Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I am not tired...

Does anyone else feel like they live in a world where whenever you ask someone how they are everyone always replies with an"OK but super tired" or "good but so busy" or some such? It's like a badge of honour to always be completely flat out and exhausted. Or if not a badge of honour (because that implies that people are proud to be so busy and tired and that can't always be the case) then certainly an honest reality.

Everyone seems so stretched-to-the-max all the time. Running around working hard to earn money, raise kids, keep a house maintained, pay off the mortgage, exercise, stay in touch with friends and family etc etc yada yada.

Well today I am proud to say that I am NOT tired! I am well rested! I got 8+ hours sleep last night. And I got 8+ hours sleep the night before.

I don't always get so many hours of sleep. If Mr D is away out of town for work (which he often is) I don't sleep so well.. I go to bed later and sleep much more fitfully. And if the kids are unwell or I have something going on which is causing me extra 'brain noise' then I don't sleep as well either.

But if all the planets align, which they seem to much more nowadays, then I get a blissful long 8-hour uninterrupted sleep every night.

IT'S FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I can attribute this to two main things.

1) our kids are now beyond the infant/toddler stage and they all sleep long and deep every night - hallelujah. For 10+ years of parenting we had early waking kids but now they all sleep till 7am most mornings ... it is marvellous.

2) I am sober. I do not wake up with a bursting bladder, pounding headache, and intense guilt at 3am. I am calmer in my mind so if I do get up to use the toilet I can calm my thoughts and focus on my breath to quickly fall back to sleep.

Sometimes now if people ask me how I am, rather than trotting out the usual "good but tired" line... often now I simply say "good!". Because I am!

And I really do think sleep is so, so, so important when it comes to dealing with emotional shit. If I'm well rested I deal with stuff better. No doubt.

Today I am proud to say "I am NOT tired!".

On another note I am starting a '2 months of wellness' thing with my sisters where we are writing our own diet & exercise programme, committing to stick with it for 2 months and are going to check in with each other every Monday to update on how we are doing. My diet & exercise regime could do with some work for sure so this will be good.

Also wanted to say that I have done a big clean-out of my Blog List - if anyone has a blog or knows about a good sober blog that does not appear here (on the left hand side when you visit my blog page for those of you reading this post on an email) then please let me know and I will add it in.

Righto! Time for some work. Today is a very good day to be sober!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Highly recommended...

Boy is it an utterly beautiful day in my city. The sun is shining. There is no wind (unusual). It is calm and crisp and lovely.

Same could be said for my state of mind. Yes I'm eating way too much at the moment and am being a bit of a pig. But aside from letting myself down in that department I feel like I'm cruising along ok.

I'm working hard keeping up with things at Living Sober and that space is humming along brilliantly. (If you're worried about your drinking and are not a member of that community you're a fool, and I mean that in the nicest possible way!)

I'm keeping fairly active on my other social media accounts but not too much so that I'm permanently wedded to my phone. My new permanent rule of no technology in the bedroom is really super-lovely and I highly recommend it. Every evening I put my phone & laptop on to charge in the kitchen and leave them there (often long before I even retire to bed), and often I don't check anything in the morning until after I have showered & gotten dressed which is very healthy I think.

In general I am staying fairly mindful and regularly have little moments where I flick a switch in my brain and pull myself back down into what is happening right in front of me and not what is happening in my head (furious inner dialogue about something or another).

I walk the dog most days and now it's the school holidays I am dragging my boys up the hill with me and we have lovely chats while we wander along the tracks and the dog scampers around us joyfully.

I manage to watch quite a bit of tele which I love.

And I do an awful lot of cooking and cleaning. Cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning. And parenting. Cooking and cleaning and parenting - talking to my kids about what is going on for them and taking them places and organising things for them and paying for things for them and replying to emails about organising and paying for things for them and talking to them more and did I mention cooking and cleaning?

All of this is quite boring but I suppose my point is I am living my busy, ordinary, motherly, housewifey, bloggers, writery life and I am managing it all ok and my moods are fairly stable and I attribute it all to the fact that I am sober.

I cannot even begin to imagine how I would be handling things if I were still boozing.

I shudder to think.

Living without alcohol - although hard bloody work at first and a big adjustment - is imminently doable and highly recommended.

Highly, highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Breath tested en route to a party....

I got breathalysed on the way to a party last night!!! I was so ridiculously happy when I turned the corner and saw the cops pulling people over. I resisted the urge to burble to the officer that I was sober and this was a real highlight but I did have a huge grin on my face the entire time I counted to 10 into his little handheld machine.

Very satisfied to see the 'No Alcohol' show up. Result!

The party was fun, I had some lovely chats. There was lots of booze and food available - I spotted a bottle of Schweppes 'Soda with a twist of lemon' in the fridge so I opened it and poured some into a champagne flute. I'm getting good at taking full ownership of my drinks - loved holding the flute! Filled it up twice and that was all I needed.

Had a bit of a singalong and boogie with the guys playing guitars. It was fun. Drove home fairly early because Mr D had to catch a flight at 6am this morning. Fell into bed at midnight happy.

Did some people think me boring because I wasn't drinking? Who the hell knows... I just can't care. I have to always keep a clear eye on my big picture which has me infinitely happier now that I'm not that loose and crazy (boozy) party girl.

What would have been different if I'd been drinking at the party last night? I would have probably had one or two at home before we left. I wouldn't have been driving, maybe Mr D would have offered to drive and stay sober because he was working the next day. Or maybe we would have caught a taxi and that would have cost a bit of extra dosh because the party was up the coast at a surf clubrooms.

