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 29, 2008

Living life on life's terms

It's not meant to be. Not right now, anyway... Picking up the pace to beat the "Don't Walk" sign yesterday just about made me scream. My right leg needs time to heal, I guess, so no marathon for me. No running at all, I think. I have a doctor's appointment next week to check this out, but ultimately, I think I just need to rest.

I love rest, but I hate forced rest! I also hate the fact that I was in great shape to run a good marathon only to be thwarted by the weather! And now, injury blocks my path, but what can I do? I could be an idiot and attempt to ignore my screaming leg, but that would be, well, idiotic! I think I've pushed it as far as I can. Living life on life's terms is the best option I have left.

It's funny. Before I entered recovery, living life on life's terms was never a valid option. It may have been an option for you, but it was never a valid option for me. As a person and as a runner, I always wanted to be in control. Donning my Freudian glasses, I might surmise that growing up with abuse, where personal power or control are nonexistent, my former need for control makes perfect sense. But I've never been a big fan of Freud, though I always envied my brothers' ability to pee standing up! Freud's unique perspective notwithstanding, I now realize that many of us battle with living life on life's terms, regardless of our upbringings.

Over the past month, my life has been pretty bumpy. There's all the stuff you guys already read about--senseless death, anniversary of senseless death, running highs, running woes, fatigue, injury, and Puck's penchant for rupturing major knee ligaments--as well as some garbage I have yet to reveal. Like I said, pretty bumpy. Previously, any one of these life events could have triggered a depression dive or drinking excuse. As of today, neither of those things have happened.

Instead of sliding into the abyss of darkness or drink, I've coped. Sure, it hasn't all been perfect. I've slept a little more, run a little less, probably eaten more chocolate than usual, ignored cleaning my house, and watched more TV. At the same time, I've met my commitments, made it to the gym, and attended more AA meetings. To survive this month relatively unscathed is a miracle. I'll take a wider ass and a messy house over depression and drunk despair any day!

A couple days ago my therapist noted, "You seem to be taking this all in stride." I remarked, "Yes, what else can I do? I can't change it, so it doesn't do any good to worry about it." At which point she said, "Right! But that hasn't always been the case." Oh. I get it. Living life on life's terms. Cool. Take that, Sigmund!


Jackal said...

'Living life on life's terms is the best option I have left.' I agree.
Etta I can understand your disappointment and frustration over your marathon. Yet feel you are actually taking care of yourself by not forcing the issue. Sometimes we have to take a step back or a step sideways to achieve our goals.

I wonder if you could see your injury as your body taking the control - control comes in so many forms, so in essence you are still in control. Albeit not in the way you need to be in control.

I hope this does not sound daft.

etta said...

@ jackal-- I had to look up "daft" just to be sure, and no, your thoughts do not sound daft! I appreciate your perspective. Thanks for that!

Bradley said...

There is nothing more freeing that learning to live life on lifes terms. I remember when I carried the world on my shoulders and it was damned heavy.

Tom said...

I learned through my ITB experiences this summer not to try and run through the pain barrier. OK, I pushed it and paid the price. Live to fight and run another day.

Tom in Cabo

ps, clean the house, I don't want hte dog picking up any infections.

Casdok said...

Oh i hate forced rest too! Hope your leg heals soon and very well done for not worrying to much and sliding into the abyss.