It’s, “Erin rambles on about the jumbled mess that are her thoughts,” day… Or, to put it in a better way, “Thinking Out Loud Thursday.”
Thanks Amanda for creating this link-up and actually giving me the mental strength to sit and type a post (wow, that was melodramatic).
Workout – 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.
1. Yup. As I briefly mentioned in my Monday post…. I’m still/yet again injured. I has been almost 2 weeks since my last “run” (ok, actually I ran 4 miles on Saturday because I thought I was healed, but I was wrong and am paying for it.
I strained a muscle in my lateral leg. The pain is most severe in my outer ankle area (hurts to the touch), but it pulls from my arch all the way up through my gluteal area. Not fun.
I just feel as though I am always injured, and yes, I am aware that I am to blame for this in a number of ways… But this just could not have come at a worse time.
Over the course of the last month or so, I have just been spiraling further and further down the rabbit hole of depression and self loathing. I am having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, I don’t feel up to talking to anyone (even if it is just over text messages), I don’t have the mental stamina to complete my school work. Basically, I just feel like curling up in a ball and turning the world around me off. The universe feels too big and loud and terrifying and I don’t feel strong enough to be a part of it.
During the course of this spiraling into a deep sea of depression, there was one single thing that filled me with hope and joy and a sense of meaning… Can you guess what it was?
If you said running, than you are correct.
In fact, the day that I discovered I was injured, I had a therapy appointment before I went to the doctor for my leg. We had an amazing session and we spoke about how bad I have been doing and how running has been my saving grace. She told me how important it is that I keep running, as it is the one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning and that makes taking on the world, while still almost impossible, somewhat bearable.
Of course, right after that appointment I was told that I couldn’t run again for a while.
I completely lost it.
Yup, embarrassing myself, as I frequently do, I started crying in the middle of the medical office. The worst part of not being able to control your emotions is knowing that your reaction to the given situation is inappropriate in respect to the situation. I just feel like a toddler throwing a fit over not getting a toy that they want or something. As a result, I wind up crying even harder because of how pathetic I feel. It is a vicious cycle.
On top of being in a black hole of depression already, not being able to run is a double whammy when it comes to worsening my already less-than-ideal mental state.
On one hand, running is my saving grace. It is my love. It is what I feel passionate about. It is the one thing that makes me feel like maybe I’m worth something. It makes me grateful to be alive in this wonderful, beautiful, and magical world of ours. it makes me thankful to be alive and to have a body, regardless of the size of it, that can carry me for miles and miles.
On the other hand, it is no secret that a lot of my issues stem from a deep loathing of myself, and, more specifically, my body. I was already freaking out over the fact that I feel as though I eat way too much and that I am gaining weight and getting bigger by what feels like the day. Now, I am unable to run or do intensive exercise. All I can do is the elliptical or the bike… Not exactly the top of the list calorie burning machines. I already wanted to get this extra weight off (which is almost impossible for me since I destroyed my metabolism with my eating issues…I really need to get back on track with working on that), but now it feels more impossible than ever. I feel and look puffy and larger. I don’t want to leave the room because I don’t want people to see me. I was already struggling with getting to class, now if feels almost impossible. In fact, I skipped out on two classes this week because I just physically could not get myself out the door. I just crumble… It’s bad.
I think the worst part is knowing on a logical level that a lot of it must be in my head. You don’t swell up 20 pounds over night, but to me it appears as though I do. I have trouble differentiating what is real and what is just a false projection from my disordered mind. It’s like there is this constant war going on inside my mind and I can’t make it stop.
It is exhausting… And quite honestly, I don’t know what to do about it.
Another piece of all of this is that I feel like every time I take one step in the right direction recovery wise, I wind up taking about 10 steps back. At the end of the summer, I was seeing progress, I really was. To others (mainly my mom), I know that it seemed as though therapy was doing nothing and I was in just as bad of a place as I had been for years… But I wasn’t. The thing with recovery is that it is a painfully slow process. Any change, infinitesimal as it may seem, is crucial and important. The recovering person notices them, but everyone around that person sees absolutely nothing.
I explained it, both to my mom and to my therapist, like this – For years now, I have hated my body. I obsess about what I look like, what people are seeing and thinking of my size, and how food is the enemy 100% of the time. At the end of the summer, these thoughts consumed my mind about 98.5% of the time. This 1.5% change of mentality may seem laughable in size… But to me is was huge.
And now I’m back at 100% of the time for these bad thoughts… And I hate it.
I also feel like I am wasting my mom’s money on therapy and I am wasting my therapist’s time. I feel selfish for even going… I am just at a stand still.
2. SOMETHING MORE POSITIVE!!!!
There is actually one thing that fills me with as much joy as running does.
(from my Instagram)
It sounds stupid, but if I could be absolutely anything in the world, I would be a musician. Now, I’m not talking like a Taylor-Swift-status-billionaire-superstar status musician… I would just want to be in a band with a moderate fan base that I could love. Music is the most powerful form of expression in my opinion. I have wanted to be a lot of different things career-wise in my lifetime, and none of the career paths that I have aspired to really had anything in common. The only common factor among my passions in life is this overwhelming need to make people feel something. I think this is why writing has always been a reoccurring theme in my goals in life. When you read a good book, watch a powerful movie, or listen to beautiful music, it elicits some sort of emotion within in you. Words have the power to be your best friend, your biggest motivator. Words can make you feel less alone… And that is what I love so much about music.
I listen to music by bands who weave words with melody in ways that make my heart cry out. I listen to music that can bring a real smile to my face whilst also brining me to tears… And listening to live music? There is nothing better.
Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember absolutely killing it.
It sounds like a cliche from a bad teenage movie… But music really has saved my life in more ways than one. I have been listening to my favorite band, Silverstein, since 7th grade. 7th grade also happened to be the time where my depression really manifested into something truly nasty. I have continued listening to that band through the years. I know that every time I am having a really hard time, their music has been there for me, and it will continue to be there for me as long as I have hearing.
There is also something truly beautiful, at least to me, about being surrounded by hundreds of people who all have the same deep connection to a certain song or band that you do. We are all pressed together like sardines in a can, we are jumping, we are struggling to keep up with keeping the crowd surfers from falling to the floor. My hair is being pulled and I am being absolutely demolished by the people around me (don’t even ask how many bruises I have on my body right now)… And for some reason, being accidentally punched and kicked, being knocked over while trying to hold up a dude about twice the size of me, and being drenched in sweat that isn’t even my own… It’s beautiful.
So in conclusion, I have been doing really really awful lately… But I had one really great day on Saturday, so I am choosing to focus on that instead.
This too shall pass.