10 May 2012 - "Eating slice in bed"
Sad and grumpy here, again. Got on a bit of a high last week what with finding a nice place to rent in the city we're headed to and finishing getting the house ready to sell but the high slowly faded away and the hard emotions associated with this move are to the fore again.
Trying hard not to be too 'woe is me' but also trying to honour my feelings. I hate being flat and negative, but this is a tricky situation because even though I want to move because Mr D's new job is perfect and I know we'll be fine in the new place, I'm really not enjoying all the hard work associated with packing up and selling and all the emotion associated with leaving our lovely community. The house is on the market now so I'm also feeling anxious to keep the place tidy and feeling kind of exposed having to pop out whenever agents want to bring someone round to view. My home is no longer my sanctuary, it's a show home.
God I'm winging and moaning. I'm feeling so sorry for myself I actually said 'a wine would be nice' tonight when I was looking at Mr D's glass on the kitchen bench and you know what? I said that because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, not because I wanted a wine. How terrible is that?! Ah fuck it. Maybe I do want more recognition sometimes for what I'm doing getting through all of this sober. But I suppose people would forget that it's hard to do (to never ever touch alcohol) if I never talk about it, which I haven't been lately.
Anyhoo, I stuck my nose into his glass when I was putting it into the dishwasher and once again the smell was so familiar and so reminded me of a miserable obsession. So much time that I spent filling my body with an artificial warmth that tricked me into thinking it made things better, blurring my thoughts, squashing down my feelings and slowly killing my soul. I am so so happy that I am sober now, I really am. I feel grateful and thankful and proud that I am doing things the hard way but the better way. Better for me, better for my kids and better for my relationship. Also to show other heavy drinkers that it can be done. It can be done people, it can be done.
Tonight instead of dealing to my emotions with shiraz I am dealing to them with a delicious slice I made by combining crushed biscuits with coconut, finely chopped dried apricots and crystallised ginger, mixing that with melted butter and sweetened condensed milk, pressing it out and chilling it, then icing it with lemon icing. I'm on piece number four, eating it in bed, and I don't care what anyone thinks about that.
Love, Mrs D xxx
12 May 2012 - "Oh, sigh"
My general state is kind of busy and glum, mixed in with some crazy highs for the littlest things. Found out yesterday my boys can get straight into a Scout group in the new city (I was worried they'd have to join a waiting list) and you would have thought I'd won the lottery!!! So happy I felt pure joy course through my veins I was really really high for a while. Someone commented on here that the low lows are balanced out with high highs when you're sober going through such an intense time and this sure felt like it! I think more highs like that will come when all the hard work associated with leaving is over and we're on our new adventure. I hope so.
Today waiting for the real estate agent to come over for our first ever open home I got progressively more nervous until just before she arrived I actually felt really anxious and sort of paranoid. Pure stress and anxiety, my heart was racing it was crazy. I just tried to close my eyes and calm myself by thinking 'what's actually going on here'. It was just nervous energy but it sure was a powerful feeling. She finally arrived, we had a quick chat, then I left her to it and raced over the road to have a cup of tea with the neighbours and spy through their net curtains as cars came and went.
Crazy relocation roller coaster.
Tonight I'm in bed early eating a Perky Nana. Must keep an eye on this sugar-in-bed habit.
I'm sorry, I'm tired and feel like I'm repeating myself here. Still stressed. Still sad. Still sober. Still self-obsessed. I suppose this is my blog, I can write what I want. Truth is, I want to be ... what do I want ... I want to be ... I want to be normal and ordnary. I don't want to be uniquely sober, I just want to be ordinary. Maybe sober is the new ordinary? It is my new ordnary.. although it's still fairly new, 8 months or so. What do they say about not making any big changes in the first year of sobriety? Must have lost that memo. Anyway, I'm rambling. Off to sleep... gotta get back on that roller coaster tomorrow.
Love, Mrs D xxx
15 May 2012 - "Struggling"
I just feel really pissed off actually, and stressed. And fucking grumpy that I can't have a drink to relax. Just caught a bit of Mad Men and they were pouring whiskeys like they're going out of fashion. Others around me are drinking French Champagne to celebrate engagements. I'm pissed off that I have a bloody drinking problem and I have to abstain. That's it. So there. Here it is. Stress pure and simple, this is a hard time. Stupid drinking problems. Stupid sobriety. Stupid relocations. Stupid house sales. Everything is fucking stupid.
Sorry not signing off with a 'Love, Mrs D' tonight because I'm too grumpy.
(no kisses either)
18 May 2012 - "Surprisingly helpful"
While there are many interesting things about someone reading my blog, which is all about my thoughts and feelings after giving up alcohol and learning how to live sober, getting snippy with me and telling me to 'go have a drink PLEASE and stop all the whining' ... it was actually a surprisingly helpful comment.
