Sunday, June 28, 2015

The absolute joy of decluttering!!!!!!

I always feel like an over-privileged dickhead when I talk about decluttering, when so many people on this planet struggle to survive, but the fact is I am fortunate to be able to choose to eat anything I like (and consequently spend loads of energy trying to moderate my intake of nasties) and can buy pretty much what I like (within budgetary limits...but I am a chronic second-hand shopper I must admit).. and I have 3 sons and a husband and now a dog and I feel like I'm constantly fighting a CLUTTER WAR!!!!!!

AARRRRGGGHHHH!! Stuff, stuff everywhere!!!

My sister loaned me this brilliant book called 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up' which is apparently a massive seller.  I've only just started reading it but it's got me in the mood to get busy clearing a whole bunch of stuff out.

OMG I totally recommend this. It makes you feel so good. Clean and organised.

Have just been through my wardrobe for like the umpteenth time and have managed to clear out another 15 or so items (ask yourself, "does this spark joy?" when you hold up each item, and if the answer is no then out it goes. And share the love, give it to a friend or take it to a charity shop).

Also just went through the pantry and chucked out old sauces etc that I've not used for months. Same with the family room bookshelf full of old colouring books/artworks/games etc

So satisfying!!!!!!!!!

I will continue my quest to magically change my life by tidying up. I can imagine that it will be a life-long endeavour. Stuff comes into the house in waves. I intend to constantly wave it out as well.

This isn't really sobriety related so I better say something about being sober.

I love being sober. I love, love, love, love, love it. Even when I'm tired and clutter is stressing me out I love being sober. Even when I am grumpy or ill or frustrated or angry I love being sober.

Mostly I just love that dumb alcohol isn't in my picture. I am not wasting any time on that dumb brain-bending stuff that destroys my authenticity. I love that I am not slightly affected by booze marketing and I love that I am free.

Free, free, free, free, free.

That is all. Goodbye.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, June 22, 2015

One year ago today...

I can't believe it actually. It is one year ago today since I went on the tele and outed myself as an alcoholic in recovery. One year ago since I cried reliving my last drinking days. One year ago since I came out publicly from behind my safe 'Mrs D' moniker and revealed my true, full identity. One whole year.

I made the decision to go public months before this TV outing when I contacted a publisher about writing a book. I knew that if I got a book deal I would publish as 'Lotta Dann' and not Mrs D.. and in doing so my cloak of anonymity would be thrown off. I was prepared for that, so that when the publishers said yes, it felt ok.

But boy did things take a massive turn when TVNZ's Sunday programme decided to do a piece on me and my book. I knew this would blow things wide open. This is New Zealand's most watched television show. Sunday night prime time current affairs. Holy Shit......

So yeah, I was nervous as all hell about doing it, but also quietly strong and determined. I told myself that it didn't matter what anyone thought or said, it just mattered that others who might be locked in a boozy hell-hole could see that they're not alone. My friend Sue was also asked to take part in the piece - it was also a big decision for her to go public. You can read her reflection on the process here.

Filming took four days. The crew were lovely but it was exhausting and extremely emotionally draining. On the day they packed up and left I took to my bed at 3pm with a pit of anxiety in my chest. I felt incredibly vulnerable and exposed. But I trusted that they would do a good job, and I kept firmly in mind the main reason why I was doing this - to let others know that there is a way out of the hell of addiction.

Today one year ago Mr D was in America for work and my mum was up staying to help with the kids and offer me emotional support. We went ten-pin bowling in the afternoon to keep ourselves occupied. We were nervous!

Close to the time of the show airing we all got our onesies on and gathered in the living room with drinks and nibbles. Then it aired....

You can watch it here.

The reaction was swift and immense. Holy shitballs-a-rama. I was inundated with emails, text messages, Twitter and Facebook messages, and phone calls. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people reached to me out and most of them were strangers saying 'I'm just like you'. I'm not exaggerating. Hundreds. It was an amazing response and the ripples continue to this day.

Since then I've done numerous media appearances, many public speaking events and have launched a community recovery website that has thousands of members. A few Living Sober members are today celebrating their one-year soberversary because when they saw me on the tele they decided to stop the boozy madness as well.

Going public with my drinking problem is one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was worth doing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, June 15, 2015

Whole30 again...

I'm halfway through another Whole30. Strict as fuck eating regime that is hell but does wonders. Mr D is doing it with me. We were both stuck in eating ruts and not feeling good so what's a girl who can't moderate to do...? A strict as fuck eating regime for 30 days - that's what!

This morning I had a Kiwi-Banana Breakfast Mocktail followed by a two-egg omelet with bacon. For lunch I have just had a scotch egg. Dinner tonight is a chicken curry with heaps of veggies in it (everyone else can have rice and roti bread, we'll just have lots of curry). I might snack on some cashew nuts this afternoon or a beer stick. Maybe have a mandarin when I have my nightly cup of chamomile tea. It's not too hard really.

I've had some serious moments of being completely over it but will persevere because I am feeling good (or at least I'm not feeling gross and down about my foods, or moody because sugar is playing havoc with my emotional equilibrium) and also because hopefully I'll lose a bit of weight (not that I'm too worried about that but it's always a bonus). And also it is forcing us to eat a lot more veggies and also for Mr D he's finding some great healthy food options for his lunch around where he works.

