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 Brita who lives in Sydney.
Mrs D: How are you feeling about what's going on with this Covid-19 virus?
Brita: It causes great anxiety about everything all the time and yet also has woken up a new pleasure for simple things and a deep curiosity about what lies ahead for us all.
Mrs D: How have your emotions shifted and changed since the crisis began?
Brita: I don't know really, I'm in a river of feelings, ever-changing. A range between profound-go-to-bed-early-wake-in-the-middle-of-the-night-anxiety and, as I mentioned, a deep pleasure at the simple things.
Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?
Brita: 2 years-ish
Mrs D: How is being sober helping you at this crazy time?
Brita: I am awake to it all. I can rely on myself. I am clear headed (as much as I can be).
Mrs D: Have you had any pangs to drink since the lockdown began?
Brita: MANY!!! I have climbed up onto the stool in our kitchen more than once to look at the booze cabinet. I have talked (more than ever before!) about the drinks I want NOW, or the amount I would have drunk last night to cope. I have, through this isolation time, realised how deep my need for booze must have been in the past. I had thought that I wasn't THAT addicted, but hey give me a pandemic and I really meet the muscles of my inner addict! I fell down our stairs, last week, in the middle of the night. I was wearing slippery socks and was wise cracking, throwing a line over my shoulder to my husband, at the time. I basically lost my balance and fell down 15 wooden stairs and bruised my whole body. As I recovered afterwards, I thought, 'if i was still a drinker this would be a shame storm of self hatred', but, instead, as a sober person, I felt real compassion for myself. I realised how internally discombobulated and all-over-the-place I must have been, to take such a brutal tumble on stairs I know so well.
Mrs D: Any particular self-care actions that are helping you in these gritty times?
Brita: Exercise with my son. Lots of it. And I have amassed the ingredients to start a ginger beer bug. Making something slowly, with care, and the anticipation that goes with it, might be a new thing to try out.
Mrs D: What are you doing to fill in the days?
Brita: Home schooling. Working. Cooking.
Mrs D: What would you say to people who are struggling with alcohol while they're in lockdown?
Brita: I have no wise words really. All I can say, is that in my experience it just feels so much better to be able to rely on myself without booze and to be free of the shame and doubt that booze brought into my mind and body. Every. Day.
Mrs D: What's in this photo you've shared with us?
Brita: Nature. The plants growing in my garden who are enjoying the sun, not worried about COVID-19!