When I first got out of rehab in early 2015, I was a mess. Once I got sober inside of the rehab, I was able to really focus on my healing, but the transition back to my normal life was not easy for me at all. My drinking buddies were calling me up and wanting to hang out. They didn’t understand that I wasn’t drinking anymore. It was a really difficult time for me.
I started to attend SMART Recovery meetings, and I met a few other people in recovery. That was extremely helpful, but it wasn’t really enough. I started feeling the urge to go back to drinking. It was getting worse. I didn’t want to start all over and end up in the same mess that had landed me in rehab in the first place, but I didn’t know what else to do.
One morning, in a fit of desperation, I just started running. That first day, I didn’t have the best shoes or anything. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just running instead of drinking. And I discovered that it felt really good.
I started doing it every day. Pretty soon, my drinking buddies weren’t calling me anymore. And I never wanted to go out late at night and stay out because I knew I was getting up early to go for a run.
Running became my new addiction. I had to go for a run in the morning or I felt off the entire day. For the first time, I had an addiction to something that was healthy.
Yes, rehab was helpful. Yes, SMART recovery was helpful. Yes, my new sober friends were helpful. But I know that if I hadn’t discovered my love for running, I would have started drinking again.
Now, every morning as I tie my shoes and do my stretches, I feel so incredibly grateful to the act of running. I’m so glad that I discovered how great running could make me feel. So if you are struggling with an addiction, I encourage you to find something that you’re passionate about. It might just save your life.