You would think that having a mental illness would make one steer clear of reading or immersing one’s self in the topic.
But being who I am I need to learn more. Not only about my illness, but about other mental illnesses as well.
I am reading Fast Girl right now by Suzy Favor Hamilton. I had heard about this book while listening to my Another Mother Runner podcast where Suzy was the guest and spoke so candidly about her Bipolar Illness.
After I heard her speak to Sarah and Dimity, I needed to read this book.
I got to page 84 on my iPad.
I read this:
“When my doctor walked through the door and smiled at me, I immediately started weeping uncontrollably. She sat down really close to me and made me look at her.”
Then I started to cry (and not for the first time, this book is a tear jerker).
This was EXACTLY what happened the day I went to see my doctor in 2011. Exactly. I’ve known my doctor forever. She delivered my daughter. We’ve always had a great rapport. So when she walked in and smiled, I broke down.
It was so surreal reading those words.
I never want to forget that day, and I know I never will. It is permanently etched in my psyche.
It was the day I couldn’t run away from what was happening. The day I hit the wall and fell right back on my ass.
But at some point, that ass has to move.
I remember finally getting the courage to get out and run one morning during my recovery. I had been on my meds for a few weeks and was feeling okay. I pulled on my gear and went out the door.
I failed. So bad.
My body was still broken down. My body was still suffering from depression. I didn’t realize how mental illness affected your whole body. Not being able to just suit up and run was very devastating to me at the time.
I walked, a lot. I worked with my trainer for a bit. I focused on getting better mentally. I realized how much running helped me centre.
It’s why I cherish every run I have. Even the bad ones. Because I know there will be days that I just can’t get out there, and I have accepted that.
It is a struggle when you are batting depression to get moving. So the days I do move, I celebrate them.
I know that having a training plan will force me to move come mid-January. This time of the year I need something to push me forward.
The shorter days with longer periods of darkness are hell.
I just want to come home and sleep.
So to those of you who struggle:
Keep on keeping on. Any movement is good. Walking, yoga, cycling, a gym class.
And if you can’t do it today, it’s okay. There is always tomorrow.