What you See…Is what You Get

It’s been 24 days since the 100 mile run I showed up for ended prematurely at 40 miles due to an injury, and although I have my head wrapped around the necessity of dropping it’s been a rough few weeks. You all hear the words and see the catchy hashtag of “the struggle is real”. We pay lip service to the issue of depression and the resulting suicide rate amongst our service members. We make jokes and pass judgment.

I’m here to tell you as someone who has battled that demon most of their adult life and has loved ones who are doing the same, depression on any scale is no laughing matter. What does depression have to do with running you may ask. It has a LOT to do with it in my case and that of many others I know and am proud to call my tribe. You see, running is not simply a physical act of quickly moving one foot then the other in a forward motion. Although we are, obviously, performing physical exercise that’s not the whole story.

There’s more to the story of running, for most of us, than simply the physical act. It calms us with the release of various neuro-chemicals. It stimulates other hormones and body chemicals to help us better cope with stress. We feel better about life in general when we are able to run. The inability to run has the same effect on a runner as does not being able to drink coffee on a habitual coffee drinker. Neither of which are pleasant.

As most of my friends will attest, I’m not an overly bubbly person to begin with. I’m not one of those women who walks around with an ever present smile on their face. I am one of those people who, if I know you, tends to say whatever I think needs to be said (within reason), and this often means that I say the things nobody else will for fear of hurting feelings. It’s not my goal, of course, to hurt anyones feelings and I do think about what I say before I say it, but I’m not one for mincing words. All of that to say that I am pretty much an open book. What you see is definitely what you get.

Since I am an open book, not being able to run without pain means that in 24 days I’ve ran TWICE….and neither time without pain. Was it successful? Who knows!! The question is, did I feel better afterwards…..? Absofreakinlutely!! Unfortunately for me, and those who are forced to live with me, running is the only form of physical exercise I’ve found that releases all the tension, eases the inner monster and helps my ‘politically correct’ filter remain in place for one more day. It also eases the feelings of depression that seem to pop in for an uninvited visit for no good reason. The struggle to maintain mental equilibrium is very real friends.

My life is perfect: I have a long-term relationship with my husband, a home, healthy children, beautiful grandchildren, wonderful pets aka fur-babies, honest and challenging employment and my own health to name but the top of the list of all I am thankful for. This does not mean that depression has no reason to reside here, since it does not seem to NEED a reason. That’s the real point dear ones. It just IS…What you see…IS what you get.

Until next time friends…

Peace

~TLT

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Veni Vidi Vici…Rocky Raccoon 100 DNF

As I sit here trying to decide how I feel exactly, this Latin phrase rings through my head in a chorus of simple four letter words. I came, I saw, I conquered or in this case WE came, WE saw and WE conquered.

Rocky Raccoon 100 did not transpire the way it was planned. SURPRISE! You can make all the plans in the world but when it comes time for execution of those plans you have to be ready for the inevitability that you cannot control everything. Really? Have you heard the phrase, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray? (Robert Burns) Well, this past weekend was a perfect example of this.

Now you may be wondering how in the world can I say that we came, we saw and we conquered IF things did not go as they were planned. I’m going to tell you! With the help of well qualified people, I trained for this event for 4 months because of an inner belief that if one fails to plan then you plan to fail. 100 running miles is not a distance that anyone should take lightly – respect the distance. I knew what to expect going into it since I’d ran the distance before, yet one can never fully prepare for it because there is so much that is left to chance and the unknown.

