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    1. #1
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      xtexan's Avatar

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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Hello everyone:

      Into the AF life now 5 seasons. Spring is officially here, as the equinox passed this week.

      Today was Friday, and the nerves were shot from the work week. Oh, how I remember the sensation of being frustrated, disgusted, and frazzled from my work week. Friday is such a blessing to us who work hard at our jobs, that work hard on us. The political crap from the office, the customers constantly hammering one for results, and outright perfection. You know what I mean. It's making a living the hard way. Even though I'm what they classify as a "professional", being a degreed engineer, and a manager, I don't feel like I have a career, but just a job. Enough said on that.

      So, for years and years, Friday afternoon came, and I would be thirsty for alcohol in the most terrible way. It's something I thought would assuage my raw nerves, and bring libation to the spirit (and destruction to the body). Oh yea, for a few hours, I could poison the nerves and brain, and the hell of the work week would dissolve away quickly. Only to be followed by the hell of the hangover the following Monday, and the deepest depression that a person can imagine. Yep, Monday mornings would come, and I wondered every time if it wouldn't be easier just to end the pain all together.

      So now Friday afternoons are still that time of needing the relief. I know many of you out there are keyed into that as well.

      I get home, and it is beautiful weather. Warm, and the leaves and grass are just getting ready to power out of their dormancy. The pear trees bloomed this past week, and the blossoms are everywhere. I have the most incredible urge to run. To run and run. I have not run outside since last fall, and today was the day.

      The gear is put on. Running shoes, shorts, shirt, hat, sunglasses, GPS, water bottle, fanny pack with defense items (never know out here in the deep woods, either 4 footed or 2 footed animals to fend off), Off I go. CRAP! My 50 year old bod is out of shape for this type of exercise again. I was doing 3 miles last October, and now I hit 3/4 mile, and I turn back. So I end up only a shade over 1 and a half miles. Pulse average 155 beats per minute for a little over 20 minutes. Crud, I was doing 10 minute miles last fall, and could do 3 miles in 30 minutes last October. Out of freaking shape. Max pulse was 171, and thats all I was going to push this time. Of course the hills are the real pulse pushers.

      So I make the run at least, and note the stats on my exercise log calendar. I've only been doing indoor exercise bike the past few months, and staying in the lower aerobic zones. Roughly averaging 133 to 135 beats per minute pulse rate. So I need to get back on the stick for sure.

      Felt pretty good, and at least my recovery rate is way better these days, so not all was lost over the winter. Getting home, I prepare a cocktail of supplements. 4 capsules each valerian root, and kava-kava. Washed em down with 1 gram Phenibut powder dissolved in water. 30 minutes later, I am one serene, tranquil, and contented beast. Phenibut is a form of GABA that gets into brain easier.

      I pop a DVD into the home theater system, and grab some bananas and apples for snacks. Things are good. Sober is as sober does.

      Pretty good movie, the new "Casino Royale". Evening falls, and pleasantly tired, and calm, and never the thought that a drink of alky could leave me this contented with myself. So I have to log on to MWO, and say if you really want to do this thing, you will find a way. After 15 months, I am still working on these things, and doing my best to recover from the demolition job I did on my poor mind and body.

      Patience with yourself is about the most important thing you will have to learn solid my friends. This is been my most difficult challenge. If 15 months AF seems far off, please remember that it seemed as impossible as swimming across the Pacific Ocean to me at one time. I have no magic secret, just been working it all as best as I can for the long haul.

      They used to tell a joke, about the fellow who swam halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, then decided he could not make it, and so he swam back. I still have issues with anxiety, depression, and a few other things, but days like today give me hope that I can live like this the rest of my natural life.

      Spring is here. I have turned around, and it is good.

      Be well.

      Neil

    2. #2
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      I'm so happy for you! I look forward to counting months instead of days. Thanks for the inspiration.

      Julie

    3. #3
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Xtexan, you inspire me, I have looked to your posts for strength many times. I am so happy for you that you have found this level of contentment in life.

      You are great.

      Hilary

    4. #4
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Hi Neil,

      What a wonderful reflection! And what a wonderful sense of well-being and peace with yourself and life, at least at this point in time! I felt so alive just last weekend having done exactly the same thing (the run, that is) that I wished I could bottle the feeling to use when the going wasn't so smooth! Many, many kudos on 15 months - you've come a long way but what's really nice to sense from your post is the continued sense of appreciation and wonder at your new life. I have wondered whether you get to a certain point and you just start taking it all forgranted again, the new clarity and awareness just blends into the 'everydayness' of existance so it's great to see that even after 15 months there's still that sense of new beginnings, of achievement, - of life!

      The Friday thing has actually just hit a spot - I have been AF for just 25 days and Friday evening hits - been a hell of a week, just finished yet another meeting and arrange to go for a meal with a friend. I've been out socially to dinners, bars etc over the last weeks and been able to stick to water, but not this Friday! - Sitting there and the beer just reached out - it was a 'reward' for having been so good, a way to start the weekend, a nice accompaniment to the meal, an attempt at moderation for the first time, a proof that I am now in control of my drinking - all those great little excuses and I listened to every one of them! So two beers later, what had I learned??

      1) - Not in control yet - the fact that I put it out there as a 'reward' should be telling enough
      2) - A tired Friday evening is probably not the best time to go for a meal out or a bar to relax with friends - go for the run, the bike ride, to the gym or to dance - activity is a far better way of brushing off the week!
      3) - Keep the focus of where I want to get to - beyond alcohol

      I also learned that
      1) - It did nothing for me as a 'reward', a 'way to relax', an addition to the meal (sparkling water would have worked even better!)
      2) - It has reconfirmed a weakness - but also strengthened my resolve
      - and best of all -
      3) - I didn't enjoy it! I felt disappointed in myself, but more importantly after my second beer (never could just stop at 1 of anything!) I didn't like the sensation of the fuzziness starting, the sense of rambling, the sense of drinking...

      4) - I was able to stop at 2 beers - usually this would have led to the bottle of wine or two open at home, but by the time I got there I had already worked some of this out, and then of course being able to log onto MWO is always a great inspiration!

      SO - a small step back, but a big step forward in that I've learned something more about myself - something I can add to my 'tool box'.

      Anyway, enough rambling! - enjoy your warm, bright, spring day, Neil - I'm looking out of the window at sleet, grey clouds and wind - but am looking forward to now going through the weekend with a renewed commitment to being AF, and to finding many more times where it just feels so good to be alive!

      Have a great AF weekend everyone

    5. #5
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Thank you all.

      Great stuff!

    6. #6
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Xtexan, that was lovely to read. Thankyou for an insight into what it might be like for me several months down the road. B

    7. #7
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Neil,
      You are a joy and a delight as always
      Brigid

    8. #8
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      Spring and Hanging in There....


    9. #9
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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      Neil, great post. Miss readin yours, thanks!

    10. #10
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      Cashregister's Avatar

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      Spring and Hanging in There....

      What a delight - keep it coming

      Cashy
      xxx

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