Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Busy, busy

I'm finally sitting down after a quick walk with Puck and a long day at work. I don't have much to say or anything very interesting to report, I'm afraid. I've been busy working my new schedule and getting used to my new buildings and patients. I find I'm a little more tired during the week now, but napping, which I do almost daily, seems to take care of that. So far my running hasn't suffered from the increased hours, which I was worried about happening. Of course, I am tapering right now. I'm getting prepared for The Dallas Marathon, which is now less than two weeks away. I'm excited about that! And I'm still feeling good. I'm sure looking forward to the marathon is helping keep me on track. It's good for me to have goals. And that's all I have to say for now. I'm tired, and I'm hoping to go to bed early, so it's time for me to go. Good night!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Good days

It's always nice to string together several good days in a row. My mood has been good lately. I've been functioning well at work. I'm much less overwhelmed than I was a few weeks ago, even though I am still getting used to my new schedule and new buildings. Running has also been going well, which is nice as I had a tough schedule this week. So things are good.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. After working for a few hours in the morning, I came home and ran a 7 mile tempo run on an absolutely gorgeous day! I don't remember the last time I was able to wear shorts and a t-shirt on Thanksgiving Day in Minnesota! It was great! Before the weather changed, which it did by Thanksgiving night, I took Puck on his walk, too. I then joined my friends Bill and Cindy at another couple's home, where there were about 12 of us gathered, for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a group of healthy, happy, sober people--all friends--and it couldn't have been nicer. I am so grateful to be associated with such kind, humorous, loving people.

I had a busy, but not too busy, day at work yesterday before I spent the evening with friend, Bill, eating another turkey dinner. I do love turkey dinners! I hope I ran off all those turkey dinner calories today. I ran 13 miles in preparation for The Dallas Marathon, which I did decide to enter. The race, which will be my 20th career marathon, is two weeks from tomorrow, on December 9th, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm grateful to be feeling well, running well, and working with less stress. I'm a lucky woman. It doesn't always feel that way when my illness rears it's ugly head, but I am fortunate. I have built a life worth living despite depression's challenges. I am surrounded by people who love me despite my occasional penchant for isolation. And I have everything I need despite intermittent economic insecurity. Life is good today. I pray your life is also filled with love, gratitude, and everything you need. Take care, my friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time for the Gratitude List

  • Mom and Bruce
  • Puck
  • Family
  • Bill and Cindy
  • Dr. L.
  • Deb
  • Shawn
  • Don
  • Sobriety
  • Running
  • My house
  • My job
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • and so much more!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home again

I just returned from my weekend with D. We had a lovely time. He indulged my training schedule and waited, after he ran 8 miles, while I ran 20 miles Saturday morning. I had a good run. It was a beautiful day, and D took me to a beautiful trail through the woods. I ran 10 miles out and back. There were a lot of other runners and bikers out, but there was no shortage of quiet solitude either. It was nice.

During my run, I hit a rough patch between miles 12 and 15 but then finished strong. I'm still thinking about signing up for The Dallas Marathon. Based on how well I ran and recovered from this 20-miler, I think I'm still in fairly good marathon shape.

After our run, D and I indulged in a couple of big, delicious burgers before heading out to an art museum. Walking slowly for hours through an art museum is not typically how I recover after running 20 miles, but I put on some compression stockings and did fine. I got a short nap in later while D cooked me a very enjoyable Thai dinner. It was a long, productive, complete day together.

After such a wonderful time together, it was difficult to leave today. Puck and I packed up and headed out early this afternoon. Despite the challenge of the distance between us, I think things are moving along nicely in our relationship. I'm glad. He's one of the good guys, and I really like him.

I'm now getting settled back into my nice, quiet house. It's going to be another busy week, as I'm working 6 out of the next 7 days. I'll even be working Thanksgiving Day, but hopefully only half the day. I've been invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my very close friends, and I'm really looking forward to that. I have a lot to be grateful for. I think I'll try to focus on that throughout this busy week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quick update

I've only got time for a quick note tonight. It's been a busy week thus far. I began my new work schedule, and I'm working an extra shift tomorrow, so I will be at work all five days this week. Monday and Tuesday I was very overwhelmed and struggled through each day. Today was busier, but I also did better. I was less overwhelmed and more relaxed. Hopefully things will continue swinging upward.

I'm leaving Friday after work and traveling 4 hours in order to spend the weekend with D. I'm planning on running 20 miles Saturday morning, because I'm thinking of running The Dallas Marathon in early December. D may come to Dallas with me. I found a cheaper than cheap flight, and I'm itching to run after the New York cancellation. Like the week thus far, I think it's going to be a quick, busy weekend as well.

That's all I have time for right now. It's past my bed time, and I've got to be up early to run before work. Good night.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Settling in

I'm still settling back into life after my chaotic, stressful trip to New York. My mood did take a hit. The last couple of days have been a little rough, but I think things are beginning to smooth out. I'm feeling better today.

I worked hard to avoid sliding any further into the darkness. I ran 7+ miles fast and hard both Friday and Saturday. I don't usually run two days in a row, but it was necessary to battle the impending doom. Both runs helped boost my mood. I also attended a couple of AA meetings and surrounded myself with positive people even though I didn't feel like it. The meetings helped get me out of myself for a little while. I needed that.

I spent most of today alone. The day started slow, and I actually went back to bed an hour after getting up. But then I went to the gym to lift some weights. Later, while watching football, I opened my accumulated mail and paid some bills. Puck and I went for a chilly walk. I took care of the trash pick-up, made my lunch for tomorrow, and already set out my clothes. These were all little things, but I was focused on taking little steps today. I just wanted to keep moving forward, and I think that helped.