The weekend began as it was planned. I felt well rested, hydrated and as ready for the event as one can be. I won’t bore you with the minute details, but trust me when I say that when we were walking to the starting line I felt….calm and ready for the day ahead. Allow me at this point to give props where they are due, and give thanks to a fabulous coach and friends who are more like my family. The drop bags were in place, the plan was clear and after a few pictures and chit chat it was time to GO! (We CAME)

Start of RR100

It was a stunning morning to run! The air was crisp with a touch of humidity thanks to the hours worth of rain we’d received earlier in the morning. The pine trees were emitting their spicy scent and as I breathed it in, while the dark of the predawn morning surrounded me, I still felt at ease. The darkness was complete with the exception of the multitude of headlamps bouncing off the tree trunks. Foot steps fell in a steady rhythm until there was a section of roots nobody wanted to trip and fall over, and then the rhythm slowed. Like a caterpillar we inched our way along through the early morning. I was content for once, running without the noise of music in my ears as I listened to the chatter of those around me. (We SAW)

After the third mile or so, the line stretched out and we no longer were inching along like a rubber band was attached to each of us. I settled into an easy jog and paid heed to the trail ahead of me. Roots are evil you see and quite insidious if you don’t pay attention! The first aid station floated into view, I did a quick mental check and found I needed nothing so I kept on moving through rather than stop. Aid stations can be like miniature black holes you do not want to get sucked into if you can avoid it! The next aid station again just kind of appeared and once again I was not lacking in anything so kept it moving.

It was somewhere around mile 15 when I noticed this little niggling jangle taking place on the inside of my left knee. It didn’t hurt exactly but it was enough to concern me because it was far too early to be feeling anything but GREAT. Told myself, it’s SUPPOSED to hurt so stop being a baby and keep it moving. So I did. That first 20 mile loop honestly felt effortless for the most part even though I was ahead of our “A” plan. I knew it would be necessary to slow it down.

The crew was waiting for me there asking me how I was doing, what did I need etcetera, so we took care of business, rubbed some Tiger Balm on my leg and I moved out with a backwards yell that I was ‘slowing down’ (intentionally). I walked out of the start finish line, ate some and started jogging again while telling myself that there was still a long road ahead and I needed to conserve some energy. Still I was feeling good! In order to ‘get outta my head’ as my friend Mike says, I slipped on the headphones and started listening to some music so I could tune out to tune in to that inner space needed to keep driving on.

Somewhere around mile 25 I guess my knee gave a real twinge of pain. There was not a precipitating event (though I had fallen at the end of the first loop!). I decided to err on the side of caution and slowed it down to a power hike. It was still possible to pull off some decent splits (14 min miles) even power hiking and then I ran into Dave from England by way of Dallas who was also hiking. We shot the breeze for the better part of the next 8 miles I suppose. He’s quite the jet setter having ran some of the most awesome marathons all over the world!

One of my awesome friends, Cindy, met me at an aid station and I told her of my issue with the knee. The message was passed along and it was decided we’d use some KT tape at the last aid station before the start/finish line. Cindy and I did a power hike/jog combination for the next couple miles until nature called. No details needed here only to say that as I was headed into the tree line, I stepped onto the forest floor covered in fallen leaves and twigs, only to feel my left knee give a TWIST and I growled LOUDLY. It hurt – A LOT! It was right about here I really knew that unless there was a miracle, I was not going to finish what I’d set out to do.

At that final aid station before the start finish my friends came into sight and sat me down for a ‘talk’. “Let’s tape it and see how it feels by the time you get to the turnaround point 5 miles away.” Okay. So as I sit and get my leg taped up by another friend, Tony the Footsteps for the Fallen Fireman, who appears as if by magic? My husband and three daughters!! This was quite the SURPRISE! My family has never came to any of my races in the woods!!

Wrapping RR100

The tape job was completed and I was fed so it was time to be off to the turnaround! Tony warned me that the first mile with the tape may not feel the greatest and good thing because it pretty much sucked!! Those last 5 miles hiking and slowly jogging were full of a mental turmoil I am only still processing. I came to do a job! I had prepared – but had I prepared well enough?! Could I make it through another 60 miles of this WITHOUT seriously injuring my body? I had all these people here to support my effort and I felt as though I was letting THEM down by my inability to perform as expected. There were so many thoughts running through my head, even my music wouldn’t shut them up!

