1 Year Sober

I can’t really sit here and write about all of the things I have learned in being 1 year sober. It seems pretty much impossible to find the words.  I don’t even know where to being to start. I am literally a head full of emotions and thoughts and gratitude.
I guess I could sit here and list all of the amazing ways that my life has changed since I stopped drinking. But if you’ve been following my journey then you already know how much has changed…80 lbs lost, running again, happier, all that jazz…

But I could also tell you some of the things that I’ve learned in this past year that are not all full of sunshine and daisies. The crappy parts of being sober. So because I don’t know how to process all of my good emotions right now let go with this…

1.)    If you don’t drink…bars suck. No seriously. They are pretty much pointless. I’ve put myself in a bar situation a handful of times since getting sober. It wasn’t as hard of a situation as I thought and whenever I would feel tempted I would either leave or get a moment by myself and gather my thoughts & strength. But it sucks. It’s not that much fun. You feel like an outsider and you feel like you are bringing the fun dial WAY down for everyone else. I want to be there having a good time and I can still have a good time without the alcohol, but it’s just an awkward situation.
2.)    I miss drunk sex. Now I’m not saying that I don’t do the same stuff sober that I did while I was under the influence, but there’s those drunken moments where you just “get lost” & things just get messy and all over the place…yeah not so much when you’re sober.  
3.)    Kind of going with #1…I feel like I’m the party pooper. When I am around friends who are drinking I feel like they feel like they can’t have as good of a time, or that there is a sense of guilt because they are drinking and I am not. I also feel that because they know I am sober they know I will remember everything they say and do and that puts them on guard or alert. It makes me feel uncomfortable in return.
4.)    Alcohol is everywhere. Literally…everywhere. I feel like every time I pick up beer for my husband at the grocery store there is always some lady standing there trying to hand me a sample. And I don’t know how many times I had to turn on some of sort of alcoholic beverage, or dessert covered in booze at our Valentine’s Day dinner this year. We were also seated right in front of a huge glass wine cellar…awesome.
5.)    You’ll still wake up with headaches occasionally. And they suck worse because you have nothing fun to blame it on.
6.)    I can comfort a bad day or stress with a good run but I’m not going to lie….alcohol was a damn good stress reliever…well, ya know…before it became the cause of my stress.
7.)    People will say shit that will piss you off. Like “well at least you weren’t court ordered to quit drinking” or “well at least you didn’t let it get too bad”…what the fuck?! No really…what. the. Fuck?!
8.)    You may have a brand new outlook on life but life is still pretty much the same. Crappy stuff is still happening and the stuff that caused you to drink before probably didn’t go away. *You* changed, life didn’t. You have to actual deal with stuff…the good & the bad.  
9.)    It’s very easy to become addicted to something else. Especially if you have an addictive personality, such as myself. I have to be very careful that I don’t find myself becoming addicted to something that can be equally dangerous.  
10.)  We can revisit this one later but I don’t think I will never NOT want a drink. I am constantly having to remind myself that I am sober and that no, I will not be ordering a drink at dinner or that no, I do not need to pick myself up beer at the grocery store. Even a year later, I still think about drinking every single day.

For all the things that kind of suck about being sober there are a million and one more things that ROCK about being sober. Do I sometimes think “You know what…I could have just one drink and be ok”…you bet I do! But that is a bet with far too high of a risk and that is a risk I am just not willing to take.   I can’t imagine living life the way I used to before I quit drinking. I hope that I never do.
I bought myself this MantraBand as an anchor to celebrate today
I again want to thank everyone for their support, love, encouragement and inspiration. You have all been such a huge part in this milestone. My sobriety is for myself and no one else…but I am happy that I can share it all with you. XO

Goodbye Brewfest...

Today is the CNY Brewfest. As many of you know today was like a holiday for my family and I. It was our Super Bowl. Family would drive 40 minutes to come to this event. We would spend 3 hours sampling some of the most delicious beer offered here in the great USA. Great times would be had and great people would be met. I've blogged about it many times and through that I was able to meet the creators and directors of the CNY Brewfest, along with many great regular attendees.
I was one of them regular attendees.

It's almost 11am right now. Right now I would be just about ready to crack open my first beer at home...pre-game time!

This is my first year not attending the CNY Brewfest. Why? Well because I am 11 months and 12 days sober.

I've been confused as to why today is so difficult for me. I've been having a really rough time about it all. I've even cried a few times this morning. So many times I have said to myself "It's just ONE day...a few hours...one day of fun drinking with your family and friends...fun memories...ONE day, that's all...you counting the days of sobriety is really no big deal, so you'd just start over? Or not keep track at all. It's just ONE day of fun!"