Because yes, anonymous, I could stop all the whining and go and have a drink (or 3 or 5). In fact that's what I could have chosen to do in that moment the other night when I was finding things hard. The kitchen was in chaos, there was rice all over the floor left over from dinner, the kids were screaming in the bath and the champagne was in the fridge ready for our friends who were coming over. I was exhausted (insomnia), stressed (did I mention we're relocating?!), and grumpy, and I was throwing myself a pity party.
I could have in that moment gone to the fridge and grabbed a beer or poured myself a wine and drunk it. Drunk it, drunk it, drunk it. I could have stopped all the gritty feelings and had some alcohol. Just have some alcohol!!!! (I hear you cry). Stop all the bloody whining and moaning and have some goddam bloody alcohol, it's not hard. You just pour .. bend your elbow .. open your throat and in it goes. Easy. Easy, easy, easy. Easy way out.
But I didn't do that. I jumped on the computer, navigated to my blog and vented in a short and sharp (unusual) way for myself, refusing to sign off or give kisses. Then .... I felt better. I got up, got the vacuum out and started cleaning up the mess. Got the kids in their PJs, put chips in a bowl and got hummus out of the fridge and got out four champagne flutes.
When our friends arrived I poured lemon, lime and bitters into my glass and clinked 'congratulations!' with the rest of them and sat and chatted for two hours. Went to bed, slept like crap, but woke up without a hangover. Because I didn't stop whining and have a drink. I whined. I whined and I felt better.
It's such a head game this sobriety. Sometimes you want to throw a pity party and whine about not being able to drink, because you want attention or recognition or just to be self-indulgent. Sometimes you feel great and powerful and so happy to be sober (especially when there are tragic drunks around you).. and sometimes (and these times grow so so slowly but they do grow) you just don't think about alcohol at all and just live.
So when the snippy anonymous comment came a couple of days later, after I had recovered from feeling a little slapped, it actually made me feel better. Yeah, you're right. I could stop whining and just take a bloody drink, but I didn't, and there's nofuckingway that's what I'm ever going to do. The comment made me imagine having done that and I felt sick. Thank god I didn't. So cheers for the hard attitude because I can push back and stay sober. You watch me. And anyway, if you read to the end of that snippy comment, there's a very powerful line ... 'And you'll see how much you don't need it anyway'.
Cheers to that.
Love, Mrs D xxx
23 May 2012 - "Nearly there"
We've entered the final phase of the relocation now. Mr D has already moved to the new city and will be back on weekends. Me and the boys plus all our stuff follow in 3 weeks. The house is being auctioned next week and people are popping in every now and then during the week to view, plus open homes are on the weekends so it needs to be kept in a permanent state of 'show'. It's hard to relax fully and I think I'm emotionally distancing myself from the place, just want it to sell, so it doesn't feel like our warm family home any more. But that's ok. I know this phase will pass ..
The kids are sick and getting wound up about the move so they're taking extra nurturing through this final phase, and everyone keeps saying to me 'take care of you' because I can't get to the gym when I've got kids home from school. My lovely family (most of whom live elsewhere) are worried that I'm tired and stressed, which I am, but that's because this is tiring and stressful. I keep wanting to say to anyone who tells me kindly to look after myself ... I am!! I'm looking after myself in the biggest way possible for me, in that I am not drinking alcohol. People forget.
I chose to look after myself on September 6th last year when I chose to remove alcohol from my life. And I take extra care of myself every day that I stick to that resolve. I love being a non drinker. Sometimes I have pangs of fear that people will consider me boring. Sometimes I feel bummed that I can't escape gritty feelings with a wine or 5. Sometimes I get sick of being quick to anger or tears or boredom. But I never ever consider actually having a drink. I'm bigger than that goddamn liquid. And if anyone considers me boring I don't care. I'd rather be boring but at peace feeling contented inside than crazy (boozy) fun and fraught with guilt and dysfunction.
I'm trying to do other things like have bubble baths at night and burn scented candles (you know what, I've just decided I'm going to drive into town today and get myself a new Jo Malone one at vast expense - bugger it), and I drink lots and lots and lots of flavored green teas. To use a well worn cliche I feel fully connected emotionally with what is going on, and especially when it comes to the kids that is wonderful because I want to really be there for them during this nervous time for them.
This is a big test during the first year of sobriety, no doubt about it. But all I have to do is not drink. I think I can manage that.
Love, Mrs D xxx
27 May 2012 - "Sobriety date"
Had a farewell lunch with a bunch of girlfriends yesterday. 9 of us went to a tapas restaurant in town. Was really lovely and fun. Low-key and sweet and a little bit sad. There was a moment after we first arrived when drinks were being ordered and I felt a bit of a pang that I wasn't having wine with the rest of them. There was some talk of 'cocktails and mocktails' but that idea got abandoned and they went for a Sav Blanc instead and I ordered a homemade lemonata.
I always seem to find it a little bit hard at that moment when the drinks are first being ordered or poured. When the energy in the room changes and there's a fissure of excitement - alcohol is entering the room! - excitement mixed with a little naughtiness and fun. I feel a bit awkward and don't know what to say or kind of where to look and inside of me I feel sad. I worked pretty hard yesterday at pushing that thought away and sure enough 15 minutes later when the drinks were all out and we had moved on into just chatting and looking at menus and I didn't care that my glass wasn't filled with wine.
