The multi-use trail, Glacier Ridge Metro Park.
As I’m getting older I’m finding there are certain topics I’m not as open about like I was in my early 20’s. Nothing in my life is secret, but I am more discerning about how much I share online. And in general, I’m pretty burnt out on my generation’s early habit of overcharging everything.
However, writing and blogging is a way of working through difficulties in my life and the emotions that come with them. And this past September – really starting from mid-August on – has been rough.
Over the last two years I’ve been dealing with on-and-off circumstantial anxiety and depression. It started around February of last year, then really came to a head in April. My role at work changed completely, as did the company culture following a merger and rebranding. It was rare for me to have a day where I didn’t screw something up or not feel like a screw up.
I couldn’t function at work or at home, was breaking down into sobbing fits at both, and nobody could help me through it. I will never forget collapsing into a pile of wails and feeling defeated over folding laundry. Or taking a mental health day to sit in my car at the store and cry into my steering wheel at nothing. The on and off-ness continued through 2019, which took a toll on my work performance.
Then in February of 2020 a major professional blow up happened. To be frank with you all, I have no idea why I wasn’t fired. I’m guessing divine intervention had to be the reason. There were a lot of sobbing and anxiety attacks that brought out a new side effect – heart palpitations. I did wind up seeing a therapist, who confirmed that I what I was experiencing was indeed depression and pretty normal with the work changes. Getting validation was nice and it helped right before we went into lockdown.
Which brings me to now. Since July the depression and anxiety have been rearing back up, and a meeting with my supervisor in August told me what my solution to the circumstantial depression would be.
And then the cycle started back up – a blow, crying in frustration, then laying on my couch so the heart palpitations could pass. The entire time I’d be laying there wondering, Is this the one that’s going to send me to the hospital?
Then I’d find myself telling God, “I’m taking this as a sign. If I’m wrong show me. Otherwise I’m doing what I need to do.”
September has been a month of dealing with the depression and anxiety cycle, and working towards my solution, and then having to hurry up and wait to see if the ball (or balls) would be coming back to my court. I’m optimistic a change is coming, in spite of the growing pains to get there.
September has also been a month of soul care and improving myself in the interim. I don’t believe in self-care and the way it’s preached at (mostly) young women – that face masks and bubble baths and “treat yo’ self” is the end-all, be-all solution. Those are fun, but most of our battles run deeper and it’s the soul and pysche that need caring.
I got my hair cut this past weekend because the hair itself needed it, but also because when I’m battling depression, it’s easy for me to fall into a habit of not taking care of my hair and skin like I should. When I used to look in the mirror, I saw long hair hanging there, with no life to it. Now that my hair is shorter it has life again. It moves, it doesn’t feel heavy. I feel like I got that lighter part of me back.
I went on a long run this past Sunday when emotionally that was the last thing I felt like doing. More often than not this month, running and being active has felt like a chore. However, I don’t want to fall off that wagon, since running is a huge mental boost for me. All of my races are have been cancelled, so I’ve been driving up to suburbs on the other side of town to run on those paths. This past weekend I went to Dublin and ran through Glacier Ridge Metro Park, around the Dublin Jerome High School and the surrounding neighborhoods. Seeing people out and about in a new place reminded me that I’m not the only one in this word, and that I’m not alone like I sometimes feel I am.
So as of now, I have no resolutions. And I’m probably going to have another emotional flare up after putting this online. But I can take comfort in knowing I’m doing what’s best for me. I know who I am, and more importantly, I know whose I am. I’ve been praying a lot more lately, and I’m leaning on the fact that there’s a lot I don’t understand and I don’t have to understand yet or at all – God is helping me through it, just like He has every other time.
I hope you all had a better September than I did. And I hope we all have a great October.
Yours in blogging and running,