I have to be honest and say there was one night I cheated. I had to go to a 'Pudding Club' that I've been invited to join by some local ladies. This was the inaugural meeting at someone's house (we're going to take turns hosting monthly and serving a delicious pudding) and of course I couldn't go along and say like some foodie weirdo "sorry but I'm on a super-restrictive food regime so can't eat your sticky date pudding with toffee sauce...!"

So I ate it even though I felt bummed out about having a 'cheat' night during the Whole30. But it was delicious - DELICIOUS! - and a lovely fun chatty night.

Didn't matter that I didn't drink alcohol even though everyone else was.

Doesn't matter any more that I don't drink alcohol.

I just don't drink alcohol. That's me nowadays. That's how I roll, and I'm happy with that.

Have had another column posted on - this is a regular monthly gig for me now and I'm very proud to be included as one of their 'Expert Bloggers'. All my other work is busy but I am achieving a much better balance between work time and non-work time at home (probably an on-going dilemma for anyone working from home), am making fewer appointments during the week days so I don't end up feeling stretched and am still not taking my iPad into the bedroom which is a great little habit to have broken!

Sober life is good. It's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than my boozy life.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, June 5, 2015

Dr Phil love...

Lots of lovely concerned comments and messages! Thanks everyone. I am getting better.

I've had a very lovely restful week and my health is improving. I've taken steps towards 'unplugging' and have a new rule to not take the iPad into the bedroom at night. So I won't be checking on the Living Sober website last thing at night or first thing in the morning any more (or at least I will but in the study or living room before I go to bed or after I get up). This is a good little shift for me.

I still have to check the website regularly because our Members Feed area is constantly updating and I like to stay abreast of what people are saying - and I love it! It's my job, one I am very happy and proud to have. Actually I'm bloody lucky that my personal interest (sobriety) is now my job. But I do think some clearer lines between on duty/off duty would be good and hence my bedroom is now a no-go zone for work. Hooray!

I was watching Dr Phil yesterday (because I love him) and he was interviewing an addicted girl and her parents. Lots of fighting and awfulness but Dr Phil was strong and feisty with all parties and of course ended the show by offering to get her back into treatment (I assume the show pays?) so the hope is always there. He said at one point 'The reason I agreed to have you back on the show is because I believe we should NEVER surrender to this disease". The 'disease' being one of addiction I presume.

Love that man.

He finished up by asking the girl (daughter) if she wanted to go back into treatment and she said in a semi-lacklustre fashion (because the poor thing was in a pretty miserable state) "yes that's why I'm here". He nodded and then he summarised the four 'stages of motivation' people can be at when they enter into recovery. I'll try and remember what he said and will hopefully get this right...

Stage 1: You are ordered into treatment by the court
Stage 2: You agree to go into treatment because your family are desperate for you to/to please other people
Stage 3: You go into treatment because your head tells you it's the right thing to do
Stage 4: You go into treatment because you absolutely do not want to live this way any more and you will do anything, no matter how hard it is, to get well again (he said this last bit really forcefully hence my underlining).

Made me think about my recovery. I think on September 6, 2011 my motivation was at Stage 4. Maybe this is why I have never relapsed. I was FULL SCALE motivated and determined to not live in the stuck & miserable position I had been in for so many years with my drinking.

When I made the decision to never drink again I thought to myself; "I don't care if people give me shit. I don't care if I feel miserable about this sometimes. I don't care if I feel boring or left out sometimes. I don't care if other people judge me for not drinking. I don't care if I have to go to bed time and again feeling like a boring sober loser. I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. I just want this to change. I absolutely do not want to live this way any more and I will do anything, no matter how hard it is, to get well again.

And I have done.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, June 1, 2015

Trigger weekend...

I just wrote a post over at my other blog (here) about how I am very tired and worn-out and not well physically and mentally need to do some work to sort myself out.. part of what I wrote was needing to relax a bit on the busy-work-stuff ... and here I am still sitting at the computer bashing out another blog post!!!

But this is my original lovely blog and I don't want to neglect it and this is the place where I come to feel good about my sober life because even though I have a good number of sober days up my sleeve (1364 to be precise!) I never want to take my recovery for granted.

I am grateful to be sober. I am grateful to never touch alcohol ever. I am grateful that I turned my life around.

Went away this past weekend with my three lovely boys - no Mr D - and I was thinking while I was away that this weekend was really ONE BIG TRIGGER ... and one during which I would usually drink LOTS more than usual.

1) Mr D was away. Usually I always drank when he was away or out, to sort of 'have a party for myself' or something. I know from following along a lot of other people's sobriety journeys that this is very common. Our other halves go away and it's an excuse to drink more. Loneliness? Or just freedom to drink heavily without being judged? Neither for me any more...

2) Away from home. Always another big trigger. A special occasion! Get the treats in! Of course the biggest 'treat' would always be some fancy red wine or bubbles or even a cocktail of sorts. Not for me baby.. I found a nice unusual non-alcoholic drink at the supermarket on the way to the holiday house and had 3 mini bottles of it over the course of the weekend. And of course I travelled with my favourite treaty chamomile tea bags to have in the evening (Harney & Sons brand). I know how to look after myself when I travel. I ALWAYS travel with my favourite tea bags.

So yay me. I am a brave sober warrior. I am a hard working woman who still needs to work on getting the work/life balance right but at least I have one big fat fabulous fact in my corner.



YAY FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And now if you'll excuse me I have pyjamas to put on and a sofa to lie on......

Love, Mrs D xxx