramatic. No but seriously.. Mr D is away for pretty much all of the next month working … he will be popping back occasionally (hopefully 2 nights a week but maybe only 1).. and he'll be a shell of a man very preoccupied with the mammoth work task he has on.

I've been laid up with a health complaint this past week.. feeling very sorry for myself, in pain, low energy, moving slowly etc etc.. Because I've been sick I've been feeling low mood-wise and because I've been feeling low mood-wise I've been eating crap. I've been locked in a terrible cycle of low-grade misery. But now I'm back to (almost) full health.. Mr D has gone and I am raring to go!!!!!

I am going to meet this month-long challenge head on. Here's what I'm going to do…

* I'm going to stay really on top of the household clutter and chores. If my space is clean & tidy I feel better. Sorry if that makes me sound like an anal control freak but it's something I know about myself… if I am feeling shaky inside tidying up makes me feel better. Yesterday after Mr D had gone to catch his plane the boys and I put our onesies on and watched an Adam Sandler flick eating chips and dip. I then let them play the Xbox while I got crazy-busy clearing up junk and wiping down surfaces and organizing little cluttered areas in the house (old magazines went out! All the sauces & spices that had accumulated on the bench went back into the pantry! Old broken lego creations got dumped into the big lego containers! Board games got tidied and piled up! It was super-satisfying).

* I'm going to eat and drink well. I'm going to cut down to 1 coffee a day. No wheat if I can help it. Very little amounts of sugar. Try and have 1 fresh juice a day. Gluten-free muesli with almond milk for breakfast (not sure if I'm going to like that but I'm going to give it a try). Lots of veges, fruit, eggs, meat & nuts. My body is a temple! If I fuel it right I will feel better mentally and physically. Just watched this clip of Jason Vale (he wrote the booze book that helped me so much) about treating our bodies well. It's short talk - only about 15 minutes long - but he makes a good visual point about how the way we choose to fuel our bodies plays such a massive part in our overall well being.

* I am going to work on the upcoming presentations I need to give so that I don't feel too nervous about them. I have been invited to speak at three public events in October about my drinking & recovery story. I need to deliver a presentation about myself articulately and entertainingly. I want to be prepared so I started working on my presentation last night. I'll keep honing it until I think it's ready…

* I am going to stay busy over at Living Sober communicating with others in the Members Feed.. keeping an eye on all the interactions to make sure everyone is being lovely (they are! Not one bit of nastiness or snippiness.. it's an amazing, amazing, amazingly kind and supportive space. It's working so well I'm blown away and so happy). And I'll keep posting on my blog there with interesting discussion points..

* I'll pop in here to keep an eye on other sober blogs and to update this my 'warm bath' blog which feels much more personal and intimate (weird I know given this blog is open to all just like Living Sober is, but this feels like my space whereas Living Sober feels like a public space and I don't want to make it all about me over there…). All of this online activity, while somewhat my job nowadays, also serves me well in my recovery ..

* And last but not least I'm going to stay very engaged with my three sons who are going to miss their Dad hugely. They are busy, emotional, developing people whom I love to distraction and I want to ensure they stay feeling supported and secure - while also teaching them the importance of HELPING OUT AROUND THE HOUSE!!!!!

And now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go make a green juice. Hopefully I can hold strong to my list of good behaviors for the month!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Big-Ass Sober Test...

Ok so this is new for me in my sobriety. Working again. Work stress. Juggling. Time pressure. Keeping calm under pressure. Trying to stay on top of things and manage all the demands of my life and remain feeling content and peaceful within (which is my ultimate goal. I hate it when I'm wound up!).

I suppose I had the relocation and the masters thesis to contend with after I got sober.. so I've had stress in sobriety before.. but for some reason this feels different. This Living Sober gig is a job. So I'm juggling now. I'm a classic juggling mum.. trying to run the house, keep the kids fed and happy and under control and attended to.. the husband attended to (not that he needs much, he's awesome) and myself calm and happy (the most important thing).

So yeah.. this is a big-ass sober test.

I'm up for the challenge. I can recognize when I'm starting to get stressed.. I can feel it in my body - my shoulders go up and a pressure comes on in my chest, and my head gets a lot of white noise.. none of this is major or crippling, but I can sense it when it comes...

