Thursday, January 30, 2014

A return to Happy Sober Land

I shouldn't really be blogging.. I've got a big job ahead of me now as I've just got my manuscript back from the publishers with the copy-editors notes in it and there's a lot to look over and accept/reject/change/add…

Among the notes was this funny quote "The copyedit was straightforward and was mostly about tidying up the text and strengthening/retaining your narrative voice. I removed one instance of ‘shitballs’ that was very close to a previous use—I think the term has more impact when used sparingly!"

Ha ha ha SHITBALLS!!!!!! I like shitballs. And I like amazeballs too. Maybe I'm just trying to be hip with the kids (which for a lumpy 42-year-old mother of three is rather sad) but sometimes you need a good exclamation word and Fuck is just too much.

Anyway I'm happy to report that I've settled back into a happy sober place not caring in the slightest that I don't touch alcohol ever. I think we are going to organise a house-warming party and I'll go about it just as I would if I were still boozing. This means setting up a bar area and making sure the music is good and the food is yummy and the atmosphere is fun and people feel welcome .. I'll pour drinks merrily and act as I would before I got sober except I'll just quietly be not pouring any brain-bending liquid down my own throat.

Is that weird? I don't care. I want the fun to continue and it's up to me to make that happen.. just as it's up to me to not be dysfunctionally boozing like I used to.

It was rubbish day in our new street yesterday and there were a few recycling bins around our new house that were overflowing with wine bottles. I mean OVERFLOWING with wine bottles. Just like ours used to be all the time.

I have to admit it made me wonder about the owner of the bin and if they were happy drinking all that piss all the time. Maybe they are. Maybe they're not. But looking at that bin and remembering that ours overflowed like for years made me feel really happy and relieved that that is not my reality any more.

See - my happy sober place has returned!!!!!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Made it!

Made it to the new house in one piece. As predicted we did get a gift from the Real Estate Agent but thankfully it wasn't a bottle of champagne but a really nice wooden chopping board. I was ridiculously happy about that.

The new place is fabulous. The previous owners have told us that it was a "party house" in the 1960's.. not sure what that means exactly.

There's no denying it will be a great house for parties as it has a nice open layout and cool outdoor area. Maybe that's why I've had a few sad thoughts about the fact I won't be able to have any boozy parties here. Bloody annoying stupid bollocksy sad non-drinking pangs. I've had to bombard my brain with my usual kick-ass sober thoughts. They go like this….

"It's just bullshit to think I can't have fun without drinking"

"I can still have fun parties I just won't be boozing"

"It's irrelevant if I'm not drinking alcohol.. it only matters if I think it matters"

"No-one else cares if I'm drinking alcohol or not. What's more important is that I'm being smiley and happy and fun"

"And no-one else will care if I go back to my boozy, hungover, guilt-ridden, emotionally stunted ways - BUT I WILL YOU DICKHEAD NOW STOP FEELING GLUM ABOUT BEING SOBER!!!!!!"

That was me yelling at me.

The thing is I know that I'm having these sad sober thoughts because I'm exhausted and because I'm feeling a little unsettled from the move. Soon enough I'll be back in my happy state where I'm pottering about my life calmly not giving a flying fuck that I don't touch alcohol any more.

No - let me rephrase that…I'll soon be pottering about my life caring hugely that I am so strong and cool to have kicked a nasty drinking habit to the curb. That's more like it.

The new neighbours have invited us over for a BBQ tonight - very lovely and welcoming. I will go and be perky and prove to myself yet again that when it actually comes down to it and I'm in social situations I am more than happy being a non-drinker.

You know, it's funny.. I was emailing Lucy from A Hangover Free Life and told her I'd been having some pangs. I asked her if I should blog about them or not. She said "If you feel you should blog about it then do, I always find it really cathartic to dump it on the page and hit publish." And you know what, now that I've written this post I do feel better! She was right! THIS IS WHY I BLOG!!! (Note to self: stop yelling)

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, January 17, 2014


This is the 3rd time we have moved in 5 years. Five years ago we relocated cities and I was boozing merrily like the boozy person I used to be.. lots of wine to get me through. Bottles and bottles and terrible sleep and hangovers but managing everything fine.. just with an added dose of pressure on top courtesy of my beloved vino. And lots of suppressing my sadness at leaving our friends behind.

