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 Lizzie who lives in Auckland.
Mrs D: How are you feeling about what's going on with this Covid-19 virus?
Lizzie: Grateful for my bubble, sad for those with less-than-buoyant bubbles, occasionally overwhelmed by the stats, wary of too much information and yet hungry for more. Grateful for the country I live in now, proud of the country I used to live in, and the people I love who are still there, dealing with so much more than us, but who battle on regardless and still manage to make me laugh over Zoom.
Mrs D: How have your emotions shifted and changed since the crisis began?
Lizzie: I was pretty scared when Jacinda announced the Level 4 lockdown. Scared and sad. Being locked down is just not going to work out well for so many people. I know it’s the right thing to do, and I know that I’m okay and so are the other people in my bubble, but there are so many “bubbles” out there that won’t be a safe place to be. So I’m thinking about that a lot. I went from afraid, to sad, to overwhelmed by the sheer numbers coming at us from Italy, France, Spain then the UK and US. Warm fuzzies when we learned that our Government pretty much nailed this whole thing (touch wood). Annoyed by some of the social media going around (please don’t tell me that I must take this time to learn a new language / get that bikini body / write that book). So, there’s been a lot going on.
Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?
Lizzie: It’ll be two years on the day we’re projected to leave Level 4.
Mrs D: How is being sober helping you at this crazy time?
Lizzie: I have no idea how I’d navigate this shitstorm with a hangover. And seriously, the chances are high that hangovers would have featured heavily on my isolation calendar.
Mrs D: Have you had any pangs to drink since the lockdown began?
Lizzie: No. My go-to for stress, uncertainty or boredom used to be a glass of wine but now it’s a cup of tea, a chat with someone, a walk or Netflix. Thanks for asking because I didn’t really think about it before. But how good is that? At no point have I even considered having a drink during this whole thing.
Mrs D: Any particular self-care actions that are helping you in these gritty times?
Lizzie: Routine is good. I’m working from home so I go for a walk every day at around 5pm and when I get home I pour myself a long drink* and sit down with the news. (And I’m not learning a new language, my bikini body is somewhere back in 1982 and that book is still firmly in my head).
*My drink of choice is Ecology Alcohol-Free gin and tonic. Some people think alcohol-free drinks are a bad idea, but I personally find there is something lovely about this punctuation mark to signal the beginning of an evening. And no, I don’t wish it was alcoholic.
Mrs D: What are you doing to fill in the days?
Lizzie: Monday to Friday it’s work and on the other days I clean out drawers, learn TikToks with my 16 year old, talk about nothing much with my husband, watch movies and (ahem) eat biscuits.
Mrs D: What would you say to people who are struggling with alcohol while they're in lockdown?
Lizzie: Hold on. It may seem like an impossibility, but if you keep this up then at some point in the future you’ll not even consider picking up a drink. Use the fast forward method – what does this look like in 2 hours / tomorrow morning? Use the Living Sober forum (Members Feed) as much as possible. If you get an itch, post. You’ll be flooded with encouragement. And remember: there’s only one thing worse than a hangover: an ISOLATION hangover.
Mrs D: What's in this photo you've shared with us?
Lizzie: Our very old dog who is possibly the happiest being on the planet because we’re here, with all the time in the world to just be with her. Dogs have such great priorities, don’t they?
Mrs D: Anything else you'd like to add?
Lizzie: Shout out to Living Sober and Mrs D who got me over the first little while on this sober journey. It’s a great place to be. Stay safe, everyone.