Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recover to Live

Sitting here with a mug of green tea. My body is aching from having been to the gym three times this week - three! A marathon effort given I had 10 weeks off exercising while I crunched to finish my thesis.

I just have to let it go now and try to relax. Have been told it will take 3 months for me to get grade back so I do just have to let. it. go. Somehow. Let it go and figure out what to do next.

Maybe my next task should be write a book about my journey in sobriety. What shall I call it? "Confessions of a Boozy Housewife"? Or maybe "How blogging saved my liver"? Or what about "What, me alcoholic?" Ha ha!! But seriously I am going to need to think of a new plan eventually.

In the meantime I've been cooking up a storm and I have a huge pile of novels next to my bed and am also dipping in and out of the brilliant recovery book Belle's been talking recently. Recover to Live. It is bloody marvellous resource and exactly what I was looking for when I first got sober and was frantically looking around for books and information to educate myself about alcohol addiction.

I did find a few books that really helped me along and also found some useful information off the tele (!) from the likes of Dr Drew and Oprah (!!). When I think back now about what I didn't know when I first decided to remove alcohol from my life it's astounding. I honestly thought I was simply an aging party girl whose drinking habit was getting a little out of control and I just had to learn how to not drink alcohol and everything else would continue on as normal. I didn't realise my steady heavy drinking was actually all about how I'd been choosing to deal with emotions all my adult life and what I would really be learning in sobriety was how to deal with shit raw. (That's a technical term - 'how to deal with shit raw'. Not.)

What I mean is I had to learn, and am still learning, how to sit with uncomfortable feelings, or go through hard (sad, angry, stressful) times without reaching for an 'out' or numbing away the pain.

When I look back over the past year and a half it is bloody amazing what I have discovered and I am sooooooo grateful to myself making the decision to remove alcohol and sticking to it. I wouldn't want to be anywhere but where I am today.

Anyway this book by Christopher Kennedy Lawford is a massive tome bursting at the seams with loads of information from so many clever, educated and knowledgeable recovery experts. If you have a question about anything to do with addiction the answer will be here. It's great. And I really like that it calls itself a 'self-treatment guide'. Self treatment is all I've done so far.

Actually that's a big fat lie. Self treatment and the undisputed, undeniable, unbelievable support of a community of online bloggers and readers.  Kudos to you lot too.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Had the best dance I have had in years at the wedding on Friday night!!!!!!!!!!!!! Must have danced for two hours! The music was just totally awesome and the conditions were just right for an extended boogie. Lovely vibe, great tunes, nice low lighting, dance floor away from the main room so not lots of people sitting around watching us dance, big crowd cutting it up and not caring how they looked.

It was mostly old hits, lots of 80's favourites (hence the post title), lots of hands in the air and bouncing around. I got so hot and puffed I kept having to move to the side for a breather and then another great song would start up and my feet would lead me back out. The DJ even played 'Call Me Al' for goodness sake and we were all singing along word for word "A man walks down the street and says why am I short of attention......" and so on.

It was fab. At one point I honestly got hit with an overwhelming feeling of pure joy and endorphins, I was bouncing on both feet with my hands in the air shouting to myself 'no more thesis - yay!!!!!!!!!!'. What a perfect way to celebrate.

Didn't care that I wasn't drinking bubbles with everyone else straight after the ceremony. They had lovely big jugs of elderflower cordial mixed with soda water with cut fresh lemon and ice cubes so I had a couple of those in a flute. Lovely. Then with the meal I had actually smuggled in a Red Bull but then the groom came up to me and said 'They've got your Red Bull behind the bar!". So nice of him to remember and I'd forgotten I'd mentioned it to him!

I had another Red Bull mid-dance when I was hot and sweaty. That second one might have been a mistake as I didn't sleep that well and had a headache the next day but that could have just been tiredness after the big fun night.

Almost forgot that other people were sinking alcohol and I wasn't.. it seemed completely irrelevant. I was reminded after dinner when I noticed some people blinking a little more slowly and talking with tongues that had gotten a little thicker.  Right at the end there were a few loose units, but nothing too dramatic and I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. The opposite almost, just so happy to have discovered that I don't need lots of wine to have fun at a wedding.

Drove home. HOW I LOVE DRIVING HOME!!  Makeup off, night cream on, brush teeth, bed. Booze, who needs it?

Love, Mrs D xxx

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy, happy, happy!!

Yes! It finally came - my high from being free from the thesis!! Yes! I've still got to pick it up from the binders in a day or two and courier it to the University to be marked but it is gone from my computer. No more editing! No more writing! No more angst! Done!!

And yes, I do feel great! Happy and free!  So so so so so pleased to have it out of my head (mostly).

Today I made pumpkin and parsnip soup (with ginger and coconut milk) and a delicious spicy apple cake.

I took my Little Guy out this morning and we just hung out at the museum and it just felt different. I felt relaxed.

Went to the library while he was at kindy and got myself some big fat novels! Thanks for the recommendations everyone. Got a Sheila O'Flanagan, a Nicole Krauss and "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand".

Have just done a fashion show for Mr D and finalised my outfit for Wedding No. 3 on Friday night. We are traveling on a plane to get to this wedding and will be child free for 24 hours - fun! Can't decide whether to sneak a Red Bull into my handbag for the dinner. I've figured out that one energy drink gives me a good lift to see me through the night (this is wedding no. 3 of the summer but my 6th wedding since being sober so I'm getting good at it now). Then again I could just have whatever non-alcoholic drinks they are offering and grab a coffee as soon as the hot drinks come out.

