Friday, February 28, 2014


Ok so the pale green was a mistake. It's too light. Can see now why they had it black. The kitchen cabinets are a nice shade of a color I like to call 'pale urine' and the pale green enhances that.. might have to go a darker green now…

All the sugar is a mistake too. I'm sure it's affecting my mood. I'm feeling a bit flat and there's no good reason other than my diet has slipped to become a bit shitty and I can't seem to muster the energy to start treating myself better and eating more healthily. Which comes first the horse or the cart? The bad diet or the lack of drive to improve the diet?

I'm someone who lives sober and chooses to never ever drink alcohol ever. Just thought I'd reiterate that (to myself?).

I keep hearing about random people who know me who read this blog but I'd never know because they don't comment or say anything to me directly. That feels a bit strange. But I suppose if you choose to blog about your life you open yourself up to everyone in the entire world and that might mean former colleagues or friends in distant places or old school friends or randoms I've met once at a BBQ or whatever can quietly feast upon my musings …

If you know me and are reading why don't you comment and anonymously say 'hi'.. go on… I dare you … or even if you don't know me you could say 'hi' from your corner of the world.

Clearly I'm feeling flat and somewhat needy ...

In the meantime I will continue on with washing the kindy dress-ups, mopping the kitchen floor, making myself a green juice (healthy!), watching crap TV coz I can, reading other sober blogs, ferrying my sons around the neighborhood, painting my toenails (now that's a good idea) and generally just basking in the glow of my glorious sobriety (positive note to end on).

I need to put some loud pop music on. Now that's a seriously good idea!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Painting, pondering...

Quick post while I wait for the first coat of paint to dry. I'm putting a pale green on the bit of kitchen wall the previous owners had painted black. Looks nice and calming.

I've been wondering what my friends and family would say is different about me now that I'm sober. I think I'm a more serious version of myself. But then again I change depending on different moods/stresses/tiredness levels etc.. so who knows.

I had a moment at 5pm the other day - it was a long busy day - where I really thought how much I'd appreciate having some sort of 'energy shifter' entering the picture. It was an abstract thought.. but of course alcohol would have been the perfect solution to my feeling a bit tired and pressured and over it.

Obviously I don't allow that particular 'energy shifter' into my body any more so I registered the thought, pressed on with the jobs at hand and soon enough it was 7.30pm and I was on the sofa with a cup of chamomile tea and some chocolate biscuits.

My Sugar Witch is making herself at home at the moment.. and I'm allowing her to. I'll kick her out the door soon enough.

Mr D and I went out on a rare date night on Saturday night. Drinks and nibbles at a trendy bar and then a movie (Dallas Buyers Club - OMG Matthew McConaughey & Jarod Leto - amazeballs acting. What a fabulous film).

Anyway at the bar beforehand Mr D had a glass of red wine and I ordered a Virgin Mojito which was yummy. We had some olives and deep fried halloumi. Felt treaty. Didn't care that I wasn't imbibing.

Then at the movies we decided to upgrade to Gold Class and got drinks and food delivered to our big comfy reclining armchairs at the back of the cinema. I had a fizzy lemon drink and the worst BBQ ribs in the history of BBQ ribs. Mr D had another red wine and the worst nachos in the history of nachos. But despite the bad food the chairs were luxurious, the movie fantastic and the drinks treaty. Again - didn't care that I wasn't imbibing.

(Confession: I ducked out and bought a bag of Skittles half way through and we scoffed the whole lot. Sugar Witch was cackling with happiness.)

That's all the news for now from my sober life Down Under. I think the first coat of paint is dry so onwards I go with the painting.

Bye bye…

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, February 21, 2014

Brain food...

My friend Sherry has written this brilliant post explaining the difference between feeling like a 'newby' sober person and feeling 'more advanced' (she explains it as being like a sober newborn then becoming a sober toddler). It's brilliant you should read it.

She also mentions she's reading a lot of new sober blogs but is worried to comment because she doesn't want to come across as preachy or telling people what to do. I sorta know what she means, but at the same time I can also remember how much I learned from the 'more advanced' sober people when I was a 'newby' … so for that reason I still try hard to get around lots of blogs and comment when I can.

Sometimes I don't have enough time to keep up with everyone's new posts but I try (and will keep trying) to stay in touch because I think sober blogging is amazingly powerful and even the lurkers who read and never comment get benefit from the rest of us who are active.

And there's one thing about getting sober that is for sure.. when you make it to Safe Sober Ground you really want to help others get here. Come over here people - Safe Sober Ground is a mighty fine place to be!

