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

54 comments:

  1. Lotta. Look, I think that you are so brave to come out in public about this hideous disease. People can be a critical as they like but you have helped more people than whatever you will know. You have certainly been an inspiration to me with your fantastic support. That is what it is all about, relating to others and helping each other. Screw the critics they are cynical and would pick holes in anything given a chance. That is the only downside of going public, I guess, is that there will always always be someone willing to criticise. Focus on all the positive feedback you have had and how much you have inspired people struggling - like me. Don't worry about failed dishes just focus on the successful ones. Keep going .

    Cherie xx

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  2. Hi All

    Day 10 without wine for me - still counting !!!!!!!!! yes I can see why some would say that it is counter productive :-) - works for me though. I would just like to say that I have been lurking in the background the last couple of weeks ie 10 days and I do find the blogging and the comments immensely helpful. There are always going to be people who are negative but hey wat the s... indeed up there with failed pea dishes :-) Am enjoying the self congratulatory messages in the shower as opposed to previous self flagellation. Put the recycle bin out to day 1 red wine bottle (H drinks red wine and has cut back as well). instead of between 10 - 12 just think of the money and calories saved.:-) Keep on trucking on.

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  3. "the only thing that matters is that I stay sober". That is all , all of us have to remember. Life is going to carry on throwing us curve balls and we are going to have to deal with them sober.... scary thought! I now have real emotions and situations that require conscious actions instead of drowning all of it in a bottle. I love every single word that you choose to say Mrs D. You are my the icing on my cake lol. I have my spiritual group, my AA group and now YOU and your followers like me. Stuff the critics, they are a big fat nothing in the world of sobriety! Only positivety all the way xx

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  4. Mrs D you rock, loved the book, and love the blog. Sober and loving it too. More people are for you then against you. Keep up the wonderful work Mrs D.

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  5. Mrs D you gave me the shove to step away from the wine glass... I had been sober for four years and slipped - in my head I was a total failure and could never achieve long term sobriety. In the intervening 2 years to the world I looked sober not one drop passed my lips in public but at night behind closed doors I sucked the stuff down. You, and the introduction to the online support community, popped me back on the road to success. 6 weeks down and easy peasy and I feel confident that with a virtual group around me I can stay true to myself. I feel well when I am sober, I feel powerful, I feel happy and I feel like I am paying myself some attention. The opposite is true of how I felt when I had the wine glass in my hand (and the bottle!). The people who are giving you shit obviously have not been on our journey - congratulations to them, lucky old them. But i don't believe anyone who has walked in your/my shoes would be critical of another persons success - I take comfort in it. I can be that person - oh gosh I am that person. Ignore them. With regard to your cooking - why in gods name would you mash peas in avacado.... now over that I will give you shit!!!!!! Go well x

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  6. There are always going to be negative people in the world who try to bring you down. But don't let them get to you. You are so much better that them! I admire you so much! I ordered your book today and can't wait to read it. Day 10 today for me. A x

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    1. Go you! I seem to be doing the 3 day stint and then "oh well one won't hurt"! Bloody vicious cycle. 10 days thatwould be a miracle for me.! Proud of you. Cherie xx

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  7. Oh Mrs. D, you are so wonderful. I'm a real newbie to sobriety, I have a month under my belt....and keep waiting for things to get easier. You are so RIGHT, after reading so many words of people 'like us' I believe that nobody else can quite understand. This will take some getting used to! But, your book is for us, and will help us, and you are doing something so giving for us, your loving community. Thank you! And can't wait to read it:)

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  8. You are an inspiration to me! Don't ever forget how much good you are doing not only for yourself, but making people like me, know that there is hope. I watched your interview and the inner dialogue you described is exactly what I am going through. I only hope I have the strength to create the sober free life you have created.

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  9. They can say what they want - you being here is helping. I am 44 years old, and I am almost ..... almost..... ready to give up drinking. I heard you on the radio the other day, I've been reading your blog, and am half way through Jason Vale's book. I am sick with fear to be honest - absolutely terrified. But you did it, and you seem to be living life again (even having some fun). I wouldn't be this close to stopping if you hadn't have come out, so to speak. So thank you.

