Monday, January 9, 2017

Glow-stick mission worth a million bucks...

New Years Eve is such a funny thing. The evening comes with such a loaded meaning and massive expectations. I spend most of the year not giving a jot when other people are drinking around me at parties and events, but then come NYE and I had this funny little sad spell when I felt left out.

We were camping at a beautiful spot by a surf beach and lagoon in the South Island. Four families in our immediate campsite, plus other friends nearby. The days had been filled with swimming and bike riding and game playing and book reading and chatting and just general summer loveliness.

NYE started out really well with an early evening camp concert which morphed into a disco dance (dancing in the daylight to 'Moves Like Jagger' with a bunch of kids is super fun!) but then everyone settled down and the kids ran off to play and the adults were hooking into the drinks and I felt a bit weird and 'lost'. Conspicuously sober.

It's crazy because not everyone was boozing.. it really was just in my head because of the loaded expectations of the night. I made myself a fancy drink of sorts in a plastic cup but then it spilled onto the sand which bummed me out. So I got busy pottering around tidying and stuff. I wasn't relaxed and not entirely happy. Mostly I felt a bit weird about being stone-cold sober on NYE.

This is a BUMMER because I love living sober and don't miss alcohol at all.. I don't want to drink it or go back to my boozy ways. I am happy as Larry with my new life choice. It's just the bloody NYE thing - it's hard to escape I suppose.

Anyway soon enough it got dark and the guitars came out and people were sitting around on deckchairs singing and the kids were playing and I relaxed and my woe-is-me thoughts slipped away. The glow sticks came out and everyone had a wild and crazy glow stick time. Everyone except our 7-year-old that is. He had a meltdown because his weren't working, or he didn't have enough or something. It was the kind of kid meltdown that could easily have been brushed aside with a "you're fine, you've got enough, just go play" message from mum.

But I didn't do that. I remembered that there was another packet deep inside a suitcase in the back of the car. And even better - I had the time and patience and desire to go on a mission to help Mr 7 find them.

We set off with torches to the car, but then I realised I didn't have my car keys so we navigated our way back to the tent to find them. Mr 7 was chatting all the way.. we were on a mission! Keys found we navigated our way back (always a tricky mission trying to avoid tripping up on tent ropes), unlocked the car, found the suitcase, found the glow sticks, then sat in the back getting them going and then making them into necklaces, wrist bands, and ankle bracelets.

The whole endeavour easily took 30 minutes.

There is NO WAY that I would have taken the time and effort to do this whole glow stick mission had I been boozing. NO WAY.

But I am a sober mummy now and as such absolutely made my 7-year-old's night. We had such a great, gentle, satisfying time together for those 30 minutes.. and we've talked about it since.

By the time he was fully adorned and glowing he was so tired he sat in my lap in a deckchair wrapped in a blanket all cosy and warm for another hour or so listening to the guitars and the singing until he announced he was ready for bed. Not quite midnight but a good effort nonetheless.

People who haven't been miserable boozers probably won't understand the significance of this incident but for someone like me who is still so aware of how things have changed in my life - it was gold.

I LOVED my little glow stick mission with my little man. It totally made NYE for me. I LOVED that we connected and he stayed by my side from then until bed. I LOVED that I was clear-headed and present for him. I LOVED the warmth and cosiness of our deckchair singalong.

After he went to bed I went on a solo walk with a torch around the entire campsite, soaking up the atmosphere of all the parties that were going on (and marvelling at all the dark tents - many campers weren't even bothering to stay up!). It was a peaceful, gentle, reflective walk and I felt calm and happy and good.

Back to our site just in time for "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!" followed by a vigorous round of hugs and kisses, the obligatory rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne', then a midnight feast of cheese and salami and bed.

NYE done and dusted, happy as always to wake up hangover free. Bring on 2017.

Love, Mrs D xxx  

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve!!!!!

I am full of snot and can't taste anything but other than that it's all good!! We are away from home staying with family, doing lots of mixing and mingling. Kids are exhausted but excited and happy... and I am much the same.

Bought myself a lot of fresh limes at the supermarket yesterday so I can dress up my soda water tomorrow. That's all I've got planned for a treaty Xmas drink to be honest which is a bit slack but it's all I'm really wanting.

I've had sober Christmas's in the past where I made a huge effort to concoct mocktails etc but this year being away from home and less fixated on my drink alternatives means fresh limes and soda is all that is really required.

Sat with some friends who were all chomping into the wines last night. Didn't bother me much.. they can have it, I'm happy with my alcohol free life. It was interesting watching it happen because that was me for soooooooo many years but now I just look and think 'yuk'! Not that my fiends are yuk, or that they were acting yucky.. it's just a very personal reaction to do with myself only which is 'yuk I don't want to go back to that life where I necked wine constantly and lived like an entirely different person'.

Yes I'm more low key than I probably would have been in the past and yes I probably go home earlier so I can snuggle into bed all cosy and warm. But that's ok. I've had a good many years of late nights boozing and now my life has taken a different turn.

I did have a dream last week in which I was feeling really left out of a party because I wasn't drinking. It wasn't a nice dream and it left me feeling sad for a day afterwards, and perturbed that there is obviously still a part of me somewhere deep inside that feels on the outside (of what?) now that I'm not boozing any more.

But I've chosen not to dwell on that feeling. See it as an understandable factor in my range of emotions - understandable because the world is awash with booze and I used to be too. And as always I have to stay very focused on my truth and the undeniable fact that for me personally living sober now is the best way for me to be. The alternative is just too shudder-inducing to think about.

