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My Sober Lockdown: Kirstie

April 7th, 2020 Interviews

kirstie and her dog

This is a new series of ‘Sober Lockdown Stories’ featuring people with any length of sobriety sharing how they’re keeping themselves well during the global pandemic crisis.

Today’s sober hero is Kirstie (@scared) who lives in Dunedin.


Mrs D: How are you feeling about what’s going on with this Covid-19 virus?

Kirstie: I initially felt strong and confident with a side of concern. But that flipped when the virus really hit NZ. It’s better for me to avoid sensationalised media and to some degree, social media. There’s a lot of misinformation out there.

Mrs D: How have your emotions shifted and changed since the crisis began?

Kirstie: I received information early on that NZ was going in to lockdown so there was a surge of adrenaline as I called my nearest and dearest advising them to get prepared (no, I don’t mean stockpile). That morphed into fear and major anxiety, especially peaking when I tried to get a repeat prescription for an antidepressant and was told the pharmacy (and all pharmacies in Dunedin) had run out. I grew very concerned for my mental health. But I’m resourceful and so have been taking one pill every other day to make them last longer until I can get more. I’ve also increased my exercise routine.

Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?

Kirstie: 2.75 years!

Mrs D: How is being sober helping you at this crazy time?

Kirstie: Oh my gosh, so many ways, I’ll do my best to describe the benefits succinctly. First of all alcohol is a depressant, and given I have had two episodes of depression and have anxiety, drinking right now would only add fuel to the fire. Booze lowers our immune system, we need to be in peak health right now! I’m clear headed and fully present for my family.

Mrs D: Have you had any pangs to drink since the lockdown began?

Kirstie: In all honesty, yes. Just the once. I recognised immediately I didn’t actually want alcohol, I wanted the feelings of being relaxed, numbing the negative. I have better, healthier tools to achieve those feelings now.

Mrs D: Any particular self-care actions that are helping you in these gritty times?

Kirstie: Running, yoga and solitude (which is tricky to achieve in lockdown!)

Mrs D: What are you doing to fill in the days?

Kirstie: I’m playing with our puppy, going for walks one on one with my boys (lovely conversations), I’ve started a jigsaw puzzle, tidying and cleaning (constantly cos we’re all home), video chatting friends, reading, listening to podcasts, calling my elderly parents daily, Netflix, journaling, board games with my boys…aah, it sounds idyllic doesn’t it?!

Mrs D: What would you say to people who are struggling with alcohol while they’re in lockdown?

Kirstie: Take the opportunity to evaluate your relationship with alcohol. Be honest with yourself. If you drink to relax, take the edge off, have fun, loosen up, it’s important to realise you can feel all of those things without the booze! Identify your triggers. Create a go-to list of healthier alternatives and when triggered, do those instead.

Mrs D: What’s in this photo you’ve shared with us?

Kirstie: Me and my puppy. He’s got such a sweet personality! He’s taught me how to be fully present. I’ve never owned a dog before and wow, the love ?

Mrs D: Anything else you’d like to add?

Kirstie: You’ve got this! Look for evidence in your life of surviving tough times. This is just another time. My social media DMs are open if you want to message me.

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