Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Adele

I think when you live raw all of the time you become very sensitive to strong emotions and feelings.. very easily swayed by heightened environments, and they affect you quite strongly.

This is living in the raw. Sometimes it sucks.. but sometimes - like last Thursday! - it's totally awesome!!

Last Thursday we went to Adele. Me, my mum, and two of my sisters.

I'm pretty sure I've written before about sober concerts. They are the best thing EVER! I've really embraced concerts since I quit drinking because I realised early on it's one of the best ways to get a big natural endorphin rush.

Everything is laid out for you to have an amazing time. The buzz of a crowd (bigger the better!), the lighting, the music.. I just love it. Since becoming sober I've been to concerts in small venues like Ladyhawke and Elbow, and I've been to bigger shows like The Arctic Monkeys, Elton John, Sting and Paul Simon together, Coldplay, Rhianna, and then last week ... Adele.

Adele!! What a hilarious legend she is. Her show was fantastic. I was so moved when it opened (with much drama to ginormous cheers as she appeared under the spotlights and started singing 'Hello') that my hands were shaking. Talk about heightened emotions!

She was hilarious and brilliant. She chatted to the crowd as much as she sang. Me and my mum and sisters sang and danced and swayed and just had the best time. I felt very grounded in my body and my experience.. a small spec in a tiny crowd.

Me the sober, alive, heightened, appreciative, happy woman in Section C4 Seat S19.

I love sober concerts precisely because I am sober. I don't go with any furtive desire to get to the bar for drinks time and again nor do I need to go to the toilet over and over. I go with my head on straight to experience things fully, my eyes wide open to watch people and soak up the atmosphere, my feet planted firmly on the ground (in comfy shoes), and a positive and excited attitude.

I'm still riding on a post-Adele high 5 days later, feeling so grateful for her performance and so happy to have spent really lovely and enriching time with my mum and sisters.

Sobriety has given me all of this and I don't take it for granted. My life would not be what it is if I was still guzzling wine all the time. So maybe I've got myself to thank for last Thursday's joy as much I do Adele.

Thank you Adele for being so warm and talented. And thank you me for being sober to appreciate all she has to offer.

Love, Mrs D xxx


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Consistency is HARD!

I'm feeling pretty good this week. Why?

Well, for starters I'm eating well. After my cake eating binge on Sunday (literally ate half a lemon sour cream cake dripping with sugar syrup mmmmm) I've sworn off wheat and sugar and dairy for two weeks and now, three days into it, I'm feeling strong and proud and fine and dandy.

Secondly I'm moving my body and getting into nature regularly. I'm doing yoga at home still - yes! I'm going for walks around the hills in my neighbourhood with my girlfriends. I'm running around after my kids as per usual. And I'm attending my regular Tuesday night yoga class.

Thirdly I'm forcing myself to get more organised and focused on my new writing project rather than spend my down time during the day watching Netflix.

All of these things are contributing to me feeling great!

Clever, functional, healthy, positive thinking, forward moving Mrs D. Aaaahhh the joy in being so very successful.

Problem is, in two weeks time all of this could have gone to shit. I could be binging on the sugar again, spending far too much time watching tele, turning down offers to walk, failing to do any yoga at home and generally just wallowing in my piggy, lazy, unhealthy mindset.

If only I could be consistent!!!!! If only I could maintain a perfect perfect lifestyle 100% of the time.

Sadly that is not my reality. Consistency is not my strong point.

But you know what? I can't be bothered worrying about that right now. For fucks sake, I accept who I am, cake-binging warts and all.  If I slump into a pit of lazy despair in a few weeks so be it. Knowing me I'll lift up again afterwards and end up feeling like I do now. That's how I roll.

I'm a work in progress.. not a problem to be solved. And of course there is one MAJOR thing that I am able to remain consistent at, and that is not drinking alcohol ever.  If this the only thing I ever manage to stay consistent at for the rest of my life then that's ok with me.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, March 2, 2017

All the complications of the world....

Sometimes I look at my boys rattling around the kitchen being noisy and cheeky and can't quite believe that they're going to be men one day. Big grown men looking after their own lives and families.

And I get this swelling in my chest and I fill with overwhelming emotion. A whole heap of love, a bit of fear (will everything turn out alright?), some guilt (why did we have that massive fight about salami yesterday?), sadness (they won't be living with me forever), and finally happiness and contentment (look what I have right in front of me right now).

Oh my goodness just started crying while I typed this. Emotional me. I am very emotional nowadays!

Everything since I stopped drinking booze has been about my feelings. About how they were squashed under concrete following years of boozing. About how they burst out of me with overwhelming intensity when I first got sober. About how I struggle to deal with them as my alcohol-free life goes on. 