(While I'm at it please can you let me know if you are blogging and I don't have you on my Blog List.. or if you know of a great sober blog that I don't have on my list. I want to keep updated.)

I'm getting sent lots of interesting material at the moment regarding addictions .. this book a brave sober warrior wrote and self-published - yay for brave sober warriors who share their truth! Also got sent a copy of this book "Beyond Addiction: A guide for families" which is written by really high caliber experts in the field of addiction .. this one would be a godsend for people worried about a friend or family member who is struggling with addiction (and I love that the subtitle is "How science and kindness help people change" and there's a little love heart on the cover. Science and kindness unite!)

And check out this this fascinating graphic the lovely people at the Rehab Hotline sent me which clearly illustrates America's shocking addiction epidemic and how bad each state is.  They want to highlight these terrible stats so that more people are encouraged to reach out for help.

I know I'm being told about all this stuff because I write a sober blog, but maybe we are at the forefront of a big shift in our world that is going to see steady, regular boozing become less acceptable. Where people who are addicted to drugs are viewed as needing emotional support and not as being criminals.

I mean happy, settled, contented, sorted, calm, healthy people aren't regular users of drugs and alcohol are they? Or are they? Am I wrong about that? I know I wasn't the best, calmest happiest version of myself when I was boozing heavily.

I just agree so much with the authors of Beyond Addiction that kindness needs to be at the forefront of our approach to addiction. Kindness with a bit of science thrown in for good measure.

So here's some extra kindness to sign off with...

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love Mrs D xxx

Monday, February 17, 2014

Food, food, food..

I'm still a bit munted when it comes to sugar. Just spent an intense 2 weeks going through my manuscript for the last time before returning it to the publishers so they can get it printed.. reliving all my horrible last drinking months and the bloody roller coaster that was the start of my sobriety.. what an intense process.

So what do I do? Slowly over the course of the two weeks my diet turns to shit and I start eating loads of wheat again, cakes and sugar. Even doing my awful dysfunctional sugar binging trick of having a tiny bowl of cereal heaped with 2-3tbsp of white sugar on it right before bedtime.

Reaching for destructive external substances yet again when faced with stress or angst or an intense book-editing process. Nice one Mrs D. At least it's not shit-loads of red wine.

Anyhoo… I nervously returned the manuscript today, there's no going back now, and will get back on track with my healthy lifestyle and quest to be the calmest and most perfect human being ever invented in the history of human beings. Ha ha ha.

No but seriously after I stopped drinking alcohol, I replaced it with lots of sugar which after 2 years I realised was also a bad idea.. so I did the Whole 30 programme to sort my diet out, reset my digestive system and get some bad habits away (sugar) and it totally worked and today my diet has changed dramatically. I pretty much don't touch wheat, dairy or sugar most of the time. And that 'base line' diet, while a shock to the system at first, is now not that hard and I've lost lots of weight and feel 'light' and energetic most of the time.

Unless I've got a particular stress on in which case all the good habits go out the window and I binge. Oh well.. can't be a saint all the bloody time.

The good folk at the Malibu Recovery Centre very kindly sent me their new cookbook called 'Dopamine for Dinner' which is rather exciting because I do love collecting cookbooks. But this one is interesting because it has the subtitle 'An easy-to-follow 4 week meal plan to help break the cycle of addiction'.

It's full of amazing recipes (must be a pretty lush rehab) which is great and I've already made one delicious pudding .. but the really interesting stuff comes at start when their 'experts' talk about the diet they have developed over years of treating addicts. They say sugar is the number one transfer addiction (helloooo) and 'sugar spiking' is the main thing they want to avoid for their clients because too much sugar impacts the levels of dopamine in the brain and that complicates issues of brain healing, depression and mood.

There's a lot of info and as I say tones of recipes but basically we addicts need to eat foods that are low in sugar, low on the Glycemic Index. Foods that 'trickle' glucose into the bloodstream not 'gush' it. Eat the tricklers, not the gushers, ok?!

I'm just going to cut it all out again - wheat and sugar particularly. Knowing myself by now.. that I cannot moderate to save myself.. I'm better off just never touching it. Maybe I will end up being that perfectly healthy saint after all.


Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Sober Mommies" guest post….

You know in New Zealand we say 'mum' not 'mom'. That's just a little factoid for you.

Anyway I got asked to submit a post to the Sober Mommies website which was really lovely of them .. you can read what I wrote here..

It was a good exercise actually.. trying to neatly summarize the last days of my drinking, my decision to quit and the support I found through this blog. I managed to get a lot into the required word count.

