the recurring falling off the wagon dream

There is this dream that I’ve been having over and over that started a few months into 2016 when I was newly sober. At first I would have the dream very often, sometimes a bunch of nights in a row or sometimes weekly. As time went on, the dream started to become significantly less common, but it still happens from time to time and I had it the other night! Almost four years later!

The dream is one of the blurry kind, where you can’t really remember where you were or who you were with and nothing really makes a lot of sense. But every time it involves me realizing that I have actually been casually drinking or even getting wasted from time to time but continuing to tell myself and others that I don’t drink. In the dream I am having internal dialog about a bunch of stuff.

First I wonder if it’s actually real? Have I actually been drinking alcohol without admitting it to anyone, including myself? WTF. Spreading my thoughts on the glory of being a non-drinker, but being a big liar!? How could I do this? Booze was the worst thing for me and I start having flashbacks of all the negative experiences I created for myself with the help of alcohol.

Then I admit to myself that, yes, I think I have been drinking (though still not positive if it’s real), and I’m hit by a tidal wave of guilt. I then start contemplating whether I can pretend this hasn’t happened and just pick up where I left off. There’s a huge fixation on how absolutely terrible it would be to start back at Day 1 (and in turn, restart my Sober Time app, LOL) and confess to anyone who cares that the chick who raves about the awesomeness of sober living has fallen off the wagon. Maybe it didn’t actually happen? I’ll just go with that…

I don’t know when or why I wake up, but when I do I have feelings of guilt and dread and I have to lay there for a while feeling shitty until I realize it was only a dream. Once I’m 100% sure that it was just a dream and everything is normal, I feel so fucking happy I just lay in my bed smiling in the dark ahahaha. What a relief!

What does it all mean? I’ve Googled it just out of curiosity and there are lots of ideas, from signs that a relapse is coming, to evidence of how much the dreamer values her new sober life. Personally, I relate to the latter. I have no idea why I randomly have this dream again and again. It makes me extremely uncomfortable even thinking about it and how I feel while inside the dream, but I also enjoy knowing that I do NOT want that to happen and that I won’t allow it to. Confirmation of the joy of not drinking and to not take it for granted is what I’ll use these weird reminders for.

Do you have recurring dreams??

Side Note:

I think I might know what planted the seed for the most recent dream! On Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek Alexis was accusing David of never trusting her because in the late 90’s he left her responsible for a bunch of Teen and Adult aged Tamagotchis and she let them all die.

I was reminded of how much it sucked when I had “raised” my Tamagotchi to an Adult (probably like 6 days old, LOL) and then accidentally dropped it off the dock into the lake at our cabin in 1997. Viscerally, I remembered how angry and disappointed I was that I had to start all over again with the 0-day old digital pet in its “Baby” status…

Re-starting the Sober Time app is a ten billion times worse version of a dead Tamagotchi…

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hangover-free mornings: still cool 1292 days later

Hi!

Hope you’re having a good summer so far! I just got back up north after finishing the first of two years of the RMT program in Vernon. What a crazy year. It was no joke the busiest I’ve ever been in my life and went by in the blink of an eye. How I managed to successfully complete a degree in pharmacy back in the day when I was partying most of the time is beyond me. Even if I did still drink now, I don’t know when I would have found the time to do so during this past year!

Over the summer I’m working from home, so sleeping in is an option. In almost four years, however, I haven’t been sleeping in because mornings are a good time to get out and do fun shit! Today I got up with my husband’s work alarm and left the house before he did. Yes, I felt very tired when I first woke up, but literally five minutes of yoga and coffee fixes that.

My friend Jess has been leading a group run on Wednesday mornings here in Prince Rupert and it’s the perfect thing to keep Wednesday mornings awesome while I’m away from my tribe @ November Project Kelowna. Today as five of us ran around our little town at 7 am I was so deeply thankful, still, for feeling happy and alive instead of like a booze-soaked turd.

I wonder how grateful all the cells in my body are, and every tissue and system, for saying bye-bye to alcohol. Feeling good seriously doesn’t get old. It’s been over three and a half years and the freshness does not fade. Eliminating alcohol took quite the process and I would like to enjoy this daily until the end of time.

I hope you feel really, really good today. If you don’t, and are working on that, you can do it. And let me know if you need any help.

xo Jamie

 

NOT sandbagging – effective!

Yoooo

I meant to post this a little while ago. Member I was talking about (after Lauren Fleshman was talking about) sandbagging, and how I wasn’t gonna do that shit before the Tenacious Ten on Easter weekend?

