Author: Brendan L

feeling strong

Today has been really great.  I am feeling very good about myself today.  I did the Toronto Zoo run and I felt very strong throughout it.  For the first time in all of these runs, I feel like I am making progress.  I feel the motivation to keep going right now and it feels good.  I was a little nervous about today given that it’s a bigger crowd than the run in Madison and there are a lot of very serious runners at this event.  But I keep reminding myself that I am only there to race myself, to better myself.  This is what keeps me going in these endurance events.  I don’t much care for playing team sports, never have.  I have always enjoyed activities that are solo.  I don’t want anyone relying on my performance or vice versa.  I want to be able to do my own thing.  I remember when I was a kid my Mom made me decide between playing hockey or swimming.  I don’t think they ever enjoyed the hockey thing.  But I elected to take up competitive swimming instead of playing on a hockey team.  I have never regretted that decision.  I mean I was a mediocre swimmer at best, but I am pretty sure I was a terrible hockey player.

 

date night

Last night was the first night that I have planned a date night for this new round of counselling with Mare.  I had hoped to go to a fondue place called fundoozies.  However we got there and it was closed, thus ruining the surprise and forcing me to come up with a plan B on the spot to get food.  We went to Made in Mexico (which is my absolute favourite) and it was lovely.  I had a list of prepared questions which I went through, sort of like first date type questions.  These are supposed to help us reconnect with each other by showing an interest in each other and the answers.  I guess?  I had some pretty good ones and I stuck to only a few, Mary Anne went crazy with the questions when we did her date night.  She had like 12 questions, and some of them seemed to be kind of deep.

The questions went OK, two things that stuck out to me were that when I asked the dinner party question, which is (If you had a dinner party and had to invite a musician, a famous couple, a politician, and a family member who would it be?) we had a few that were similar and that was pretty neat.  The other one that I found interesting was when I asked who was her all time best friend?  She said that I was, but I insisted that it had to be someone else.  She had a really hard time answering.  She couldn’t give really give me an answer and that seems weird.  I think that she has a hard time reaching out to people, that when friends seem to drift off she won’t reach out.  Her friend Misty has been super close to her in recent years but lately they have been very busy.  Mare has a habit of just “firing” friends.  She actually says that it feels good to fire friends and I think that is weird.  Just because you don’t connect with someone all the time doesn’t mean you aren’t friends, just that you have to work a little harder to stay in each others lives.  I know that I am guilty of this as well, but it’s weird to see it from the outside.

 

tonight

Before I get into the update about the half-marathon (which I fucking finished) I have to get into this shit that I am processing tonight.  We had a second session with the councilor tonight.  We had a bunch of homework that we were supposed to get done before this session but life really got in the way and we only managed to get one part done.  It’s been pretty good at home lately, or at least I thought so anyway.  One of the things that we had to try to do was to plan some dates for each other.  Mare selected a day date at the zoo and I thought that would be awesome.  We also had to pick 5 date questions.  She came up with 11 questions, the little over achiever, and we got through all of them.  One of the things that discovered during that conversation was that I have a hard time being open and honest with her.  She was asking me these questions and I was pausing to think about my answers, I realized that I was trying to pick an answer that I thought she wanted to hear.  This is a revelation, because I recognized that I was doing it.  So I decided to try to answer honestly.  When she asked me “What did I think took me way to long to realize?” I answered that I wished I had recognized that I was in trouble with my addiction a long time ago.  I then elaborated that the major incident for me that I thought should have been a flag, was the time I got drunk and she locked me out of a hotel room in Florida.  I apparently flew into a rage and punched a mirror and broke it.  At the time I rationalized the incident by saying that I should not drink gin as it made me angry.  I never touched it again, but that was bullshit.  The problem wasn’t the gin, it was my selfishness and denial that I had a problem.  I told her this and she started crying.  At the time I thought that this was a good thing and that I had opened up and admitted my wrong doing in this.  But she took it as me insensitive and she apparently started shutting down on me again.  She decided to avoid the rest of the “homework” from the councilor because of this and it set her right back on a path of allowing her resentments towards me to control her actions and words.

The councilor asked us what we thought of the day date that we went on.  I started out by saying that I thought it had gone really well, that I had a nice time.  Then Mare told her that she thought it was OK, that I had basically fucked it up by telling her how I felt when she asked me that question.  It turns out she has been harboring this resentment ever since that dinner.  This affected her for almost 3 weeks, including our time in Wisconsin.  It felt to me like this is a dead end.  Like the whole trip was a waste of time.  I thought it was a bonding event and she spent the whole time secretly hating me.

This is only scratching the surface of this issue.  I am still processing all of this and I am unsure of where to go next with this.  I feel like I can’t be honest with her now as it is going to upset her and force her to put up her walls again.  If she can’t begin to absorb her resentments then this is never going to work.

relationships sure can be a pile of rubbish sometimes…..

training recovery

Holy crap I am still tired from that run yesterday.  I have spent the day doing very little.  I went to yoga at the gym and it was great.  I felt a little better after that, but still pretty tired.  I had a nice breakfast and went to the Sunday morning meeting in Barrie.  It was really good and the speaker talked about how he went to the same treatment facility as I did.  Pretty cool.  But this afternoon I have been trying to do laundry and get organized for our trip.  Mare still isn’t home from her girls weekend and I am a bit annoyed as I have no idea what to bring for this trip.  I have been doing laundry and stuff and it would have been nice to have her around for some of this shit. She is going to be home soon and is expecting food, does that mean she expects me to fucking cook for her?  She was asking me if we were going to have McDonald’s for dinner….it’s almost 8pm and I don’t really want that crap.  I told her that we have plenty of food and I bet she thinks I am cooking something for her.  Pretty annoyed.