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  10. Like Anonymous above, I am 10 days wine-less. I signed up for Dry July, and it is making it easy 'Why aren't you drinking?" "I'm doing Dry July". That will get me through the first few weeks. I have been surprised how easy it has been - I have only wished for wine once, at a family dinner on Sunday night, and resisted. Some things I have noticed - I am more tolerant - I used to get grumpy with things people said when I had a few drinks. My head is clearer in the mornings. I have tackled some jobs that I have procrastinated on, and completed some of them. I am enjoying people's company more, rather than thinking about the drinking. I have observed the way some people behave while drinking. I am facing the challenges of life head on now, rather than curling in front of the TV with a glass (bottle) of wine! Mrs D - there will always be some people out there who are 'knockers'. They knock people and criticize them, It is sadly something NZ'ers do well. I am enjoying your book and your blog, and that the book was no 1 best seller speaks volumes! Keep up the good work.

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  11. Ditto all the above, Mrs D. I'm sure you knew you would get some negative feedback when you were brave enough to put yourself out there in your fab book. In a funny kind of way I miss our "secret" online society but you just need to consider the response there's been to your book to realise the need out there. At 60 odd days sober myself I'm not thinking about forever, just ticking off each day as it comes and enjoying the clear edges! The sky is blue! Well, sometimes- this is UK after all...!

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  12. Meh to the critics! Self congratulatory? Why the heck not?! You have gone 3 years without a drink, I'd be throwing myself a lavish sobering party with all the bells and whistles.

    So many of us know where you were at, where I am at in fact! The suburban (or rural for me) house wife that has the wife and mummy duties under control, but that's about it. The perfect wife and mother who uses that perfect facade to hide her secret addiction. So sorry if we are not blacking out every night and falling over gutters? Didn't realise that was a necessary part of an addiction to alcohol.

    Anyways! Got your back Mrs D as so many have above ^^^

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  13. Mrs D ignore the negative comments. I suffer from quite chronic depression, and am a problem drinker ( have given up since Lent. :) My life has changed). I also have alot of counselling. At first I felt embarrassed and ashamed to go to the counsellor thinking 'what do I have to worry about?' I am healthy, have a lovely loving healthy family. Am financially secure. Have a career. Am successful. To the outside, it would seem I am so so lucky (I am!) so it might seem to someone on the outside that someone like me should not have depression and alcohol problems. The reality is different. MY reality is different. You can't judge others insides by their outsides as I believe they say in AA.

    Your blog has helped me- it is my favourite blog since I found you in March. Your blog, your media appearances, your book are helping so many people. You have every right to put yourself out there. The snipers are jealous. It is about them, not you.

    You are great. :) You deserve the success and attention your book is getting.

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  14. Well, I have just climbed on the bandwagon and started a blog. Thinking that maybe becoming part of some sort of online community might be the very thing that helps me. I still have a glass of wine in my hand, but am afraid (or hopeful?) that it is not for much longer. xx

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  15. Mrs D I wish I could bottle your sober acceptance and joy and carry it round with me like a talisman :) Big love xx

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  16. Hey, there will always be people who would love you to fail. I haven't read your book, yet, but I'd say you deserve a bit of self-congratulation. The fact that you aren't letting it take you down, shows how far you've come. There are many more of us who thank you for giving us a kick up the backside, and a shot of courage. I finally gained the courage to squash my fear of failure start my own blog, too. Being accountable helps

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  17. I have read everything you have written, and you have been an inspiration to me - I an an even "younger" sober person (almost a year). This is my favorite post you have written. There is great charm in your humbleness - and an appropriateness in your introspection... Sobriety MATTERS. For those of us who know what its like to be under the thumb of alcoholism. Do not doubt your success or your sobriety - you disserve it. Mashed peas? Not so much...