Well, it worked out well! I made the conscious decision to not talk about or think about all the reasons that I might have a less-than-awesome race. There are ALWAYS things that can go wrong – I can make contingency plans for legit things, and the rest just depends on me winning the arguments between myself and the voice inside my head.

There were two specific times during that 10k in Seattle where it felt REALLY hard. If I had planted seeds in my mind about stuff like being drained from school, sucking at sleeping or even little mindfucks like “it’s just a 10k, the marathon is my true love” then giving up would have been so much more likely. I don’t want to gather excuses to lean on anymore.

I remember thinking, “No. No excuses today.” I almost stopped at a water station, but realized I WASN’T EVEN REALLY THIRSTY I just wanted a rest. Don’t even think about it, I said to myself. A little later I thought, “whoa, I forgot about this hill up to the Fremont bridge. I’m dying. Maybe I’ll walk a few power-strides and let my heart rate calm the f*$k down.” But I shut that down and choose to keep going forward at the best pace I could manage, whatever that was.

The non-sandbagging payed off. I ended up with a very small PR – just 4 seconds. I love that because if I’d have leaned on any of those excuses for even a second or two, the baby-PR wouldn’t be so. Can’t wait to try it again soon!! Down with sandbagging!

Have a good week! Stoked to write about my first Pace Bunny experience when I have the time. Congrats to all who just ran in the BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend!

 

Third Annual Tenacious Ten next weekend!

Weeooo!!! Hi! I’m so excited to go to Seattle for the long weekend with a crew of my #rupertrunners friends!!!!!

The Tenacious Ten is one of my most favourite races. It’s so girl-powery and I am obsessed with Gas Works park, plus running over bridges and cowbell. This year, and for the first time, I’m going to be running the 10k distance instead of the 10 mile.

After a super decent 10k a couple weekends ago in a race that I hadn’t prioritized at all (and wasn’t gunning for a PR) I ran within eleven seconds of my personal best! This makes me really happy…I am going for it in Seattle!

Did you ever read the piece by Lauren Fleshman about sandbagging? I shared it a bit ago on Facebook and it’s here, if you haven’t seen it. I highly recommend reading this, it’s so inspiring! But back to sandbagging…

sandbagging is a technique of downplaying your strengths and bringing attention to a few reasons you may not be successful. This is a way of diffusing pressure. It’s a way of feeling in control when you feel like others’ expectations (or your own) may not match your reality. It’s a behavior that is useful when you are scared of letting people down, or letting yourself down – Lauren Fleshman

I am way too familiar with this and I know a billion others are, too. Lauren Fleshman is a Oiselle athlete and I think I’ll honor her beautiful blog entry by not sandbagging! I want a 10k PR at the Tenacious Ten and I know I’m ready to make it happen. I’m going for it. Of course shit can always go wrong!!!!! But, I plan to run like it cannot.

Seattle, here we come. I’m so stoked to eat Mexican food at El Camino, gelato at the Fainting Goat, go to the Brooks store and get weird with my friends from home and other Volee friends in Gas Works Park!

Hope you have a really good long weekend, whatever you’re up to.

HEAD UP, WINGS OUT!

 

annnd it’s March?!

Hi!

OMG. It seems like I blinked twice and it went September-November-March. I never imagined the RMT program would be this full-on. Busy and full-speed ahead is kind of how I roll and always have, but this is on another level. Every day is a blur and I miss my husband and family so bad it hurts sometimes but I’m doing what I have to do, just like everyone else. Someone asked if I ever feel like drinking when overwhelmed. That’s a hell no. I have less time for self-induced feeling like shit than ever before!

I have another way to ensure there are zero gaps in my schedule nor time to notice how straight back my hair is right now. It’s time to train for another marathon!

A couple weeks ago I had a fall. There was secret ice under a light snowfall and I hit the ground hard. Somehow, I bashed both my shins and then did a half-roll onto my hip and then shoulder blade, sliding like a human curling rock. YakTrax, people, wear them. Luckily, it seems to have been a blessing in disguise…I was bruised but not broken, and the last two weeks of track workouts and tempos inside on a treadmill have been REALLY good. Like, REALLY good. Treadmills have such a bad rap, and it’s funny to make fun of them, but they really can be great. The Devil’s Conveyor Belt, as a fellow runner calls it, has been giving me a chance to set the pace and then forget about it, focusing instead on controlled breath, a relaxed body and aiming to let my feet land underneath me. It’s very tedious, but grit-building. Still, Winter can beat it. This coastal chick doesn’t do well with snow.

