I run when things get to be too much. I start to feel the little twinge start in my back, that moves into anxiety, which eventually swings low and drops me into depression. The pain in my chest, my aching heart, the sadness is too much, so I run. I yank on a t-shirt and some leggings, scramble for my running shoes, find headphones, fill my water bottle, find some gum to chew and head out. Depending on how much it hurts is where I run. If I catch the anxiety before it feels like I can’t breathe then I can run on the treadmill, music blaring in my ears to block out the destructive thoughts trying to enter my mind. I run to feel a different pain and release the energy that is building. I run until my body is crying with sweat, until my chest is heaving trying to catch its breath and my knee is telling me please no more. I run to feel something other than this crushing sadness or to just feel something at all when I don’t feel anything. My therapist says I feel things too deeply and am constantly concerned about others when I need to concentrate on myself.
If I don’t catch it soon enough because I don’t have time to just drop out for a couple of hours then I have to run outside on the trails, rain or shine, and I hate it the whole time. It becomes an anger release run. I feel angry that I didn’t just take the time I needed when I first felt that little twinge, I feel angry that I don’t have the same choices to just drop out of our relationship whenever I feel like I need a break, so much anger. My body hates the outdoor run as much as my mind does.
The end result it the same though, I’m stiff for a day or two, my mind is clearer, my heart still hurts but it isn’t as heavy and I feel something else. Something that only the adrenaline rush makes me feel, the rush so that I don’t just give up, lay down and let the sadness wash over me, like I have in the past. The run makes me feel stronger, like I just fought for myself and won.
I want the hurt and sadness to go away and stay away, and just run because I feel like I want to not that I need to. I’d like to run outside with the sun on my face and just enjoy it instead of feeling angry that I need to run harder to control the spiral that’s getting too far gone for me to stop it. I never used to feel weak or out of control but I do now. My therapist, Ann, tells me “Lady, you are the strongest woman, to have been through so much and you still keep going, that is strength not weakness.” I have learned that I can’t control what’s going to happen and I can’t change or fix what has happened in the past but to cope with everything, I can run.