02 February 2020
08 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Start line selfie with Katie and Stanley this morning.
It’s been a busy few days. My husband has been working like crazy again, I’m not complaining, but he’s tired and it’s hard not to be able to do anything to help him. Our littlest has had a nasty cold and that means he has been up a lot in the nights, and this morning our running son had to go to Bournemouth for a race as he is representing Cornwall Schools. Since we’re in Cornwall and he was going on the coach he had to be up and out early, in time to meet his team just after 6am. So that was another early start, but as he is lovely, my husband took him down and then popped into work for a few hours. Our eldest son always has plans so leaving him to it, me and my daughter Katie decided to take our youngest out to parkrun.
I’ve now run 42 parkruns, and I run with Stanley in the buggy a lot, but I haven’t ever parkrun with him. I think it’s just another thing where I’m afraid of being not good enough, maybe other people are faster, or have a better running buggy, etc, etc. Anyway, what I mean is that I do tend to put things off, especially if I feel I won’t be that good. Today we just made up our minds and went for it, and you know what? It was great. Well it was once I managed to get Katie out of the door. She is easily distracted and by the time we were on our way, I wondered if parkrun might have been and gone by the time we got there. It was okay though, it was easy to park and we got there with four or five minutes to spare.
We started near the back as I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way with the buggy and clog up the pack. It took almost a minute to get through the crowd to the start line at the beginning so my PB went out the window, but it was one of the nicest parkruns I have done in ages. We just ran and chatted, and resorted to walking on some of the hills because my two and a half year old is heavy! I should probably have checked my tyres before I went because my front one was quite low, so of course, I’m going to blame any perceived slowness on that, rather than on me and Katie. But like I said, it was lovely.
We stopped afterwards at the cafe and warmed up with some hot drinks before going to play in the park on the way out. It was a beautiful day and really felt like spring was coming as we saw so many beautiful flowers coming out.
We arrived home to find my husband was already back from work. I was thinking that other than having to go and meet Barn from his coach later in the evening we had nothing else on for the evening. Instead, I was told we’ve been invited out. It’s so nice, and yet it’s made me panic a bit. I don’t cope that well with change. It makes me a little nervous, and it’s worse because I don’t know what to expect. It’s one thing going out just with Lee, as I know he has no expectations of me, but going out with others in a group makes me a little nervous as I haven’t done it much recently. I’m not sure of the venue, of what drinks they’ll offer and what conversation will be expected of me. Those points alone are many of the reasons I used to have a drink, to stop myself feeling nervous in situations like these. Clearly I won’t be doing that tonight. I’ll be working my way through it as best as I can, and I am sure I will have a lovely time. I just wish I didn’t feel so nervous about it.
It’s annoying that things I want to do still make me nervous after all this time. It would be easier to stay at home, but then when I stopped drinking I didn’t mean that I would stop living, so I’m going to go out, and hopefully I’m going to have a good time. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for reading!
06 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
With my medal.
Last year I wanted to run Newquay 10k but I missed out and it was full before I got the chance. I decided to make sure I got in quicker this year. They have quite tight guidelines as to who can book a place and it fills up very quickly. They open the entries first to local clubs, but although I’m local and in a club it isn’t a local club so I couldn’t get in. Then they open the second phase to non-club members, with the third phase being for anyone else. Typically, I totally forgot about it, even after trying to organise myself to get a place this year. By the time I remembered all three phases had opened and there were no spaces left.
I was so disappointed, but that day I saw a thread on Facebook about putting in for a reserve place. I never normally bother, but thought I’d give it a go. I had nothing to lose. I knew I wasn’t the only one, but I was pretty surprised when the email came back to say I was on the reserve this and I was number 26 in the queue. I thought that meant I had no chance!
A week before the race, I had an email to say I was in! I couldn’t believe it, what luck!