Then 1 1/2 years ago we had to relocate cities again (back to where we started) and I was newly sober (about 6 months) and there was no way I could practice any emotion suppressing. I cried and cried and cried and cried saying goodbye to our wonderful new friends. I still slept badly (brain noise), ate lots of sugar, craved wine a bit but was very determined about my new lifestyle choice so didn't drink, but felt really stressed and cried so many tears I could have filled a river. Felt quite glum about the whole thing and took a while to lift myself up even after we arrived here in this new suburb.

Now we are just moving within the same suburb from our rental to a newly purchased house. I am still stressed and not sleeping well (brain noise) and we all know about the sugar binging (I have been trying hard to keep a lid on it and also not beating myself up too badly)…but I am not in the slightest bit tempted to drink because I don't do that any more.

I am reminded constantly about how alcohol is wedded into the fabric of our society. Yesterday doing the final pre-purchase inspection at the new house the vendors were pointing out the cupboard under the stairs "perfect for the wine collection!" Ha ha everyone laughed and me too but I felt a bit annoyingly awkward.

And I'm sure when we finally pick up the key today from the real estate agent he'll probably give us a congratulatory bottle of bubbles. Isn't that what real estate agents do? In my previous experience they do anyway.  And, you know, champagne is how we celebrate everything.

But not for me ever again. In 15 years time when one of our sons announces he is getting married I will be celebrating with orange juice. In 30 years time I'll toast Mr D's retirement with a futuristic ginger beer. Forever more I will be giggling along with people when they make jokes about wine and deep down feel a bit different from everyone else. Because I live sober. And that's not very common is it.

Actually who knows.. maybe in 30 years time drinking alcohol will be considered anti-social. Maybe I'm on the CUTTING EDGE! Maybe.

Whatever the case I told Mr D last night that the cupboard under the stairs would be perfect for storing all the camping gear. He agreed.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, January 13, 2014

Speak your truth...

So the very next night after I wrote my post confessing to dysfunctional sugar binging I went and did it again. Two little bowls of cereal heaped with sugar. And I mean HEAPED. It's not about the cereal, it's about the sugar.

It was quite funny actually at one point Mr D came into the kitchen/family room to rummage around in a box for something and I froze at the kitchen bench, totally caught in the act with the spoon in my hand and the sugar container sitting proudly in full view (I'd confessed to him that I'd been naughty the night before). Luckily he found what he was looking for and went away without spotting me and I finished the job quickly and scurried off to bed to eat the contraband.

Anyway the next morning of course I was all grumpy and snapping at the boys for not knowing what they wanted for breakfast and just being a grouchy, grumpy person. A short while later amid boxes and shit I said to Mr D "I hate this.. I hate all the mess and being in limbo .. and the thought of unpacking at the other end makes me shudder. I'm not stressed or anything.. I'm just hating this". He said nothing much.

Then later we were outside by the garage and I snapped at him for not grabbing a plastic bottle before it rolled completely under the car and he paused and just looked at me for a minute and BAM my self-awareness/honesty button got pushed and I blurted out "Ok I'm stressed! I am!! I'm just stressed and I'm hating this and ask any housewife moving house is awful and stressful and I'm just not enjoying this process AT ALL! Look at me! I'm grumpy and snappy and sugar binging like a freak. All the signs are there - I'm stressed!!!"

And then I felt so much better. Just like that I felt better. Amazeballs.

Not sure if this is true for everyone but I seem to have to clearly identify and put into words how I am feeling in order to deal with it. That's probably why I blah on about myself in a blog and in person to everyone I meet all the time (oh gawd, what must people think of me?). Brutal honesty gives me power. Blogging is powerful for me not just because of the wonderful community of support but because I am externalising what's going on for me internally... and that is fucking powerful my friends.

Are other people the same as me? I reckon even if you were saying something truthful out loud to the mirror with no-one else around it would be incredibly powerful. Words are powerful. Thoughts can be deceiving. Put thoughts and feelings into words and they become easier to understand and manage. That's what I think anyway.

So... no more sugar binging from now until we move later this week. Hopefully this works!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, January 11, 2014

More dysfunctional sugar binging...

It's always the bloody emotions for me. And it's the tough emotions.. not fun or excitement or happiness.. sadness, grumpiness, anger. Those are the ones I can't cope with.

I can usually be strong and set a great example for how to live sober and still have fun. But how to live sober and deal with a bad mood..? Not my strong point.

Yesterday ended with me in a shit.. just grumpy and stomping around. House was a tip (we are packing to move houses) boys were being difficult around bed time (extended summer holidays here and the days are long), Mr D was in his happy place watching cricket on TV and I just felt shitty and tired and grumpy.