I need to go have a soak in some epsom salts and try to relax a bit I think.  My calves are so friggin tight it hurts to walk at times.  I should be doing more stretching as well.  I have access to all the rollers and stuff for working out all the knots in my legs.  Better get working on those every day actually.

training

I don’t know if I can file this as recovery related, but I have been training for a half marathon.  I have been going to the gym for quite some time now and decided that I wanted to challenge myself so that I could have a goal and work to achieve that goal.  It has been working so far.  Having a training plan and a goal has been making my progress tangible.  It is more than just going every day to the gym and not being sure if I am getting any where.  I suppose that’s the purpose of goals.  How this is recovery related I suppose is that I would not have been able to do this 2 years ago.  I used to sit on the side lines or even on the couch when Mare was out at these events.  I used to get annoyed when she would wake up really early to go for these runs in the morning because I may have just fallen asleep.  It used to take me hours and hours to fall asleep when I was drinking.  There got to be many nights when I was just up all night drinking.  I don’t think I would even make it up to bed.  Now I am getting to bed early to get my rest prior to these long training runs.

Today was tough, real tough, I had to do my longest run ever of 18 Km.  It took forever and I almost quit a few times.  But this was a real gut check today.  I got through it and I think I will be ok next weekend.  One week from today is the actual half-marathon.  Today has been a total write off, I finished the run and then had an epsom salt soak and then spent the rest of the day asleep in bed.  I wish I was able to recover faster from this type of training.  But I am still new to this distance type running.  I don’t know if this is going to be something that I continue to do after this, but we will see.  If I really enjoy it I will consider signing up for another, but I don’t know how Mare does this without training for it.  Crazy chic….

art

I went to an art gallery once.

My father used to live in Ottawa and the military used to have a bus that you could take from Petawawa to Ottawa for free.  A family member in the military could put your name on a list and you could get a free trip to the city.  My buddy Chris and I decided to go and spend a couple of days in the city, so we got on that bus and went to stay at my dad’s place downtown.  This was awesome, we spent the day walking around going to magazine and record stores, hanging at the mall and the culmination of this trip was the idea that we get tickets to the National Art Gallery.  This felt like a thing that I should be into seeing, and I am not sure that either of us knew what to expect, maybe we wanted to go so we would feel “intelligent” or some dumb thing like that.  But we go into this place and I immediately feel out of place.  I am this kid dressed like I am some damn grunge band.  I have 8 hole Doc Marten’s on with ripped jeans, a plaid shirt and long greasy hair.  I am sure that people must have thought we didn’t pay for a ticket to get in.

They gave us these big plastic tokens at a coat check, as they didn’t want you to carry large backs around with you through the gallery.  This fucking token was going to be the source of much frustration for poor Chris.  I am somewhat of a fidgety person by nature and I tend to play with things when they are in my hands.  As we are walking around this gallery I am flipping and twirling this token around in my hands.  The gallery is a VERY quiet place.  People are staring at pictures trying to discern great meaning from all of the beautiful paintings and scupltures.  twirl, flip, toss, CLANK……..

I drop this large plastic token onto the hard wood floors in this church to modern and classic art.  The sound from the hard plastic hitting the bare floor echos off of the walls and reverberates down the hall.  No less than 10 people turn and look at us….

I sheepishly pick up my token and do I put it in my pocket?  NOPE….. right back into my hands it goes and I start fidgeting with it again.  Chris is laughing at me, for now…

I proceeded to drop this fucking token in basically every single room of the gallery.  Chris starts giving me shit in a hushed voice so as not to disturb the other patrons of this establishment.  I drop the thing again, as he is telling me to just put it in my pocket.  I swear I didn’t even realize that I had the thing in my hands most of the time.  But eventually I started to find it hilarious.

After many hours of these shenanigans we finish up with the art gallery and leave.  This was one of the last times I have ever been a patron of the arts.

 

here I go again

Tailspin, I am stuck in my own head again.  I don’t think I would call it taking back my own will.  It’s more of a situation that I have to sit back and wait for things to play out.  But I have the old stinking thinking where I am struggling to try to control things or at least to come to grips with things in my life.  I am not very good at this.  I know that I have no control over people, places, and things, but I have emotions and sometimes they seem to be shouting the loudest.  I suppose that the fact that I am even recognizing these things about myself is progress.  I been wrestling with the personalities in my office.  I one or two people that I work with that are going to require me to take time away from the office.  Mental health days if you will…..

One of my character defects is that I suffer from a terrible fear of abandonment.  I genuinely have know idea why, or how this came to be.  But it is there and it is terrible and debilitating at times.  I very seldom even recognize when it pops up.  But I have a habit of writing people off when it comes up.  I feel that it is irrational but sadly it’s happened in the past without me even realizing and I have lost friends because of it.  I often wonder if it’s because of my childhood as an army brat.  Either I or my friends, the people that I have grown close to, would move away every couple of years.  I have read studies that indicate that kids raised in this environment tend to be more resilient and able to adapt to their environment.  I recognize that I have the ability to blend into any group of people, to seek out what we have in common and use that to engage people.  So maybe that’s a positive.  But I also always assume that the people that I care about the most are only ever temporary.

How do I fix this?