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!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


i am tired
i am broken

i am tired
of being broken

my brain is tired
my brain is broken
my brain is loud
my brain is


it wants out

hard not to agree
  hard not to resist



etta said...

So I know, intellectually, I am not broken. I'm not sure about my brain, however. It does feel broken. Unfortunately, this ugly, ugly illness makes me feel broken from head to toe, and that's the reason for this post. Reality is ugly right now. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Erica said...

Do not agree; resist. Reality is ugly now, but you know as well as I that it does get better. It doesn't feel like it ever will right now, but I promise it will.

When things are broken, it's an opportunity to put things back together in new and better ways. Hang in there, Etta. This is just another valley; you'll be on the mountaintop again soon.

Anonymous said...

Keep resisting, Etta! More prayers coming your way. Hope you can find the strength to reach out to your support system.

Stationary Runner said...

Thinking of you, Etta. Depression is so insidious, so fast-acting. It's horrible. Know that there are people out there supporting you, believing in you.

It will get better.

Anonymous said...

As a female marathoner derailed by depression and panic attacks in 1983, I can assure you that you will pull out of this tailspin if you choose to. Depression knocked me out after qualifying for the first womens Olympic Trials in the Marathon so it was very public. Eventually, my husband left for a more prestegious ex-runner with no children and I somehow managed to almost thrive and move to the mountains which I dearly love. You mentioned flushing meds. Some meds should be flushed, but a basic SSRI is critical. Anything else is too much. It is easier if you have something like Xanax but it also impairs the real you from developing and the stigma of a med like that is incredible. It concerns me that you had difficulty comprehending your inservice. Many drugs can cause that. Particularly Lithium and Seroquel (I don't know about Pristique etc.) If the label says it can cause permanent involuntary movements, don't let anyone make you take it. It is totally normal to have a period of exhaustion and hopelessness after a good long race. The problem is that you are blaming your brain for the work issues.You have to decide whether to blame youself for spending so much energy racing and then being surprised when work was overwhelming, or to allow yourself some slack, catch up without complaint, and continue to keep a job. I tried disability (had no problem qualifying ) but knew I could do both the depression/anxiety and the full time job. I dropped SSDI and I have been working professionally full time for the past 15 years. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, still, at 60, but mostly I totally enjoy my long trail runs with my Husky here in the Rocky Mountains. It would be so lovely to have a male friend/SO/husband but I don't and I realize that they are a sisnificant stress. My wonderful Husky dog is my daily trail mate, always upbeat, happy and sleeps with me at night. Yes it can be a struggle but if you don't prevail, the next generation with this problem will give up before they start. The blog was agreat idea. However, if you allow yourself to be defined by your "illness" you will never reach the potential that you are capable of. I totally got tired of people who made depression the center of their lives. I always avoid them and keep to people who are functional. Only little messages like this occasionally spill the beans to others. I know of my affliction however the cost of others knowing is still too high for me. I tried being open and that just threw me under the bus of success. I did learn that I cannot go off of my SSRI (which is way less debilitating than the nasty tricyclics and lithium that guarantee you will be disabled intellectually and physically.)
Hang in there! You are way more valualble to other women and to yourself if you continue to fight. Many of your posts demonstrate that you are able to have good days. They will come again...

etta said...

I appreciate you taking the time to comment, anonymous, even though I don't agree with some of what you said.
I dislike advice, as what works for one does not always work for another. For that reason, you won't find any "advice" posts on this blog.
Good for you for being able to be on only one depression drug. Good for you for being able to work full-time. I have tried both of those solutions and come up short. That doesn't mean I define myself by my illness, as I certainly DO NOT, or that I am somehow less than... It is what it is.
I am aware I will have good days again. I am fighting. One of my goals with this blog is to tell the uncensored truth about the occasional ugliness of depression. And right now, as this poem suggests, I am in an ugly spot.
I appreciate your concern and know that you were well-meaning in your comments. Thank you for that.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Etta, I am thinking of you and hoping that the good days will come back soon. I can say from experience that when I'm in the middle of a bad time, the fact that it will pass doesn't seem to get through. But it will pass.

Adam said...

I found this years ago:
"Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self - to the mediating intellect- as to verge close to being beyond description. It thus remains nearly incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it in it's extreme mode."

All I can say is, I know how you feel.

jim said...

I am just a random guy who checks in on your blog from time to time. I have always enjoyed your writing. I am also the guy who wanted to jump off a building a few weeks ago. Just writing that here was cathartic.
My point is the work you do is helps others. Please hang on to that.
I won't offer advice because I don't feel qualified at all.
But I can thank you for what you do.

etta said...

Thank you, Adam. I've never seen that quote. It is perfect.

And Jim, it's nice to hear from you again. Thank you.

Thank you to ALL of you, especially my frequent commenters. Your comments and support DO help.

michael platania said...

In a world of 7 billion people. there is no one size fits all solution to any problem. We each must find our own way out of the darkness, and what worked for me may not work for you. Here's to hoping you soon find your own path forward to the light.

Jim said...

We all have each other's back because, well, there is no other choice. We have your back Etta.

Anaheim marathoner said...

Life is a marathon NEVER GIVE UP. I'm glad I found this blog. I too suffer after depression after an injury and surgery I'm finding my purpose. I lost my girlfriend to this illness . I asked for help and she is not a runner and did not seem to understand depression. and the effect that happen when you log 80 to 100 miles a week and stop running. For every negative thought. Try to think 2 positive thoughts. asking for help does not mean you failed. It just let's you know your not alone.

Unknown said...

Two years ago my brain agreed with this poem and acted accordingly. I'm out of the dark place but still feel in the shadows, unwilling to connect with humanity lest I cause harm to someone else. I'm functional in the basics of staying alive but hold back everything else. What do I do next?
Paul R.