But instead of finishing my day with a nice hot bath and another episode of Breaking Bad I did my worst dysfunctional sugar binging trick of eating a little bowl of cereal heaped with about 3 tablespoons of white sugar.

A fucking sugar binge.

Twice. Two bowls. Ok they were small but really? Really Mrs D?

It's the same impulse that would have led me to drinking a bottle of red wine if not more. Oh shit! Shock horror I feel bad! Quick! Reach for some external unhealthy thing that will make me feel momentarily better - quick!

I'm even slightly embarrassed to say that Mr D's wine glasses were winking at me from the bench. He had one white one and then one red one. I sniffed the red one long and deeply - in my bad mood it was like I was making myself suffer. I didn't actually care too much about the wine or the smell, no pangs or cravings or serious temptations to drink it. Just me in a bad mood sniffing wine to be a dickhead.

And then the little 'fuck it' voice heaping spoons of sugar into a little bowl of cereal.

Of course today the guilt and fierce thought that I will not beat myself up too much but I will also stay determined to be the person I really want to be. Healthy and calm. And better at dealing with bad moods when they do come.

Now, back to packing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

All that matters ....

Sometimes people say to me "congratulations on your blog" or "well done on the book contract" and it's really lovely of them but I always feel a little odd about it because I felt like the congratulations should really be directed at the fact that I got sober. The blog, the book etc all comes second to me, my sobriety comes first and will always come first.

What I mean is that I didn't set out to write a blog and get a book contract and get noticed for all of that. I set out to remove alcohol from my life.. I set out to work really hard to turn my life around and get myself out of the boozy hell-hole that I was in. I didn't set out to gather material for a book or achieve world domination in social media... I just wanted to fix myself.

Don't get me wrong.. having a blog that people read is totally awesome, as is getting a contract to write a book about my sobriety, having a twitter account, and getting to write articles like this one for Mumsnet.

It's all totally great and fun and rewarding and fulfilling .. but it's all a by-product of the main event which was me facing up to an alcohol problem and getting sober. That's all that matters.

All that matters on a Tuesday night when I brush my teeth is that I am sober.

All that matters on a Friday lunch-time when I race to the supermarket to buy lightbulbs, milk and bananas is that I am sober.

All that matters as I tweet from my bed that I am so happy to be waking up hangover free is that I am waking up hangover free.. not that people might read and respond to that tweet.

All that matters when I get to do publicity for my book is that I will be finishing each day with a cup of tea and not 5 glasses of red wine because I don't drink shitloads of wine anymore.

I used to drink lots of wine all the time. I bought bottles all the time. I drank them rapidly, steadily and heavily. I did it all the time. And now I don't.

Shit I've just gotten tearful typing this .. that was unexpected. I obviously feel quite deeply about this. There's going to be a lot of stuff going on for me this year with the book coming out and other potential projects and I really feel underneath it all, all that matters is that I got myself sober. I faced up to a huge difficult problem and worked really hard to fix myself.

That's all that matters.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Eve party

Went to a New Years Eve party last night at Mr D's sisters house. A small group of friends hanging out, playing guitar, standing around a brazier keeping warm. I took along a Red Bull.

Finding that I don't really even need a glass to hold now all the time.

Went into the kitchen at one point to make a cup of tea - it was lovely.

Everyone else was boozing .. every now and then a wave of people would head inside to do Tequila shots. I laughed at their puckered faces as they sucked on lemon at the end...

I didn't wish I was drinking like everyone else.. I was more concerned that I'd be too tired to wait up till midnight..

But the chat was fun, the music was lovely, the fire was warm, and suddenly it was twelve o'clock.

As we went around hugging each other 'Happy New Year!!' I noticed a few were seeming quite merry but it was an abstract observation rather than anything awful or awkward. Most of the time (unless they're outwardly displaying signs of drunkenness) I forget that people are under the influence.

Just doesn't really matter to me. I'm happy in my sober head space. Someone tweeted me 'enjoy partying YOUR way' just as I was leaving home and I thought that was such a great sentiment.

I did enjoy partying my way last night. Happy and sober. Sorry to be boring yet again but this is a blog about my drinking so I have to talk about that and when I talk about that I have to just keep repeating that I am very happy to be sober. Very.

And boy do I love driving home, dropping friends off on the way.

Happy 2014 everyone, I feel like this is going to be a great year.

Love, Mrs D xxx