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