I used to be a boozy housewife guzzling wine like it was going out of fashion and now I'm quite the opposite - very happily sober! What a turnaround. My sobriety date is September 6, 2011. I set up this site in August, 2014 in conjunction with 2 NZ Govt Agencies .. and with their ongoing support we are fortunate that this site remains free and safe for all. I manage all the content here (writing blog posts, Sober Stories, mocktail recipes etc) and supervise our team of volunteer Community Moderators. You can get hold of me any time by notifying me in the feed (@mrs-d) or emailing me at email@example.com
I'm also active on Facebook (Mrs D Is Going Without), Twitter (@mrsdalcoholfree) and Instagram (@mrs_d_alcoholfree) and I have two books out about my recovery. 'Mrs D Is Going Without' tells the story of how I quit and 'Mrs D Is Going Within' tells the story of how I developed lasting tools to help me live sober long term. I also write a sober blog called Mrs D Is Going Without which you can find at (www.livingwithoutalcohol.blogspot.com). Great to have you here with us!
so sorry to hear that @ro. Cancer sucks balls. Hey are you a chef or do you run a cafe or something? I think I might have missed when you said what your work is, but all this yummy food all the time has got me wondering…..
Hey guys – got some exciting news.. for those of us in New Zealand anyway. We are having our first ever Recovery Walk in December!!! Called He Hikoi Mātūtū – Addiction Recovery Walk. I am really excited about this because I’ve seen videos of walks like this from overseas and they always look really powerful and moving. They have a Facebook page (search ‘He Hikoi Mātūtū – Addiction Recovery Walk.’) and say on there “Addiction Recovery Walks have been happening annually around the world and it’s time for us to join in! – With the aim to raise awareness around addiction and a hope to reduce the stigma that can be closely attached – open to everyone, please share with family, friends and peers.” Basically we gather in Auckland in a park on this day (December 7th which is a Saturday) and do a slow walk/march down some streets which will be closed by the council and end up at another park or square to hear some speeches etc. I have been asked to be the MC for that which is very cool. This walk is not just for people in recovery themselves, but any supporters, family, those that work in the sector, those that have an appreciation for addiction issues. A way to celebrate recovery! Make it visible, show people that we do heal, we’re not all bums and losers (far from it) and just to be proud and get together. I would LOVE It if there was a wee Living Sober contingent that could get together and be proud about our community .. (maybe I should see if @nathanb can get us a banner made?!) and of course we’d all get to meet each other ! So save the date, if you could make it that’d be fabulous.. maybe make it a treaty weekend that you travel away for…??!! I’ll give more details as I get them. You can watch a video about the Pittsburgh Recovery Walk here https://ireta.org/resources/whats-so-great-about-the-pittsburgh-recovery-walk-this-amazing-video-says-it-all/?fbclid=IwAR2XIkcJSmpP3PZ0XX1uDiomaCHFN8y5YHdHWsNkyKanoFppdbYSwo_ljoE xx
Oh that is a fantastic idea. Will certainly put that on the calender Mrs D. I m way down here in Gisborne but would love to come up and and do the walk with everyone. Thanks for letting us no about it.
Thanks everyone for your supportive comments yesterday when I confessed to being ultra-stressed about my new book. Oh how things would be different if I was a full time author, no kids, no part-time jobs.. just me and endless days to write, write, write. Yesterday I couldn’t do any work because we had things during the day – a tutor meeting at one boys school then I had to take another to the dentist. Then after school it was driving around to swimming lessons, Venturers, football practice etc etc. But I am not going to complain too much because I love being a mum and I’m lucky to have stimulating projects to work on. I just have to write when I can and if the deadline has to be pushed out then hopefully I can do that! Today I am going to sneak into the University Library and work from 9am – 7pm (I’m taking my lunch and dinner in with me !) and Mr D can do all the running around after school. So that will hopefully be fruitful. One bite of the elephant at a time. Goodness knows how I could be doing any of this if I was still boozing! Actually I was halfway through my Masters when I quit drinking 8 years ago so maybe it was also the bit of extra pressure having that work on that led me to become hyper aware of how much time and energy the drinking was sucking out of my life. Alcohol sucks time and energy and causes so much pain and mysery. We are SO MUCH better off without it!! Huge love to the best online tribe of sober warriors in the world. I love this space xx
Hey @MrsD, oh yes it’s a roller coaster with job, kids and all that stuff. Wasn’t able to stand it with alcohol in my life, too! But isn’t it great to see in the end we get it done with such an energy and love to all those things that make life rich? I’m not an author but I guess, that a rich life full of this beautiful madness also gives inspiration to write, doesn’t it? And of course if there is a husband to jump into the lions cage, let him do it and take your time, great decision! 🙂
Holly from Hip Sobriety and Tempest has just written a book which is being released in the next few months, she got really stressed to and she doesn’t have kids, just sounds like writing a book is up there in the stress list. Wonder if it’s because you mind is doubting like who will read it, will they like it, am I on the right track.
