Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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, June 9, 2010

A little better

The swimming saga continues. I went to the beach again yesterday, but it was closed due to the wet weather we were having. Instead of retreating to my usual pool, which is only 4-5 feet deep, I stopped at another pool in town. This pool is very, very deep, as it is also a diving competition pool. After paying my four bucks, I stepped into my wetsuit and jumped in.

I wasn't feeling too hopeful, as I was a little nervous even jumping into the crystal clear water. Nevertheless, I challenged myself. There were no lane markers on the surface, so I picked a spot right in the middle of the deep end. That way I had no possibility of grabbing a wall. I decided to just swim and to forget about sighting for the moment.

After going end to end for 400 yards, I decided to challenge myself further and stop touching/pushing off the wall at each end of the pool. After all, in the lake there will be no walls to push off every 25 yards. From that moment on, I stopped before the wall and tread water, turned around, and started again. Basically, that is exactly what will happen in the lake when I stop to rest. I'll have to tread water, catch my breath, and then start again. So that's what I practiced, and it was challenging.

I got very tired very quickly, but the most challenging part was fighting my brain the entire time. I was fighting wanting to stop. I was fighting thoughts of, "I can't." I was fighting, fighting, fighting, and that made everything more tiring.

Whereas I can swim two miles non-stop in my regular pool, I had to alternate freestyle, treading water, and breast stroke in the deep pool. But I did it! I stayed in the water for 45 minutes (33 minutes without touching anything) and covered 1.25 miles. Despite my exhaustion, I was pleased I had accomplished my task.

The accomplishment made me feel a tiny bit more hopeful. I was able to cover more than the triathlon distance without hanging on. I was nervous, and scared, and impatient, but I stuck to it.

I didn't do any sighting, but if I have to stop that often in the triathlon, I'll be able to adjust my line. I'm actually hoping I'll be able to follow the swimmers in front of me during the triathlon. I just don't think I'll get comfortable with sighting before next week. It's more important, I think, to get comfortable with simply being in the deep water. I am feeling a tiny bit more hopeful. We'll see what happens when I get back in the lake today.

As usual, I appreciate your comments of support, inspiration, and experience. It helps to know some of you have overcome the same thing I'm fighting to overcome. It's helpful to be reminded to be more gentle with myself. It's helpful to have you rooting for me. Thanks. I'll let you know what happens.


. said...

But you are practicing "sighting!" - And you are doing great!!

You are seeing your 'fears' and seeing Etta in a kinder light!

You have your sights set on a goal ~ but you are no longer blinded by that goal.

WELL DONE ETTA! ~ Keep swimming!!! I know you will make it to the finish line........

etta said...

Oh, Maggie Beth...thank you. You do leave the most thoughtful comments. And I appreciate every one of them!