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Naval Gazing...

September 15th, 2014 Mrs D's Blog

sober resources 2

Oh how scornful I used to be about naval gazing! “Naval gazing is for sissies” (I’d say). “People who always look inward are boring” (I’d say). “Self-help books are naff” (I’d say).

My how times have changed. I am now the queen of naval gazing – I love it!  I’m lapping up as many self-help books as I can get, listening to as many podcasts and TED talks as I can, talking to people about real emotional stuff whenever it’s appropriate, reflecting on my own feelings often, pausing and ‘checking in’ with myself regularly…if this is naval gazing then consider me a convert. I love it all.

(I also watch a lot of Reality TV, scroll social media, read juicy celebrity memoirs, thumb through cookbooks, listen to loads of cheesy pop tunes, adore escape rooms, and gossip about mundane matters regularly.)

At the start of my sobriety I soaked up a huge amount of what they call 'Quit Lit' (which is the term given to the genre of literature which is drinking memoirs and books about getting sober). I heartily recommend doing that! Nowadays I've moved on a bit to read books about mindfulness, mental health, diet culture, other things that are interesting me. 

The truth is, this shit works. Feeding my brain with different opinions, attitudes, experiences & techniques actually works to help keep me calm and happy as I move about my life. It makes me more mindful of my moods and my habits.. gives me food for thought, techniques I can try, approaches I can take. Or if nothing else it just lets me know that being a human is really difficult and we’re all in the same bloody boat!

I watched this great clip of Daniel Siegel recently, he is so clever & fascinating but also very relatable and easy to follow. He’s a big advocate of reflection or what he calls ‘time in’. He actually goes so far as to say “The willingness to look inward can significantly affect our physical health”.

Well hooray! Not only has sobriety saved my liver, but my new ‘naval gazing’ ways are also improving my physical health. And without a doubt, my mental health as well.

I think now of the old, boozy me as being quite emotionally stunted. Having alcohol as my constant companion my whole adult life stopped me from developing any proper emotional management strategies, whereas the new sober me is slowly morphing into a much more emotionally connected, self-aware and calmer person. Someone who is able to properly connect with others.

It’s really great. Have I mentioned before how much I love being sober…?!

There are some great naval gazing recommendations in the ‘Sober Resources’ page in the Sober Toolbox.. please feel free to add some more – I am always open to more suggestions and I know others are too. Remember - we are all in this together and together we are stronger. 

Love, Mrs D xxx

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