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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Staying sober matters the most...

Lifting up again - coolio! - knew I was getting my mojo back when I embarked on some new recipes last night. They were met with mixed success (the pineapple, thyme & feta salad was a hit.. the peas smashed with garlic, parsley and avocado not so much…)..

I keep lifting my eyes to the sky and watching the clouds.. imagining myself flying away on an airplane.. looking at the birds… remembering there is a big wide world out there and I am but one spec in it. A tiny spec, a minute drop in the ocean. Sometimes I get caught up believing that my worries, desires, troubles, triumphs are the most important..it helps me soooo much to look around at everyone everywhere all the time and remember they are all as wrapped up in their own lives as I am in mine, believing the same thing about themselves… it helps…

Getting the odd bit of shit thrown at me.. someone said my book was 'too self-congratulatory' for their liking… also a bit of 'what's she got to worry about in her life'.  You know what.. it's shit I can take. I'll take all the shit that people want to throw at me.. those people don't matter. The people that matter are the people that are like me - those that understand what it's like to be locked in a miserable battle with yourself about booze. Those people matter.. and I'm not going to let anyone else stop me from standing up proudly as a person in recovery.

I have to remember where I came from.. and stay strong and sober. I have been having the odd sad pang about not drinking ever again. Wouldn't call it cravings but just kind of freaky "whoa am I honestly never going to touch alcohol ever again my whole life????!" thoughts. Hardly surprising given the intense phase I'm going through. It's ok.. it'll pass.. I'll stay strong and sober. I'm not going to pick up a drink.

I have to remember that I am still very much a 'newby' when it comes to my sobriety. Nearly 3 years sober is an eternity when you are trying to get to 2 weeks without a drink.. but in the grand scheme of a life, 3 years isn't much. Especially when you consider I spent 20+ years enthusiastically boozing. I'm still adjusting to my new way of life I'm sure.

The only thing that matters is that I stay sober.

Snippy reviews don't matter.. staying sober matters…

Failed dishes made with peas don't matter.. staying sober matters…

I'm staying sober forever.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, July 7, 2014

Grumpy as hell...

So much lovely warmth and support in the comments section.. I check all the time and it's just making me feel so great that you are all facing up to booze issues and helping each other out.. community! Can't wait till we get our new site which will be much more interactive and easy for everyone to use. I've seen some of the graphics now and they look cool.. similar colors to my book cover.. I'll put a sneak peak up soon.

Anyway if I'm brutally honest today I'm super-grumpy and everyone in my family is super-grumpy. It's been the grumpiest morning in the history of grumpy mornings here in this house but thankfully Mr D has now taken everyone away and I've got 3 hours to myself.. to answer emails, write content for the new site and do 3 more publicity interviews for the book. It made it to the bestseller list last week - WTF! - couldn't believe it.. after only a few days of sales.. so that was really exiting.

But I have to be honest I think the adrenaline that has been carrying me through these intense past few weeks has well and truly run out.. my cortisol levels have peaked (I made that up, is there such a thing?).. my synapses are fried (?) and my feel-good hormones have flown the coop (!).. or to put it another way I'm shitty and tired and grumpy as hell.

Don't think I'm being helped by the fact I've been eating CRAP. Lots of wheaty, biscuity, bready, sugary, weighty, heavy crap that always makes me feel sluggish and moody. I now know that I definitely feel lighter and happier if I eat real food - veges, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts, etc etc etc yadda yadda yadda…

(Just had to take a break to do a radio interview with Andy from More FM Rotorua and it was fun! He's cheered me up a bit so thank you Andy..!).

Anyway.. where was I.. oh yeah.. grumpy me. Enough of my moaning..

Had someone put a comment on my last post asking "Is that how you know you are an addict - that conversation in your head? That fight? I am trying to decide if I am an addict or not." and I also received an email from someone else who said; "I always wonder why I can have a few drinks with my partner then he's fine to head off to bed but I can't  - I need to administer myself with layers more alcohol - usually stronger versions."

To answer the first question, yes. I think it is that internal dialogue about alcohol that sets us hopeless boozers apart. I don't think Mr D spends any time whatsoever thinking about his drinking. Me.. I spent hours and hours thinking and worrying about my drinking.

And to respond to the email .. you can wonder forever why your partner is different to you when it comes to booze.. but the bottom line is.. he's not been bit by the booze bug - you probably have. Why you and not him..? Who fucking knows!!!!!!!! It's just not fair!! But it's the way of things.. some of us get bit.. some don't.

I think that's the hardest thing about this whole journey.. the point at which we have to accept that for whatever reason or reasons (and they are irrelevant what those reasons are) we are one of 'those' people that alcohol has got it's claws into .. one of 'those' people who cannot control or moderate.. one of 'those' people for whom the combination of alcohol + our brain is not a healthy or functional one.

That point of acceptance is hell and I for one certainly resisted it for a long time.. until I had proved to myself (after many more miserable binges, vomits and intensifying guilt) that it was true. I could not control and moderate alcohol and the only way to win the fight was to take it away.

Then you get hit with the FEAR of facing a life without alcohol (who does that? Who lives without any alcohol ever??!!) and then you get hit with the NERVES about how that is going to happen.. but hopefully somewhere deep down there is also great EXCITEMENT about what might develop as a result of this acceptance.

This post is convoluted because I'm grumpy and tired. Sorry. But just know.. that point of acceptance heavy with fear and nerves and deep misery (because of where the booze has got you to).. that is the magical, powerful, wonderful, sparkly point at which you take control back of your life.

Love, Mrs D xxx