10 Months Sober Yesterday - Lots of Ups, One Unexpected Down

In one way, 10 months is a long time! It seems like a lifetime ago that I entered treatment at Beauterre. For the short story version of what led me there, read this post.

Beautiful facility

On the other hand, I  still can't believe I was in the choking grip of alcoholism/addiction/severe depression/suicidal ideation/psych wards/detox facilities JUST 10 months ago. It doesn't seem REAL most of the time, and many of those close to me will say the same thing.

I really should share some stories of that time on here - those that I'm ready to share. I've bottled up and have chosen not to remember a lot of it (yay compartimentalization!), but there are some really interesting stories. As in: my manic conversation with God and the Devil. That's fills an entire notebook, so there should be a good post or three in there!

I digress! I am so happy to say that I celebrated 10 months of sobriety yesterday. Hu-rah!

The day was filled with a lot of ups and and unexpected down. First, the ups:

Work! I knew I was leaving early for errands, so hummed right along at work. I really love what I do, and feel like I'm at a place where my education, skills, and quickness (yup, I'm a speedster at work!) can really make a difference. It's such a good feeling. I ran invoices and cleared half of my to-do piles on my desk and felt pretty darn accomplished.

Workout! I couldn't be happier with how this went! Jerry had me doing 4x800m and 4x400m on the track, as we haven't edited much due to pregnancy yet (haven't had to! lucky me!).

Now - try to picture the scene: An almost-18-week-pregnant mama deciding to bare her pasty white blubber of a stomach (it was hot!!) while trying to do a fast track workout, accompanied by tall, fit, tanned Craig who looks like he is floating along while doing his own intervals. #awesomeness

Yep, no hiding it any more
The original non-pregnant goal was as far under 2:50 and 80s and I could do. Now... guess what I hit!

2:57
2:57
2:56 (gasping for breath at the end - it's harder to deliver enough oxygen to baby and myself now!)
2:59
84
84
86
85
And... we're done. Uf.

All sub-3, and one in 2:56... I'm really proud of that effort considering I'm toting this around!
Owatonna - Stop 1: The scrap metal place to drop off the cans we've been saving for years! $16.50 worth of them. So happy to get those bags off of my garage floor.

Owatonna - Stop 2: The head coaches at Carleton recommended I work with Court Sports for printing, so off I drove! They were great! Especially since I dropped off a huge carton of the most mis-matched colors/types of clothing/jackets/etc possible.


Then the unexpected down:
Owatonna - Stop 3: Since I was in Owatonna, I decided to stop in at Beauterre to say hi. Plus, it was my 10 month anniversary - so, perfect timing!

I was so nervous walking up to the building! I looked down at my Target flats, which were coincidentally the shoes I ran in for my first 3 days there (until Nathan saved me by bringing actual running shoes... I still have the scar from those Target shoes, though - proud of that scar and those first miles to recovery!).

I was immediately greeted by two of the RSs (Recovery Specialists) with big hugs and smiles. We talked for a little bit, and I observed some of the current patients. Some of them just looked - unhealthy, unhappy, and... gray. It really surprised me. Is that what I and my peers looked like there?

Then, to my left, a mom and 6 month old gave daddy, a patient, a hug goodbye as visiting hours ended. I immediately broke into tears. I remember those afternoons/days - eagerly awaiting visitors, cherishing my limited time with them, and then running back to my room to bury my face in my pillow after they left. Being away from Nathan and Greta was the HARDEST thing. I felt like I was locked up, just wishing away these 28 days.

One of her visits she was a little under the weather which meant she wanted to snuggle the entire time, which was the best gift she could have given me at the time! *Love*
I had forgotten all of the tough moments at Beauterre until just then. I just remembered the fun memories: the 5k training group and race I organized that even the KITCHEN STAFF came out and walked or cheered at (yep, I was THAT patient!), the time I ran off campus because I just wanted to feel free (and then got majorly scolded at, pent up for a weekend, and drug tested... apparently you aren't supposed to run off campus at a treatment facility). I did 10 miles that day, btw. After not running for months and months, basically just living off of alcohol calories and becoming a soft blob of a person - those 10 miles felt glorious. They also taught me something which changed my recovery - another story for another time.

I am digressing again. Sorry about that. There were a lot of fun memories, but I didn't realize I had shut out - or forgotten?- the negative memories.

I'm glad I stopped in and saw that young family saying their goodbyes. It reminded me of where I was at, how far I've come, and how alcohol, or any other addictive substance, can not and will not ever be good for me, no matter how it tries to trick me into thinking otherwise!

The rest of the night was great, but a bit emotional. It was as if I had unsettled emotions stirring around in my stomach. Hate that feeling. On a much more positive note, though, I sat down to organize TNC camp RSVPs and bed spaces and realized what AN AWESOME CREW we will have up there that weekend! It's a speedy group, that's for sure!! I can not WAIT! If you've been thinking: gosh, that might be fun! Send me an email! It doesn't hurt to at least inquire - and I think we can fit another, maybe 2 more, individuals!
2014 camp attendees
On the agenda for this weekend: plan the mountain of food I'll need to bring with to camp!

Your turn, just to lighten up this post!
What's either 
1)The best random, unplanned, thing that happened to you this week?
2) The best workout you had this week?

Hugs!
~Nichole

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

3 comments:

  1. You are strong and beautiful. Great job Nichole!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1) one kind of in planned thing I did : brought the kiddos to the children's museum. And going to the recycling to find some newspaper for camping, thought about you lol. 2) my last walk to get sierra in the afternoon. I think im going to be way more emotional at her graduation then her first day. Yep I'll be THAT mom. It's good to go to reflect on the dark days of this disease. When you were in detox I told mom "maybe she will see how, I guess, or what others look like/ conditions they are living, how low they are" Mom said "she's already at that point" hope that makes sense. I love you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I ran/walked a 5k in my hometown. Hopefully I'll get my workouts and food habits in a better place so I can start ticking towards all running and faster times. I love how open you are with sharing, thank you!

    ReplyDelete