Chasing happiness

I heard someone talking about chasing happiness at an AA meeting last night. The lady who was talking gave me a real insight into what my relationship with happiness could be in my life after alcohol.

She said that she had always chased happiness, but that she was happy now to accept life just as it is- full of ups and downs, and that not being happy is also perfectly OK. I found this so insightful. I am coming more and more towards to idea of peace and acceptance being more important than happiness, especially if that version of happy is only found in the bottom of a bottle. If we can be content with ourselves, then that is a more real and vital relationship than simply being just happy could ever be.

The second part of this that struck a chord with me was the chasing metaphor. My head has been running at one hundred miles per hour since I gave up alcohol, but I have been able to start running again. I used to *love* running but long term health problems and quite frankly drinking too much made me have a three month gap. I have loved being able to get out of the house to do something positive, which also affords me head space and some real reflection time. I am embarrassed to admit that I used to run pissed- taking risks with my health and safety. I could so have been one of those bodies discovered by an early morning dog walker like in Silent Witness. You probably think I am being flippant, but I have/continue to reclaim running for sober me.

This continued today as I went to my first Park Run in *ages.* Park Run is a free 5k event, where my main role is to make the other runners look good by plodding away at the back. I am so painfully slow now, out of practice and unhealthy. Drunk me would have had a very emotional response, but sober me is actually still pretty pleased I had to courage to turn up, squidge round in the mud, and that I finished. (Bonus for not being last) I used to use running like everything else in my life, to chase happiness, to feel worth while and of value. No more chasing happiness, I am not going to chase anymore. Just be, and look for the value in developing a positive relationship with myself.

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