Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 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, April 16, 2013

Two good legs

I ran 9 miles this morning. I symbolically donned my bright racing flats in honor of all those who participated in Boston yesterday. Running this morning was my way of waving an angry, stoic middle finger in the bomber's face. It felt good. It felt right. I was proud to be one of thousands of good people putting foot to pavement today in honor of the victims in Boston.

Thoughts of Boston, and especially pictures of the victims, continuously streamed through my brain as I ran. One victim in particular stuck out. His name is Jeff Bauman, Jr., and you've likely seen his photo more than once. He is the young man in the wheelchair, holding his left thigh, accompanied by a man in a cowboy hat. Both of Mr. Bauman's legs are missing, traumatically amputated just below his knees. It's a horrific photo, one you'd expect to see from a war zone, not from the sidelines of a marathon.

At last count Boston surgeons have performed 13 amputations as a result of the bombs' piercing trauma. This is what I can't stop thinking about. Mr. Bauman, and as many as one dozen others, will never again be able to do what I did this morning, easily and efficiently run down the street on two intact legs. I can't imagine how I would feel waking up to one, or both, of my legs missing. What would I do if I was one of those innocent people? How would I react? I'm not sure I could handle it. 

My heart aches for these victims. I feel so sad for the lost lives and for the friends and families impacted by this senseless act of violence. I cannot imagine. Lives were instantaneously torn apart and will never be the same again. As I ran this morning, I took stock of my good fortune. I ran with pride. I ran with gratitude. I was outside easily doing something I love to do in a body which is perfectly suited to do it. I'm so lucky.

I send my prayers to Mr. Bauman and all those injured or affected by this cowardly act. I pray that the physical and emotional pain of each victim be relieved. I pray that their prosthetics fit perfectly, and that they quickly learn to stand tall within them. Relearning to walk with prosthetics is not a simple process, but I sincerely hope God smiles down upon them and allows them that freedom as quickly as possible. And if running is in the future plans of any of the amputees, I will be honored to share the road with them.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Etta. Thank you

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Your beautiful and heartfelt post brought tears to my eyes. I feel so badly for the victims and the families of those lost. Thank you for your act of respect and honor.