I'm going to meet this challenge head on. I'm going to listen to the clever people who can help me manage this (Tara, Dan Siegel, Byron Katie) I'm going to drop my shoulders when I feel them rising.. look up at the clouds when I notice my eyes have been stuck downwards for too long, keep checking in with my head and my chest - I don't know how to explain this but there are ways that I can 'check in' with myself and notice what I'm feeling and ground myself momentarily…

And mostly I'm going to remember that this year - 2014 - is a monumental year for me.. what with the book coming out and going so public about my drinking problem.. having overwhelming, amazing and lovely response from people who self-identify as being in a similar position with booze and wanting to change themselves and get sober, and now having created (with the help of expert partners) a new online space where people are actually finding support and changing (it's un-fucking-believable what is going on inside Living Sober already.. wow wow wow it's full of people turning their lives around. Like actually turning. their. lives. around).. but yeah.. this is a big year, and this year will pass and these things will become less intense, more just a part of the woodwork, and it will be 2015, 2016, 2020, 2025, and life will move on and I just have to keep moving through it trying to be smiley and lovely…

So this is where I'm at.

And now I'm going to go brew myself a cup of the new Chamomile & Lavender tea that I just bought. Will it be yummy? Hope so!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, August 11, 2014

** crickets **

Feels like a bit of a graveyard over here. Hellooooooooooo…… anybody out thereeeeeeee………

I always said that I was going to keep up with my blog here at Mrs D Is Going Without after we launched Living Sober. I'd say to people 'my blog is like my warm bath.. and the new site is like the netball court. I'm going to run onto the netball court and play like crazy but I want to have my warm bath to come back to…'

So here I am settling into the warm waters of my lovely Blogger blog… tired out and sore from all that running around the netball court that is Living Sober.

And WOWSERS!!!!!!! The site is going great guns!!!! Honestly.. it's buzzing, humming, fair rolling along with loveliness, grittiness, honesty and togetherness. Exactly how I imagined it might work. There's still some issues to work out in terms of the members 'feed' where all the updates get posted… but the web designers are brilliant at responding to stuff so I'm sure we can work it out.

Over 400 members in less than a week! And many of those aren't interacting yet which means they're lurking and (hopefully) starting to reflecting on their own lives and the role alcohol plays in it … and most importantly realise that it's actually possible to remove booze, retrain your brain and live a wonderful, full, fun life with no alcohol in it.

Jeepers sometimes I can't believe the turn my life has taken since I got sober!!!!!!! So many wonderful things have transpired since that massive decision on the morning of Sept 6, 2011 when I thought to myself 'I've got to get this shit out of my life'. I'm loving all this noise and busy-ness.. loving the new website and the book and stuff. But most of all I love being sober. And in 20, 30 years when some of this other stuff has moved away or morphed into something else or whatever is going to happen.. I'll still be sober. Gloriously, robustly sober. Hooray.

I'm doing good.. but I'm definitely busier and more distracted by the computer. I'm going to have to set myself 'rules' of when I'm on and off (so bloody tempting to keep checking to see what's happening).. but I want to make sure I look after me and my sober lifestyle.. keep a balance between work and home.. stay focussed on my boys and myself - diet, positive thinking, sleep, sober treats etc etc.

Paul wrote this brilliant post recently about making sure we turn that advice we always give others back on ourselves. So Mrs D, go gently & treat yourself very kindly.

Will do.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Living Sober is live!!!!!

Well that took for-bloody-ever..! I've been pacing around the house like a cat on a hot tin roof with ants in my pants (mixing metaphors) waiting for word that the site is live. But good things take time and finally we are good to go.

Please come join the community at Living Sober. Come one, come all. Everyone is welcome. Whether you're just beginning to think about the role booze plays in your life, actively trying to get sober or have been happily in recovery for a while - please join in. The site needs people at all stages of recovery. Because we can all help each other.

Even you lovely lurkers.. come on over and lurk away!

Big thanks to the amazing people at Curative (I'm looking at you Eddy!), the clever folks at 96Black,  and the wise, wonderful support partners at the NZ Drug Foundation, Health Promotion Agency and Matua Raki.

Now what are you waiting for….. get over there….Living Sober is the place to be...

Love, Mrs D xxx