Before I talk about how I “got into running “.. I will give a little background on my story.

I had given up hope of ever removing the booze from my life. Sadly I remember telling my husband not to bother talking to me after 7 pm because there was no hope of me remembering anything. I felt completely ashamed, I desperately wanted my life to end, and I hated every molecule of myself with a passion. The fact that I had a husband who had stuck by me and was the mother of 4 beautiful children only made me hate myself more for not being able to stop this daily self- destruction. I stumbled upon belle of “tired of thinking about drinking” sometime during Kate Bees course in January of 2016. I began receiving daily emails and would read about these random people having hundreds of sober days to their name. This only served to increase the chasm that existed between me and every other person on earth. It was the summer of 2017. I somehow managed to go a whole 4 days at guide camp without alcohol.( the fact that it was banned and that we were in the middle of nowhere did help !) I couldn’t believe it! I felt good, my head felt lighter and I was so proud of myself. I came home and rewarded myself with a bath and a bottle of red wine. The habit continued but I realised that somehow I could survive without it- even if it hadn’t been easy I had tasted something different. I felt a sense of hope for the first time in years. I must have contacted Belle at some point in the evening when drinking. I was surprised to get a response that next morning and she offered me a spot in her “jumpstart” class…I immediately panicked and retracted my plea for help….and made an excuse about the money. Thankfully I changed my mind and I decided to give it a try. I have no idea why this finally worked. Maybe I realised that I had no option. It seemed clear to me that either I would die prematurely and in the process live a very miserable existence or I had to somehow learn to live a miserable life without drinking. Belles approach was very different. I remember receiving a tea bag in the post sometime the previous year and had kept the leaflet. On it, she spoke about different ‘tools’ and ‘trying different things.

My sober journey has been (in my opinion) very disjointed. Since my first sip, I battled with wanting to continue to enjoy drinking whilst trying to curb the effects and eradicate the obsession I felt with alcohol. Watching my parents getting ‘drunk’ on a regular basis was something I did not want to repeat. If I drank at all, it would be in a way that was dignified and I would be able to enjoy the beneficial effects of the soothing and exhilarating sense it gave me. I knew from the get-go that it was certainly something that had a mysterious and powerful hold over me. It was like a dance. I would wrestle with the desire to limit my intake but never did I really want to exclude it forever from my life. I really believed that there was a way I could combat this. I remember vividly when my daughter was a tiny baby that I embarked on a course that included hypnotherapy, multivitamins and daily accountability on a website …this was “back in the day” when I had to dial into our internet connection! The aim ( sadly) was that I could learn to take or leave this baffling substance as I watched most of my friends and husband being able to do. ‘Moderation’ was a term I was unfamiliar with. Somehow I believed I could learn to put it in its rightful place and continue to enjoy it in a ‘sensible’ way. Surely that was what everyone else had somehow learned to do… as it says on the side of every bottle to ‘drink responsibly. Somehow I had yet to manage this. I felt as I did with most things in my life- those other people had been given the instructions to this thing called life and I had somehow been asleep when the information was being taught to me. So between the years 2005 and 2017, I oscillated between trying to manage my alcohol consumption to just giving in to the compulsion to drink every evening until I fell asleep on the sofa. The latter became the only viable option. I tried going to AA for 2 years, I did Kate Bees “Getting Unstuck” course (in which I managed to go AF for 5 days and sat silently on the sidelines watching everyone else manage to get and remain sober) and some local “harm reduction “ groups at a local recovery centre ( where people would say to me, most helpfully “if I only drank what you did I wouldn’t be at all worried “)

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