I have another guest post to share with you all today, as I am back from the beach but now spending time with Rob’s family who is visiting from Ohio/Arkansas! Suzy was kind enough to agree to write a post, and I told her to write about whatever she wanted (you know, within reason…) Suzy is one of the most open and honest bloggers that I have “met”, and her posts always get me thinking. While some of her posts may be deep, they are always written with a bit of humor that keeps things entertaining. I’ll stop there and let Suzy do the rest of the talking…
Lisa’s blog was one of the first blogs I ever read and so I was excited when she asked me to write a guest post for her! I’ve got a bit of a potty mouth and I talk way too much about poo but for some reason Lisa puts up with me.
I’ve also got an anxiety disorder. It seems like every other person has been diagnosed with some sort of mental health issue and so I find that when I talk about my own anxiety struggles, I end up connecting with a lot of people who are relieved to know that they’re not alone.
Running has been my number one tool that I use for anxiety management. But when stress levels demand more than what running can help with, I have in different times of my life turned to medication, psychotherapy, journaling, listening to and playing music, and reading books. To keep it real and honest, I’ve also done destructive things in a desperate attempt to distract myself and numb the pain because anxiety hurts and there is only so much a person can take before we go a little loco.
I’ve written a lot about my anxiety story which you can find here, but I want to give Lisa something fresh today, so I’ll let you in a little on my world right now as I deal with all my lifey life stress. Up until a month ago, I was logging anywhere from 80-100 miles per week. I was training for the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon, hoping to finally get my sub-3 hour PR but I wasn’t running that much for that reason; I was running that much because I had shitloads of anxiety.
I’d get up early and run. I’d run at night. I’d run on the treadmill during my toddler’s nap time and I’d push him in the running stroller when he was awake. When the rest of my life fell apart, then by my own strength and will I’d control this part. I’d run. And run. And run.
I ended up with a 3:06 and change in Seattle which you know, is great.
Above everything else I am grateful for my ability to run, mostly out of fear that the entitlement gods may give me the what-for in the whatnot if I ever take running for granted, but also because I really am grateful that I can run. But right after the marathon, when our blended family of 8 (only 7 of us this time though) went on our Mexican vacation, I ended up putting my back out something fierce and it was only then, when I stood gripping the trunk of a palm tree, writhing in pain, that I realized that the stresses in my life cost a lot more than what my mileage could pay for.
So when this happens, what are we supposed to do about it? Well, we call for help. Help can be anything from medication, therapy, a good friend, a new book, some new music, journaling, yoga, meditation, complete rest, a massage. However, the options are endless for the open-minded yet extremely limited for us runner folk.
It actually takes more self discipline for me to run less than it does for most people to run more. But I had to make the decision to find new ways to cope with stress other than running. And running. And running. So far, it hasn’t been easy, but nothing rewarding is ever easy, is it?
Have any of you guys ever dealt with anxiety? Or what about a compulsion of some sort, like numbers on a scale, or calories, or miles? How did you get free from it? If you feel paralyzed, then feel free to email me, or comment on my blog, or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram and I will gladly help you feel not so alone. BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Okay, so for all you smarty pants out there, what should I do when it’s like, 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I’ve already run 10 miles in the morning, but I feel like my nerves are buzzing? What do you do to get your shit together? What can I do? HELP ME.