I'm anxious about returning to work while not feeling in tip-top shape. I know I'll likely feel better once I'm there. I actually begin a new work schedule this week, which is another unknown entity creating some anxiety. I'll now be splitting my time between two buildings, and I added 1/2 day, Tuesday afternoons, to my schedule. Those extra hours will certainly help me out. We'll see how I handle working on what's typically been a day off. One thing is for sure, I'm anxious about a lot tonight.

I'm going to say a few prayers to relieve me of my fears and anxiety. After all, I'm not doing myself any good sitting here worrying. Tomorrow will come soon enough, and then I can face my fears rather than write about them. I think getting back into the full swing of my routine will help settle me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Early Exit

Well we tried. My mom and I did our best to make the best of a trip we never would have taken had The New York City Marathon been cancelled immediately after Hurricane Sandy, as it should have been, but I couldn't take it any longer, so we left. We were supposed to enjoy New York City for another 5 days, but I woke up Tuesday in tears; overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck, and as a result we flew home yesterday. I've never been so happy to be home, alone with Puck, in my quiet house.

From the beginning this was a tough and almost immediately disappointing trip. The marathon was cancelled a mere 4 hours after our arrival. Again, had the New York Road Runners and Mayor Bloomberg not insisted just one day before that the race would go on, I never would have made the trek. Worse, the media coverage was incredibly negative. I totally understood the backlash, but it really felt like we, the runners, became the bad guys in this whole mess. It was very uncomfortable.

I had no desire to be an extra burden in a city already burdened and chaotic. We did our best to stay positive through the closures, the overcrowded subways, and the mess. But I grew more and more anxious with each passing day. Emotionally, I grew more and more fragile. I felt stuck in a place in which I had no desire to be. The final straw came Monday evening when we waited in line for more than 1.5 hours just to catch a bus home. I guess it was then that I broke.

Tuesday morning we decided to go. Like I said, I woke up in tears. We changed our flights from Saturday to Wednesday. Ironically, our last day in the city was one of the best. I took a fast, tough run through Central Park, which helped calm me down a bit. We rushed to The 9-11 Memorial after we heard it had reopened, and that was amazing. We had a nice dinner in Times Square and then ended our evening with Phantom of the Opera at The Majestic Theatre. But still, I couldn't wait to go.

Thankfully, my travel home went off without a hitch. Despite another impending storm, my flight took off and landed on time. My friend, Cindy, graciously picked me up from the airport and brought me home. I hugged Puck harder than I've ever hugged him and again broke into tears. And then I slept, and slept, and slept.

This morning, I'm still feeling very fragile. I've been in contact with my social worker and my psychiatrist. I'm worried. All I want to do is curl up and sleep. I need to get back to my life, but I just want to sleep. I'm not interested in doing laundry, going to the grocery store, taking Puck for a walk, or even going for a run. My head hurts. I'm tired. And I want to sleep. This is not a good sign.

I'm going to try to fight. I know curling up and staying in bed will not help, as enticing as that may seem. And I know, please know I know, that my problems are minor in comparison to those still suffering out east. But, as some of my readers pointed out, this is my blog, and it is about me and what I'm dealing with right now. My life is good. I will recover. But right now, depression is trying to take over. I'm in trouble. I'm anxious. I'm overwhelmed. I'm scared. I feel fragile, and fragile sucks.

I'm happy to be home. Yet I don't want to move. But move I must, or I will lose.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cancelled

I wrote a post earlier here about my feelings about the NYC Marathon being cancelled, which it was yesterday afternoon. After just a couple comments, and after re-reading the post a few hours after I wrote it, I decided to remove it. It was self-centered. I apologize.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stressful start

Hurricane Sandy has certainly wreaked havoc and left a path of death and destruction in her wake. My prayers go out to everyone on the East Coast at this time. Having been the victim of a flood myself, although mild in comparison, I have some understanding of the clean-up that awaits. I wish nothing but speedy restoration and recovery to all of those devastated by this storm.

In comparison to what's happening out there, my dilemma, which I'm about to explain, is barely worth mentioning. The storm left me up in the air as far as my travel plans. The once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York, which I'd been planning for more than one year, was suddenly in doubt. Airports were closed. Subways were not running. And the City of New York needed to decide if they wanted the marathon to continue as scheduled. They finally made that decision yesterday. It will go on as planned. But that didn't end my uncertainty.

After perusing the Internet, listening to ESPN, and reading comments to the many newspaper articles written about the subject, it became clear to me that many New Yorkers do not want us (marathoners) there! I had to decide, did I want to participate in an event where I'm potentially going to be despised for participating? Did I want to be, in many opinions, part of the problem? No, of course not! Nonetheless, it was not an easy black and white question to ponder.

Take away the fact that this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip, which I was really looking forward to, the reality of the situation was that I had hundreds of dollars already spent which could not be recouped. The marathon entry fee alone was nearly $300! And that was money lost if I didn't show up. Likewise, because of my precarious financial situation, I couldn't afford trip insurance on my flight. I have no plans to fly anywhere within the next year, so no chance to re-book for another date, meaning the ticket cost would also be lost. Tickets to NYC shows and events had likewise already been purchased. If I didn't go this year, it'd be unlikely I'd be able to gather the funds to try again next year.

So I decided to go. I leave early tomorrow morning for NYC. Perhaps it is a selfish decision. I don't know. But for many reasons, it is the decision I made. I hope to have a wonderful experience. There are New Yorkers who do want us to come. Perhaps those people will be out in force on marathon day. We'll have to wait and see, I guess. I know the marathon organizers are putting plans in place to raise money for the locals in need. I'll definitely do my part. I don't know what else to do or say. I'm going to New York. I'm less excited than I was one week ago, but I'm hoping for the best.



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