The start/finish line…..this is where we conquered! Conquered because I turned my control over to the capable hands of my crew and told them to make the decision of whether I’d continue or not. I’m a little competitive – not with others so much as with my own inner demons and if they’d not told me to stop, I would have kept going until I could not or was pulled. Emotionally WRECKED. Physically a mess, with the love and comfort of my friends and family around me the decision was made.

Today though, I am able to walk without a walker!! I conquered!! Today, I am able to move around with only a modest amount of discomfort that is expected after running 40 miles. I conquered! It’s okay. I’m not happy with it but I am slowly wrapping my head around the idea that although I didn’t finish, DNF stands for something else…..Did Not Fail. I didn’t fail because I TRIED.

We came….We saw and we conquered….

Until next time my friends

~Peace

 

 

Music for my Soul….

I’m not sure if it is an unfortunate aspect of my crazy life, or something I should be thankful for but I do not have many memories I can recall with relative ease. There is one exception to this though…memories that have a song attached to them somehow. Isn’t that funny? I’m not musically inclined really, though I do have a great love for most types of music.

Memories like, crying over my most recent boy related heartbreak, sitting in front of my mom’s old console stereo and listening to the 45 record of Dr. Hook belt out Only 16…on repeat. To flying down the highway (I don’t remember the name of) somewhere around Thetford, Vermont in the black AMC Eagle, racing my crazy friend Jeff in his Nova or whatever piece of metal he happened to be driving at that time….blasting Sammy Hagar’s “I can’t drive 55” as loud as those little speakers could handle…

Good and bad and maybe a few crazy memories here and there interspersed for good measure, I remember my life in snapshots filled with music. The names and faces of people I grew up with here and there as my family moved seemingly constantly for no real reason as I recall. I have very little recollection of many people or even places we lived with the exception of a very few. Music even now fills my soul. When I am feeling blue one of the best ways for me to dig myself out of the pit is to SING. Now, don’t laugh at me. Doesn’t it make you feel better when you sing? Preferably belting out a favorite song in the car or the shower where nobody else can hear and where the acoustics are more friendly! Ha ha!

Then there’s running which is the music for my soul now but before I knew running, there was music. The only time it’s bad for memories to be attached to music is when it brings forth those painful memories that are better off buried in the recesses of my mind. I heard a song this week. Perhaps you’ve heard Sarah McLachlan sing Angel? Whenever I hear this song, I cannot help but be transported back to a little church in wintertime Vermont, 9 years ago in March when my Nana had passed on and her funeral was taking place. There I sat, telling myself I would not cry, I would be strong enough to get through the funeral without crying and then that song came on. I will forever associate that song with the breaking my heart felt that day knowing that the woman I loved dearly was not coming back.

As I look back, I see how vital music has been to my survival and even my sanity perhaps. Now, as I prepare my body and my mind once more for another trek through the woods, running in circles, chasing shadows and meeting new people doing the same, I realize that music used in conjunction with the rhythmic tap of my soles against the earth soothes the aches that chase me. Someone once asked me of my running, “What are you running from?” HAH! The joke is really on those who think that I am running FROM anything!! I am running to something!

What am I running to you ask? I am running into my future. Running to the music I hear in my heart and soul that tells me this is the way to peace. Music and running ease my queasy stomach, squelches the monster in my head telling me in its quiet, steely voice, “You can’t do it, you’re not fast enough nor small enough nor determined enough.” Listen to enough of Marshal Mathers aka M & M screaming at you, telling you that if you give up now you’ll never know what could have happened if you had only tried harder…You will try harder. You will keep moving on in the direction of your passion as you listen to the music that soothes your soul….

Until next time my friends….

Peace

~TLT

Commitment to Your Cause…..

I have been thinking for a few weeks about this post, trying to decide which way to go with it. Some days I think I have nothing much to say and yet my mind is absolutely running wild with all these ideas, thoughts and considerations. Other days, there is so much to say that it would take me all day to blog! HAH!