So I’m pretty fucking stressed (pardon my French 🤗) about my new book, it’s a massive undertaking, I lurch from feeling like I’m getting somewhere and freaking the hell out that it’s just such a massive job and I can’t do it in less than one year!!!!!! Aaarrrrgggghhh. Someone told me it was like eating an elephant and I just have to take one bite at the time. I feel like I’m just nibbling on the tail right now. You know, getting sober is like eating an elephant as well. It’s a massive, monumental, humungous life changing process.. and really.. all you can do is just take one bite at a time. I suppose that’s the whole ‘one day at a time’ thing. Guys, we’ve got this. One way or another you’re all going to get happily sober, and I’m going to produce a new book. Sigh. Look forward to getting to the finish line! xx
@mrs-d I know absolutely zilch about book publishing or writing but I am certain that if your publisher thinks you can, then you probably can. And if you can’t, well, there’s always an extension right? Either way, I am sure that you will either release something you are happy with or renegotiate your delivery date. You are in control of this x
Yeah, you’re right Mrs D, all we’ve got is today. You might write 100 words tomorrow or 1000 but put your positive focus and energy into what you can today and smash that elephant. We’ve all got your back 🙂
I listened to Wallace Chapman t’other day talking to someone about writing a book, he asked for an extension and was answered with a no, and he just had to set himself a daily word amount and smash it out. Sounded pretty full on alright. I think its gotta be a hard task if you don’t go to an office or space to just write-so easy to get distracted at home! Life gets in the way. In saying that though you’re fucking amazing so I’m sure you’ll knock it out the ball park 🙂
Hi Lotta. Yes, it can get incredibly frustrating! I find that the ideas I want to deliver and the right words only come together when I’m relaxed, and if I write under duress then I usually end up having to re-do those pieces. You might also just remind yourself that you not a full-time author; you are a busy mum first! You are trying to write in the times left over in your day and that’s very hard to do indeed. Breathe. You’ll get there, and getting there is much more important than WHEN you get there.
You are a legend and will get it one. One next best step or one next best task at a time. Sometimes, those tasks will look like that: A soothing walk in nature with your dog, an hour of quality time bonding with your boys, a lovely meal with your husband. — Then back at it and writing will come much easier. oxoxox
Why am I giving unsolicited advice…..lol…You so got this. Thank you for writing! My life has been enriched by your writing and will continue to be enriched by it.
Relax Lotta. When it flows it flows, and when it doesn’t you just need to go do something else for a bit and try not to stress about the timing. We put so much pressure on ourselves. If you’ve had an advance and it’s expected in a certain timeframe, what is the worst than can happen if it’s not? You say, sorry need more time, juggling life, kids, family, and they say okay! But hurry up coz I wanna read it, haha. Don’t forget how amazing you are, how many of our lives you have changed. You can’t force a powerful force, you can only let it ooze out of you when it’s ready and your words will be all the richer for your patience xxx
Hi Lotta. Starting again on day 5. Sleep eludes me, but I’m doing great. Finally understood something @prudence told me. Now I see it and my decision is non negotiable. On the pink cloud but preparing for the challenges and hurdles I will have to face. Happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Thank you and everybody here so much.
