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…

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

 

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

 

 

 

Alcohol: just somebody that I used to know

Coming up on ONE THOUSAND days sober, I wanted to check in with my relationship with booze. Where are we at today?

It’s so crazy you guys. I fantasized about a time like now, way back when. So many of the times when I said “I’m never drinking again” I’d also imagine a future life that seemed unattainable. The life I was envisioning was one where I wasn’t letting alcohol make me feel, look and act shitty on the regular. There was none of the anxiety, depression, regret or guilt that stemmed from binge drinking and the behaviours that go hand-in-hand, during or after. I saw a vibrant, peaceful, fresh life where alcohol didn’t have a place. Out loud, I would test out what it felt like to say “I don’t drink“, but then I’d feel sad because I didn’t think it was possible to get to that place. But it is a place. It’s a thing. It’s awesome.

I don’t drink.

Guess what else? I don’t think about it much. That’s where me and Booze’s relationship is at. Like an ex who I’m truly over, or an old friend from the past who I’ve lost complete touch with. Or remember that cartoon Denver the Last Dinosaur? I think about drinking about as much as I think about Denver. That was random.

Never before has the name of the website tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com made so much sense. Even thinking about drinking was exhausting, and I can see that now that drinking isn’t a part of my life. Alcohol is not on my radar.

It took so much commitment, learning and change to get to this place, but it has happened. Just like a break-up with a human being, after I “dumped” booze, I had to make a ton of adjustments and reassess my time, what I did, who I spent time with, where I hung out, etc. Even after a year there were things I was still dealing with and working on. It wasn’t easy but now I find myself 965 days sober and the happiest I’ve ever been.

If you ever have the fantasy I used to have, about being able to say “I don’t drink” out loud and for it to be true, it can be and you can do it. Trust me. If I can, anyone can. I wish I had someone telling me that when I needed it, so I’m telling you in case you need to hear it!

#yodo

August! Now What?

Hiiiii!!!

How’s it going? Since Jack and Jill I have been taking it a day at a time – doing whatever I want! Some swimming, short easy-effort runs, quite a bit of trail and elevation and yesterday a solid 10k with a slightly faster finish. Oh and a couple full rest days ahaha. Lifelong Endurance and I are still in close contact but we’ll officially pick back up with training in September.

This weekend some friends and I head to the Hah Nic Na’ Aah mountain half marathon in the Babine Mountain Range! This is basically my first non-road race aside from the Mount Hays Quickclimb and I’m stoked! The terrain and views look stunning, and since I’m not actually racing it, there will be time for lots of photos!

Next weekend husband and I take off on a wedding tour/moving me to the Okanagan. Exciting times! School starts September 4th, but first I’ll zip back up north for our annual Labour Day Weekend celebrations in the beautiful Bulkley Valley. Same hood as the race this weekend, as well as the Tyhee Tri. Lucky me!

Coach Andrew and I had a chat about training and have a loose plan. We will most likely attack the half marathon distance over the fall season (after the Okanagan Marathon) and into the winter. I hope to pick out a goal half to race in early 2019! Into the new year we will start to build on that fitness for a goal Spring marathon to continue chasing down the unicorn! 🤞 I look forward to running as many local 5 and 10k’s along the way.

Some of the marathons I’m considering (at this point) include the Eugene Marathon, Blooms to Brews, the Windermere Marathon and BMO Vancouver, though I’m pretty reluctant about Vancouver, it’s just nice and close. I’d prefer to be able to drive to said marathon, and I won’t run anywhere with more than an hour time difference. April is my preferred month, but I’m not against March or May! If you have any suggestions that I should add to the list of options, please let me know!

I hope you are having a really good summer!!! Recently I opened the sober app on my phone and it’s passed 950 days!!! I’ll be at 1000 days by the end of September, holy shit. The blog has obviously been very focused on running over the last few months but I hope to do some writing about sober stuff in the next little bit here.

Hope August has been fun and talk to you after the mountain half!!!

jamie

3rd Sober May Long Weekend – 10 Observations!

I had a really good weekend and I hope you did, too. This year was my third go at May long weekend as a sober person. I was surprised that it still felt a bit foreign, but I’m okay with that. Prior to quitting drinking, long weekends usually left me completely exhausted, anxious and depressed. I always had a blast, but the aftermath was no longer worth it. It would take me days to get back to normal and I’d claim to never want to feel that way again. Then the next occasion would roll around and I’d do it all again. Let me tell you, if the after-effects of a long weekend are getting the best of you, it’s possible to partake without the booze. Here are ten awesome things I took note of over the course of my sober long weekend.

The weekend began stress-free

Back in the day, the preparation alone for a long weekend had me feeling strung out. How much booze would I need? Running out was unthinkable! Did I have enough drunk snacks to survive? How would my friends and I get to the parties we wanted to go to? No one could drive a vehicle safely, let alone legally, and most sensible people don’t really want to boat around the lake once it’s dark and everyone’s pissed. I’d be all wound up before even leaving town, ESPECIALLY if I was leaving later than some of my friends. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT ME!!!!

