Resetting the clock

I had two months in my rear-view mirror when I decided to have a drink again.

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The Margarita that reset the clock

I was thinking of ending my sobriety for a couple weeks before I actually did. Everyone said that it would only be a matter of time before I was back to square one. I still couldn’t get the idea out of my mind that I just wanted to enhance my situation sometimes.

I felt like a little kid in timeout that wasn’t able to play with the adults.

I wanted to be able to go to a restaurant and order a fancy cocktail. I wanted to have a beer at a concert with everyone else. I wanted to try the seasonal drinks at the local brewery. I even wanted to come home after a hard days work and have a cold one. I guess I just perceive these things as “normal”, since drinking is such a big thing in our society.

So, one night my boyfriend and I went to the Cheesecake Factory and ordered steak and I had a margarita. It ended there.

Well, at least until three nights later, when I had a hard day at work so I decided to have a pint. After all, it was only one pint and it was a seasonal pumpkin flavor that I needed to try.

Two days after that I got two more of the pumpkin pints. I don’t really have any any reasoning for that…other than I really enjoy them!

It’s been really hard for me to decide that I need to stop. So many people have said that it’s only a matter of time before I am back at square one, but I don’t really feel that way or have the desire to stop.

I don’t know where I will be in the the months to come. I do know that I hope to look back and read this reflection with a peaceful heart, a forgiving soul and an open mind.

Making strides.

Twenty-five days ago I quit drinking, and most people told me to start AA meetings or sign up for therapy. I started running instead.

I am not an athletic person whatsoever. I don’t work out and I’ve never trained for anything. Even as a child, I never participated in sports. I couldn’t even tell you how most of them are played. The 3-block walk to the grocery store to pick up potato chips for my Netflix marathon is usually plenty of activity in my book. That said, starting this running regimen has been kind of a big deal for me.

I suppose before I started the C25K program I had a romantic idea in my mind of what I thought running was like. The expectation was that I would leisurely jog down tranquil beaches in cute exercise clothing while sporting killer abs and hardly breaking a sweat, just like the girls in pictures. The reality is that I would drag my 2000lb, heavier-than-stone, aching body through the grass for fear of breaking my shins on the concrete, in the grubbiest clothing that I own because they will be so nasty that I will want to burn them in the fires of Sauron when I’m finished, all while praying nobody noticed my fat jiggling to the tune of “Get your freak on” on my Ipod.


Running is hard.


I know, I know. You’re probably thinking: You fool! You should go to AA. That seems to be the common thought among society. I did try a couple meetings, but sitting in a moldy church basement with a bunch of strangers and listening to someone’s struggle that was brought on from their dead cat simply isn’t therapeutic for me. Don’t get me wrong, I can see why a lot of people like the program. There is that sense of community when everyone greets you, listens to your woes and shakes your hand at the end. You even get coins, and who doesn’t like prizes?!  Well, this loner could do without.

The road is a fairly good listener and I get to tell my tale to the most important audience: myself. On my first run, I noticed right away the amount of positive self-talk involved to get through a session. It sounds really cheesy, but telling myself, “Don’t stop- you can do this!” has done wonders not only for my running but my self confidence.

You can get through this.

This pain is temporary.

You are strong.

These are all things that I think on my runs and I’m now starting to apply those same thoughts when I have other challenges in my life. As a drinker, I was only familiar with negative self talk and sabotaging myself into not doing anything that could result in failure. The mind is a very powerful thing. If you can train your mind to keep going even when your body wants to quit, you can achieve some incredible things.

I’m not sure how long I will have to train before I can consider myself a “real” runner. Right now, I am on week 4 of the C25K program and I find it quite challenging. Sometimes in the middle of a jog interval I have asked myself, “Is this really jogging or am I just hop-walking?” but finishing is all that matters so I keep going. I never regret a run. Even if my energy sucked and I come home feeling like I totally sucked, at least I tried.

The saying goes that you have to get through hell to reach heaven. Like all things worth pursuing, you are going to get knocked down, stepped on, and rejected along the way.  Maybe this is part of the journey to get to my goals. Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination, anyway.

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Obligatory photo of my running shoes and heart rate monitor.