yes do check in every day, and I totally understand about the endless negotiating. People who don’t struggle with booze don’t understand the huge space it takes up in our brains when we’re endlessly wrestling with ourselves not to drink the stuff, and the endless wall of words (cravings) that we get internally when we first quit. The good news is that after a while of stopping that internal struggle goes away! I don’t spend any time trying to convince myself to drink any more! Complete freedom. Hang in there, it will get easier I promise. x
I felt exactly the same way when my mother-in-law died earlier this year. I was grieving for myself because I loved her so deeply (she was AMAZING) and I’m going to hugely miss having her in my life, but I was able to be fully present and open to the grief of others, who were hurting even more (her hubby and kids particularly). I just had so much space inside my sober heart and head to allow for the experiences of all the people around me, not just me. Yet another beautiful gift of sobriety x
Big rugby test tonight, pissing with rain here. I’ve got my slippers on and a dog lying across my feet. Drinking a mug of tea, will cook some dinner soon. Tapping on my laptop and chatting with my 9 year old who is on the iPad next to me. All very ordinary and boring yet quietly fabulous at the same time. Fabulous because I have radically turned my life around and now I’m calm and sober not boozy and stupid. Sometimes I shudder to think how things would be for my kids if I were still boozing. I am just so grateful that I got that shit out of my life. Tomorrow I’m going to the library all day because I’m freaking out a bit about this new book I’m trying to write – it’s hard work! But I am not giving up. No way. Too much to say, too many people to hopefully reach. We need to keep spreading the word that booze is shit and all the cool people are sober nowadays! x
Sounds like a dream come true and I’m so happy you are living it and being such an inspiration @mrs-d. I’m an empty nester now so a 9 year old sounds so nice to have around again. I am sure you are enjoying it.
Hey Mrs D…do you think we’ll win tonight? We better! We are doing the same…chilling in front of the fire, reading and relaxing…and not missing alcohol. (well, I speak for myself, not my teenagers…I’m hoping they aren’t missing alcohol LOL) I was thinking about treating myself to a lemon, lime and bitters but then I realised I was actually happier with my bottle of water…and I don’t even feel like I’m missing out. I did not think I would ever say that two weeks ago. I agree with Sober4real, you are an inspiration and although I hope this doesn’t put pressure on you I can’t wait to read your new book. I’m a Wellingtonian born and bred but now live in the Far North…do you think you’ll be able to come up here some day to do a talk/book signing/something? We could go for coffee LOL 🙂 Have a great night and …GO THE ALL BLACKS!!!
I often think the same thing – what would my kids lives be like if I were still drinking. How would life be different? I know it wouldn’t be better, that’s for sure. It is much much better without alcohol xo
Friday night and we’re going to take the kids out for a cheap Asian meal as Mr D got a payment through today for a speech he gave. Bonus money = go out for diner! It used to mean getting liquored up for me as well but no longer. I might look for a tasty mocktail on the menu or just go for some sparkling water. I will drive us all there and back, put my comfy pants on when we get home, potter around my house, kiss my kids goodnight without breathing wine fumes all over them, then climb into bed for a (hopefully) great nights sleep, get up Saturday morning with no hangover, go to rugby, do this that and the other.. in short live my life without touching alcohol.. who knew such a thing was possible!! Oh my goodness I can remember when I first quit what a huge fucking deal it was just to be getting through one day without pouring a wine, now I can’t even imagine touching that shit ever. KEEP GOING those of you in the tough early stages.. living sober is a very very wise and wonderful way to live. And so say all of us xxx
Oh gawd, stupidly stayed up late last night – whyyyyy??? – watching crap TV.. then Mr D woke me at 4am because he couldn’t find the car key and I was the last to use it (that’s when he goes to work), and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I’m starting the week with 4 hours sleep. I’m feeling stressed about all I need to do on the new book and have a meeting I have to go to all afternoon. All I want to do is sit on my laptop this morning but NO!! The sensible, wise, experienced sober person inside me knows that the best thing to do is go to my yoga class. It will serve me well, relax me, set me up for a busy week and be good for my mind. Golly how sensible am I?! So off to yoga I go with a couple of mugs of delicious herbal tea in my belly. Tine for some Monday morning gratitude I think. I am grateful for this site of honesty, bravery and all-round-amazingness. I am grateful to have a warm house with modern appliances that make my life as a housewife easier. And I am grateful to have lovely family members inside the house who I love to the moon and back. Have a great sober day people – and remember.. booze is shit and all the cool people are sober nowadays!! x
Well done. Gosh, I realise how blessed I am as a sleeper – no matter what disruptions, head hits pillow, out to it. Probably why my youthful aspirations to write were so off target – not the kind of wired imagination and creativity needed. Happy yoga ing, yes, it will help your day, your week, no end in so many subtle ways. Love on
Good morning best online tribe of sober warriors in the whole world! Chilly here but I’m up and showered and dressed with my slippers on and will do some pottering around before I take my son and his friend to rugby. They had a school dance last night and I was happy to be sober and able to pick them up at 9.30, then drive to another house for our guest to get his sleepover gear, then home to make them rounds of toast and get them into bed. Sober Friday nights are the best, especially when you’re needed for plenty of mum duties. Goodness knows how I’d be managing everythign if I was still sinking piss like it was going out of fashion. I LOVE LIVING SOBER!!! And I am so grateful to the me of nearly 8 years ago who did the tough as shit work at the beginning to adjust to life with no booze. Bravo all of you for being here and fronting up to how things are going for you and working hard to turn things around. BRAVO. Have a great sober day xxx
