What happens when…? And then…? Depression hits hard when you’re down. 

Two years ago I started running. I ran 30 seconds without dying, then a full Nickelback-tune (3,30 mins) and not long after a full 5 km. I haven’t quit running since. A minimum of 4 days a week. You’ll find the beginning Here

I have had a rough fall, winter and spring but yet kept my 50km goal in sight. I followed a running schedule for the very first time – but it was too hard to combine with my life. So, I went on to my own pace. Tapering though Iunderstand you shouldn’t play around with so I did it, and then I got sick. Like I never been as a vegan… Fever, cold, soar throat… The cold from hell. I missed the 50km.

My already mentioned fall, winter and spring was supposed to end in a four week long holiday, time off work. It didn’t happen. I was asked to take up another position and put my holiday on hold. So speak. It was cancelled.

That’s my story. New position, working 12 hours days. A lot of preassure. A lot of responsibilities. I like it, but I am so tired. And no running.

I went running for the very first time in three weeks on Thursday. I was struggling, still coughing, still soar throat. No fever. But over all – freedom. Friday morning I wanted to run again but since I no longer sleep the second I put my head on the pillow but lay awake, head’s spinning with unfinished thoughts. When I fall asleep I only sleep for a couple of hours, then wake up, fall asleep, wake up, tossing and turning. 

This morning, I woke up and felt the black clouds surrounding me. I was so tired. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I knew I had to be somewhere. I didn’t have the time to go running. And frankly I was too tired anyway. 

I have had depressions all my life. First time I remember was when I was in 4th grade. I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t know what it was then, but as an adult I learned. That first time I was in bed for two weeks. I remember thinking life would only be like this, school and then work and no freedom at all. This has followed me all life. The worry about life passing by without sense and meaning. I haven’t had any depression since I began running. I have read “running is cheaper than therapy” and it’s me. But it’s not the only thing – I do gardening too and I bake. I have created what works for me. But I never guessed it could fall apart so easily. 

Not really easy, thinking of it, but it mean so much to me. I should have stopped it, after all I have seen the signs. The crying, the moods, the hopelessness, the forgetting, the bloating… And not allowing me to cry for the missed race. I have acted like it didn’t mean anything. But it did. I was devastated not to run. The uncontrolled “crazy” happiness. The fake smiles. The everything is fine approach. 

I never guessed running could have this impact on me. 

I need to get back on track, take control, find the freedom.

Most of all I need to decide what I want to do, stay in this job or find something else. I need to find my way back to my “zone” (and I don’t mean comfort zone), where I am able to function again.

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3 comments

  1. Keep on keeping on! Depression is a horrible illness, hidden from society as a whole but so corrosive. I have had a similar journey culminating with a burnout brought about by over work amongst other things. I can say that happiness and health are more important than work on the whole and as someone who hasn’t had a calling in life i.e Doctor, Engineer, Artist or Musician I am now finding out what I want to do. Thankfully I have the time to do this but like everything in life there is always an opposite side. In my experience working long hours is not good for the body or the soul and ultimately you don’t gain from it. I would trust your gut feeling as this is usually a good indicator of the correct path. The over-work, tiredness and exhaustion all go to feed depression and that was something I only found out later in life. Funny as pretty obvious really 🙂

    As for exercise, it has helped me no end and can see the link to not getting out walking and my mood. I am that you run so much, the thought of running 50m tires me out 🙂 Anyway hope you find some answers and a better zone..

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    • There are so many ways to see this and when I am myself I can see my way out of it, I can see my options. Now I am only fighting to keep my head above the water – or at least my nose. I don’t have my shield, my guard. I am unprotected.

      My boss is happy to have someone ‘young and eager’ but I am just a shadow. I have said so many times I need four weeks off or I am in the burnout area instead. But they turn it around and sweet talk me into how good I am and how smart I am and we will help you… And my favorite: ‘if you turn this down you can’t expect to get another chance’. And could I do that? Turn it down? Turn my back on what I have trained for? For a holiday?
      Yes. The clear sighted rested running self would have said ‘find someone else who’ll give up their holiday…’

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is always easy to get trapped in a view of the world and others view of it. Ultimately you are the only one who knows what is right for you but often it is difficult to know what the right steps are and Depression doesn’t help make things clear. But sounds like you need a change and there are ‘other’ jobs out there and maybe that can help you get some space, time and quality of life back. hth

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