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, October 8, 2008

Life on life's terms...

Whew…it’s been a mixed up, emotionally charged, hectic couple of weeks in this little life of mine. Here’s the summary.

**Ten days ago I ran the “comeback” race I’ve been waiting for, finishing 3rd out of 492 runners in a women's 5K. Elation. Relief. Excitement. Confidence.

**Ten days ago, a couple hours later, I learned my friend Jeannie had fallen into a coma and was expected to die within the day–weeks, even months before anyone expected. Sadness. Grief. Regret. Anger.

**Eight days ago my friend Jeannie died. I never did see her in the last month prior to her death, but I am grateful that I phoned her just a few days before she lapsed into a coma. Sadness. Grief. Remorse. Anger.

**Six days ago I attended Jeannie’s wake and then tried to refocus on preparation for my upcoming marathon. Sadness. Grief. Anger. Worry. Concern.

**Five days ago I drove 90 miles to The Twin Cities Sports Medicine Conference, left after two hours to drive the 90 miles back to Jeannie’s funeral, and two hours after that drove back to the conference. Anxiety. Grief. Sadness.

**Four days ago the conference ended, and I began the countdown to the marathon start. Anxiety.

**Four days ago, a few hours later, I attended the overcrowded marathon expo to pick up my race number and packet of instructions. Anxiety. Overwhelmed. Anticipation.

**Three days ago I stood at the start of the marathon, ready to go but a little anxious about the weather forecast, the emotional toll of the previous week, and whether or not I would meet my goal of qualifying for Boston. Anxiety. Impatience. Gratitude. Relief.

**Three days ago, 10 minutes later, the rain began to pour. Dread. Concern. Anxiety. Frustration.

**Three days ago, one hour and 28 minutes later, the rain continued to pour, the temperature continued to fall, and the wind picked up. I was on pace but soaked and freezing. I walked off the marathon course at mile 11.5 and dropped out of the race. Disappointment. Confusion. Humility. Grief. Frustration.

**Two days ago I returned to life without a Boston qualifying time, without a finisher’s medal or t-shirt, and with unanswerable questions about the decision I made. Disappointment. Confusion. Regret. Humility. Grief.

**One day ago I got back on the road. Tentatively planning to try again at another marathon in 4 weeks, Puck and I went for a 6-mile run. Ironically, we ran in a cold, steady rain. Resolve. Perseverance. Humility. Gratitude. Relief.

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