Neverending Story
Attitude, Peaceful Journey, Running

Surviving the Nothing

Back when I worked for the Navy, I kept a professional blog and would sometimes use film analogies to discuss the topic at hand. It’s just how my brain works, especially when I have a difficult time figuring out how to communicate something. I haven’t written here in some time so it didn’t surprise me at all when, at the moment I decided to write again, a film from my childhood came to mind.  Instead of beginning as I typically do with that influential (and perhaps cheesy) cinematic moment, however, I’ll just start with the truth that inspired me to write today.

It was not a good morning. For a while now, I’ve been struggling to hold myself together. Between illness, not having the time or desire to train for races, my best supporter being gone most of the time for work, challenging times for my children, and some difficult times for my family looming that I can’t share publicly, I’ve been living under what has felt like a massive cloud. This morning, while having a conversation with my husband, it finally started to rain. I began to rage as quietly as I could so as not to alarm my children. I felt like I was at war – not with my husband, but with myself. It occurred to me that every terrible thought I’d said he’d had about me were thoughts I’d had about myself, and he stood somewhat helpless trying to figure out how to console me.

As I stood there in our kitchen, I felt like I was standing on an emotional precipice, looking forward at a chasm of despair.

The wounds of the last few years started to bleed uncontrollably. The physical pain felt from over (and under) training over the last 6 months became unbearable. The me I spent 5 years creating and recreating seemed to be unraveling like a ball of yarn rolling across the floor. Inside myself, I looked left and saw the vices I needed to self medicate. I looked right and saw my children, anguish on their faces, shouting at me but making not a sound. I found myself in a fight or flight moment and I didn’t have the energy or the will to do either. Rather than fall forward into the despair, however, I made an unlikely choice. One I forgot that I had.  I simply turned around and hit my reset button. Suddenly, everything got quiet. Without the noise, without falling down or hurting myself, I moved myself forward by deciding to start over.

I had already managed to get dressed in workout clothes, so I pulled out my planner and began to work on today’s schedule. I hadn’t picked up my calendar in a month. I downloaded the Couch to 5K app to my phone. I filled my water bottle, took my supplements, went to my pantry and pulled out the things I needed for the cleanse phase of the AdvoCare 24 Challenge. After 3 half marathons since January and a series of tough mental and emotional set backs, today I chose to go back to basics. It may seem silly to do Couch to 5K after 3 half marathons, but it got me out the door today for 2 miles of movement I wouldn’t otherwise have completed and it’s made me REALLY look forward to tomorrow instead of dreading it. Since I need to get my eating back in check I chose to revisit a plan I’ve had success with many times before instead of trying something new. I realized I had every tool I needed to get past this place already in me. Today, I hit reset, because after letting the despair nearly consume me, it’s time to reimagine myself stronger, happier, and better than before. All it takes is a decision and perhaps a grain of sand…


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  • Reply lavagal June 2, 2015 at 06:15

    The locks of love are being removed from the bridge in Paris for a reason. They weigh tons. It is too much. Love doesn’t have to weigh anything. Your family is secure in your love. You’ve reset and it was freeing, right? There is always work to do, but there is no point in carrying all of the burden, or more of the burden then we have to. Your husband will assist. Your children will lift you up. Your running shoes will help you clear your head. I wish you well, Jamie.

    • Reply Jamie June 29, 2015 at 11:58

      Paula! I’m just seeing your comment in my comments! Thank you for taking the time to write and thank you for the encouragement. I can’t tell you how in love I am with the locks of love analogy. You are so right on and I appreciate you for being able to describe that feeling of freedom so beautifully.

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