Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I'm in the best shape I've been in since college. I can run fast, ride fast and swim fast. But I've yet to master swimming in open water. After talking at length with my therapist, it's clear that my problem is less about swimming and more about fear. It's also clear that this fear, and it's debilitating effect, took me by surprise and continues to baffle me. I knew I had a fear of the water, but I had no idea it would effect me like this. Scolding myself for having such a fear has also not been helpful. This all leaves me entirely up in the air.

On the one hand, I figure I should just go for it. Start the triathlon no matter how terrified I might be, because deep inside my brain I know I can swim the distance, and I know I can tread water, and at worst I panic and get pulled out. Well, actually the worst thing would be that I drown, but I'm not supposed to think of that!

On the other hand, this is supposed to be the positive culmination of a lot of work. It's supposed to be a challenge not a punishment. If I panic and get pulled from the water, it probably won't feel fun or be a positive experience. Even if I make it out of the water, will it have been fun if I was terrified? Once again, I don't know.

I'm hoping to swim at least two more times before Sunday, but I'm planning to make my decision by Friday at the latest. I don't want to waffle right up until the race. There would be no way to prepare myself if I did that. I think I'm leaning toward waiting for another triathlon, but even as I type that statement the disappointment is enormous. I guess secretly I'm hoping something miraculous happens this week. Realistically--probably not, huh?

And yes, this is dragging me down, so in the end, I think I'll be relieved no matter what I choose.


Maggie Beth said...

You want a miracle Ms. Etta!?!? Go look in the mirror! You are a miracle ~ and the miraculous answer you seek is inside you. Your heart already knows the answer.

Remember that whole "Be still and know..." thing that God said? (SMILE) It works for just about everything. If you get very still, slow down your brain and listen to the only thing you can trust ~ your heart. You will have your answer.

I don't know the answer. I can't hear your "heart" ~ only you can. What do you, deep in your soul, want too do? Decide there is no wrong/bad/disappointing answer. Do not weigh options, do not roll it around in your head. Simply Listen!!

When you "know without a doubt!" solidly commit too it (the answer) and completely accept it. There will be a peace ~ and a weight lifted.

I, for my part, will pray that miraculous you, finds a miracle this week! (WINK!) ~ Peace to you Etta! ~ Only Peace

Gabrielle said...

Wow, Etta, that's inspiring ...

...and what a thrilling, scary, rich, ALIVE decision you're facing - i hope it goes well for you, whatever you decide is right for now.

By the way, I happened to post a piece about decisions recently - feel free to see if any of these queries are useful for you:

Mohican said...

I googled it and found that triathlons start with the swim phase. Too bad, but I still think that you should take it as far as you can - at least enter (is it expensive?) and face your fear along with everyone else at the beginning, instead of alone in training. Could be a nice smooth day, could be the energy of the crowd gives you strength. You will never know until you get there.