Monday, May 08, 2006

running through, part 4

I knew I would get a little down sometimes, but I didn't want to accept a full blown case of depression. And those words the doctor had used -- Exercise. Regularly. -- kept coming back to me. Could it be that simple for me? Could regular exercise be what could get me through bouts with these debilitating seasons? I'm determined to find out!

Let me just say, though, running is what I do (because I think I always need to be doing something). Running clears my head, builds my endurance and my strength. My Faith does the same for my soul. My faith is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I couldn't run the "good race" without faith. But I find depression creeping in, crouching down waiting for a chance to pounce on me and knock me down. Sometimes I can feel it there, before it has a grasp on me. Sometimes I can resist it and it will flee. Sometimes the depression gains control. Sometimes it gains so much control I don't even go to church -- can't go to church. And if I do, I just sit there and cry.

That's exactly what happened this past month. I had been getting up at 5 a.m. to run (mornings are much better for me) and I had been doing pretty well, too. Then life got overwhelming and I slept in one morning. Then the next morning and the next. I beat myself up for not doing what I knew I should, for not taking better care of myself, for not doing this one thing for myself. These thoughts led to self-pity.

Why does everything always fall apart? Why can't things just work out? Why does something have to happen everyday? When is it going to stop?

Of course this only made me feel worse and more overwhelmed. It became difficult even to get up and go to work in the morning. By the time I'd get home in the evening I was done for the day! I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. My daughter was at work, my husband was out of town, so there wasn't any reason to cook or anything else. I would just simply shut down.

On Wednesday nlghts I knew I should be at church. But I also knew that the first time (and it was inevitable) someone asked me how I was doing, I was going to fall apart. I knew I might not even make it as far as the church before I might break down crying -- so why even try? Even though I knew I would feel better, be encouraged and, more importantly, get support from my friends, I chose to hide out in my house and sleep until I just had to get up.

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