Recovery Spotlight: Kristen

I started running when I was about 19/ 20 years old.  I was never a runner when I was younger.  In fact, I didn’t really do much in the way of physical exercise.  Between the ages of 13 and 20 years old I spent most of my days getting high and drinking.  It started out with just alcohol and smoking weed, but quickly progressed to using ecstasy and speed, then progressed to cocaine and different prescription pills, then to using heroin and shooting drugs. Anything that would get in the way of me and my addiction had to go.  By the time I was 15 years old I was putting some sort of drug into my body on a daily basis.  From the time I got up to the time I went to bed all I did was plot how to get money, find a ride, and get high.  That was my life. At 18 years old I was a high school dropout who was unemployable and had to get high every day or else I would be sick.  I’d steal from my own mother and sister’s purse just to support my addiction.  I would eventually turn to prostitution so I wouldn’t have to feel the guilt, shame, and remorse of stealing from my own family.  I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I wanted to die. ​As I sobered up and began my journey as a recovering addict, I started developing a lust for life.  I felt I had wasted so many years in a haze and isolation.  I didn’t want to waste any more time.  Get busy living or get busy dying, right? ​Today I run between 5 and 20 miles a week.  I’m not the fastest or the best by any means.  I just like to push myself and see what I can do.  I started out at 19 years old, barely able to complete a mile on a treadmill without walking.  I gradually added new challenges and upped my mileage.  I moved from the treadmill to the streets and trails.  I love the way it makes me feel.  I love the sense of accomplishment that comes after finishing a great run.  For me, running is very cathartic and a way for me to meditate.  The stresses that I feel in a day, the fears I have, my feelings of inadequacy- are all washed away just from getting outside and hitting the pavement.  I fell in love with running and in turn running has helped me love myself.  To date I’ve run 1 full marathon, 6 half marathon’s, 5- 10 mile runs, numerous 5k’s, and 1 obstacle course race.  I plan on continuing to try as many new events as possible. Running is my drug of choice.