Anyhoo... I've got washing to hang out and presents to wrap and kids to entertain and nibbles to prepare in advance of tomorrow, and a toilet to clean and it's Christmas Eve and I'm a sober housewife and happy with that!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Proud and tired and messy and alive.

I delivered my manuscript!!!!!!! Oh the relief!!! Job done. Well - there's still quite a bit to do but the BIG job is done which is figuring out the structure of the book, what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, then saying it in 60,000 words. Hours and hours and hours I have spent sitting at my laptop writing.

Now it'll be edited and checked and proof read and checked and typeset and checked and then published in the middle of next year.

After I delivered it I felt really strange. After having this writing project as a constant pressure in my life for many months having it gone is weird. I felt directionless for a day or two. But still busy with household and kid and work stuff. Then I got super exhausted and grumpy. Still really busy. And then teary - this morning I had a wee cry on Mr D.

But after the tears I felt a wee bit better. Tears are little messages from the soul, and the are healing. Finally now after many years of sobriety I can see that feeling a full range of emotions is necessary. As much as I dislike anger and sadness they are there for a reason (go watch Inside Out if you want to know why!! Great movie).

Anyway, so now there is a bunch of stuff to do before school ends and we head into Christmas and New Years and the long summer holidays. I have a huge list to check off, about to head into town to get shit done.

I have no big worries about the Silly Season ahead. Not concerned about other peoples drinking. Not hung up about me not drinking. Just ordinary sober me forging ahead with plans and celebrations.

I love being sober. Even when I am crying or feeling grumpy or just plain exhausted and worn out I love being sober. I love being authentic and fully alive to all the sensations of being a human. I love being opened up to so many new ways of thinking about life and having many new super-powerful and grounding tools and techniques to draw from when the going gets tough (all charted in my new book). When I was boozing I was very narrow in my thinking and closed off to much of my experiences. Now I am wide fucking open - raw, real, and recovered. Sober.

Sober Mrs D closing off 2016 proud and tired and messy and alive.

Wouldn't want it any other way.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I have just reached 5000 likes on my Facebook page so am doing a giveaway there - to enter all you have to do is comment on my latest post and I'll select a name at random to win. The prize is a copy of my first book AND an exclusive early copy of my new book when it comes out next year!

The link to my page is here.

I am just putting the finishing touches on the manuscript of the new book now. I have to admit this book-writing process has been rather fraught and emotional - for a variety of reasons - but I have pushed through and have pulled together something I am happy with. My publishers are also happy with what they've seen and they'll get an editor to help polish it up, hooray!

Other than that things are good here, busy but trucking along ok. Mr D and I went to Coldplay last weekend with was huge and cheesy fun! They gave every concert-goer a light-up wrist band on arrival that flashed in time with the music. They also had confetti cannons, and huge colourful balloons floating around ... it was fun. I milked the experience for everything it offered, singing along, waving my hands in the air, just feeling really happy and present for the entire thing.

I have been so drunk at so many concerts and basically wasted the entire experience by being focussed on getting to the bar, going to the toilet, falling over, puking is so great now to attend music events and really just feel the atmosphere and let the natural emotions of being in a big crowd wash over me.

My goals for the next wee while are; deliver my manuscript, enjoy travelling away with my family, have a lovely time reconnecting with people over Christmas, figure out how I'm going to get fit, keep using my recovery tools to maintain a decent level of calm and happiness, stay in contact with the online recovery community, and stay sober!!!!!!!!!!

No stupid, foul-tasting, brain numbing, emotion stifling, carcinogenic liquid for me!!! No way.

I love my sober life, and I will not go back to being the boozy disconnected housewife I once was EVER. So there!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Earthquake stress...

Everything's been rather full on here. We had a major earthquake event earlier this week that shook up the region. Lives were lost, evacuations carried out by the navy, schools closed, massive high-rises  deemed unstable and uninhabitable. It hit just after midnight and we got out of bed to listen intently to the radio, then came Tsunami warnings and our relatives who live near the coast arrived at 2am with their wide open eyes carrying blankets and bananas (a quick grab on the way out the door!). Felt good to be close to one another.

The landscape close to the epicentre has changed dramatically and major highways will be closed for months due to landslips. Our Government will need to shell out millions of dollars to get things fixed up and going again. In the meantime small tourist communities are going to suffer hugely. We've had  hundreds of aftershocks and the experts tell us there is a very high chance of another big quake hitting in the next 2-3 months because the fault lines beneath our lovely little country have all shifted.

None of this is positive.

We are getting prepared. Just spent an hour filling loads of big plastic bottles with water. We have our emergency kit all ready and lots of extra easy-to-eat food stored away.

It's all a bit unnerving and unsettling and edgy but we are boxing on as best we can with normal life. I have just 2 or so weeks until I deliver the first draft of my new book to my publishers - looking forward to having them help me pull it into decent shape. It's quite timely right now to be finishing up a book about how I developed new tools to deal with life in the raw. All my new tools are coming in very handy as I deal with this quake uncertainty. I love my new tools, they work in lovely subtle ways to help me stay calm and grounded and present.

No thoughts of stinky wine to help me deal with any stress, no way! Love my sober life, even when things are nerve-wracking and hard to control. So grateful not to be turning to booze as a coping mechanism for the nerves. That wouldn't help me at all. Sober is good.

Love, Mrs D xxx