The marathon I’m going to run is called the Windermere Marathon and it’s in Spokane on May long weekend. The course looks fast and I picked it because it’s close enough to drive to and I haven’t run it before. That’s it.

I’m still using the Run Less, Run Faster program since it’s working perfectly with the insanity of school and I’m enjoying the structure. Although First Half didn’t go how I wanted it to, I understand why and was over it within a day. Currently I have a much bigger fish to fry. Although running is my favourite thing in the world, I’m working my ass off to get a new career and be great at it, and that matters more right now. This mindset is working for me, the whole loosening my grip on running goals thing. I haven’t even been checking to see what my workout is until usually the night before, if not the morning of! Who am I?

Spring is coming and it’s going to be truly chaotic but what the hell. YODO. I’m still chasing a BQ…it feels more fun now. I don’t feel the pressure I was putting on myself before. I KNOW I’ll get there eventually, maybe this season, maybe not. But I want it more than ever.

What are you working on right now? I’m going to try to beat my last year’s time at the St. Patrick’s Day 5k this Saturday in Terrace on my way HOME! Can’t wait to see the local crew!!

Let me know if you’ll be at the Tenacious Ten or BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend in April and May! I’m pacing the 2:00 group in the BMO half and then cheering on the marathoners.

Cheers to pandemonium! For real though, the RMT program at OVCMT is, as I have said before, the best thing I have ever decided to do. If you want to know more about it, email me! One day til Spring Break and so much running 🏃‍♀️

Sobriety – Three Years Later!

Hi.

Holy shit. Three years ago today I decided for the 5794416th time that I was NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ve heard. I’ve described it many times. You know, the worst physical, mental and emotional hangover EVER!…i.e. tied with many, many other previous hangovers. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Pounding heart, the shakes, extreme anxiety, inability to concentrate, sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, acid gut and throat, yet the desire to eat Taquitos dipped in Queso, and then, lay down and die. The worst part though was not physical; it was the emotional part. My wellbeing. My mental health.

I literally wasn’t sure if my now-husband would still want to get married. Or if I had other people, besides him, to apologize to. Or if I would ever, finally, stop doing this to my body and mind. Full-blown panic.

Was I finally done with feeling (and looking and smelling, LOL) like a troll?

WTF was wrong with me? How did some people have the ability to have a few drinks but not get to the point of shame and regret? How did other people party like me but somehow avoid anxiety and depression? Like most scenarios in life, comparing myself to others didn’t help at all. I took many steps, which I’ve written about a lot and you can find HERE (or under “sober stuff”) and now I’m here – Boxing Day, 2018.

Three years later I still revisit the foundational reasons why I remain a non-drinker.

  • Alcohol does not have a single benefit. Not one! (in my opinion, now)
  • I have fun because of the ways I spend my time, and who I spend it with
  • Life is really short and I want to experience it with full clarity
  • I like feeling good, and I don’t like feeling like shit.

It was pretty hard to know myself well when I was pissed on a regular basis, or depressed and anxious secondary to that. There are so many things I have found out about myself over the last three years! There are things I have done that I only talked about doing for so many years. Fears that I have faced because I became MORE brave once I took away the “liquid courage”. (I fkn hate that expression).

The beginning was so scary and weird. It was like I got dropped on another planet. But now that I’ve tried it – and I mean really given it a chance – I know that the general conceptions about being sober can’t be based on experience. If they were, it wouldn’t be thought of as boring, odd, safe or cut-off. No. It would have a reputation of being awesome, fresh, clear, grounded and raw. Sometimes uncomfortable, but always authentic.

I pretty much always do what I want, anyone who knows me knows that. On the flip side, I don’t do things I don’t wanna do. I’m also okay with admitting when I’m wrong. What I am getting at is that if this sober thing wasn’t as great as I have been saying it is, then I’d just tell you guys and then go get drunk. So yeah, today’s post isn’t really about anything except that being a non-drinker is not just possible, it’s fantastic. The last three years of my adult life have been the best ones and I plan to continue on this alcohol-free but still weird as fuck journey!!!! If it’s something you’ve been considering, give it a true chance and you’ll see for yourself. xo

Jamie

 

Special thanks to…

Kate www.thesoberschool.com

Belle www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com

Sacha @sachazee