Monday, May 29, 2017

You are not alone...

My new book is now out! Very exciting. It's called Mrs D Is Going Within and it's all about the next-stage work I did on myself and my recovery after getting to around 3 years sober.

It is available on Kindle through Amazon but DON'T buy a hard copy through Amazon they don't get it in their American-based warehouse till November (which strikes me as extremely odd but there it is). If you live overseas best to buy it on Book Depository and they'll ship it anywhere in the world straight away. If you live in NZ MightyApe or Fishpond are best... or of course walk into a book store!

Opening up my buzzy mind to the world in the form of a book has lead to a crap-tonne of vulnerable feelings and lost sleep and nerves in the tummy so I have been pounding my tools to help me get through.

Number 1 tool is forgiving myself for being a nervy wound up mess and not a perfect shining example of a calm zen person and accepting that I am who I am and I can't control my emotions.

I've had a little bit of media around the book which has given me a good opportunity to also talk about Living Sober and it's been great to see some new people hear about our community and come and join us to start talking about their own circumstances regarding alcohol. Hopefully we can all pull together and offer them lots of kindness and understanding and they'll start to climb out of the boozy hole.

It breaks my heart to imagine all the people who are right now in that awful, stuck, lonely place like the one I was in when I was deep in my alcohol addiction.

It's such an awful place to be in - especially because you feel like something is wrong with you that you've got to this miserable place and everyone else is having a fine and dandy time supping their chardonnay and being totally in control.

But believe me YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so, so, so, so, so many of us who are (or have been) locked into a place of boozy misery. Alcohol is a readily available, cheap, glorified, normalised, highly addictive drug that causes masses of harm to huge amounts of people.

If you are reading this right now and you are feeling stuck and lonely and miserably then please know that it IS possible to change. BELIEVE that change is possible. KNOW that you can get to a place where you won't miss that shit at all. REACH OUT and connect with others who are going through and have been through the same thing, and then START working towards living the rest of your life sober.

You won't regret it. I promise.

Love, Mrs D xxx


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Profoundly, deeply, overwhelmingly....

I just had a great boogie at the school disco! Danced up a storm at the back door where I was on duty letting the cool air come in and no kids go out. The DJs (Dads) were playing all manner of brilliant cheesy hits and the kids were having a blast showing adults how to have fun without bending their brains. It was a lovely ending to a day which started sadly at the funeral of a friend's dad.

Home now, kids are in bed and I am lying on the sofa in my PJs watching TV and drinking chamomile tea.

I know there are loads of people who will be out and about this Friday night .. boozing it up merrily at bars and clubs in town. Or maybe creating their own private party at home with wines or some such (like I used to). I don't worry about that or feel like I'm missing out. I did that sort of thing for years and years. I know what it feels like.

I know what it feels like to get smashed with friends chatting and laughing and dancing the night away.

I know what it feels like to glug, glug, glug my way through the night with my foot to the floor, charging on all cylinders, necking booze like it's going out of fashion.

I know what it feels like to get hit with waves of nausea on the dance floor.

I know what it feels like to ask the taxi to stop so you can lean out the door and puke onto the road.

I know what it feels like to vomit in the front garden then lie down for a wee nap in the bushes.

I know what it feels like to check your bank account for late night transactions that you can't remember ("must've been another round of chocolate martinis").

I know what it feels like to wake with a pounding head, sick guts and a brain full of nerves and regret.

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Then said goodbye, traded in that life for a new one. Re-shaped my identity and became a sober woman.

I love living sober. Living sober means I front up to every experience in my life - whether it be sad or challenging or fun - and experience it 100%. Full throttle. Full noise. Full human experience all day every day. Love it. Love, love, love it.

I often say that I don't regret any of my drinking because what's the point in looking back (and a lot of it was fun let's be honest). But to say that I am grateful to have gotten booze out of my life and be experiencing a totally different way of living is an understatement.

I am so profoundly, deeply, overwhelmingly grateful to be sober. There is not one teeny tiny percent of me that wants to be anything else.

And that is a fantastic way to feel.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What other people think of me is none of my business..

I absolutely love this saying. What other people think of me is none of my business. It sums up such a great attitude to have. I can waste so much time worrying; did I say something stupid when I chatted to that person this morning or does this person think I'm a dickhead or is everyone secretly thinking I'm a yawn fest of a housewife??

But if I remember that what other people think of me is none of my business then I can get myself in perspective and drop the worry.

Getting myself in perspective also involves remembering that most people aren't really thinking of me at all most of the time! I regularly look around and remind myself that every single other person is crazy busy and preoccupied with their own worries and commitments and pressures and close relationships and aren't paying me much attention at all (if any). I find this very calming and relaxing.

Mr D has just gone away overseas for 2 weeks of work and my new book comes out in 3 weeks so it would be fair to say I'm a bit edgy. I'm trying to channel my edginess into good endeavours like getting my smashed wing mirror fixed (whoops!), painting the living room wall deep red (a job for Friday), making online albums with our digital family photos etc etc. Plus all the usual online writing etc and housewife-ing and parenting that I do.