That's when it hit me. I know why today is so hard to deal with.

Because the brewfest WAS nothing but fun! It was one of the few times where drinking WAS FUN.

See, I wasn't someone who got "drunk" a lot. I was a binge drinker with an extremely high tolerance for alcohol. I could drink 15-20 beers and still be able to stand and carry on a conversation. When I was in my deepest days of binge drinking I would still be able to remember every phone call, text or post made. I was a at home drinker. I was a wait till my husband went to bed & then pound 6 beers in 30 minutes drinker then plan my own funeral drinker. None of it was fun drinking. None of it brought laughter.

But the Brewfest? That was fun. That brought laughter. That brought memories that I still smile fondly at. I still look at pictures and remember the great time we were having at that moment (well, most of them I remember, lol).
Today is hard because it was one of the very few moments I had where drinking was a good time for me. It wasn't about me drinking myself to death or curling up with my headphones all alone & going over all of my self hate. The brewfest was a day where I was the girl I was for so many years...the girl who just truly loved craft beer.

Well, the fact is...I still am a girl who truly loves craft beer. But like some things in life you love, you have to let them go because they are not the best thing for you.

So I guess the CNY Brewfest is like an ex lover. It is something that I will forever be grateful for and will always love in one form or another. I will always be thankful for all of the smiles and laughs it brought into my life and every now and then I will remember back to them & think of how lucky I am that I got to experience all those great times.

But I know that today would not just be ONE day. I would want more. I would *need* more. Tomorrow would turn into a day to help ease the pain of the hangover from today's fun. I would drink a couple to ease the pain and then drink some more to erase the pain that follows. ONE day of fun could easily turn into a life time of hell for myself.

I wan't always an alcoholic. I mean, it does run heavily on both sides of my family. But I was someone who could control her drinking. And the brewfest is a great exmaple of how drinking used to be fun for me. And that is what I miss. That has been the hardest part in staying sober. But like I said earlier...those fun moments were barely seen through all the non-fun moments.

Confession: Last year at the brewfest, I turned to my husband and said “This might be my last brewfest.”… That was it. That’s all I said and he asked no questions. I didn’t know why I said it. Well I guess I did. Things were getting pretty bad…calls to suicide hotlines, inability to ride in a car without getting sick, ect.. But it would be a couple more weeks until I would put down my very last beer.
Today I will be thankful, not sad, about the CNY Brewfest. I will be thankful that I got have some great drinking memories, because sometimes the bad ones are just too hard to swallow. And I will accept that while I wish I could enjoy just one day of drinking, it is not what is in the best interest for myself and so therefore I must let it go.

So thank you, CNY Brewfest, for all the great memories and laughs.

Training, like a boss...

I realized something crazy. Like super, duper crazy.

I am into WEEK 9 of my training!! 9 weeks. 63 days. 1512 hours. 90720 minutes. (If I told you guys that I just knew all that info off the top of my head & that I did NOT have to google it, would you believe me?)

This is crazy! This is madness! This is a miracle! Never, ever have I followed a training plan this long. Not even before I ran a full marathon. I don’t think I’ve ever made it past a week or two without completely throwing the whole plan out the window and just going to beat of my own drum.

With the exception of missing a day or two because of listening to my body I have followed it very closely. Some runs I have even gone a little past the mileage called for in the plan that day.  This past Saturday I did my long run and it was the best run of the year so far. I would even say it might be the best run I have had since I’ve been running again. I couldn’t believe how easily the 8 miles came to me. I didn’t have to struggle for them or through them. I wish every run was like that. Or hell, I wish I could just have some more runs like that period.  And maybe I will. Maybe this whole “sticking with a training plan” thing has its benefits…maybe it really does help.

Post Run in a Wegmans Bathroom...in a complete runners high!
All of this training is really paying off...especially in my speed and my endurance. Just this past Monday I ran 5 miles at a 10:52 pace!! One of those miles was at 10:16!! I haven't seen those #'s in years. Training has is really getting me back to where I was before with running, but even better...slowly but surely, all the hard work is paying off!

There is one thing however that I have not done. Not at all. Not even a teeny tiny bit.

That is Cross-Train. I spend 3 days running, one day with Yoga & the other 3 days are rest days. I have an elliptical at home, and I love it…I just never get on it. I know how vital and beneficial cross training can be but it’s just not something I have not seemed to work into my routine.

Unless going to the grocery store or browsing the internet counts as cross training…cause if that’s the case then I am a cross training maniac!!  

Anyone else have trouble getting cross-training in? Any tips or advice? 

There is still time to donate and help me raise funds for Ophelia's Place while I run the Lake Effect Half! Any amount will help! If you are interested please visit this link here and thank you so much!!
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