Friday, 7 October 2016


I am beginning to feel like a shell of my former self. I don't know what I want any more, and that scares the hell out of me. I seem to be out on a bit of a limb in all ways!

I am enjoying the build, and Rory's warm and sunny nature makes it so much less stressful than it could be. It is awesome to be doing this with him, but it is still a lot of pressure just to be doing it at all. Such big ongoing decisions to make, all of which are quite crucial, and with such a lack of experience in these things, it’s really keeping me on my toes, I’m just winging it as best I can. And all the while I am trying to imagine what it will be like living there. Beautiful, yes, but I have never in my life felt quite so alone as I do now, this year.  I have never before spent such vast quantities of time completely alone. I am somewhat disillusioned, and a bit at sea. This isn’t how I had hoped my life would be at 2 years and 3 months sober. The remote location at Takamatua certainly won't help this, (the permanent population on google is incorrectly 0, hahaa, there must be at least 30, and the nearest town, Akaroa, 624 rising to 15,000 in tourist season). On the bright side, at least by then I will be used to being mostly by myself. I am trying to learn to love it, and there is much about it that I do love, but it is hard to get used to, particularly without ever softening the edges with an altered state. And more particularly, when for all of my previous life I have been surrounded with people. It is like I have retreated into myself unconsciously, to succeed in being alcohol free, and now I am kind of invisible.

So what else am I feeling? A deep emptiness, maybe a little depressed, and rather confused.
I think I am realising that neither my family nor my friends really bond with the sober me. They prefer me the way I was, which is understandable I guess. I was way more fun, I had more humour, more personality, I was more reckless and I suppose easier to be with, up to a point. The point where they probably stopped drinking and I kept going.

My friends have all but forgotten my existence, or so it would seem. I guess though, at this age everyone has got their own stuff going on in their lives, and in winter we all hibernate a bit, so I mustn't be paranoid. I do sometimes miss that old reckless me too, and I sometimes ache to be sitting amongst old friends having a good laugh. But the truth is that some people find having someone in their midst who is not drinking, when they are, to be quite confronting. It seems to make them feel uncomfortable about their own drinking, often to the point where they start talking about it, and almost justifying themselves. Frankly, I don't mind a hoot what anyone else does, I am not even thinking about their drinking, I'd much rather not talk about it, and it’s never me that brings it up, but it is just what happens. Usually it soon passes and we get onto other things and have good conversations, but it is sometimes a bit awkward at first. It is hard enough to learn to socialise sober, but having this completely unintentional glitch to get through is a bit of a burden sometimes. The very last thing I want to do is make anyone uncomfortable. So I get torn between making an effort to go out, or staying at home in my comfort zone because it is easier.
I have also realised that when I am not working I am a bit lost. I can hardly wait until it is late enough to go to bed. How sad is that? That is definitely like a shell of my former self!!

I guess I must trust that all will be well, that wounds will heal, family will unite, laughter will return, my new home will bring new energy and perhaps new people into my life, eventually, and the serenity those views will bring to me daily, will be a balm to my soul.

I know, even if others don't, that the life I am living and the person I am striving to become is the best version of myself I can be. There will always be a vastness of room for improvement. I am human after all, and right now my human frailty has risen right to the surface and it is that which I am living and breathing daily. I need to keep a stiff upper lip as my Dear Dad used to say, and I need to allow and observe and sit with my feelings and feel the rawness and accept it, and move on.

I will continue to offer support to others daily in their own brave quests to give up the booze.
I have a very busy week coming up. I am honoured that Mrs D has asked me to monitor the Living Sober website for a week while she takes a well-deserved break from all social media and technology, for the first time since before the LS website was even launched. I will strive to do a good job of that. I will strive also to be a sister that my family are proud of and I hope that they will try to see me as I am. A straight sober and sensitive sister who loves them all, and who is working her butt off and living on her wits to try to pull off the biggest dream she’s ever had. 


  1. Prudence, I treasure my alone time and I spend a lot of time alone, but I hear you about getting lonely. I've made so few new friends since I quit drinking, the old ones are still there, but many of them have moved away. I've decided that I am just going to have to make more of an effort, which where I live in the winter, means going to bars because that is where everyone else is. This doesn't bother me, what bothers me is showing up and saying, "Here I am, who wants to be my friend?" However, I am going to make myself go out and socialize at least once a week and see what happens. As far as my family is concerned, I know they are relieved that I am no longer drinking, but you're right, there is not as much soul sharing. I miss that, too.

  2. Hello Kary May, and thank you. Congratulations on your book.
    I actually go out reasonably often to various little venues to watch a bit of jazz and other live music. I do really have some friends but things just feel a bit bleak sometimes. Social life is such a glaring contrast to what it once was! I have made some wonderful new friends through the Living Sober website but many of them live in other parts of New Zealand. Good luck with reaching out to bring new connections into your life, and I hope it enriches the tappestry!

  3. I discovered a little quote today which is helping to tip me back into a better perspective:

    You come home,
    make some tea,
    sit down in your armchair,
    and all around there is silence.
    Everyone decides for themselves
    whether that's loneliness
    or freedom

  4. If it wasn't for the stuff going on with Felix I would feel much more alone too.Just like you do. I look at the photos of my former friends on FB arms around each other,laughing and sharing the drunken glow and I feel hurt inside and almost shame that I have taken another path. I am not invited or included and now I live in a different town.Massive changes to process and it's going to take a bit of time and adjustment.We are still a work in progress even after two years which surprises me at times. I am glad and proud to have you as my new- old friend.I can never share all those memories but we know we will share an experience that not many others can.Stay strong wee buddy and I'm here for you anytime you need a yarn xx

  5. Thank you Charlie, my little breath of fresh air! Life is richer for you being in it and that's for sure. Wish you lived just up the road xo