At the party I would have had a slightly more crazy/edgy energy and might not have concentrated so well during the conversations I had. I might have gotten a little more sloppy & loud... not terribly because I was usually pretty good at keeping it together in public (it was mostly at home where I really let myself get heavily drunk). I certainly would have sunk at least 4 wines.. maybe more.

I don't think on the outside people would have noticed that much difference. It would have been my internal landscape that would have been radically different.

I would have been that 'old' version of myself that didn't feel so in touch with myself or my fellow humans.  I would have been that 'unresolved' version of myself that tried to skim across the surface of emotional or 'deep' stuff. That was ok when I lived it but now that I don't live like that any more I am hugely more grounded and happier.

I would have a hangover today and just feel a bit 'blah'. Maybe I'll be regretting something I said or did. I don't feel like that now.

I'm sitting in bed drinking a mug of green tea, watching Top Chef on tele writing a blog post. Soon I'll get the boys off their screens and we'll walk the dog.  Later we might go to see Finding Dory at the movies.

It's a good day to be sober.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Will I stop blogging?

I don't know what I would do without my lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely online tribe of people who just get what it is like to live sober in a boozy world.

I don't know what I would do.

In particular the tribe of lovely people who are registered at the Living Sober website. Every single day I am popping in and out of the Members Feed in the Community Area on that site reading the incredibly honest and gritty and inspiring and heartening updates they are writing, and I am communicating back with them, and we're all just talking to one another day-in-day out and it's great. Seriously great. I need it.

I need this blog too - my 'warm bath' as I like to think of it. Writing posts here is always grounding for me and I tend to come out with my truth sometimes without even planning on what I am going to write. Someone asked on a recent post if I might stop blogging soon because life is just continuing on and doesn't need to be so much about being sober does it? (I think that was the question.. something like that anyway).

One day I'll probably stop blogging, and Tweeting and Instagramming and Facebooking. I'll stop all of it and retreat from the internet entirely. I look forward to that day as I know it will feel right when it happens. But it doesn't feel right right now!

It's been quite a social time for me lately and the next few weeks are just as busy. Not sure what's changed in my life that I've suddenly got more parties and gatherings and dinners and fundraising nights and stuff to go to.. but I have.

It's all good, it's good getting out and amongst it, being social and busy. Always good to be reminded of what it's like out in the community at night (and not just what it's like in my house in the evenings which by the way is very lovely and calm and cosy thank you very much).

Sober lady moving around a boozy world. Offering to drive friends to events, serving wine to guests while supping an elderflower cordial myself, ordering "soda with fresh lime please" from the barman, making cups of tea to drink late in the evening at house parties, dancing in the dark with a clear head at concerts.

This is what I do now.

Not drinking, getting sloppy, vomiting, falling over, drinking more, feeling miserable, feeling sick, being sloppy, opening more wine, drinking, drinking, drinking, saying things I regret, doing embarrassing things, drinking more, being numb to my feelings, vomiting, falling over, drinking, drinking, drinking.

I am so profoundly grateful for my sobriety. I will never go back to that old way of living. NEVER.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No ETOH!

So delighted to see those two little words (or at least one word and one acronym) on my discharge notes from the hospital. Was also very delighted to tell two doctors (one in the emergency department and one in the ward) that I drank NO ALCOHOL!

Actually if I'm really honest both times the doctors asked me how much I drank I answered 'zero' and then giggled rather gleefully and then rambled "sorry I'm just giggling because I've been in recovery for 4 and a half years and it's always such a joy to tell someone that I don't drink any alcohol ever giggle giggle it's a real high moment for us sober people giggle giggle sorry but that was really satisfying giggle giggle..." at which point both lovely doctors laughed and said quite genuinely "that's great, good on you."

Maybe they just like it when someone says they don't drink alcohol because so often they see people with problems that are exasperated by booze? Or maybe they were just happy because I was laughing and happy and most people in hospital are a bit more unwell? Or maybe they were just genuinely happy for me that I was in recovery? Who knows...

Whatever the case I was certainly very happy telling two doctors at the hospital last week that I don't drink any alcohol ever and I was really happy when I saw on my discharge notes the words 'No ETOH'.

(If I'm honest again I had to google 'ETOH' just to be sure it meant alcohol as I thought it did.. and sure enough it stands for 'Ethyl Alcohol'.)

I was in the hospital for some unexplained abdominal pain which shall remain unexplained as all of their testing couldn't find a problem which is good news! And the pain has pretty much gone now too yippee.

My poor old creaky body has been making itself more aware to me lately. Have been having some sore neck/back problems as well which are finally coming right after weeks of pain.

For most of my life I've hardly given my body any thought. It's just been there below my 'floating head' not causing me too much grief. Now I am less of a floating head thanks to all my mindfulness work and focus on the moment and my breath and body.. and with all of this awareness work I have been starting to feel very kindly toward my body for doing such a great job of moving me around this earth for 44 years.

Good thing I'm feeling kindly given these small complaints my body has been making!

Good thing I'm looking after myself now!

Good things I'm sober!

Am also doing another Whole30 and aside from the 'decaf flat white' I ordered at a cafe yesterday without thinking it has been pretty easy this time to slip into a no wheat, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar diet. Mr D is doing it with me and we are both feeling better for it.

Right time to get this creaky body up off the chair and out the door to pick up my boys from school. No rest for the wicked!

Love, Mrs D xxx