I told the community at Living Sober this morning that I'm going to work hard not to turn into a blobby pig for the next two weeks and to keep up with the things that improve my day just that little bit (dog walking, yoga, healthy drinks and food). And of course no alcohol ever!

It's funny - Mr D being away or out for the evening used to always be a good excuse for me to drink more than normal. So glad those days are over.  Being a heavy boozer seems so foreign to me now.. abstract almost like I can't imagine it ever having been a reality. Five and a half years since my last drink and I am firmly cemented as someone who lives sober. Hallelujah!

Hang in there those of you in the tough early stages. It does get easier and easier the longer you go on.. especially if you do some concerted work on your life to fill in the gap left by alcohol. Find lovely treats and endeavours that will improve your days little bits at a time.

That walk outside might only make things better by 5% but it's better than not having it at all.

This is the trick - to realise these good, nourishing, authentic things (like dog walking, yoga, healthy drinks and food) are subtle and slow-burning. They don't offer quick, dramatic fixes (like booze did), but they are lovely and very effective ... and my lifestyle would certainly be much poorer without them.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Gift of Desperation...

It's 3am on Tuesday the 6th of September 2011. I am sitting on the toilet in the depths of despair. I am suffering the physical ill-effects of drinking copious amounts of wine the night before, and I am suffering the emotional ill-effects of living for years with a heavy and progressive drinking problem.

At this very moment, with my pants down and tears rolling down my cheeks, I make a decision that will dramatically alter the course of my life. I decide to quit drinking alcohol forever.

That utterly wretched moment - me on the toilet with my self-esteem and self-worth severely diminished - delivered me a powerful point with which to make a change.  A rock on which to build a new foundation.

They call this the gift of desperation. From my worst moment something beautiful grew.

Would I have ever made the dramatic decision to not touch alcohol ever again if I hadn't reached that low point? Maybe if we lived in a different world. A world where it's not such a big deal to never touch alcohol. A world where LOADS of people live sober. Wouldn't that be lovely....!

But sadly this is not the case. In my current environment it is dramatic (to say the least) to choose a lifestyle so at odds with the norm. To choose to always be in the minority at parties and events. To choose to say 'not for me thanks' every time booze is on offer. To choose to never touch alcohol ever despite knowing there is going to be so much emotional pain and hurt coming along that will be hell to deal with.

Making the big dramatic choice to live sober was made simpler for me because of the miserable, low place my drinking took me to. Because of my desperation. This is the gift of desperation.

I call to mind often the feeling I had toward the end of my drinking days - and particularly that last day/night - and it helps remind me why I quit. I will never let myself forget.

As unlikely as it sounds I am profoundly grateful for that awful 3am moment back in 2011 - my shittiest, lowest, most miserable point. Because it truly was a gift, one that I will always be thankful for.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, April 22, 2017

New book nerves..

Just a month now to go until my new book is released and I can feel myself getting a bit nervous and distracted. Dates are being set for book store events, media are being sent copies, my publicist is gearing up to get the book noticed.

I'm having dreams where I'm in a newsroom feeling completely out of my depth and like a fraud ... being asked to do complicated stories. This is my CLASSIC anxiety dream tapping into old insecurities (in my past life I was a TV journalist).

Also hitting the sugar a little bit although I've been off recently so this on-phase (which started at Easter) hopefully won't bed in too deeply.

And just generally feeling edgy and ill-at-ease. Not the most chilled out relaxed version of myself anyway... hard to completely relax when I'm about to release to the world another exposing story about the inner workings of my brain and my attempts to deal with life, relationships and my raw emotions.

But I'm not complaining! I'm fortunate I get to write books and someone wants to publish them. I'm happy to share my process in case it helps anyone else. And writing what I'm going through certainly helps me - so all-in-all what lies ahead is good.

But I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a fair amount of nerves and vulnerability to contend with as well.

So! Time to practice what I preach in the book (although it hopefully doesn't come across as preachy!) and use my tools to keep myself feeling good.

* Treat myself kindly and with compassion.
* Accept what is happening and put it in perspective.
* Do lovely nourishing things that will improve my days by tiny amounts that add up to an overall better feeling of wellness (yoga, dog walking, bubble baths etc).
* Focus on all the other people around me and and their lives.
* Remember to feel and notice my breath (ground myself in my body).
* Focus on what my hands are doing and what my eyes can see (ground myself in the moment).
* Allow myself at times to get distracted with good books and absorbing TV programmes!
* Practice gratitude to remind myself of all the lovely little things

It is school holidays here and today the sun is shining. I am grateful for my fingers which allow me to type out how I am feeling. I am grateful for the internet which connects me with lovely like-minded people. I am grateful for our City Council putting on a Nature Trail that we will visit today. I am grateful for my dog who is lying on my feet right now keeping them warm. And I am grateful for my sobriety. Because goodness knows where my life would be right now if I was still boozing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

P.S. You can pre-order the book (hard copy) at Book Depository or at MightyApe or at Fishpond.  Or you can pre-order the Kindle version here at Amazon.