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!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

It's Official

Knowing something is in the future is not the same as dealing with it. I found that out yesterday. In a moderate burst of clarity and energy I cancelled my entries into the New York City Marathon and the Houston Marathon. I cancelled the hotel reservations and my NYC flight, too. Thankfully, I had yet to purchase a plane ticket for Houston. It didn't matter, the lost money was not really on my mind. The lost opportunities were.

These events were more than just opportunities to run great marathons in wonderful cities. Several friends from the local running community are also traveling to these races, so two more opportunities to spend time with people I enjoy in energizing and positive atmospheres are also gone. There's more to marathon running than running 26.2 miles. So much more...

Shortly after making all the appropriate phone calls and pushing all the necessary buttons, my mood did take a hit. As I explained to my therapist, knowing I wasn't going didn't seem to matter. Taking the actions to actually cancel everything was difficult. Making it all official really sucked. And it really hurt.

The hurt is all tied up with apprehension and dread. At this point, I don't know if my right Achilles will heal. I don't yet know if I will ever be able to run again, much less run a marathon! I'm missing the thing I love to do the most. I'm missing everything about it. There's more to running than just running, and there's no guarantee I will ever enjoy all the joy and benefits which running has provided ever again. That's scary.

I'm trying not to be afraid. I'm trying to focus on the strides I've been making. I'm tolerating spinning classes and walks with Jet with little negative aftereffects. That's hopeful. I'm vigilantly working on my stretching and strengthening. I'm not anywhere near running, but I'm holding onto the hope this thing will eventually heal. I'm focusing my long term vision on running. I have to believe I will run again. I'll certainly do everything within my power to make that happen. I can't waste my energy on fear.

Missing out on the experiences of New York and Houston is tough. Being left behind is a reminder of how far I have yet to go. Cancelling everything made it all very real. But it is what it is, right? I'm battling. I need to continue to battle. That's my plan. Thank you for your support, my friends.

7 comments:

Paul Lamb said...

I didn't get in to NY this year, and I'll NEVER get in to Boston. So for me, I'm taking whatever running achievements I can (KC marathon next week -- I hope I live/finish). I started out not believing I could run a whole mile and astonished myself when I finally did. It's been a long series of small steps for me. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know far better than I. It sounds as though you are moving in the right direction, wherever that might eventually lead.

As for my depression, I just crashed yesterday after two weeks of respite from it. I guess that two week period was a kind of small step too. I'm managing, in part by seeing the examples of others.

Anna said...

Battle on, Etta! I am a cancer survivor, and while I would not wish that experience on my worst enemy, I can tell you that it was an easier fight than the one with depression. My current relapse is the worst in probably 20 years--I went to lows that I thought It had conquered...yes, there were great triggers, but the reality of this disease is ugly (understatement). You (and Paul) have done wonders by helping me not feel so alone. Thank you! I'm hoping to clean up the kitchen, and I have to get to town for dog food--I will not let him starve! Baby steps to recovery and some level of acceptance. Soldier on...

etta said...

God this illness SUCKS! I'm so sorry to hear both of you are currently struggling. As Anna so aptly put it, let's all keep battling on! Your comments keep me going. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your support. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'm looking forward to hearing from you as things lighten up and life resembles life again. Carry on, Paul and Anna!

Anna said...

This prayer seems appropriate: Lord, as I continue to run this race, I accept that there will be hurdles, but with Your grace and guidance, I will cross the finish line victorious!

HBF said...

It's okay to hurt. It's okay to be afraid. I think being those who have experienced depression so deeply we can try to avoid heavy emotions because they so often drag us under, but sometimes it can be healthy to experience fear and sadness and grief when they don't cross that line to becoming unhealthy. I'm glad you faced some of your fears and cancelled those things, that sounds very healthy and brave. Good for you! Keep on fighting :)

Nathalie said...

Hi Etta I so often want to comment on your blog and sometimes I succeed. You have my support and I do so hopefully you reach full recovery soon.

etta said...

@ Nathalie: Thank you. I did get your last comment, but I accidentally hit the wrong button and POOF, it went away! But I did read it, thank you.



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