I knew from a fairly early age that I wanted to be a mother. There was only a question of how many children I would have and as each one came, the number changed. Funny how that happened….7 babies later it was decided there would be no more from this body. Although being a mother is something I am fairly adequate at, it is not all encompassing for me. For example, I know women who thrive on the daily joys of being a wife and mother and have no desire or drive to do anything other than that.

It just is not that way for me. By the time our youngest daughter was born 7 years ago, there was an inner burn to do SOMETHING more or different. The few memories I have of my nana and grandmother are bittersweet. Not because of the memories themselves, but because as I look back with my adult eyes I realize that those women who were so instrumental in my childhood were just going through the motions. They were doing what they were told they were supposed to do. They went through their lives doing what they thought they were SUPPOSED to do rather than that which they desired to do.

Of course, part and parcel of being an adult means that there are things we do because we are supposed to do them. I ask you though, is that all there is? Are you willing to simply go through the motions of your life until you are dead? I am not! I think that we are here for some reason. To touch another life, to make a difference and bottom line – we are here to LIVE life not just walk through life doing what we are supposed to do. There must be a fire within! There has to be a reason to keep walking this bumpy road we call life.

I admire those women (and now even a handful of men) who feel it is their calling to dedicate their lives to the complete fulfillment of another human being. They rise and grind every single day in an effort to make the lives of their children easy and as close to perfect as possible. I ADMIRE them…….but I don’t wish to emulate them. The women who drive me, who make me want to be more and inspire me to work harder are the women who have a commitment to their own cause. These women are not satisfied with the status quo and have no compunction to sit idly by while life carries on and they remain stagnant.

This is a choice we make, to live our lives rather than walk mindlessly through it like we are robots. It takes a certain kind of commitment to NOT live up to the status quo. Find what drives you and then work for that hobby/mission or cause until either you can no longer do so or until that particular thing no longer drives you – and then find something else that motivates you! That’s my goal. Run it until the wheels fall off! Literally, run until I no longer can physically or mentally. This is my cause right now which means that I have a commitment to doing everything I can to be better.

Sometimes to be better we have to fall down and take some time away. This was what happened to me at Brazos Bend 100 four months ago. I was injured and had to step away from my passion for about 7 WEEKS. It wasn’t that long really but it felt like an eternity to me at the time. Now, I am back to training and you know what?! I LOVE and enjoy it even more than I did before. I relish the moments I can sneak away to the trail, listen to the birds chirping in the trees and smell the strong scent of an imminent rain. I began implementing some strength training again and started doing weekly tire drags. What an experience THAT is!

While I am usually sneaking away from my life, that is not to say that I am running from it. In actuality, the running adds balance to my crazy life and helps soothe the savage soul within me. Running long distances (as in over 20 miles) has taught me to slow down, and how important it is to be patient – even beyond the point where one believes they cannot possibly take anymore aggravation. It has taught me to listen to my body and heed its warning signs. This is part of being committed to a cause. When you are committed you will do whatever it takes.

What is your cause? What is the passion you have always been afraid to pursue? You will not know how good it can be if you never take the chance and begin….Take the chance, step outside of your comfort zone! Put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you will have traveled further than you ever thought possible.

Until next time…

Peace….

Parenting

There is nothing that will make one feel more inept and often guilty than parenting. Guilt can ride your back like an ugly monkey if you let it. Taking from you every ounce of joy parenting can elicit. I have been on my fair share of guilt trips – both self imposed and those thrown at me by those with less than good intentions. Funny enough, I don’t believe that anyone is able to impose on me a greater feeling of guilt about past mistakes than I can impose on myself!

You see, I am quite aware that as a child/mother/wife of 18 years old, I did not set the best examples for my children. I am aware of the fact that I made many mistakes as I was bearing and attempting to raise four boys in my late teens and early twenties. I am also painfully aware that my mistakes cost me to lose so much time with the boys. Time I am unable to get back – nor do I want to.