They had 2 bottles between 8 of them so it was hardly a boozy lunch. If I'd have been drinking I would have suggested 'Bubbles!!' to start with and then wine probably. I would have gone home with a little buzz on and gone on to drink a bottle or more at home. I keep reminding myself about that. How if I started drinking when out I would head home with only the thought of continuing drinking at home. Once I started I wouldn't stop. There was lots of sad determined drinking done in the home. It might not have looked sad from the outside but I think of it as extremely sad.
I don't want to slip into complacency when it comes to my sobriety. I think of my brain as a muscle which is going to keep needing to be exercised to remember why I gave up, and how dysfunctional my drinking was, in the last few years especially.
I went on a great crafty website yesterday and bought myself a lovely silver pendant that you could get personalized on the back. I asked them to put "6 September, 2011" on it, which is my sobriety date. I'm still taking this really seriously. I think the more time that goes on and the more used to living sober I am the more active I have to stay in my resolve to stay off the booze. I'm reminding myself in the mornings how I used to feel when hungover, and am taking the time to pause and breath and think about my body and my mind and how clear it is. How differently I would feel right now if I were chugging back the wines like I used to (especially with all this stress associated with the move, I can't believe in 2 weeks everything will change).
Next thing to think about .. what do I say to all the new people I am going to meet about why I don't drink?
Love, Mrs D xxx
31 May 2012 - "Nerves and Anxiety"
I am so fucking wound up (pardon my french) and anxious I've got nerves in the pit of my tummy that won't go away. Aaarrgghh!!! It's the house sale - the auction is tomorrow and I'm convinced it's not going to sell, I'm paranoid as all hell and really anxious. It's awful! Could hardly sleep last night. I really really really need to chill out.
Is this normal fear when selling a house? I don't know I've never sold one before. We've had loads of people through and a decent number of 'registrations' of interest but registration doesn't mean bidder and for some reason I've just convinced myself no-one will want it and we'll have to make other plans.
I'm sure this feeling of dread is exacerbated by the fact that from next Wed movers will be here packing up our house and from Friday we are gone and on to the next chapter. The whole thing is coming to a head and I have to keep myself calm. Calm. Calm.
All that cold hard reality and no escape. That's why wine is so appealing. It dulls, takes the edge off, smooths out, eases. Well not for this mama. This wound up, anxious, nervous, tired, stressed out mama is doing it sober and it's hard. It's HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Breath in. Breath out. Slowly. Breath in. Breath out. Everything's going to be alright. Light your bloody scented candle and chill out.
Love, Mrs D xxx
3 June 2012 - "Two dresses!!!!"
I was talking to a neighbor, who I've always suspected to be a boozer, and I was telling her the amazing story of our last-minute house sale (YES!) and for some reason I then told her that I'd given up the booze, that I used to be a really hard-out wine drinker but that I'd kicked it to the curb about 9 months ago. She was so funny, she honestly seemed more interested and impressed with the fact that I'd been a fellow drinker and even said 'I wish I'd known I would have been over more often'!!! Like dude, I've just told you I've given it up because it was getting way too heavy...and you're regretting that you'd never shared in the habit with me??!! How funny people are.
I could sense she thought I'd turned boring, and that was a good experience for me to have in that moment, to be aware that she thought I was now boring. Because there will be people I come across now that will consider me a boring teetotaler. And they'll be the boozers.
Boozers will always think I'm boring. That I'm just going to have to accept. In a boozers eye I will be a boring non-drinker. I know this because I used to think all non-drinkers were boring nerds, but as we all know, I was a boozer.
Just after our house sold (YES!) when we were chatting to the buyers (just as excited as we were) the Real Estate agents broke out the bubbles for everyone to celebrate. I had to quickly say 'not for me thanks' which she didn't really hear so I had to repeat it, and everyone sort of laughed (it was a very emotionally heightened situation) and I didn't explain or anything, just said 'not for me' again and she went and filled my flute with water. It didn't matter. And I didn't give a shit. I don't want to be a drinker. I'm happy being a non-drinker. I can remember being that boozer lady and I so don't want to be her again. I far prefer how I feel about myself now.
Mr D commented yesterday that I'm such a changed woman. He was being lovely saying things like 'vibrant' and 'alive'. I said to him isn't it amazing how I just totally changed my life? Thank god I did. If I hadn't changed my drinking habit I would never have realised what I could become - a much more alert and in-control version of myself. Sorry if that sounds a bit self-satisfied. I think I'm still in a hyper-alert state with all that is going on.
Anyway, after the house-sale papers were signed (YES!) I popped off to the mall to buy a big suitcase so I can start packing up the house now. I decided on a whim that in lieu of celebratory champagne I would buy myself something lovely to wear. So I did. Two things actually. Hence the post title.....!
Love, Mrs D xxx