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  18. ha - I love it that you are getting a ribbing about your mashed peas Mrs D. You can always come here for sound culinary advise :-0 I was wanting to reply to the person who put on a post this morning about a friends disappointing reaction to being told s/he had stopped drinking. I haven't read your book yet Mrs D but am wondering your experiences on this. I have been enjoying the sparkly feeling but am beginning to feel the rub. not with the reaction of friends - but of my Mum!! I hadn't always been an enthusiastic drinker but in reflection began drinking at home when my Dad died and my marriage ended in close succession 10 years ago (my, it's amazing how the rot can just sneak in and not leave). A lovely ritual began between me and my Mum. And I reckon her drinking at home set in about the same time as mine. Like me, to the uninitiated she appears highly functioning and just somewhat fond of a vino - but I know she is tormented. She clearly finds my not drinking confronting - which in turns makes me very uncomfortable. BUT - I am now in a place where I need and want to make a stand for me. If it makes others uncomfortable then so be it. Hard when it's your dear old mum. Actually - much of my family have become somewhat boozy over the years. So - I think we will make some people feel uncomfortable and may get a disappointing reaction from them. Yet we are also very likely to inspire people also and we will get reactions and feedback that will also fuel us in our respective journeys X

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  19. Found this today. Alcohol made the decision for me-now I have to make my decisions for me.

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  20. Mrs D, screw the lot of those negative imposes! OMG it makes me so wild, I'm just 15 months sober but you know what I'm bloody well proud of that and don't have a issue telling people, I have had negative comments Luke. ..you will break, wait till a wedding blah blah and you know what I've just pushed it into positive energy and keep telling myself "I GOT THIS" I have no intention of ever touching it again, and after first seeing you on t.v I have loved reading your blog, ordered your book which I can't wait to read! You are a added inspiration to me and often think of Mrs D! Your amazing :)

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  21. TELL THE SNIPPY'S TO GO TAKE A TSPN OF CEMENT ETC. That is what worries me a bit about blogs. we dont know who we are opening ourselves up to. You are soooo relevant to me and a real source of my sustenance that drives me to kick the drink and be a better person and mother. Plus after seeing you on tele you are just SO NORMAL. Like the rest of us I guess but u have had the courage to turn up in public and talk about it. Thanks for being you Mrs D.

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  22. Mrs D....f*>k the begrudgers!there is every need for self congratulation here!those who have a problem with that in my opinion are small.what you have achieved is huge...never stop congratulating yourself!I think you are terrific!!

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  23. Because of your friendship, support and comments, and others in our community, I will be 1 yr sober on July 28. Your fans very much outweigh the critics. Keep doing what you're doing and so will I. Mashed peas must be an acquired taste. Lol.
    Sharon

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    1. I totally agree, Sharon! Fans far outweigh the critics. Look at all of the positive spin offs of your blog Mrs D - every one of these people, including me, you are helping. (Can't make a comment on the mashed peas, tho - have never tried them! I like eating the whole peas individually!!). Keep up the good work.

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  24. I try to keep it in the moment with my sobriety. One day at a time
    future tripping can fuck things up for me.

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  25. Screw them. You are who you are and your book is wonderful as is and it's none of your business what they think of you (of course it would help if they would stop putting out there for everyone to see).

    Stay you. You rocks.

    Sherry

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  26. I am telling my partner tonight that I am an addict. Not sure where it goes from there, but I know its probably one giant step toward stopping the drink. It's just a matter of when.

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    1. Good on you Colourful! and Good luck. Once you have taken the first step, the second step is even closer!

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    2. I didn't get the guts to do it last night (drank instead) - but this morning I told her, told her I was an addict and needed to stop. She wrapped her arms around me and said "I have just been waiting for you to say this, today is day one, and I am here for you". So, today is day one.

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    3. Wow. what a wonderful response. Having someone by your side will be such a great support for you. Good work

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  27. Mrs. D. - I just discovered a new song that I think you will love!
    Secrets by Mary Lambert:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvX3WdYoKvM&feature=share

    "I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are... So What"

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    1. Talking of songs I accidentally started singing a real oldie "I can see clearly now the rain has gone" and instead substituted "rain" for wine... "I can see clearly now the wine has gone..." Inspired whilst lying in bath reading Mrs D book when she talked about feeling and seeing clearly.

