Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. Hard work isn't always rewarded, sometimes it ends with someone else getting the glory, or it ends in injury, or in failure. For me, anyway. For the past year I have put in a lot of effort and hard work. Into my life. Into my career. Mostly, I invested in me for the past year, working on my emotional, mental, physical and relationship health. Thankfully it has paid off, in every single aspect. And for that I am both fortunate and outlandishly grateful.
I can't even begin to explain the amount of effort I've put into my life the past year. With the help of quite a few doctors, and the unselfish, unwavering love and support of a LOT of family and friends, and even though it's hard to admit it the help of medication, and an amazing therapist, I am at the best place I've ever been in my life. That of course isn't to say my life is perfect, far, far from it. And I will be the first to admit that fact. But who's life is? Those claims are false.
I have horrible days that make it seem as though all the work and effort I did were for nothing. I can't control those days. Those days are simply the reality of dealing with an illness called depression. If you aren't a believer that it really is an illness, well, I am not here to change your mind. But you know what? It is. Case closed. And although I can control it with the aforementioned help, sometimes even that isn't enough.
Wondering why I'm spilling my emotional guts all over my blog? Because. I can. I've wanted to for more than six months now and never had the courage. But here you go. I have depression. It took me to some very dark places. I got help for it. I take medication for it. There you have it. It's a real thing. And it can suck the life out of you. And no, running is not my therapy. And it never will be. There was and is no amount of running that can or could fix my depression. Man, that would rock if it could, though.
No amount of running will fix my chemical imbalance or be a substitute for sitting in my therapist's office talking things over. Or a substitute for an abundance of understanding family and friends who are always willing to be there when I'm at my worst. No matter what. In fact I am convinced running made my illness much, much worse. I thought running would help fix me, it didn't. Not a bit. I don't hold that against it though, I still heart the shiz out of running. We are besties now, we understand each other!! But the running that ruined me is in the past. Thankfully. Running (and fitness and health and yoga) is and will likely always be a part of my life. But is so far down on my 'important' list than it used to be. Thank God.
The point of all of this being that this blog of mine, despite readers, followers, whatever, is something to document the reality of my life. So there it is. Because that is my life. Much more complicated than can ever be written on a blog, in a few paragraphs. No one wants to read that mess anyway. The fact that I can admit I have issues, have faced some very ugly moments and days in my life and sit here logically and in fantastic health and say I am better, is why I'm writing this post. So on those days I feel like it wasn't worth the work and effort, and the days I can't pick myself up off whatever surface I smashed onto so hard that I can barely breathe, let alone function, I can read this and remember it will all be okay.
And maybe, just maybe, there is some other runner, or human being out there who shares the same struggles. A lot of you fortunately don't, but maybe there are one or two who do, maybe this will make them feel better too.
All of that being said. I am now fully prepared to engage in some very hard work in speed training, cross training and logging miles to achieve my ONE goal race for this year. Yes, you read that right. My ONE goal race for the year. In caps. BOLDED. The Oklahoma City Half Marathon, that I hope to run in sub 1:45. SQUUEEEEE of nervous excitement. I am prepared to work harder than I ever have, and am prepared if I am met with failure. You see, I have full confidence I can train hard for a half marathon injury free. Marathons? Not so much. But this is part of my maturity, I know my strengths (in every area of my life) so much better than I ever have. Half marathons are where my legs like to be. Why fight it? I am also prepared because I have spent a full year working on getting healthy.
Interwebs, I can finally breathe again.