These days I feel no need to rush. As I’ve written about before, somehow booting alcohol out of my life eliminated FOMO. I hit the road after my morning run, when I was good and ready and didn’t even consider that I might “miss out on something” before I arrived. Oh, and I didn’t have to make that extra stop at the liquor store.

No self-inflicted malnutrition

Usually when I arrived at wherever we were celebrating Maylong, I’d start drinking beer immediately and that was more or less the only thing consumed for seventy-two hours, save for a couple smokies and maybe some Doritos. Now I care more about how I treat my body, plus there’s the simple fact that royally disrupting my general routine is a huge pain in the ass. No, I didn’t eat kale salads all weekend and take vitamins. But, I did make sure to eat some real food regularly amongst all the shitty snacks that I love more than anything.

Got up early

Not as early as at home in the regular routine, obviously, but early enough so that no part of the day is written off. In the past, my dried out eyeballs would open, I’d urgently search for anything non-alcoholic, chug it like nobody’s business, and then go back to “sleep”. By sleep, I mean roll around in a stinky, dehydrated state of discomfort, then finally emerge from the tent/trailer/cabin/lawn chair a while later, having wasted precious hours of my life. LOL.

Getting up early, whether it’s to go for a run, walk, swim, to resurrect the fire from the night before, or to just sit and enjoy a coffee, is awesome. Coffee. Yum. That leads me to the next one.

Enjoyed breakfast

This one I’ve talked about in many of my non-drinking posts. Drinking coffee and eating breakfast WITHOUT:

  • a screaming headache
  • symptoms of a peptic ulcer
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • shame from whatever (or whoever) you did the night before
  • sore teeth from sugary drinks

IS AMAZING.

No sore teeth!

Oh my God. Tooth decay, how I don’t miss you. I know I said I mostly drank beer, but on hot, sunny weekends everyone knows how easy the sugary coolers go down. When I think back to brushing my teeth the morning after drinking a case of Twisted Teas..I could cry.

loid

Never stranded

When not drinking you can drive wherever the fuck you wanna go whenever you want. No waiting (or begging) for a lift to the next party. No need to be annoying AF harassing other drunk people for unsafe, illegal rides in the dark in their vehicles or boats. Also, when FOMO isn’t a thing, sometimes there’s no need to go anywhere besides the fire you’re already sitting at. I loved that I could do what I wanted at any time because I was capable of driving my truck or anyone elses vehicle if necessary.

Didn’t skip any runs

Yeah, I know, I’m always training for something. But lots of other people also like to exercise on the regular, even if not prepping for some event or competition. When I was still partying I always had good intentions to do my planned runs when out of town for the weekend, but they rarely happened.

No, it’s not the end of the world to skip physical activity for a weekend. Duh. BUT, if you’re someone who gets home on the last day and feels extra shitty, physically and/or mentally because you didn’t sweat (on purpose) all weekend, then you will relate to this! For me, alcohol meant all accountability was out the window. Now, I get it done. Prioritizing a workout on a super fun day feels good and helps balance out all the chips and dip. I got in my Saturday, Sunday and Monday runs as planned, plus an extra-large sense of accomplishment.

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Ran on the beautiful path that I’d usually look at longingly on the way home, hungover as fuck.

I live at the end of the line, so when we go away for the weekend it’s always in the same direction, with the same drive home. There’s an awesome walking/biking path along the side of the highway as you head west out of Terrace called the Millennium Trail. I remember looking at it many times while on the way home from a party weekend and thinking, “I wish I didn’t feel like a bag of shit right now and was running on that path instead.” This year, I did. Fuck yeah. Drove home sweaty and stinky but who cares? Not me.

The night before going back to work didn’t suck

Soaking in hang-xiety and self-loathing all evening, looking in every cupboard for something salty to eat for a way-too-late “dinner”…that’s what the end of Maylong used to be like for me. Hahahaha. Sounds so funny but it’s true! Instead, I got a few groceries on the way home, did some laundry and went to bed at a legit time. And my sleep was good! Another thing I don’t miss: twitching all night in a cold sweat and waking up simply to power through the workday so I can go back to bed again.

Tuesday morning didn’t suck

See above. It’s already a short week, I don’t need it to be shorter because it’s taken two or three days to feel normal again. When I woke up this morning I was seriously grateful that I wasn’t starting the week ten steps behind. I hammered out my workout on the treadmill from Lifelong Endurance and went to work with a runner’s high instead of the old drinker’s low.

______

I hope everyone’s weekend was safe and awesome. As I always say, there’s no judgement here towards anyone who got buck wild drunk all weekend! I think it’s good to celebrate life in any way that suits a person best! As they say these days, “you do you!” I’m just doing me, and sharing some observations about why not drinking works better for me now, just in case it’s helpful to anyone else! xo

Thanks for reading! If you like, please share 😉

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