Today something clicked in me. It was hard to obey the click. But I knew what the consequences would be if I didn’t listen to what the click was telling me.
It began last night when I decided I wanted to run early this morning. Normally my runs are around 11:00 or sometime in the afternoon at the apex of humidity. But my upcoming races are in the early morning, and I wanted to train myself to run between 7:00 and 7:30 to acclimate myself to my race runs. So to better my chances of running in the early morning, I slept in my running clothes, sans the shoes. I did everything I could to prepare myself for an early morning run.
So I got up at my normal time between 6:15 and 6:30. But I was just not awake enough to go running. At least that's what I told myself. I had a banana thinking that would give me some energy and wake me up. Foolish thinking. It’s not like a banana has caffeine.
I kept giving myself increments of time of when I would leave: I’ll leave in fifteen minutes. Okay, make that thirty minutes. I ended up falling back asleep on the couch, and when I woke up, I thought I just wouldn’t run today. If I couldn’t run when I wanted to, it was useless. It was just easier lying on the couch, sleeping, watching t.v., feeling sorry for myself that I once again couldn’t make myself run in the morning.
Silly, Missing In Sight. That’s black and white, all or nothing thinking. But I was all too complacent to give into it.
But as I lie there feeling sorry for myself, something clicked in me. I did a run through with my thoughts, predicted the outcome. I thought my actions, or rather inactions, through and tried to picture how I would feel if I didn’t get in my run. I knew I would feel depressed, would more than likely go off my meal plan, and I would feel fat. Not the best reasons in the world to exercise, but, it is what it is for now.
Then I thought it through as to how I would feel if I went running anyway, even though it wasn’t the exact time I wanted. I knew I would feel better. I knew I would be able to relax the rest of the day, read, follow my meal plan, and not harangue myself for not running two days in a row (I didn't run yesterday, which fed into my feelings of being a failure).
So it clicked in my head. I would go running anyway.
It wasn't a major shift in thinking. It didn't take away all my anxiety. It wasn’t earth shattering. It didn’t move mountains. It didn’t find the cure for cancer. But it was a little gesture toward breaking the black and white thinking that typically dominates my recovery. And to be honest, I will probably have those black and white moments again, where if my life isn’t structured just so, and I can’t follow my self-imposed rules as I set them, I will feel defeated. But just for today, I can celebrate that I didn’t give in to the negative side of myself.
If I hadn’t allowed myself to follow the click in my head, I wouldn’t have enjoyed having fro-yo with my husband (scary as hell, and ultimately not a good idea. Live and learn).
Or gone to see the dollar show with him.
Rango, by the way, was very disappointing, and you’re hearing this from someone who loves Johnny Depp.
So disband the black and white thinking. The all-or-nothing thinking. Recovery can take many forms. It may not look the way we want it, or act the way we want it, but it doesn’t mean we should abandon recovery because it doesn't behave according to our rules.