“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
Fitness and proper nutrition have been key to maintaining my sobriety, as well – effective in reducing stress levels and anxiety. The endorphins have been lifesaving in my battle with depression, the more I moved the better I felt and my perspective became clearer. I think it’s important to note – especially for anyone suffering from depression – establishing a daily regimen of activity & diet doesn’t happen overnight. I remember initially feeling worse once I got up and actually starting moving – more to the point I had A LOT of false starts – in the beginning! I did learn in the process that my failures along the way didn’t mean “total defeat” that I could try again the next day, and I did – if I wanted “different” I realized I had to do it differently. Sometimes all I could accomplish was one day a week and a 15 minute walk – it was a victory and I celebrated it!
Change is never easy even under the best of circumstances. The challenge in change is that terrifying unknown. But every day did indeed get easier and ironically my body began to crave the exercise rather then the alcohol. It’s the best distraction on those [still] bad days – there is such a release and nothing that I have found compares to it, where I end up better then when I first got started. My focus shifts from the negative to a more positive frame of mind – there have been days when I’ve walked off 10 miles – of sad. Choosing a healthier lifestyle has been a pivotal turning point in my life – what started as small, very small steps led me to my biggest discoveries – led me to overcome my greatest challenges. As cliché as it sounds – I truly felt empowered, for the first time since David’s death I was successfully managing the circumstances of my life that were in my power to control. A recent injury threatened to sideline me but I’m working my way back – anytime that I can pound some pavement is a victory for me – and I celebrate it!
“it is always darkest just before the day dawns” – Thomas Fuller