Pretending

Right now, I’m typing while icing my knees. I had a very hot 8 miler this morning, and can’t seem to get my body to remember that we used to do this all the freaking time, and 8 miles is no reason to crawl in bed for hours and not move.

Moving right along, I’ve been loosely following my training plan. I decided that having such a rigid plan for the entire summer was only going to make me burn out again, so I decided to change it up a bit. 2 easy runs a week, one speed day, one long run, 3 strength days (2 upper one lower) and a rest day or two. I can replace an easy run day with cross-training or rest. I usually go to the elliptical, but tried out Katy’s cycling workout and it was killer! Definitely going in the regular rotation. 🙂

Tomorrow I am headed off to my family vacation in beautiful, chilly Montana. We have gone to this town almost every year since I was a baby to visit my grandmother. She passed away about 5 years ago, but we still make a point to go every year. The last two summers I haven’t been able to go, and it’s been really hard to miss out on this time with my extended family. Two summers ago I was interning in San Francisco, and wasn’t able to take time off, and then last summer I was in the midst of my entire life changing (college graduation, wedding and moving across the country) and ended up staying in Alabama with Robert. This year, both of us are going and I honestly didn’t think I would be this excited. As I get older, I realize how much my family means to me, and how much fun I have when I’m with them. I feel like myself when I am with them. I laugh harder, smile wider and feel a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders when I am with them. And the fact that I get to share all of this with my husband again is amazing.

The last time the husband came with me to Montana, we were going through a very rough patch. I was physically not happy myself, and took his efforts to get me to go on a hike or a jog or ANYTHING other than sitting on the porch and reading as an insult to my weight. This time, I can’t wait to run the trails with him in the cooler weather, hike to beautiful waterfalls and explore. I feel like I am in such a better place now physically and mentally than I was three years ago.

The title of this post comes from something a bit personal, but something that I know other people have gone through. A lot of people would be really surprised to learn that I have struggled with depression for about 9 years now. It’s hard to explain what I go through, but it basically comes down to a few major points:

  1. anxiety
  2. anger
  3. irritability
  4. sadness
  5. loss of energy

When I got to Florida, I wanted to go off of my medication. I was so sick of relying on a pill to make me feel like a normal person. I thought I could get it under control on my own, now that the stresses of school and the wedding were gone.

I was off of my medication for about six months, and lost myself. I would go through bouts of crying hysterically, Robert and I had struggled through so many fights that started merely because I was irrationally upset, and I had to force myself to smile through most days. It was really hard to pretend that everything was okay. I was missing out on my life. I felt like it was all going on around me, and I was just going through the motions day in and day out. I longed for bedtime because that meant I had made it through another day of making people believe I was okay.

Finally, a couple of months ago, I talked to my doctor and slowly started taking my medication again. I’ve finally gotten back to a regular dose, and feel like I’m getting my life back. I’m laughing again (for real this time) and I feel like my marriage is getting stronger because I’m more able to handle the situations that come up between us. I feel happy for the first time in months and I feel embarrassed at the same time. Embarrassed that it took me this long to let go of my pride and realize that there is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants. I’m ready to stop pretending, and actually start living.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Pretending

  1. Good for you to be able to get yourself on track and be emotionally happy again. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to improve your quality of life!

  2. Katie

    Ooh-this is such a great post!! Very honest and open. I love it and I love you!!

  3. I just want to hug you! You hit the nail on the head “there is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants.” I’m in the counseling field, and I always say to people “If you had the flu and the doctor gave you a pill to make you feel like a functioning human again, you’d take it without reservation – so why is mental health any different?” Depression is just a part of you – it’s not who you are. So take the pill – and be a happy YOU 🙂

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