My sober pandemic: Lisa

dog on beanbag

"For those of us that struggle to manage their drinking, sobriety is the bomb!  Healthier body and mind, more time, better relationships, less anxiety"


Today's sober hero is Lisa (@agent99) who lives in Auckland.


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

Lisa: Lots of mixed emotions. Confident and proud about how our country is managing this. Worried about my son who is in final year of school and already was struggling to know what to do with his life without the world going upside-down. Concern about people whose livelihoods are threatened – from close friends whose businesses are at risk to further afield (the impacts must be devastating in the Pacific Islands who are so reliant on tourism).

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

Lisa: It was so surreal when it started, almost like we were in some sort of movie game.  I really enjoyed the first couple of weeks of lockdown - it was so lovely lying in my bean bag in the warm sun and reading my books that I decided I wanted to retire early and become a hermit.  I’m a bit over that now - I think the weather is impacting that and I’m also missing people.

Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?

Lisa: It’s been 4 years since I first stopped drinking and I’ve had long spells of sobriety but also several relapses – most recently last Christmas.

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

Lisa: So much. I am trying to keep a good routine so I stay sane and in a good head space – morning walks, healthy eating, good sleeps, etc. I just know that would all go pear-shaped if I was drinking. (I say healthy eating, but truth be told the deep fryer is getting a lot of use at the moment – my partner considers himself an expert on triple-fried chips and of course we had to have a go at the KFC copycat chicken).

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

Lisa: Yes! Boredom is a HUGE trigger for me, closely followed by stress.

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

Lisa: I’m allowing myself to be very, very lazy and read books, do puzzles, lots of naps, etc. This gives me the ‘escapism’ that drinking provides, but without the hangover and anxiety.

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

Lisa: See above. But actually I have plenty of work to do so I’m trying very hard to get back into some sort of work routine.  I’ve also been starting to have online meetings with friends so I don’t really turn into a hermit – I did a cryptic crossword online with a couple of friends last weekend (how exciting am I!).

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

Lisa: For those of us that struggle to manage their drinking, sobriety is the bomb!  Healthier body and mind, more time, better relationships, less anxiety, etc (I could go on forever). And while this may seem like the hardest time to stop drinking, it could also be the best time because you’re out of normal routine and triggers – getting home from work, etc (for those of you that are at home, that is). If you can’t stop completely, at least try and use all the strategies on this great website to fend off cravings as long as possible. And be kind to yourself!

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

Lisa: This is an old photo of the aforementioned bean bag – and my dog (when she was only a puppy). Both have been invaluable during this time.

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

Lisa: Thanks for the opportunity to contribute


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  1. Hammer123 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, I am going to try to give myself a lazy day tomorrow. Not sure how to do that without the guilt a usually pile on.

  2. MalibuStacey 4 years ago

    Thanks for that Agent99. You wudn’t believe how many people I’ve heard mention they wish they had a dog, lately. I’ve been doin’ much the same as you re- books, x-words & leisure with a mild focus on a bit of work & walks. Comin’ up to 2 solid yrs next month.

    • Agent99 4 years ago

      We got our dog 5 years ago (which makes me realise my ‘4 years’ is actually 5 years) and it was a huge help in early sobriety. The love and company of an animal is so uncomplicated and special. 2 solid years is awesome – go you!

  3. Prudence 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your feelings @agent99. It has actually helped me today as I’m feeling a bit down and the need to be alone, but not able to explain myself, so seem to be causing a wee lack of connection in my relationship. You have helped me define it. I need the alone time to lie down here on my bed with my book or devices to give me the escapism that in such s l o w times booze would have done. I think I will get up and try to explain.
    Thanks xxx

    • Agent99 4 years ago

      well I’m glad of that. I cannot count the times you have helped me through this site (and our wonderful LS catchups). xx

  4. enzedgirl 4 years ago

    Privilege to know you @agent99 xxx

  5. morgan 4 years ago

    Sounds quite a cozy lockdown. I love the escapism without drinking activities – yes!
    I’m a bit worried about the triple fried chips – heck!!! My poor children were deprived of both takeaways AND home deep frying. I was rather a tyrant 🙁

    • Agent99 4 years ago

      actually my partner corrected me after I wrote this – they are triple cooked but the first cook is only boiling. does that make it better?! (not much, but we did have them last night and boy they were good). xx

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