My son normally trains with his club three times a week and one of those days is a Sunday, which is fine, but as he needs a lift to get to training, it meant I would have to drive myself to the race. I know it won’t seem much to other people, but I’ve always had someone to come with me, whether it is my husband or one of the kids. Even on the start line, I am seldom alone. This race was the first time I had no-one so I was a little nervous, but I made up my mind I would push myself out of my comfort zone and go anyway.
I was the only one from my running club there, I know that for definite because I saw the list when they were handing out our race numbers. It actually said Lonely Goat RC (1). I don’t think I have ever been the only one from my club at a race before! But it was quite nice, as I didn’t know anyone, I could be properly anti-social and not worry about talking to anyone. I didn’t even have to look out in case there was any one I knew there as I was sure there wouldn’t be. It was quite a walk from the car to the race HQ so I left my hoody in the bag check area. Then there wasn’t a lot else to do, so I found a corner and waited, I even played on my phone for a bit. It was strange being on my own, but not in a bad way, just in a I hadn’t done it before way. I was pretty proud of myself too. A year ago there would have been no chance of me doing something like that on my own. Actually a few months ago I wouldn’t have. So it’s another step forward.
All in all the race itself was great. I’ve been worrying about it because I have had a nasty cold and chest and have been worried I might not be able to run. Last year I had a chest infection that turned to pleurisy so this year I’ve tried to take it a little easier, in the hope that I can shake it off and it seems to be working. Due to that though, I haven’t run as much as I would have liked this week, and my watch has been telling me I am on the edge of de-training, which isn’t that helpful for my self-confidence. It was good to get out though, and as so much of the race was on the road, and seen quite obviously by other passers by, it pushed me to keep going even when it was hard.
I have to say, I don’t mind having to go on a waiting list for a race that is really well organised with a lovely medal. I totally get why it would have sold out, but I am glad I bothered to put my name down for the reserves. I was warned that as a reserve I might not get a finishers t-shirt in the right size, so I was more than happy to get one, in bright pink, with the Newquay Road Runner logo on it. What a nice reminder to have! Hopefully next year I’ll be more organised and remember to put my name down straightaway!
Were any of you there? What else did you get up to this weekend?
Thank you for reading.
05 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
You may have heard of Lotta Dann aka Mrs D. She’s from New Zealand, and an author of several books about sobriety. She also has her own blog and like me, she is an advocate of living a sober life, hosting a great site called Living Sober.
I was honoured recently to be interviewed by Lotta when she asked me to talk about my sobriety, and how my life has improved since I stopped drinking.
I really hope other people are able to read and find inspiration from my story. If you want support or community, the Living Sober site is a great place to start.
If you would like to read my interview, please click on the link.
As always, thanks for reading x
04 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Racing with my daughter.
I’ve always been a bit suspicious of situations, people, you name it, I overthink it.
I don’t mean be the way I am necessarily, but I do have a habit of jumping to the worst conclusion at times. I even know that a lot of the time I’m wrong, but the problem is, sometimes I am right, and that reinforces my thinking. I think for me that one of the benefits of no longer drinking is that I see things more clearly now, but also with that tinge of suspicion. I’m never quite sure how to take people.
You’ll know if you’ve read my other posts, that I count myself lucky to have my family around me, and also that I isolated myself a lot from my friends during my recovery. It seemed the safest option for me, rightly or wrongly, I couldn’t focus on lots of other people back then, I just had to think about myself and my family or I wouldn’t have got through it. Most people understood, and if they didn’t to be honest, there isn’t a lot I could do about it, but some people, just a select few, that I had counted as friends didn’t act like friends, instead they were selfish and used my vulnerability at that time to their advantage. Those are not the sort of people I want in my life, and I’m glad they are gone.
The problem is, removing negative people, deleting or blocking friends from your list, etc, only removes those people from your life. There are always other people out there in the wings waiting, and I find it tricky to judge their motives. I know logically that not everyone is out to get me, but I often wonder why someone would talk to me out of the blue and what they hope get out of it. I sound awfully cynical don’t I? But I second guess everything, from how someone looks at me, to how I talk to them and the impression I give them.