Sometimes I hate my feelings and think they suck balls. Sometimes I find them really intense and lovely like the ones I'm feeling for my sons right now. I'm actually typing this standing in the kitchen with 20 minutes to go until we head out the door. They are playing Moana songs and singing along and making bread rolls and practicing scooter tricks and playing with the dog and chatting to each other. And here I am in the corner middle aged, sober, lumpy and bursting with feelings. 

I am such a hyper-emotional and super-sensitive person nowadays. Maybe I have always been this sensitive and my drinking was to dull things and make them manageable? I cry watching sentimental television programmes or hearing sad stories on the news. I feel very acutely when nerves are creating butterflies in my tummy or stress tightens my chest. I respond strongly when any raw emotion is expressed by another person in front of me (even if they're on the tele).   

I'm not complaining. I'm up for the challenge of a hyper-emotional life, warts and all. I'm up for the challenge of sobriety - have been since day one and now at day 2004 I'm just as game. 

As Sarah Hepola said in her brilliant book 'Blackout'; "Sobriety is full throttle. No earplugs. No safe distance. Everything at its highest volume. All the complications of the world, vibrating your sternum."

Yes indeed. All the complications of the world. The pain of loss, the shards of disappointment, the rays of hope, the satisfaction of success, the delight in being understood, and the glory of connection.

And the brilliance of a 10-year-old boy who just farted and blamed it on the dog.

Time to stop being sentimental and get these boys to school....

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kick-arse sober warrior

Sometimes I forget that the only constant in life is change. I get lulled into the current state of things and think this is how it's going to be forever.. then something happens and everything shifts again.

Sometimes the shifts are good and exciting, sometimes they're a bummer and hurt and take a bit of emotional management.

I know I'm being cryptic, there's nothing to announce.. just a few things shifting and changing and me in the middle going 'this is how life is. Nothing stays the same forever'.

In the midst of this change I'm doing ok. Going for walks with girlfriends around the neighbourhood. Doing my weekly yoga class and even doing some yoga at home sometimes with Adrienne on YouTube (this one is my current favourite). Using my mindfulness techniques to ground myself in the moment (enjoying my dog and interactions with the kids). Trying to eat healthily (sometimes succeeding sometimes failing). And of course the best one of all - staying fabulously, gloriously sober.

Oh how I love being sober! There are a million reasons for this but the best one is that no matter what else is going on I can always rest back on the knowledge that I was brave and amazing to beat my addiction and no longer pour carcinogenic shit down my throat by the bucket load.

I watched a doco on addiction the other day called Risky Drinking and it really brilliantly illustrated the sliding scale of addiction. There is no doubt at all that I was on the sliding scale. My relationship with alcohol was anything but casual. It was furtive, focused, heavy and determined. Thank goodness I got out when I did, and was attracted to the challenge of sobriety early on so that I embraced it and stuck with it. THANK GOODNESS!!

My mood has been a bit up and down lately but I'm riding the waves as only a sober, emotional, messy woman can. On the bright side my new book is about to go to print, the cover has been finalised and it's full steam ahead. Soon people will be able to read 60,000 words on the inner workings of my brain. I'm feeling nervous and vulnerable about this but that's ok.

I can deal with a bit of vulnerability because I'm a kick-arse sober warrior!

That's me.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ghost Tequila!

We went to a wedding on the weekend and I did feel very sober but that's ok because that's just me now and I'll take the crunchy with the smooth.

What I mean by that is that in choosing to live sober I have chosen to accept that sometimes I will feel conspicuously sober in a crowd of party goers. It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. And I will deal with that crunchy feeling and not wail about it internally because most of the time my sobriety feels very smooth.

Anyway this wedding was lovely and relaxed, the bride looked absolutely gorgeous, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. It's not important that I had a patch in the middle of the event where I felt a bit lost and was casting around looking for people to talk to (I knew people there but didn't have any great buddies if you know what I mean...).

It's not important because it wasn't about me in the slightest. This is another great realisation that has come to me since I got sober. Not everything is about me all the time and this knowledge gives me a great sense of calm. Weddings are about the bride and groom and their families and close friends and on this instance I was none of these things. So who cares if I, random guest, floated around for an hour or so after the formalities and meal etc feeling a bit self-conscious and awkward. I wasn't too bothered by it and just wondered if maybe it was time for me to slope on home.

However in the end I pushed through that awkwardness, it got dark.. I found myself sitting around in a big group chatting away merrily as others danced in the marque across the grass. The DJ was playing some cheesy hits and I even did some chair dancing and singing (what a geek).

Someone came round with a bottle of tequila handing out shots. I raised my imaginary glass and did a "Cheers!" with them all, pretended to drink my ghost tequila and then imitated the face puckering that most of them were doing once their foul tasting liquid went down - how I laughed!

I was just feeling good and having fun, being in the vibe even though none of that shit went down my throat at all. I didn't even care one iota.

Sobriety is the best life-choice for me.

That, my friends, is freedom.

Love, Mrs D xxx