So glad to be part of this Tribe you have created @mrs-d!! I was just downstairs sorting out my craft room and den – making it nice and cozy and it is almost 9:00 pm on a Friday night. If I were drinking, I would have been drunk by 7:00 and already almost passed out, after posting something stupid on social media, buying something I could not afford online, or calling someone and committing to something I would regret. Whoo Hoo for SOBER FRIDAYS!! Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
Hi guys, I’ve been suffering with an awful sugar hangover all day today after a colossal binge last night (I usually try and not touch the stuff). Gah, it was horrid, low mood, irritable, felt sick.. just gross. Very reminiscent of a drinking hangover – a good reminder that I don’t want to go back there in a hurry! Figured out today that I’m only 1 month of celebrating 8 years sober, will have to think of something lovely to do on my soberversary. Hey I notice a few of you here are talking about the amazing Belle from the Tired of Thinking About Drinking blog.. so I have just republished her Sober Story that she originally shared with us 3 years ago. It’s on the Sober Story blog page and also the home page. Hope you’re all doing well.. remember we are the cool people, digging deep to be our best selves while swimming against the crazy booze tide that is our world. We are the smart ones! And I for one love living sober x
8 years, how wonderful! I love that: “be our best selves”. I just read about how people try to optimize themselves with fitness trackers, vitamin pills, to-do-lists, … lot’s of stress and in the end many loose the feeling for themselves, for the needs of their minds and bodies. What we all do is the opposite, I think (nothing against fitness trackers by the way 😉 ) We find back to our real selves, to our senses and feelings and that is the greatest benefit of all! Thanks for this fantastic community 🙂
hey YOU!!!! How lovely to see you pop up although I’m sorry it’s such a tough time. Sounds like you might be reaching some kind of point where something needs to change.. not sure that the change should be a reintroduction of alcohol though….?! What else could you do to ease up some of the pressure? Can you factor more space into your diary? x
Hi gang, Friday morning here and I’m settling in for another day of work at home surrounded by lovely things like scented candles and the dog 🐶 I’m all about creating lovely nourishing environments.. and for me that often means smelling lovely and also tidy and organised. Currently I can hear the washing machine going and the dishwasher! I am very grateful for modern appliances that make my life as a housewife much easier. I am also grateful for my and my family’s health which is pretty good right now (and that could change at any moment as we all know), and I am also hugely grateful to this community for being so alive and vibrant and powerful and gritty and honest and kind and non-judgemental and transformative. So great that you are all here and I am very thankful to each and every one of you. Without you the members we would be a hollow shell. Just want to remind you all that if you have over 3 years of sobriety you are eligible to do a Sober Story so let me know if that’s you and I can email you the list of questions to answer. Also if you know anyone else who fits the bill let me know.. I am always on the look out for new people to share. Right! Time to get busy. Have a great sober day people x
I love the genuineness of this site, people like me talking about what works and what doesn’t and the actual feelings involved with all this. There is so much out there about stopping drinking much of it as my old Dad would have said “talking out of the back of their necks” but what I read here I can trust. Couldn’t have got this far with out it. Thanks Mrs D. Have a lovely day, I’m off to bed for a lovely sober sleep.
Sounds like a powerful book, and a very tricky situation you’re dealing with. So great you’re getting yourself sober, clear and strong.. the best defence for any family shit! Sort yourself out and start to soar! xx
And don’t forget it is impossible to provoke behaviour in someone that they don’t want to do. All behaviour is a choice we make. You cannot force someone to behave badly they choose to do this. Her behaviour is NOT. YOUR. FAULT. Stay sober stay strong and keep your Dad and kids close.xx
Good morning dragon slayers! (love that @sam27). I am in a motel room having travelled away for a night to do some training for a new job. It’s going well but as with any new thing there’s a bit to learn and a few nerves. Will just have to ride it out and hope that it feels easier with time. I am such a geek I travelled away with my tea bags, my own dinner and breakfast, and some lovely pampering things. Last night in my room alone I had a bath, put on my jammies and slippers, did a face mask, used hand cream and a nice moisturising lip gloss, and read through some papers while drinking chamomile tea. Such is the life of this sober lady! Got to get up now and get ready for day two of training.. fly home tonight. Hey I just published a new Sober Story from Michael which has added value because at the end he talks a bit about his brother who didn’t manage to get sober, and then shares a poem written about him by his wife – check it out https://livingsober.org.nz/sober-story-michael/ Have a great sober day dragon slayers! x
That is so me. I am the joke of work colleagues and teens as I take all my food, (VEGETABLES UGGHHH!!!) special teas hot and cold, computers, books, yoga mat, massagers etc etc to work – packing out is a bit of a problems,e specially if early mornings. I have a few fans among teens going healthy, so have to pick extra greens from the garden, and take herbs and spices, seeds and nuts. Tiring 🙁 but so rewarding when I eat well, and they take an interest.
