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!

Friday, October 20, 2017

As expected

Phew! Just as expected, I'm really tired. I just woke up from a well deserved nap following a long week at work. As I delineated in my last post, working a full-time schedule, five consecutive days, is tough for me. Unfortunately, things were made tougher this week because we were very busy. We had many more patients than usual, and some of them were quite difficult. I'm exhausted.

Despite the extra hours and days, I tried to keep up with my other routines this week, but regular exercise, good sleep, and decent nutrition were a struggle. I guess I did okay, not stellar, but okay. I would have liked a bit more sleep, and my household chores suffered, but I did get in some exercise.

I attempted to run again on Tuesday. It was frustrating and disappointing. I again tried to run for three minutes and take one minute walk breaks. My left leg just wouldn't cooperate. My gait was sloppy and slow. I didn't have enough muscular strength to fully stabilize my hip, knee or ankle when weight bearing on my left leg. My left foot eventually went numb. I wished so sincerely for a different outcome, but it wasn't to be. I arrived home forlorn.

I'm trying to fight it, but my desperation with not being able to run is growing. With each passing non-running week, I feel it more and more. Right now I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel. There is still so far to go, and I can't tell anymore if I'm making even a bit of progress. My poor run on Tuesday stole a lot of hope. The possibility of never being able to run again is more and more real. I don't like that.

I think it will be quite awhile before I attempt to run outside again. I'll stick to the Alter-G treadmill for now. I'm looking forward to getting back into a more normal routine, a full weekend off, and more free time next week. I'll still look to work extra hours and earn some extra money, but I think I'll avoid working five consecutive days for awhile. And now, I think I'll curl up with a warm blanket and watch TV until slumber settles in. Carry on, my friends.


Chris said...

Etta -

You don't need to post this, it's more of a message to you than a comment.

I follow your blog regularly, but i don't know that I've ever dropped you a note on any topic other than the running portion of your journey; that's just all I know anything about;)

Listen, I want to encourage you to just let go a bit, understand and accept that sometimes our body loses its ability to support our running addiction. I've been attempting to recover from a torn plantar fascia, which has sidelined me completely for the past 3 months. 10 weeks in a boot, 10 weeks of physical therapy, and I just this week found out that my case was worse than any that my orthopaedist has ever seen. I was told to lay off running until my condition resolves itself, which would be a minimum of 9 MONTHS.

Listen, believe me, I get it. You need to be out there. I need to be out there. BUT, I'm coming to realize that "being out there" is a gift I sorely took for granted for over 19,000 miles in the past 12 years. Now that I've "lost it" temporarilly, I'd give ANYTHING for a 2 mile run. ANYTHING. 6 months ago, I wouldn't even lace up my shoes for less than 8 miles, but now, I'd take a fraction of that and be exceedingly joyous to get it.

What I"m saying is this: Relax. Give it time. Do what you can do, but check the frustration and panic at the door. What we have been able to accomplish (and hopefully still will be able to accomplish in the future) is more than 97% of the population can even imagine. Let's both acknowledge the gift, try to place it in it's proper context of our lives, and take recovery one tiny successful step at a time.

Know that I mean this to be encouraging; not a sermon, but I can "hear" me in your words from this blog entry, and I wanted to give you some perspective on my struggle with a similar set of emotions and feelings about not being able to get out there and log mile after mile after mile.

Be patient, thankful and intentional. It will either get better, or you'll gain an even greater appreciation for what you CAN still do.

Take care,

etta said...

@ Chris: Thanks for your thoughts. However, I must comment on one word you used, addiction. I do not have a running "addiction." I have been through addiction to alcohol. Addiction is a horrible, stifling, obligatory condition. It steals a person's joy, hope and identity. Running couldn't be further from that for me. I am a runner. Running is freeing, exploratory and fun for me. That's precisely the reason I miss it so.

Chris said...

Hey, a poor choice of words on my part - I'm usually much more astute when writing.

I do understand what you're missing, for certain I do. It wasn't my intention to belittle the loss or frustration you are working through, but rather to try to encourage you in your relentless forward motion.