sobriety

PEACE OF MIND

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My view of the ocean from my run

I was listening to some country song during my run this morning, I don’t remember which one and it really doesn’t matter, but the song said that he found peace in a glass, or something similar. As I ran around the Marina Green, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, I thought how wrong the songwriter was.

And it brought me back many, many years…. more people than you think suffer from alcoholism. Believe this. It was my life for a long time.

Never once did I ever find peace in a glass.

For the better part of the remainder of my run, I mulled over this. Peace, drinking myself into oblivion? Yeah, right. Try the opposite. I drank because I hated myself. I drank because I hated my life, how on earth would getting smashed make anything peaceful?

We all have problems we’re dealing with in our lives. But there are better and healthier ways of dealing with them than with destroying ourselves.

For me, running is my outlet. When I couldn’t run because of my injury, it was really frustrating. Our lives are not easy and we cannot get by just working, eating and sleeping and expect to be happy. There has to be more.

Having a healthy hobby won’t cure all of our problems, but it gives us at least a short break away from them. And it gives us something else. It gives us a look a little distance away from them. Once I’m out on the road far from my apartment and my not-so-great neighborhood, what was bothering doesn’t seem so immediate or troublesome.

And if running doesn’t do it for you, then maybe a nice walk or hike will, or a bike ride, or lifting or yoga. The whole point is to give yourself a gift of a healthy hour or even a 30-minute vacation away from all the negativity dragging you down. That is what I call Peace of Mind.

Keep Moving!

Fake It Until You Make It

One of the most popular sayings I remember from AA was “fake it until you make it.” Like most everything in AA when I was a noob, I was pretty cynical about this. In fact, it really bothered me. Why would I fake anything? But over time, as I learned more about AA, about sobriety and about myself, I learned what a powerful statement it is.

AA is very fond of short, witty sayings. They’re easy to remember and can come in handy. But I found many of them didn’t ring true for me, or didn’t relate to me. Much like going through the motions of a weekly AA meeting, if there is no feeling in them, a witty saying doesn’t have any value. This was one of the reasons I stopped going to meetings, but that is an entirely different story….

When I first became sober, I was pretty angry, disgusted, and didn’t like the direction my life had taken. I was just another angry drunk, looking for a better way. Some of the folks I admired would quote The Big Book or repeats well-known sayings instead of using their own words. I found this a bit strange. However, as I worked the 12 steps, they became a very important part of my life (still are). I understood more how a small, inconsequential saying may be more powerful than we could ever imagine.

Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it. OK, it RARELY goes the way we plan it. This year has hardly gone at all the way I charted it out in January.

I’m very happy I finished the SF Marathon, but I wanted to do so much better than I did. And I never thought I wouldn’t have a job in fitness yet. But, sometimes things take longer than we wish them to take, sometimes things are more difficult, more painful and take more energy than we are ever willing to admit.

So, we can either whine and cry about how things suck, or we can face our adversities with a brave face and go forth into the dark of night. There WILL be morning. Even if we don’t feel like being brave, being happy or being in the moment, we really need to be, because if we choose to feel sorry for ourselves for too long, or stay angry or be resentful, we could fall back into those feelings and emotions that caused us to drink before.

And who knows, maybe one day, after you’ve held a brave face and smiled when you didn’t feel like smiling, you’ll actually really feel like smiling and the sun will rise once more, just like it always does.

Cheers!

 

THANKFULNESS

Sometimes our lives’ events go by so quickly we forget to take time out to reflect and honor those things that are most important. I would like to do that now.

I am not perfect and Goddess knows my life is not, but I try to do the best that I can. If I stumble, I get up and keep moving. If I take a step back, I take a step and half forwards. If I goof up, I try to pin point how, make amends and attempt to not make the same mistake again.

We are works in progress and it will take our entire lives (some say many lifetimes) to learn all that we need to learn.

I wanted to say how thankful I am to the many people and things in my life who have helped me over this past year. Without them, I’m not sure where I would be.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my sobriety. Nothing is possible without. Each and every single day I am happy to be sober. It is a blessing and I cherish it.

I am thankful to my dad and stepmom. I love them with all my heart and I am so happy they are in my lives, give me unconditional love and have sometimes been the only guiding light there is in the storm.

I am thankful for my friends for being there. Even when I am distant or busy, or we are far from each other, we still know that we have each other’s backs and love.

I am thankful for running; it has given me some of the greatest joys I’ve had over the last few months. I never feel as free or as strong as when I am out running on the pavement.

I am thankful for San Francisco for many things. Even though this city is too expensive, too dirty, filled with too many hipsters and tech bros, it still has some of the best produce, the best food, the best views, the best places to run and some of the best nature areas one could ask for.

I am thankful for the creativity I have been given and also for the stubborn determination I have inherited.

I am thankful I have a plan and goal for my future. There are bright lights in the distance and I will reach them.

Have a great Thanksgiving and appreciate who you are and whatever you do!

Cheers!