That’s right! I said I don’t want to take back that painful time. Do I wish I had been a better parent? Absolutely! Do I wish that I had not made the mistakes I made along the way which made the lives of my children harder than they needed to be? Of course! However, those difficult times created resilient young men and helped me be a better parent to my daughters. Those tough times that saw me lose my temper and forget momentarily how precious life is, helped create young men of immense amounts of patience and compassion.

Now, as I look back, after laying next to my youngest sleeping child who had thrown her arm over me and snuggled in for a good nap, I am grateful. Grateful for the knowledge that those mistakes provided. Grateful for the growth that occurred out of the pain. Grateful for the fact that my boys know in their hearts that no matter my mistakes, my love for them is never-ending. There is no reserve amount – no price to be paid. I love them no matter what – even on their worst day.

This is another lesson from parenting you see. I had always heard of the unconditional love of God and my mom always provided me with her manner of unconditional love. I did not truly know the meaning of the term though until the girls came along. You see, there is a different type of relationship (IMHO) between a mother and her sons versus a mother and her daughters. There is no doubt that boys love their mamas without reservation or hesitation – and I them. The love of mother and daughter however, is another animal altogether.

I am not even sure I can put this thought into a cohesive paragraph that makes sense to anyone but myself. With the girls there is an understanding. We communicate on the same plane using the same words that identify emotions. As people of the female persuasion there is a different type of communication that takes place – sometimes it does not even require that words are spoken. We pay attention to the smaller nuances of human behavior and for a great majority of us, this means that we are able to attain a new or different level of understanding.

What I miss about the boys: the sound of raucous laughter and them calling for ‘mama’. The mornings when one of the youngest attempted to make my toast ‘crunchy’ the way I like it, but misinterpreted BURNT for crunchy. They served it to me before I even rose from bed, as though they were serving a queen! I miss sweaty boy hugs and the look of pride on their faces as they successfully accomplished whatever feat they had attempted.

For me, being a parent is quite similar to my ultra running and in fact, the two worlds often intersect in unique and interesting ways. I breathe a sigh of relief as I enter the dirt/mud/cobwebby world of the trail. It is often quite unforgiving, cruel and difficult at the same time it brings me a fantastic sense of PEACE. The trail does not require one to think much beyond putting one foot in front of the other. At the same time, there are an abundance of thoughts that occur within my head simply BECAUSE it does not require a whole lot of conscious thought.

Running, especially as slow as I tend to go, requires some patience and compassion; fortitude and stubbornness….persistence and consistency. Does this not sound very similar to parenting? Ironically I find that many of these characteristics I thought I did not have, I have found on the trail. Not only directed or felt for others….but for myself as well. There is so much we can learn about who we are and in what direction we would like our lives to meander by hitting the open road, sidewalk or nearest rocky trail!

It is my serenity….my peace and the place I go to think. It is where I go to just BE…..me. Not mother, wife, teacher, student, counselor….etc., etc., to just be a body cruising the trail….

I am thankful and blessed to BE back on the trail and that has been another lesson learned. That is a story for another day though.

Until next time, don’t be a stranger…

Peace

~TLT

Random thoughts of Randomness

Been a little bit since I blogged and today although I have a lot to say there is nothing really sticking with me. I think that is par for the course, so to speak! I have these random thoughts that come and go every single day and not many really stick around to make a definitive impression. Those that do stick around have to be pretty raw/intense/powerful in order to do so – that’s just the way my brain works. It takes a lot of information in and then lets go of the majority it deems as unimportant. Unfortunately….sometimes because it means I have no recollection of the bad nor the good. Whereas some have a brain like a sponge and remember everything – my brain is more like a sieve and only retains very large pieces of information.

There are a few things on my mind today though. I have been in a blue funky place in my mind for awhile….probably about 6 or 7 weeks long. The moments come and go and some are better than others but for the most part – funk is where I am at. Just when I begin to feel better and maybe climb out of this hole I seem to have fallen into, something comes along and knocks me right back in! I get my cravings for garbage food under control…….and then my craving for LARGE amounts of caffeine kick in, thereby making it so I do not drink enough water. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing since I haven’t really been running….until I decide TO go for a run and get a headache because I have not drank enough water!