I’m really hitting the self care at the moment as I’m going through a rough phase with some work and other stuff. I’m hitting all the little things that I know will make me feel 1-2% better (that is not scientific!! but you know what I mean, little improvements mood/feeling that add up). Facemasks, fancy fizzy lemony drinks from the supermarket, scented candles, cosy slipper socks whenever I’m in the house, lots of lovely cups of herbal tea (mixing up the flavours so really making an effort with the taste sensations), LOTS of positive self talk – not letting the negative thoughts dominate, heaps of gratitude, looking at all I have to be thankful for, making a real effort with my kids, hugs and smiles and properly listening to them and engaging with them (so I don’t get too caught in my own head – which I could easily be doing at a time like this), and just trying to take “little bites” out of big things I need to do so I don’t freak out about the overall picture. Sober self-care – VITAL! Today is a fantastic day to be sober, I’m going to spend all morning on the sidelines of my boys sports (football then rugby), then home to put my slipper socks back on and get cosy. Onwards! x
Fresh air, mindfulness and an hour long shower (or bath). Years ago, when finishing a thesis and so full on I was wired for sound, someone threw me in their car and took me to golf. Four hours of being unable to do anything but walk and relax powered me through the next month. It was the miracle cure. Can you cut yourself off from the world for two? No phones back then. Shall I come and get you and you can play or caddy lol. I need a good caddy.
I listened to all you said in your book about self care and have made it to Day 35 with the help of the hairdresser, a facial, peanut butter oat cakes, crisps and when I feel the craving a walk to the ice cream parlour.. may be it’s a bit excessive but me thinks, we can sort the weight, ounce we have sorted the booze . Bring on self care xxx
My standard self care when things are really bad is to head for my bed. I know its awful but I take myself off, tuck myself in, have all my favourite things around me with copious cups of tea and there I stay until I feel better. My family are used to this routine now and (although it doesn’t happen often) they know not to panic but to pop in have a chat every now and bring fresh tea. it never lasts for long but it does help to pick myself up again.
I had a shit day and instead of wallowing and injesting substances that would blur my brain and numb my shitty feelings (only for them to come back in spades tomorrow), I just filed my nails, plucked my eyebrows and talked to my sister overseas for 45 minutes. I feel immeasurably better! I’ve come a long way in 7 1/2 years that I can now make decisions to do things that are genuinely going to lift me up, not temporarily push things aside. Boy this sobriety thing is a gift. x
That is so good! I had a great day, but have just offended my depressed alcoholic cousin by asking how the new meds (after suicide attempt) were mixing with alcohol. I know, dumb comment, but we do talk openly and she calls me her sister. Turns out both her nephew and a close old friend have tried to reach her about it very recently, so she’s feeling raw. I said I wanted her in my life, and in her gorgeous daughter’s life forever,and am scared because I love her. (Had breast cancer.) Hope that gets me forgiveness.🤔🙄 May tomorrow be all songbirds and sunshine xxxx
I remember when we started and you were at 2 1/2 years and that seemed such a lifetime of soberness. A glittering prize so far away it was hardly even dreamable. Now even shit days are better than the hole of drinking.
Quite a few of you are reporting losing posts, it is something that has always happened here, our techies have looked at it over and over. The Edit button is problematic – use carefully! Make sure you hit ‘save’ at the end of editing. Another issue might be if your browser window has sat open for a while, then you come back to try and write/publish an update unaware that you’ve been logged out ..? I’m not sure if that’s definitely a problem, maybe @danthedev can confirm. It’s always a good idea to copy your post before you hit pubish too – especially if it’s particularly long and significant. xx