I can't wait - it's going to be a super fun wedding with some old friends there, some new friends and some family.  Weddings are great I reckon. Everyone gets glammed up and has a fun energy about them. Can't wait.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, February 15, 2013

The beast within...

I had a very intense pang the other night. I had my head in the pantry looking for inspiration for what to cook for dinner and there was a bottle of red wine - Mr D's - sitting at the back, just sitting there all innocent (inviting) and I suddenly got hit with this really strong thought: 'I could just take a sip right here with my head inside this cupboard, take a sip and no-one would ever know'. I was so tempted almost to the point of extending my arm and picking it up to do it. It was intense. Like I was seriously tempted. I was tucked away inside the pantry and the kitchen was empty and it all just seemed so easy.

The Beast is Still Within. But I walked away. Fuck the Beast.

Mr D's wine glasses have been winking at me for the past few days. It's emotional. It's all emotional.

Probably no surprise then that I've had some bad sugar binges, I don't think eating Nestle White Choc Bites straight from the packet like I have been for the past half hour is best practice.

I'm just right at the end now of my MA (boring boring to be still going on about this but what can I do? It's a bloody intense process and it's impossible to minimise) and there are a million emotions swirling around - I feel flat, proud, happy, fucking exhausted, bit lost, all mixed in to one, and my self-care has been suffering over the last two months of putting this baby to bed.

I think it'll be really good after next week when it is finally printed and bound and couriered off to the University and I return all my library books and tidy away all my notes and move on.

Moving on entails...

* Getting back to the gym.

* Trying lots of new recipes.

* Relaxing.

* Watching crap TV.

* Tidy up the garden.

* Read lovely novels about love and life and NOT academic texts...

Anyone got any good novel recommendations?

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, February 11, 2013

Don't care don't care don't care..

So Mr D has had a couple of boozy nights out lately and I've been faced with those feelings of being left out of something... feelings I'm going to live with for the rest of my life...

I'm always going to miss out on boozing along with other people.. and yes, sometimes that will be a bummer but to be quite brutally honest I simply cannot be bothered wasting any time or energy feeling sorry for myself about that.

Yes there will be nights when I sit on the sofa with a mug of green tea watching American Idol instead of slamming shots down at a party or bar.. but fuck it. That's just the way it has to be.

I feel quite aggressive about this inside my head like I can NOT be bothered wasting any energy feeling sorry for myself over this. Because the boozing that I miss out on will only be very rarely... and the rest of the time I'm so happy and pleased to be sober and it doesn't make a damn sight of difference.

It doesn't matter at the library at midday on a Monday if I'm sober. It doesn't matter on Wednesday at 4pm when I'm with my kids at the park. It doesn't matter at 10am on a Friday when I'm driving to a friends house for coffee, or on Sunday at lunch with the family. It doesn't even matter on a Friday night at home having steak and salad for dinner with a nice cold ginger beer. Those times are very do-able sober.

But  yeah, sometimes it will matter a bit because it's a boozy party and people are boozing for fun and I won't be. But so what so what so what. Don't care don't care don't care.  Just cannot be bothered caring.

Big picture wins out here, not 6 hours of woe-is-me.

This is a bit rambling... I'm off to bed now with my printed out thesis draft to continue proof-reading (amazing how many small mistakes and typos I am finding) and to watch some junk TV.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, February 8, 2013

Almost ... almost...

I was just having a conversation with Mr D about my past drinking habits and he reminded me about how if there was ever a beer in the fridge - that he would have left in there to have on the weekend perhaps - I would always drink it straight away.

He was saying 'and you don't even like beer!' .. which is true. But if there was booze in the house it would call to me and I'd consume it pretty quick smart. It wouldn't last more than a day or two in the fridge or cupboard. I'd know it was there and it would go down my throat. Worst was when someone bought us a bottle of gin or whiskey duty free. I'd chomp into pretty enthusiastically and it wouldn't last long. There was never any chance of us having a wine rack or booze fridge. What came in the house got consumed...I think I was born with my 'off switch' broken actually.

That's why I'm an alcoholic.

I like Belle's 'high-bottom alcoholic' moniker and have used that a couple of times recently when describing my drinking to people. 'I'm a high-bottom alcoholic' trips off the tongue a little easier than 'I'm an alcoholic but I stopped drinking before I got too bad'. Or 'I was totally addicted to booze but it was only wine usually and always after 5pm'. So 'high-bottom alcoholic' it is.

Anyway, I'm dragging my now-fabulously-sober ass through the last week or so of thesis writing.

Today was a big day because I went into a copy shop and printed off a complete copy (all 130-ish pages, 35,000-odd words) to proof read over the next week. I am so close now I'm can almost taste what it's going to be like having this thesis gone from my life - and it tastes soooooooo good!!!!!!!!

Yes!!!! I am going to fist pump the air like a crazy woman, watch a million crappy romantic comedies every night, indulge in obscene amounts of Reality TV and cooking programmes, read loads of novels rather than heavy text books, tidy up the garden, go to the gym!, swim lengths at the pool!, fart around in my bedroom trying out outfits (not something I normally do very much), do my nails all the time!!, learn how to salsa dance!!  Ok so that last one was a joke... but .... point being ... the finish line is in sight and I am happy with that!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx