This memory popped up on Facebook this morning:
This was 6 years ago. See, unlike a lot of people who’ve stopped drinking, I don’t remember the date that I stopped. I know that i had several starts and stops on the way to being done. I vividly remember quitting 7 years ago, but then we went on vacation and, well…that was that.
So, when this showed up on Facebook this morning, it reminded me that this was the true end of my drinking. I quit drinking a month or so prior to this and immediately signed up for a 5k…because that’s what people do when they’re ready to better themselves, right? Take up running?
Except that I hated running. HATED it. I’ve always hated it. Whereas many people say that running is “their therapy,” when I run long distances, my brain immediately goes to work trying to talk my way out of running. Alas, I did a “couch to 5k” kind of thing and then completed this race. I felt so good about myself, for breaking old cycles and reinventing myself–also, my hip flexors were seizing up and this awkward stance was all I could muster. But I was truly faking it during this time in my life.
Today, that life feels like eons ago. I had a 2 year old and a 4 year old then. I was in the thick of it for sure…in the weeds. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, who I was or where I was going but I knew that drinking wasn’t going to help and I was amazed that I had given it up–although probably unsure if it would stick.
Now, 6 years later, I’m not that same person anymore. I’m infinitely more confident in who I am. I’ve broken some nasty habits and cycles and I’m more forgiving of myself. And, while I don’t run long distances anymore, I do run several times a week at bootcamp and (dare I say it?) I don’t hate it. And…I’m even kind of good at it.
I think that the re-invention of myself during this time was necessary though. I had to shed that old skin–which made me tender and vulnerable for a time–but now I have a thicker skin that’s strong, durable, shiny and comfortable.
Just for comparison, this is after one of my bootcamp classes a couple of weeks ago. Stronger, confident and gentler with myself.
If you’re on this journey to better yourself, be gentle. Acknowledge how tender you might be and be patient around that. It gets better and more normal and, before you know it, you’re doing it. Fake it ’til you make it and suddenly, without fanfare, you’ll find that you’re making it.