After parkrun recently I was deliberating over cake in the queue at the cafe when the man behind me spoke to me. We were just passing the time of day, talking about cake and I didn’t think anything of it until he asked if he could join me to drink his coffee. I was shocked, not that there is anything wrong with it. Parkrun promotes community and chatting after a run, so why shouldn’t someone want to sit with me, it just threw me as I wasn’t expecting it. I said that it was fine, and pointed him in the direction of the table where my son was sitting, and by the time I had got there they were both chatting. We talked about running and a few other things, but when I was asked questions, I found myself worrying about what he wanted to know, and why he wanted to know it. I told you I was suspicious! Many other people were sitting in groups also chatting over their drinks, and it was perfectly normal, I do think, at least in this instance it is my problem and not his, but it is annoying to feel on guard all the time.
After the man left I questioned whether the situation had been okay with my son. He gets how I worry, and is quite good at reassuring me, or telling me to stop being a fool depending on the situation. But despite his reassurances, I just wonder then if it’s because he is younger that he doesn’t realise how some adults can have ulterior motives.
It’s taken me a long time to start to trust people, and their motives and even those that know me will know I am not the most sociable person even now. It isn’t that I don’t want to be, I just worry. I am guarded, I know that, and I don’t let many people in, it takes time for me to let my walls down a little and make friends. I am getting better at it, though slowly. I’ve even been known to have coffee after parkrun with people I do know. It’s just when someone is forward, and it is unexpected, it throws me.
I would like to say though, despite my anxieties, I’d still like you to say hi if you see me out and about!
Thanks as ever for reading.
02 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Me with my daughter and one of my three sons.
It’s taken me a long time to comfortable in myself, and to be honest, I’m still not quite there yet. I’ve always worried if I am good enough, calm enough, clever enough, thin enough, fast enough… the list goes on, and I never quite measure up, but I am not sure who put the list there in the first place. I certainly don’t remember, besides catty teenage comments, ever being told I wasn’t good enough, but somewhere deep inside, I felt it.
I know a lot of people feel the same way, and it’s hard to get over it, it’s almost impossible to rewire the way you think to be more positive about yourself and kinder to yourself.
I was always of the mind set that ‘something’ would change the way I was and the way I felt about myself. I wasn’t really sure what, I would just feel like if I did this, or bought that, then it would make the difference. I always had a little space, that no matter what I did remained a bit empty.
Over the years I came to think this was normal, that everyone must feel the same as me and I learned to live with doubting myself. It isn’t a nice feeling though, and I am sure I am not the only one. Of course over the years I came to rely on things that made me feel better, those inevitable glasses of wine in the evening, but they were only temporary fixes. When the alcohol wore off, I still felt the same.
Reading that back, it sounds like I was unhappy, and I wasn’t, at least not with everything I had, my husband, our family and our life together has always made me happy. I guess I was just always a little disappointed with myself. I just didn’t quite measure up to my expectation of what I should be. I know now this is stupid, I know there are people in a lot worse situations than me, but my mind has always over-thought. Telling it to stop thinking is like telling an alcoholic not to drink. We all know that doesn’t work. I know now realistically that looking in from the outside, you only see one side of the story. You only see what people want you to see, so the people I compare myself to, they aren’t real, at least not all the time. I know because I’ve been there when I portrayed myself as a calm and together person all the years I let wine control me. The difference is I can see it now, and it allows me to take a step back.
I’ve slowed down, I don’t rush quite so much. I don’t let my crazy mind run away with me all the time. I try to stop it, and I try to be present, and I try to ignore that irritating little voice that tells me I’m not good enough. Sometimes it is challenging but it’s allowed me to settle and just be, and in learning that I feel better in myself.
You go through life thinking that one day you will change, that when you have that ‘thing’ you will be complete, but ultimately the only thing you can control is yourself and that is the ultimate thing in determining whether you are able to be happy.
Thank you as always for reading and remember to be kind to yourselves.