I have started and re-started this blog post no less than 18 times. Why do you ask? Because I feel the need to make things perfect. Cue anxiety. And the need to eat half a box of cereal. Or is it the anxiety that fuels the need for perfectionism. Regardless, being perfect will never happen and I’ve learned over the years that what I need to do is simply hit publish and hope it’s ok…. ENOUGH. And to put down the cereal lol.
Hello! My Name is…
My name is Deb and although I have lived with both depression and anxiety for well over half my life, most people you would ask would never know. I’ve been able to mask it well. That is, until I had my daughter and experienced some of the most shameful and dark months of my life. To clarify, having my little bug has truly been the BEST thing to ever happen to me; even with the PPD (postpartum depression)/PPA (postpartum anxiety). And this is because I have been forced to deal with some of the traumas I have been living with since I was a child.
It has not been easy or comfortable. It’s been quite the opposite actually, and putting myself out there to share my struggles has been like ripping off 108 bandaids at the same time. See, normally, I am a very private person. Burdening others with my (what feels like) insignificant problems is not something I am in the habit of doing. However, going through the extreme emotions of PPD/PPA, I could feel in my bones it was time to speak up. Not just for myself, but for so many others that experience the same thing.
We all need to know we’re not alone. We’re not crazy. We’re not a burden to others. We have an invisible illness that is not all that well understood or accepted. Society has come a LONG way, but there is just as far left to go in my opinion.
My Running Journey
Enter running. All throughout childhood and high school I was very active. I did dance when I was younger and sports when I got older. I played sports because I LOVED being part of a team. However, when college came, and for the first time, I was on my own. That did not go well. The long and short of it is I lost myself BIG time. It took me a few years after college to find running as something that people chose to do, and once I ran my first 10K, I knew distance running was in my future for good. So far I’ve run six half marathons, double-digit 10Ks and 5Ks, four 10 milers, and the Marine Corps 17.75K.
Running has evolved for me over the years into something that I don’t just want to get faster at, I want to preserve the experience as long as possible. Running is my outlet. My meditation. My medication. My friend. My butt-kicker when I need butt-kicking. My perspective. Despite that, it is also not enough some days.
Getting help is paramount in the treatment of depression and anxiety. So while running is an amazing tool to have in your toolbag to help manage, it is not enough, especially when things are bad. Please do not feel afraid to reach out. Being a part of the Still I Run community is a gift and what Sasha and all of you have built is a beautiful thing. It is truly my honor to be brought on as a coach and I will do whatever I can to support all of you along your own journeys. Can’t wait to hear from you!!!