There are lots of reasons that I run. The most important one is that running softens the edges of my anxiety. It helps keep the prickly “dementor” quiet. If I let it get the better of me, it takes over every aspect of my life eventually leading to exhausting depression. I know this because I hit the bottom of my ability to fight it several years ago. I was in a place where I could barely function. Where my relationship was suffering because I was unreachable by the person who loves me the most. Where everything and everyone was a challenge. Where the only place I felt okay was in my house, away from the world. My spouse, thankfully, insisted that I get the help that I desperately needed. I’m lucky. I had the resources to seek help, a spouse who refused to give up on me, and enough sense to know that I needed something to change in order to save my life. I’m not only referring to my physical life, but my emotional and spiritual lives.
A few days ago, I posted a picture of me as a little kid. In the photo, I’m smiling. I can almost hear my mother laugh as she’s scolding me to get down from the chair that I’d climbed onto in order to touch a Halloween decoration hanging in the window. I looked happy, content and unafraid. A friend said that I look exactly the same now. The comment made me very happy. It shows the progress that I’ve made to find that peaceful untainted part of me that shines through again in a smile. Finding her wasn’t easy; and I’ll work hard the rest of my life fighting to keep her at the forefront of my living. I like that sweet person much more than the harried, angry unhealthy one who kept her at bay for too many years. That’s why I work so hard at finding the positive in a situation. At looking on the bright side. At owning my health by exercising, eating nutritious food and guarding my emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing. The fruit of my labor is that I’ve never been happier.
Here’s the thing. Some days, it’s hard. Some days. I don’t want to exercise. Some days, all I want to do is eat cake. Some days, I overthink things way too much. Some days, I just want to tell every person who comes into my office to shut the hell up and stop making messes for me to clean up. Some days, I lose it. Some days, I’m that person stuck in traffic yelling obscenities because all I want to do is get the fuck home. I’ve been up since 4:30am, worked all day cleaning up human made messes and I’m tired. I just want to go for a run, eat supper and hug my family. I don’t like the moments and days in which I lose it though. They feel like quicksand tugging at my feet pulling me into a place I don’t want to be. So, say what you will, but I refuse to give in and let it have me. Yeah, maybe I seem like a goody-two-shoes because I work so hard at being the opposite of cynical, judgmental, angry and unhealthy. It’s my life, I’m going to live it my way. Happy, grateful, calm and content. But, I got to own it. No one’s going to do it for me. Or, any of you for that matter. So, instead of judging the world and succumbing to being your own victim, look inside of yourself and find that sweet untainted person. She will free you, and make you smile. I promise. If you can’t do it alone. Be brave and do what you can to get some help.
Cheers, hugs and peace.