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!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My psyche takes some hits

Things are tough with my psyche. I've been back to the local beach to swim in open water twice since I last wrote. Things were not much better than they were originally. On Thursday night, I swam back and forth in the shallow water with a few forays over my head. I still felt panicky once the water got deep. I still couldn't swim more than about 100 yards without stopping to stand up. If I got tired, and I was over my head, my body physically freaked. I think this is bordering on a phobia, and I don't consider myself a phobic-type person at all! Needless to say, I left feeling very disappointed and frustrated (and near tears) again.

Yesterday began with a very difficult race. It was a 10 mile trail run. I'd never run that particular race before, and I'm pretty sure I won't do it again. Wow, it was tough. I was having one of those off days when running is difficult. Being off combined with hills, hills, and more hills was not a good combination. I wanted to walk off the course at 5 miles, but I had no idea where I was so I couldn't! By six miles I was walking up most of the hills. By seven I was walking up all of them and then some. I've only collapsed to the ground once in my life after finishing a race. Yesterday changed that to twice.

Perhaps I shouldn't have run the race, as the triathlon (if I do it) is only two weeks away. But I thought a good race would help take my mind off my swimming distress. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good race.

Today, I returned to the lake with my brand new wetsuit. It didn't help. I still had trouble swimming. I brought my friends Bill and Cindy along to watch. Cindy was helpful with some technique tips, and just having her there helped me relax a tiny bit. But it seems it's no use. I couldn't make it around approximately 200 yards of buoys. (The swim for my triathlon is close to 1600 yards!) I made multiple attempts, and I made it about 3/4 of the way around once; but that's not going to cut it even in a shorter triathlon. Worse, each effort ended with me swimming, panicky, back to shore. Cindy was patient and helpful, but in the end I was again frustrated and tearful.

This feels like a huge challenge to me. Part of me wants to go back out right now and work to conquer this. But a large part of me is screaming, "It's time to quit!" I don't know. Is this worth all the angst it's causing? My mood has dipped. I'm having trouble focusing at work. My house is a mess. Swimming trouble has got me overwhelmed, and it's wreaking havoc in other areas of my life. I don't like that, but I don't like NOT being able to do something either--especially when I know I should be able to do it! So I'm not sure it's worth it, but I don't think I'm ready to give up yet. I've got two weeks before the triathlon. I'm not exactly hopeful, but I'm willing to keep trying.


etta said...

To those of you who have commented here over the last couple days, I am sorry. Blogger has eaten your comments! I've tried to re-publish them several times, but Blogger won't regurgitate them. If you'd like to comment again, please feel free, but do know that I HAVE read them and appreciate them!

etta said...

Maggie Beth--

Thanks for your thoughts.

The drama creation you speak of does occur for some people sometimes, but fortunately NOT with me. I am soooo comfy without drama. I love life without drama, and I stay away from those who create the artificial drama of which you speak.

I am, however, rather hard on myself sometimes, and maybe this is one of those times. You are right. I am expressing a bit of disgust toward myself in that post. Perhaps giving myself some lee-way would actually be beneficial. My therapist would likely agree. I'll try to ease up. I'll try... We'll see what happens.