I’ve been a drinker since early adulthood and it has caused me quite a lot of pain over the years. Coming from Northern Ireland, there is little else to do around here besides drink Guinness, paint rival flags on sheep and savage badgers with rolling pins.
Whilst I wouldn’t consider myself as an alcoholic, I’ve certainly went through a phase of drinking too much and feeling bad about it.
It took me 8 years to learn that alcohol ultimately made me depressed, fatter and more confused with my own life.
The vicious cycle of alcohol, fear and paranoia
Alcohol is marketed as a relaxant by the media but if you drink enough of it, it has the complete opposite effect.
The morning after paranoia feeds into fear which breeds anxiety which turns to hate which dissolves into paranoia.
Those very thoughts feed into a vicious cycle that makes you want to pick up the bottle again to drown out all of the drunken arguments you’ve gotten into and all the silly things you might have done.
If you spend your waking hours cringing about your drunken antics, then it will only get worse and worse the more you feed into the cycle.
The problem and the answer then become the same, but when you’re depressed you only see it as the answer.
Running has saved me from problem drinking self
Like alcohol, running is addictive but it only seems to improve my life rather than restricting it and messing it up.
I’ve never came back from a night out drinking with the thought ‘Shit I wish I’d drank more last night!’.
I’ve never came back from a day out running with the thought ‘Shit I wish I hadn’t run as far.’
The longer I run the more my body might ache, but the clearer my mind will feel afterwards.
Running isn’t about denial, binge/problem drinking is.
My problems still exist when I’m outside jogging, it’s just I see them in perspective and I can begin picking them off one by one, as opposed to feeling overwhelmed by everything and hiding within the depths of a booze binge.
In short, running is an addiction worth pursuing.
Feeling bad about your drinking?
If you’re feeling hopeless about alcohol and are looking for a way out, try running. It will add a little bit of positivity to your life and you’ll feel better over time.
The key to battling your way out of the hell of problem drinking is to reduce the net negativity in your life. You don’t have to cut booze out altogether, but you can take steps forward by reducing your intake. When you drink less, less bad things happen.
When you find a little bit of peace, you won’t want to drink for the wrong reasons. You naturally drink less and feel better as there’s less and less to hide from.
When you run more you will naturally attract more positivity into your life and you’ll rely less on a chemical to feel good about yourself. You’ll quickly learn that the ‘peace’ that alcohol gives you pales in comparison to the high you receive from running.
Running your way to happiness.
The more I run, the better I can see how trapped I was before. I’d spend days thinking that I was a good guy who was shunned for being shy. That filled me with resentment which I would repress. Then when I drank all of the bile flew out of me and I didn’t understand where it was coming from.
I’d quickly feel sorry about my behaviour and act polite again and repress everything.
Running has given me the confidence and self-awareness to stand up to a situation and to be angry when it is justified, instead of apologising for existing.
It has given me the balls to live my life in the way I want to live it.