Thankfully, I am pain free while running now…..well….at least there is not pain from the injury I sustained back in December. Now the pain is simply from working hard at getting my base level of fitness back. Starting over really does suck in case nobody told you! Hopefully, tomorrow will be good to me and I can break the 10 mile mark for my long run! If so, it will be the longest I have managed since the middle of December! Perhaps this lack of distance in my life is what is keeping me in the blue funk since those neurotransmitters aka chemicals the body makes like dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline etc are some that help balance MOOD. Perhaps….

Perhaps my blue funk is a natural progression due to the changes occurring in our lives. Perhaps it’s an adjustment issue. Perhaps….I hope it is simply the fact that my body, my psyche, brain…..whatever you want to name ME..is in desperate need of some time to run amongst the trees in varying speeds. Perhaps it is the desire of an endurance junkie to get my fix of fresh air and heavy breathing. Since running is the only outlet available where one can simply BE…There are no labels in the trees and on the trails…You are just you and I am simply me – going as fast or as slow as we are able. I know I miss some friends, near and far – and I hope that you are SAFE (JS and AK) no matter where in the world you are!

Conversations this week with students provided endless entertainment and debate about topics such as whether or not homosexuality is a choice or if it is genetic; if we are somehow programmed from birth to be this or that (computer programmer, teacher or psycho killer, child molester) in addition to a very stimulating conversation in 3 different groups of students on the same topic: the lack of a ‘fear’ in the children of this particular generation which is thereby making it less likely for them to have a balanced locus of control.

For many, the locus of control growing up was a healthy fear of what our parents would do or say should we make an inappropriate choice. Somewhere along the way, children were given the power over the parents (as evident in any grocery store in almost any city in the United States) and that healthy fear of the repercussions of our actions was stilled at best and completely reversed at the worst. We talk about children who sass their parents; the children who run through the clothing racks of the nearby department store, seemingly unconcerned with the concept of courtesy or manners; and the fact that parents seem unwilling or unable to get control over these children.

My brothers and I have spoken about breaking the cycle of abuse that many suffered at the hands of parents who had no idea how to parent and made it up as they went along, like so many did. The problem, as I see it however, is that the pendulum swung too far the other direction in a quest for balance. It went wide, to the other side of the spectrum and now we suffer those consequences. We have parents too afraid to tell their child to sit still and enforce that stillness. We have parents too afraid to ‘lay hands’ on their children in order to instill some discipline on them for fear that someone will report their parental judgement to a governmental agency that tells the public spanking is abuse.

I do not intend to start a debate about the evils of corporal punishment, nor the lack thereof in this generation of minions and ‘beasties’, only perhaps AWAKEN the consciousness of some people. If we continue to pretend as though this is not an issue, the issue will continue to grow and fester – and society will pay the price. It is our FUTURE we are talking about after all!

That was another topic discussed this week – that of consciousness but I think it requires more thought on my part and therefore, I will save that particular blog for another day! 🙂 Oh and an EXCITING post about a documentary I watched at Endurance Outfitters last weekend is brewing in the back of my mind as well…..Be sure to remind me!! LOL

Tonight I sleep (thank you Lunesta) and tomorrow…….we RUN!! 🙂

Until next time friends…..
Peace

Numb………

This posting is not my usual of the last few months so if lighthearted is what you are seeking, this post is not for you. It’s not about running or fitness…not really. It’s real life – low and full of feelings so many of us don’t wish to acknowledge. Perhaps after Christmas I will be able to post something witty…..perhaps. In the meantime……

As I come down off the high of completing a huge milestone as an amateur athlete, reality slams me right in the face…..WHAM!!! Without warning, though I should’ve seen the warning signs since I have seen them so many times before in the last 15 years…I am mercilessly DUMPED back into a reality that is unsustainable. I think I have just become so accustomed to the pain that it almost doesn’t even hurt anymore. It is my normal. From the outside looking in, the appearance is one of normalcy. Beneath the surface lies the ugly, painful truth and this is where the anger and guilt restlessly sleep.

