Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Three Highs

The longer I stay sober (almost 6 months!!), the more self awareness I have about my addiction and why I got so caught up in this self destruction cycle for so long. I realized this week that it wasn't necessarily taking pills and getting high that made getting high so good. I realized there were actually three highs that I chased...

FIRST- The high of walking out of my Dr's office with a whole new prescription for my drug of choice. Also, walking out of Walgreens with a huge bottle of my favorite pills. This high was exciting for me. The adventure of manipulating my way to pills and being successful at my goal. I don't miss this high at all. Honestly, at the end of the day, I knew this manipulative behavior didn't sit well with who I really am and what I want in this life. This was major cognitive dissonance  between who I am and what my behaviors were. After this high wore off..I would take the pills to feel better about my behaviors and feelings about what I was doing compared to who I really was and what I felt. That leads to the second high.

The SECOND high was the act of taking the pills and feeling the euphoria. Sometimes when I was high on the right combination of chemicals, I felt invincible. I felt like I was finally free from the negative voice in my head that would tell me I wasn't good enough. I was able to successfully escape from my reality and take a break for a few hours or even a day or week. The biggest thing that this would do for me was take me out of my head. When I get bored, I do not usually go to a good place. My mind spins and I can get really depressed or really anxious if I don't check myself and reinforce positive thinking patterns. Self medicating was the only way I knew how to deal with my thoughts, feelings, loneliness, boredom, perfectionistic behaviors, heart break, etc. I am so glad that now I don't feel the need to escape my own head. I am overall generally happy with myself and my life. Of course I still have a long ways to go, but now I can spend time alone and not get depressed or anxious like I used to. I can lay in bed at night and my mind doesn't race with intense thoughts and feelings anymore. I actually really don't miss this high either, except when I get bored and just want to lose track of time. Other than's actually suuuuper nice to remember my days.

The THIRD high is the high that I realized I miss the most. When I was using, I was a big binger. I would walk the line between life and death too often. I was a very high risk user. Usually this was because I built up such a tolerance, that I would just pop pills like candy and chasing a better high than before. I would start swallowing tens of pills at a time because I was so high that I didn't even remember that I had just taken ten pills an hour before. I would black out for weeks at a time sometimes and still have no memory from those weeks. This is where the last high comes in- once I would come out of this near death binge, I would have a restored belief that life was awesome and I wouldn't take anything for granted because I was lucky to be alive. The week after a big binge was the biggest high of all for me. This is because I had just survived a risky over dose, and had a renewed sense of who I wanted to become and how I wanted to live. The scary part about this is that once this euphoric feeling that life was rad wore off and the boredom or depression would set in...the whole cycle would begin again. 

As I was talking about this with my super rad therapist, we discussed ways to incorporate those feelings of the third high in a productive way. You don't have to almost die to have a positive outlook on your life. Sometimes, just reminding yourself where you have been and who you want to become in the big picture is motivating enough. Life isn't always exciting and I get bored really easily...which is why I would chase the third high more than anything. BUT, there is so much to live for, be grateful for, experience, and enjoy in this life that sometimes we need to sit back and remember that. Remember that it is all worth it. The hard times are necessary. The good times don't have to expire. Sometimes, you need to learn to be okay by yourself and sit in your own head and be okay. 

So there's my soap box thoughts for you this week. Love life. Love eachother. Love God....
And Most Importantly, LOVE YOURSELF!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Faith Based Life

Lately, I have caught myself thinking a lot about what lead me down the path of self destruction and addiction. I think of the multiple times that I attempted to live in sobriety and why I could never be successful until now. 

I think it boils down to this: everything that we think, say, or do is either FEAR based or FAITH based. It's pretty clear cut. 

In my opinion, the last ten years of my life I have been living fear based. I had so much fear that I wouldn't be successful. I feared I wouldn't be loved. I feared I wouldn't be good enough. And more than anything, I feared that I would fail and not be perfect. That fear had a place in my life. It drove me to do a lot of things to be successful and better every chance that I got. But once I was able to achieve one thing, I felt empty still. I still lived in that fear and it became my obsession. The drugs helped to curb that fear. They helped me to not have a break down on a daily basis due to the high amounts of fear. But then I got into a cycle of wanting to me sober. To be sober, I lived in fear that I would relapse. I was always secretly scared of how strong my addiction was and how it ultimately would kill me in the end. 

I have decided that this life based on fear is not any way to live life. When I got out of treatment, I lived my life completely by faith. I believe that I can be successful at what ever I choose to be successful about. I believe I can run again and I will enjoy it more running based on faith that I know I am capable, rather than in fear that I won't be good enough. 

A faith based recovery looks much different than a fear based recovery. Faith in recovery means that I know that I am capable and I have faith in my program and support. I know I can make it and the second any type of fear enters into my mind, I am on a slippery slope. 

So much energy is spent living in fear. Wouldn't it be so cool if more people lived a faith based life? I think of everyone that has overcome an addiction and I believe this is key. Even if you don't have an addiction, maybe you are in a relationship because you are living in fear of being alone. That's no way to have a relationship. That relationship will fail. Relationships NEED faith in yourself and in the other person in the relationship to work. 

I don't really know if I got my thoughts out very clear, but I am making a commitment to check myself in different situations and direct myself to think and act FAITH based, rather than FEAR based. It gives me freedom. It gives me hope. And more than anything, it gives me a new life. 

I am going to make this change and I challenge you all to make one decision to live some part of your life FAITH based that you may be living FEAR based right now. Just try it. See how much better it feels to hang on to that faith and belief in who you are and what you are capable of. 

Life is Good. I am almost 150 days sober and I really do attribute my success to the faith I have in myself and my treatment. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer Is Back!!

Finally, time to take a break from Netflix and Hot Chocolate and move on to trail running and dirty diet cokes. I have to admit, Netflix and I had a good run this winter with Revenge, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Prison Break all watched, but I am pretty sure I never want to see another TV again. I am having snowboarding withdrawals, but that's what new running shoes and my long board are for!

Here's some recent iphone gems as of recently: 

About two weeks ago, I remembered that I am running the UV Half on June 14 (next week). Training has been crunch time with lots of hills and speed workouts. I have been so sick since I got sober, that I haven't been working out as much as I normally would. I think I am finally past throwing up all the time (hopefully). Just in case you were wondering- apparently prolonged stress and drug abuse can cause your adrenal gland to fail. It's kind of important to have that gland working!

One of my favorite lunch breaks is going running at Sugarhouse Park to break up the work day!

Dimple Dell Canyon run = New favorite trail

Rylie and I escaped the sun for a round or two of Old Maid. She's becoming a really good little cheater!

It only makes sense to bring out all of your outdoor modes of transportation the first day of summer. This little Tomboy brought out her Ninja Turtle Snapback Hat and Spiderman "barbie". She's so rad. 

The kids and I hit up Schilles the other night. It was pretty entertaining to see Kali freaking out and Rylie having a blast and loving every minute of it!

I'm so glad summer is back in my life, even if that means the next 4 months of work are going to be insanely busy. I'm sure I will still find a way to sneak in lots of trail runs and dirty diet cokes!

PS- I have an interview with the Substance Abuse Counseling Director at the U next week! Ahhhh! Say lots of prayers for me!