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  28. I am sitting at work reading this blog and thinking god I am not the only one going through this.....I hate the fact that I have even reached the point where I will agree with my wife to not drink Monday to Thursday but then as I tend to pick up any extras after work from the supermarket I sneak home a bottle of wine...and go out to the fridge in the garage (on the pretext of doing washing or feeding the cat) and gradually drink the contents from the bottle over the course of the evening...I feel like crap being dishonest but it's like I just can't get through a day without that drug that is so damn it readily available...today I feel enough is enough but I am scared and feeling like can I do this. if I could stop at 1 glass I guess I wouldn't have a problem but the trouble is I realise I can't. We have friends coming for dinner tonight and they have said don't worry about alcohol as they are doing dry July...so we won't drink tonight either and I am hoping I can use it as a starting point to kick this close to 30 year addiction (I am 44) to the kerb once and for all...my wife asked me to do dry July but I just couldn't commit but am thinking (and hoping) that tonight will be okay and after that 1 day at a time....thanks Mrs D for this blog, it does help to hear you are not the only one struggling. Your interview on Sunday just rang true to many home truths but it's getting past that initial denial that is hard...I am afraid that once I verbalise to my wife that I want to stop that it becomes real and I have to finally address it but then OMG I really do want to too...cripes!
    On a final matter stuff the negative critical sods...I admire your courage to make this issue public and they are obviously so lucky to not have to go through what so many of us others are...

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    1. The hiding of the bottle is the pits for the hider and the finder, but things coming to a head is essential for progress and for me that was 16 days ago

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  29. I think this must be fate...I was considering buying your book and lo and behold my weekly Paper Plus e-mal has just come through advertising it as a Hot Deal...I am now off to buy it to read this weekend instead of sucumbing to the usual alcohol binge...Today is Day 1, oh boy here we go...scary....

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  30. Well since why people drink out of control has nothing to do with problems (but will most certainly cause problems in the end) eg some people with immense problems don't drink and some with no problems do- our life be it breezy, or hard or in between has nothing to do with our inner struggle with booze..you either have the alcoholic gene or you don't I think...you don't 'create it" or have it "put on you" by circumstances/lifestyle/struggles. Some people without it will never understand- thats fine!

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  31. I've been following different alcohol sites in the past, Blogs from different parts of the world and what i've heard so many many times is the slipping back into drinkin again. So I hear you when you say that 3 years is early and still a challenge. For me personally I like a drink and I also hate a drink. One too many and I start getting a bit short with people, especially to the boyfriend and he's trying to help me. I will be folloiwng this.

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  32. When I was in rehab in 2009 I had a really difficult time identifying as an alcoholic because I had only experienced minor consequences compared to my fellow clients. It seemed obvious that they were alcoholics. Everyone but me was clearly powerless over drugs and alcohol, and practically hopeless.

    There is often an unspoken challenge between recovering alcoholics to see who has the most terrible or interesting "war story" from their drinking days. And until I learned to listen for the similarities, all I heard were reasons I was not an alcoholic.

    One day, I was speculating about this out loud in group. Another client, a middle-aged man with a prestigious career hanging in the balance due to a drug addiction was sitting in the opposite corner of the room. Interrupting me, he yelled "WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?"

    I did my first step that night and I've never doubted it since.

    My alcoholism works hard at detting me to relapse. This week on my blog I wrote about "my ism's" desire to send me "back out there" to get a more dramatic bottom...so that I could have a real retort to the people who say that I'm not a real alcoholic.
    http://beckydoyle.blogspot.com/2014/07/im-perfectly-imperfect-and-thats.html

    Just the mere fact that I had to battle my own mind on this issue is a pretty big warning sign. If it's already in neon lights with twinkling stars and balloons on either side, I'm not sure what other signs could possibly be needed for me to get the message.

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  33. Well I tell you what anyone that makes a comment like that doesnt know what the hell they are talking about.

    You have been a saviour to me and so many others like me - average everyday suburbian housewives or career women who are drinking a bottle of wine a night on a good night a one and half on weekends. No we arent the epitome of full blown alchies but that is the whole point!!

    Finally, finally someone has stood up and said this amount of alcohol intake for a woman is NOT OK. And it isn't. I was discussing it with my husband last night as I finished reading your book (a bit sad to get to the end and realising no more book!) and said what was special about this whole scenerio is that we can relate to you. And you are so right. Love your writing style. Love your honesty. Love that you are middle class housewife with brains. Just like me.

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    1. A longtime overdueJuly 11, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      I echo your comments!

