Yesterday, I woke up with a hangover.

Wednesday, June 19, 2012: a great day that was really long and ended terribly. I woke up at 6am, ran 3 hilly miles, walked my pup, and was out of the house for what would eventually become a nearly 12-hour workday. Once at work, a two-hour meeting ran 20 minutes late and 30 minutes long, which cut into lunch before I was back at it for an open to close shift that would ultimately be the best part of my day. I got to serve a friend of mine from graduate school, who came in for his girlfriend’s birthday, and a host of highly entertaining parties that wanted to have nothing but good times.

Despite the pleasant company I was surrounded by all night long, I completely and totally lost my shit at exactly 7:45pm. My brother, who is kind and dear and fun and intelligent, let me down a bit when he decided he was done babysitting my six-month old puppy five whole hours before I would be able to head home. If I’ve learned anything in the three months this puppy and I have been together, it’s this: never ever leave a puppy to fly solo for five or more hours (unless you enjoy messes, in which case go right ahead). When little brother tossed me the keys, my day crumbled. I cried for the second time in six years and had to hide in the liquor room while I screamed out a small portion of rage. When midnight rolled around, I should have gone straight home. I should have walked my dog. I should have done anything but what I did do, which was imbibe an unnecessary amount of Jameson’s and Coors Light before heading home to apologize to my sorely neglected puppy.

I woke up yesterday morning with the worst sort of hangover: The Emotional Hangover. The Emotional Hangover is terrible for two reasons – 1) it’s a hangover and 2) it’s coupled by a debilitating combination of emotions that include regret, remorse, depression, a sense of being completely alone in the world, and embarrassment. If the puppy didn’t need to be walked, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed all day. Thankfully, he did. During our walk, I let him drag my hungover self up Queen Anne hill until we got to the park, where I let him off leash and laid down in the grass for a handful of minutes. After he had done some work, the puppy dashed over, leapt onto my belly and launched me into a fit of giggles that led to an epiphany: I don’t want to feel like I did five minutes ago ever again. I’m not talking about feeling hungover. I think that hangovers can be a good thing – they signify the end to a great day, punctuate bad days, and force one to slow down when it’s absolutely necessary to do so. The feeling I decided to let go of in the park while my puppy wrestled me was based in remorse and distrust and inability to control my actions.

I’ve been working on becoming healthy for what feels like years. I’ve taken on a hundred diets, ran several half marathons, bought countless pairs of running shoes and spent unnecessary amounts of money on detox plans that did not work. Walking home from the park, I committed myself to changing my relationship with food (and alcohol) in an effort to promote wellness in others. I want to have fun. I want to wake up well rested. I want to eliminate stress from my life. I want to run a marathon faster than P. Diddy. this blog will help me do all these things.

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