When you write about something a lot (as I am with my drinking and sobriety) you get quite good at summarizing bloody intense stuff… but sometimes I worry that I'm making everything I've gone through sound easy-breezy.

I can tell you it wasn't fucking easy-breezy to get myself out of the boozy hell-hole I was in and I will NEVER take for granted what I did and where I am today.

Sometimes I get angsty or have woe-is-me thoughts or get stressed because the kids are doing my head in or the wi-fi is dodgy again or I'm pissed off I ate too many chocolate biscuits or, or, or…

Life stuff happens.. and I have moods that take me up and down..

But the sober me compared to the boozy me is way more happier, healthier, more authentic and calmer.

Right now its 5.25pm and I've got a carrot cake in the oven, Rhianna is wailing at me over the kitchen speakers, there's a huge pile of washing to be folded, dishes to be washed, children to be fed and it's blowing a gale outside.

But I don't have any wine in my system. And that, my friends, is a goddam beautiful thing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What was I thinking???!!!

I was halfway through 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk when the uber-positive endorphins hit (having already played 'What Now' by Rhianna, 'Wrecking Ball' by Miley Cyrus and 'Moves Like Jagger' by Maroon 5 - yes I am an unashamed fan of cheesy pop music!!!).

Suddenly I got this hugely positive uplift in my thoughts. My hips were shaking, my arms were waving in the air, my 2-year-old nephew was dancing around with me, the music was loud and I was hit with a wave of happiness…

And my thoughts went something like this…"Why am I worrying about silly not-drinking dreams! It's fab being sober! I love my sober life! I love not being a miserable boozer any more! We're up all night to Get Luckyyyyyyyy!!!!!"

Maybe it was wonderful Paul's comment on my last post "you're living the real dream - being sober!"… or the perceptive eedoubleu from the NoMoreSally blog who seemed to have me completely nailed and said "sometimes even the most optimistic among us need a little cry". Actually it could have been any one of the lovely, kind, wise, thoughtful comments I got on the last post (I've said it before and I'll say it again I really really really really love and appreciate all your feedback.. you guys really do help me).. anyway, whatever the reason I felt great once again.

And lets be clear… even when I am having woe-is-me dreams or a little cry at my kitchen table I am never anywhere near actually considering drinking alcohol. I don't do that any more. And anyway, alcohol does not have magical properties.

Alcohol does, however, have brain numbing properties, and we humans seem to enjoy a bit of brain numbing every now and then because lets face it, sometimes being a human can be hard. But I choose to live raw nowadays, and not blur the edges of my mind like I used to.

I choose raw.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A disappointing dream

I sort of don't want to write this but I will..

Because I share honestly all the time about being sober.. that's how I roll..

We went camping on the weekend with another family, some good friends. We have five young boys between us and we all had a great time playing board games and swimming in the river and eating chips and dip and collecting cicada shells and playing cricket and cooking dinner and just hanging out in tents in a regional park near our home.

As the evening developed the guitars came out and we sang cheesy sing-a-long tunes while the boys rolled around on the grass in their sleeping bags. After it got dark the torches came out and we did a bit of possum hunting before getting them to sleep on their air-beds. Us four adults stayed up chatting about all manner of crap until about 11pm and then snuggled in our tents as well.

There was booze involved… some wine and beers for everyone (bar me) around 5pm and then whiskey for the blokes later on. They probably got slightly merry and loose-lipped, it wasn't extreme and I didn't sit there wishing I was drinking at all. I had a lovely, fun, chatty, happy evening.

But then that night in the tent I had a very vivid dream that I was at a party and everyone was having a great time and I was stuck on the outside not able to join in. It was so unbelievably cliched and incredibly clear what my subconscious was telling me.

I woke up totally bummed out about the dream, like how dare my subconscious tell me I'm still processing being a non-drinker, how dare the recesses of my mind feel like there's a party going on and I'm not a part of it.

That's not how I feel goddammit it!!!!!!!

Or is there still that lingering thought deep down?

The dream has stuck with me for 4 days now and I keep thinking about it and feeling disappointed with myself for having it. Then yesterday I was sitting at the kitchen table telling my sister about the camping trip and then I mentioned the dream and suddenly I burst into tears.

It was entirely unexpected but the tears just came and I realised I felt very sad. About the dream. I think.

She said: "that's ok, it's just one part of your brain catching up with the other" or something like that.

But still I feel a bit disappointed in myself. That's probably silly. I'm not really sure what I think about this.

Love, Mrs D xxx