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  34. Hi mrs d ur such an inspiration 2 me u have no idea. I have been sober 13 days and feel so awake! Like a dark mist has lifted. Im excited and scared at the same time. But im 46 years old and finally i get it. We alcoholics can do anything we want we just cant drink, thats bloody good odds.i saw u on tele and i felt so much emotion i went to the bathroom and cryed. U feel so alone in this disease but u were my clarity that nite. So thank u, ur my sister in sobriety!

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    1. Well done! I am a few days behind you - 11 days. Had a friend over for dinner tonight, and I bought some wine for her - but she also bought a bottle. She opened hers' and drank 2 glasses, then I asked her to take the rest home - removing temptation from me. I know I am ok with the unopened one here. I didn't feel I missed out at all tonight. I drank Lemon, Lime and Bitters out of a wine glass. And I feel good, and know I will have a clear head in the morning, for the 12th day in a row!!

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  35. Love reading these blogs. Super inspiring and comforting to hear that it's not so unusual and that others are going through this journey as well.

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  36. Looking forward to seeing the new website. Waiting for your book to arrive and delighted to see how well things are going right now for you! Ignore the pinpricks and peas --

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  37. Just passing day 19 - yippee :) and I had my first major crisis last night - childrens reports NCEA level 1 ! Not good, I ended up in tears and saying what have I done to them, I have let them down staring into a wine bottle. Took off in the car, and came home 1/2 hour later feeling better knowing my kids are good kids - just lazy (not helped by both their Dad and I - biggest procrastinators on the planet !) so all is not lost. And I did not buy any wine - that would have been first reaction normally.
    Fantastic, first crisis over - may not seem like a big crisis to many, but seemed to hit me very hard.
    So thank you Mrs D, I would not have got thru last night without you.

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  38. love you mrs. D!
    I hope you will never remove your posts online.
    When I want a drink, I read your blog and that helps so much!
    It gives me a boost.
    Thank you so much!

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  39. Hi Mrs D
    Stuff the haters I say. People will always be critical. Bet they haven't written a book. We talked about your book and blog in my group the other night. The facilitators think its great your message is getting out there so feel proud. I'm up to day 12 of dry July and 13 days sober, I think about wine all the time but have not succumbed. I even bought my husband beer last night while I had my bubbly grape juice and soda water in a massive wine glass. Not feeling fuzzy but feeling things so that is a good start. I went to a funeral on Thursday. I cried and cried as you do. The difference was at night I couldn't take the edge off with a wine instead I went to my group. Thank you so much for this blog. Have a great weekend - Mrs M.

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  40. I agree. Love your posts online Mrs D. If I feel the urge to drive to the supermarket for you know what, by the time I read all these blogs, I'm ready to do something else. Welldone.You are such an inspiration.

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  41. Thank you for all that you are doing right now for so many people worldwide! I hope you are able to get some rest and quiet time amid all the excitement of your book release. I love hearing your voice on the radio shows and when you were a guest on The Bubble Hour. From the USA, thanks!

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  42. Wow, how dumb am I to admit I have a drinking problem this morning ... when we are throwing a dinner party tonight! I felt so brave and strong at 8am when I said "this is it, this is day one". But it is, thanks to coming out via the blog, seeing myself in Mrs D and many others of you, and realising I am addicted. About to start scrubbing potatoes with a wine glass full of apple cider vinegar and soda xxx

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  43. Hey Colourful1 - good on you. Pleased you had a great response from your partner. I'm thinking you probably woke feeling pretty fabulous this morning! :)

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  44. Zulu, I woke feeling a bit yuck and down, then in turn very disappointed (aren't I supposed to feel amazing? I have stopped the booze!). But I have just got back from a 3.5 hour run up in the trails and now I feel amazing. I had so much time to think. Drinking has stolen so much from me. There are so many trails I have wanted to bike or run, but haven't because I have chosen to drink instead, or because I have been too hungover. I realised for real on my run today that this is a "forever" thing. I cannot moderate alcohol. I am an addict. It stops here. Thank you for your encouragement.

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  45. In early recovery I was under the impression that relapse was aside with my disease of alcoholism. I have now discovered that the addictive part of my brain siezed on to this dangerous advice. I now have closed this back door in my head and take Antabuse and I check my naughty thinking. This is my life the party is over and it is time to get real and act accordingly. I hate alcohol and I am not going to let it take anything more from me today x today I am grateful to be sober.

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