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, February 1, 2012


I'm in the process of readjusting some of my goals. Depression is not letting up. I'm struggling. And for the first time in a long time, running is nearly impossible. I've had plenty of depression episodes over the past ten years, but one saving grace of each episode has been that I've not lost the will or desire to run. Running has been difficult at times, but it's never left me. Running right now has left me. It's not only difficult. It's not fun. I just don't have the will, desire or energy to go.

I have also lost the will, desire, and energy to swim, bike, lift weights, or do just about anything physical. Since my marathon training plan calls for all of the above--swimming, lifting, biking, and running--I'm in the process of readjusting some of my expectations. My marathon training plan has basically been scrapped. I'm trying right now to be okay with that.

Instead of rigidly following my typical training plan, I've taken the suggestion to get out and move my body at least once daily. I have an empty calendar sitting on my kitchen table. My goal is to fill that calendar with at least a walk every single day. It's working. I've gone out walking for two days, and I was actually able to run a mile today. Such a small step, but it was an enormous accomplishment.

I have to have faith that small steps will lead to bigger and bigger accomplishments. I just need to keep at it. I don't have a clue if I'll be able to prepare for Boston or not, but today I ran a mile. Considering how awful I feel, that is a pretty big deal. I'll take it.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

It is a big deal. Small steps are important. The calendar is a great idea. You can have a visual of your progress.

Kinza said...

In my humble opinion, it is better not to force yourself to running, otherwise you might start hating it for ever. Walking is good. You can take a few days or weeks or even months off from running. There is Boston every year.

Wendy Love said...

Your thinking is sound. I can understand a bit of what you are going through. The things that used to fill my time and help me not feel depressed for awhile were also taken away from me for a season. Writing and sewing. Gradually I was able to get back into both of those activities but in moderation. Walking is my mainstay and the days when I cannot walk are not as good as the days when I can. I so totally understand what you are going through and applaud you on the way you are handling it. Don't give up!

The Barefoot Storyteller said...

Well done for any small step that you can take. I am currently in a deep trough at the moment and your blog brings me much solace. I too am finding it incredibly hard to run currently and that really scares me because running is my medication substitute. I think you are very wise to rethink your goals and very brave - I know how hard that can be especially when it comes to running. But sometimes all we can do is to take those small steps - it's just so hard...
Your blog reminds me that I am not alone - thank you. Please remember that you are not alone...

Anonymous said...

Rethinking your goals is brave Etta.

Keep Walking, My Friend Boston is not going anywhere!

Oh, and in case I haven't told you lately ~ You are still my hero!


Anonymous said...

I often don't have the energy to brush my teeth. Since last year, I have got into the habit of doing one thing a day, meditation, taking my bike round the block, putting on some washing.

It is funny how putting washing in the machine can be the highlight of the day, when really low. It always makes me feel better though.

Keep on fighting, it's the only way :)

HBF said...

I admire your will! I need to do this myself-even people without depression probably need to reconsider their goals and the pressure they put on themselves. This is the first day in a long time that I've stayed up since 8:30 and not fallen back asleep and slept until the afternoon! I'm choosing to be proud of this little step-and I'm proud of your little steps :o) Thanks for helping me remember to breathe and appreciate the little victories :o)