Gray Cloud of Swarming Thoughts

As the day wore on yesterday, I seemed to slip into a funk, where it felt like a gray cloud hung thickly over my head. Sunny outside, cloudy in my head.

I tried to find the source of the irritation — Mr. Anus client? or was it writing about mr anus that set this off? the low thrum of toothache, the completely frustrating ongoing computer problems, or the state of my office disarray.

I couldn’t come up with any reasonable explanation. But I knew FOR SURE that I was feeling antsy, and found myself rehearsing what i was going to drink and how it was going to feel when my 30 days of Dry July finishes … I could see the wine-thought-process coming, literally like a Gray Cloud of Swarming Thoughts moving in. A weather system you can see on the horizon as it slowly trudges towards you, and then envelopes you, overtakes you.

So right at dinner time, when I should have been sitting down to eat with husband (especially since we were eating early because he had to go out, and so i’d intentionally started simmering the spaghetti sauce at 3:30 pm just to have it all perfectly timed to eat early) … well right when it was time to sit down, i told him that i thought i’d better go for a run.  and that i was going to stay out until i felt better.

he’s mister easygoing anyway, he doesn’t care what/when we eat.  he ate on his own, and went happily out for his evening.

on my run, at the turnaround point, a children’s choir was singing in the park. Dressed in blue school  uniforms (in July?), and they were english-speaking, so that makes them tourists. To be honest, they didn’t sing very well but the sound was sooo sweeeet, especially in the sunny late afternoon, mostly empty park, a few stragglers listening, two moms dressed in matching blue t-shirts holding up a iphone to film them. Who were they performing for?

The song they were singing seemed like the answer to my problem: Coldplay’s “Fix you…”  [lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones].  If i wanted to run until i felt better, then that did the trick. literally it was like the cloud lifted right then and there. sun shining. light switch flipped on. goosebumpy shivers listening to tiny kids singing, in english, for me. I even sang along, standing there in my spandex shorts and ponytail.

Note to Self: Run until it goes away, and don’t come home until the feeling is gone. (And how long did it really take?) A whole, big, endless, oh my god, gigantic … 20 tiny minutes. Note To Self #2: Play Music. Loud.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI-o25K6B-E?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Day 14. I always feel better when …

today begins day 14 of Dry July.  i do love a (nearly) half-way point.  even in running, on a long run i love the ‘turn around point’ because then it’s all downhill in my mind. in the second half, i don’t have to check my watch, i just run until i’m home again.  the second half is sooo much faster than the first half.

running and being sober. hmm, similarities?

  • when running, especially on long runs, i often feel like a bag of shit for the first 20-3o minutes, and i now know that’s normal. i know to just keep going through the crappy part and then it’ll feel better
  • never quit during those first 20-30 minutes, just wait for it to feel better.  it always does.
  • i don’t always feel like going for a run but i always feel better when it’s over
  • some runs give me that amazing runners high, and some don’t. can’t tell which will be the ‘good’ days. just have to do them all.
  • always feel better on the days when i run than the days when i don’t
  • i eat less on running days than other days (hmm…)
  • listening to This American Life on my tiny shuffle can pass the longest hour, running uphill, in the cold pouring rain. (i should use this diversion more often in real life)
  • if I start with walk 2, run 2, eventually i can do a marathon (i started sobriety with 2 days on, 2 days off, then worked up to a week off, 2 days on.  now i’m doing 30 days off.  i guess my marathon is coming up!) i know this analogy won’t work for everyone, super problem drinkers probably can’t practice being sober.  i could. i’m one of the lucky ones.
  • during a marathon, i will be looking around on the side of the road for a place to puke (i won’t puke, but i’ll feel like it) … but once i cross the finish line, i will be soooo elated; i slept that night for 12 hrs and I was on a super-big-high that lasted two weeks, and it truly changes your life and changes your belief in yourself and what you CAN achieve