"Decided on my 69th Birthday (end of June) that I was sick and tired of the struggle of "moderation" and it was just easier to give up for good."
This pandemic sobriety story comes from RosieD who lives in Northland.
Mrs D: How are you feeling about what's going on with Covid-19?
RosieD: I'm retired. I'm fortunate to not have any financial worries and my immediate family and friends do seem to be coping OK. I do feel a bit cheated as far as not being able to travel. I'm 69 and had some big travel plans sketched out for 2020/2021 to re-connect "one last time" with distant relatives, old friends and special places overseas - so I've had to resign myself to the fact that those journeys may actually never happen.
Mrs D: How have your emotions shifted and changed since the pandemic began?
RosieD: I actually felt quite fatalistic about Covid-19 when it emerged last year. All through history there have been "plagues", more recently the growth of diseases, infections, and viruses that are resistant to even our most advanced medicines so a pandemic of some sort was really inevitable. I've been banging on for years about how the planet is massively overpopulated and that things will not end well for the human race unless something really drastic happens. As the pandemic has gone on my emotions have got more stirred up, especially by the uncooperative and illogical behaviour of some people and the scourge of social media!
Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?
RosieD: 109 days and counting. (Finished my last bottle of Scotch on the 5th July) During the first lockdown I cut down my drinking to "just" 3 or 4 bottles of wine a week - shared with my husband but, like yo-yo dieting, piled straight back into the hard stuff once we went down alert levels. Decided on my 69th Birthday (end of June) that I was sick and tired of the struggle of "moderation" and it was just easier to give up for good.
Mrs D: How is being sober helping you at crazy time?
RosieD: I think it's the other way round, being restricted in what we can do and where we can go has made it easier to learn how to be sober. I don't have the stress of a job or looking after a family (just a husband who has agreed to go sober with me, he has maybe 1 glass of wine if we do go out to socialise) so I have concentrated on being kind to myself and I don't have to make excuses or explain anything to anybody.
Mrs D: Have you had any pangs to drink since the latest lockdown began (if in New Zealand)?
RosieD: Yes, still get the old "5 o'clock wine time" some days but I either have a cup of tea or I've discovered Zero wine. It surprises me that I can have just one glass for the taste and I'm satisfied with that.
Mrs D: Any particular self-care actions that are helping your get through?
RosieD: Dark chocolate, max 4 squares a day though! Started sessions with a local acupuncturist (before and after we were level 3). Trying not to stress if I don't sleep well and congratulate myself when I do.
Mrs D: What are you doing to fill in the days
RosieD: Cooking/baking. Computer games. Reading. Aquarobics (when the pool is open of course). Crafting.
Mrs D: What would you say to people who are struggling with alcohol at the moment?
RosieD: It's different for everybody. I'd already tried local addiction services and didn't want to join AA. I'm not comfortable in group situations so I found books and media articles and information from health professionals and science stuff online is what finally helped me understand that ALCOHOL is the PROBLEM - NOT ME. So be kind to yourself, don't beat yourself up and just take it one day at a time.
Mrs D: What's in this photo you've shared with us?
RosieD: This is the Hundertwasser Art Centre under construction in Whangarei. I'm a local artist and I've been involved in the project since 2014. I'm "in training" to be a volunteer tour guide when the centre opens and that has been a big motivating factor in getting (and staying) sober. Nothing worse than a hungover tour guide eh?? LOL.
Mrs D: Anything else you'd like to add?
RosieD: I would recommend Annie Grace's "Alcohol Experiment", apparently her previous book "This Naked Mind" is also very good and I intend to read it when our local library opens up again.