Compound this pain with the judgment of others about actions taken in the past and here comes the absence of the numb. The heart-pounding, brain thumping, cold sweat producing agitation and guilt. The choice becomes to feel angry at the judgment or to simply sink into the comfort of the known. I am very comfortable with burying the pain – hiding the tears and pretending as if all is well – when on the inside I alternate between seething and wailing at the unfairness of the judgment of those who ought to know better…and then there are the holidays.

It is something that even after all this time of living on my own as an adult, so for approximately 28 years, I still do not understand. It is this feeling of inner disquiet upon the stealthy approach of the holiday season. From sometime in October when I see the Halloween decorations hit the middle isles of the department stores, all the way through the first part of January, I am in a particular kind of funk. It comes and it goes and some days are better than others but for the most part I feel like the Grinch who stole every single holiday from October through to New Years.
I cannot put my finger on this pervasive icky feeling and there really is no rhyme or reason to it. It has not mattered if there is money to be spent on gifts, or there is no or very little money to spend on gifts. The spirit of the season is supposed to be joyful but rather than joy I feel such a sense of inner dread and agitation that it makes no kind of sense at all. I don’t know if this is something that was ground into my inner psyche from years spent living with my mom who had/has severe manic depression that only seemed to get worse during the holidays or something else altogether.
As the girls are humming Christmas carols and getting increasingly excited about decorating the tree and the house and every other thing under the sun with any decoration they can find, I sit and feel…..decidedly unhappy. I’ve heard it said by people such as Rich Roll that we can DECIDE to feel a certain way or not and to a degree I do agree with him and the others whose names I do not recall at the moment. At the same time, I think to myself – if it were so easy to decide how to feel, wouldn’t the thousands and perhaps even millions of people who suffer from an organic form of depression simply tell themselves to snap out of it?
We are so often told: chin up, buck up, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get over it….by well -intentioned folks but it is just not that easy I am here to tell you. How do you feel a way you have never felt before or have no recollection of having EVER felt that way? I see people singing Christmas tunes and wonder how they feel. How does it feel to have that inner joy for the holidays? Sometimes it is almost like I have wondered through life in an odd state of numbness with moments of pure bliss interspersed randomly and far between.
Ironically, when the inner pain is at its worst, I pray for numbness. I don’t pray for release or understanding, rather I wish to go back to not feeling at all. When one is numb you can just glide through the day, going through the necessary motions of life without too many issues. To feel anything on one side of the scale or the other only brings agitation and pain, either for myself or for those around me. Numb is good.
It is in this quest for numb that I can absolutely understand the how and why behind addictions. An addiction often begins in a desperate act of medicating a particular feeling. Then, once the addict feels that lack of pain they realize that they need MORE of the booze, pills, or any substance really, that enables them to get through the day without feeling the pain. One leads to two, two leads to more and so on and so forth. Before they know it…..they cannot function at all without their drug of choice. It’s to bury the pain. Numb is good.
Probably the only time I truly FEEL me without the ever present numbness….feel who I am….feel where I am and have any sense of clarity at all about what I want to do with the rest of my life is when I RUN…Running is just as much of an addiction I believe as any pill or drink. Only it’s better. It costs nothing but a good pair of shoes…my mind can release from all the guilt and pain…I can push my body to the absolute extreme and in that pain – there is a certain kind of release. A friend said to me, “don’t think, just move” and I believe this is where the endorphins fill us with a different kind of feeling. That double-hitch in my breathing that tells me I just found my second wind and my HIGH is imminent. I NEED that release…..

Before and after…it’s the fog of numb……..

Until next time

Peace……