I can survive a tough, nasty, ugly run--like the one I had yesterday--because I've survived thousands of tough, nasty, ugly days of depression. The run yesterday didn't go well. It was not what I was expecting nor wanting from the last long run before my marathon. The GI distress had me stopped three times with little warning. I was unprepared for that. Figuring the gels I was consuming were the possible culprit, I stopped using them and paid the price. The last 3-4 miles were a full-on slog fest. My legs were heavy from lack of nutrition. My heart rate quickened. I lost my breath. There seemed no reason to move. My brain screamed for relief.
Just STOP! Just STOP! Who cares? It doesn't matter if you stop! Nobody will care if you stop!Deafened by the cacophony, I kept moving. Run to the next mailbox. Okay. Now, just to that telephone pole, it's okay to stop once you get to that telephone pole. Okay. Just to the end of that building... One monument. One block. One foot at a time. I made it to the end--15.5 miles. I was dirty. I smelled. I hurt. But I was still standing. I persevered. I persevered, because, as a person with depression, I've learned to survive more than I ever thought I could.
I can survive a tough, nasty, ugly day of depression because I've survived thousands of tough, nasty, ugly runs. Depression interferes with my goals. Planned days or events don't go well. They don't turn out as I expected. My brain disturbance stops me without warning. I'm never prepared for that. Regardless of what I think may be the culprit, it always comes back to depression, and I pay the price. The fatigue, irrational thinking, and hopelessness transforms the day into a full-on slog fest. My legs get heavy from lack of purpose. My thoughts jumble and quicken into an irrational mess. I lose my breath. There seems no reason to move. My brain screams for relief.
Just STOP! Just STOP! Who cares? It doesn't matter if you stop! Nobody will care if you stop!Deafened by the cacophony, I keep moving. Move one foot onto the floor. Okay. Now, just go to the kitchen and feed Puck. It's okay to stop once you feed Puck. Okay. Now, just go to the bathroom, it's okay to return to bed once you go to the bathroom. Okay. Now just eat something, anything. You don't have to do anything else once you eat something. Okay. How about putting on some clothes? Just change into one clean thing... One moment. One step. One foot at a time. I've made it to the end--through the hour, through the day, through the week--one foot at a time. I've been dirty. I've smelled. I've hurt. But I've remained standing. I've persevered. I've persevered, because, as a runner, I've learned to survive more than I ever thought I could.