It is hard to really explain the frustration I feel when my major depression causes me to bail on a run. I’m a runner. Without the actual running part, I’m just a guy in short shorts and expensive shoes. I guess it really shouldn’t be any different from everything else in my life. Because of depression: I bail on meetings, I flake on plans, I procrastinate…oh do I procrastinate.
Running is supposed to be different. Running is sacred to me. That, I assume, is why it hurts so much more and why it feels like absolute failure.
Tragically I’m used to everything else going down the drain. By now I’ve experienced them on a weekly basis – enough to consider that my current normal. But not running, not the only thing that gives me a break from depression.
Please, not that one. Depression, you’ve managed to mess up everything in my life and I’ve made my peace with it but not running. Why can’t that be spared?
My major depression won’t spare running. It will try to take that just like everything else it has taken. The fact that I thought running could even be spared is yet another lesson. I underestimated my enemy. I treated it like it had a heart, a soul. I assumed it would draw the line and leave me with something to hold on to but the reality is that depression is as heartless as cancer.
It doesn’t care what you hold dear.
It doesn’t care where you get your strength from.
It doesn’t care.
It doesn’t care.
So what do you do with that realization? There are days, more than I’m comfortable with, where that realization makes me want to give up. This still feels like a losing battle to me. I feel like I’m in quicksand and the more I struggle the more I make it worse. I feel like doom is inevitable and fighting is just a waste time.
But then there’s running.
Running is a gift. It’s a glass of water in a desert. I have to fight for it.
However, I must accept that it is in play just like everything else depression has tried to steal. That means I can’t take it for granted; I can’t take my eyes off of it for a second. I will have good days and bad days. I will set a new PR on a Monday only to bail on a run and hide under the covers crying on Wednesday. It will happen – but that’s the most that I will let happen. I’m not going to quit running just because my depression is creeping in.
Running is my only relief from depression and it is a real kick in the balls that this wave of major depression is now ruining that relief. But it will not take it from me. I can’t let it. I have to keep fighting for it.
There is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving. – Amby Burfoot
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