Fighting Depression with Running

It’s hot outside, and the humidity is almost as high as the temperature is. That makes the “feels like” number in the triple digits. My lungs hurt, my shins are splinting, my body is begging me to walk a little big longer at the next walk break, and all my brain keeps saying is “Why are you doing this? Just stop. It’s not worth it.”

The “it” that my brain is talking about is a fitter body; a lower number on the scale and the ability to wear half of the clothes in my closet and a half marathon on my plan for the end of August. The “it” that I would not achieve if I did quit would allow the high blood pressure to win, the high stress to win, and worst of all…the voices in my head that are telling me that I’m not worth the effort.

Depression, thou art a cruel, cruel thing.

It’s no secret that I fight depression. One of my friends actually calls me the “most positive depressed girl” she has ever met. I’ve been on and off medication for it and I’ve been taught techniques to help with the self doubt and self loathing thoughts. For the most part, I have a pretty good grasp on it. But when you throw in lack of sleep, a frantic busy schedule, too many people to try and make happy, and giving up taking care of yourself to take care of them…sometimes your demons rise up, take hold, and force you to try and listen to their secret whispers that keep you from believing that you CAN do something.

Which is why running is so important to me. Running is something that keeps those demons too tired to speak up. Instead, they huff for breath and wave their hands as they stop trying to keep up…saying things like “You go ahead, I’ll catch up later” and then I’m free to think about other fun and exciting things like my new nephew or the awesome dinner I’m having that night, or better yet: how great that water is going to taste when I finish my run.

But sometimes the depression takes a good, solid grasp of me and nothing seems interesting. Lately, that’s exactly how it’s been. I’ve had some work issues come up that have left me feeling worthless and questioning some of the things that have kept me here, I’ve had some family drama that has come up and left me wondering who I can really rely on, and I have had many emotional melt-downs that included hysterical crying and snot bubbles. It wasn’t until a conversation with Ryan, Dreamboats best friend, that I realized that it might be time to get back on the anti-depressants and see what kind of help I can get to figure out the lull I’ve been in.

And this is where running gets even more important. When I run, I listen to music and when I listen to music, my mind wanders to things that are not my demons talking. I think of blog topics, and dance routines, and music videos I would edit to the songs blasting my ear drums out. I listen to my RunMeter tell me how far I have come and how fast or slow I am going and I think “I just need a race song to come one” and the next thing I know one does and my pace picks up. I smile at other runners out there, I get high fives from little kids who are walking with their parents or are in strollers, and I feel ALIVE. I feel positive, motivated and happy. And then – I go home and get ready for work and even if some of those thoughts come back, I know that I have something those demons can’t keep up with: running.

I am making an appointment for a physical next week. I need one anyway, and I’ll talk to my doctor about whether or not I need to go back on the anti depressants, but for now running will do just fine.

and in case you missed it – my nephew was born on Friday the 13th! Please allow me to introduce Isaac Leo Rothman!

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and because I adore my niece too, Ellie and I are pretty pretty princesses.

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2 thoughts on “Fighting Depression with Running

  1. Sharon (@mommyrunsit) says:

    I love this post, and unfortunately I can relate to it all too well. I fight those depression demons too, and sometimes they are really, really good at convincing me to climb into bed and take a nap, when what I really need to do is hit the pavement. I love your honesty. Just know that you are not alone…and now I know that neither am I. xoxo

  2. The Balanced Brunette says:

    I went through this exact same situation recently. I have bipolar disorder, and last year I was in the deepest depression of my life. These past few months, I spent so much time taking care of everyone else (my clients I coach, the dogs I watch, the kids I nanny), that I stopped taking care of myself. My health suffered dramatically. It wasn’t I started truly practicing self-love, and cutting out the things that weren’t serving me (like coaching for example.. I took a break from it because it was hurting me more than helping me, and my clients as well). And then I decided to start running. I’ve never been a runner- yoga is what I do to keep my depression at bay. But I need something more. It’s good you’re going to talk to your doctor. I think being healthy means having the ability to know when you need to ask for help (whether it’s anti depressants, therapy, or whatever). Thinking of you and sending positive vibes. ❤

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