It’s been a while. A while longer than I planned/expected. I expected to have a magical post on 10/23 after I ran the Naperville half marathon. My BIG race of the year. I thought I’d wax poetic about the merits of training, and positive thinking, and believe you can do all the things. I felt all those things for a brief shining moment around 10:30am. I PRed. I finished my half marathon in 2:30:36 which is about two minutes faster than my 2014 finish time of 2:32:14. I’ve been chasing that PR since 2014, and when I saw how close I was to catching it, I sprinted so hard the last .10 mile I nearly threw up. I ugly cried. Just for a moment. I headed to the “legacy table” to get my 5 times finisher swag. I called my boyfriend and he told me how proud he was, and how he knew I could do it. It was all perfect.
But…. my mental health isn’t quite right. Rather than being proud of all my hard work, I started beating myself up for all the time I wasted not putting in the work. Speaking of work, it’s been hard lately. It’s always a challenge, and my responsibilities are many, but it’s been weighing heavily on me for months- and this was no exception. I started to tell myself that I’m bad at my job. Since I last spoke to you, I’ve been tight rope walking through my life. The floor is lava. My balance is terrible.
Two days ago, I fell.
I’ve been working 6 days a week for the past two weeks, a lot of them 5am-1pm shifts. I’ve been sleeping in the second bedroom. I miss my boyfriend. I miss my bed. This physical exhaustion is enough even in the best of mental health times to make me extremely sensitive. I cry easily. When I’m tired, it’s exponentially worse. Tuesday, I’m struggling to be two people at work, when I get a call from corporate. What was said, and what I heard might be significantly different, but the conversation ended with me hyperventilating, crying so hard I couldn’t talk, and deciding I’m terrible at my job. I got off at 1pm, called my mom, and cried the whole car ride home. Left to my own devices, I made some really bad choices with food, and did things I’m not proud of. Hours later, I started crying again, and it got so bad I took a Xanax because I could not stop. My sweet sweet boyfriend did all the right things, said all the right things, but I couldn’t stop my inner monologue. So much negative self talk. So much feeling sorry for myself.
Tuesday would have gone much the same, but I had the presence of mind to take a Xanax as soon as I started crying (got there at 9, crying by 9:15). My good friend Kaitlin reached out to see how I was doing, and I told her: Work 2, Katie 0. She kindly reminded me that I’m due for my period. Yes. PMS often sneaks up on me- after years of being so irregular or just not getting a period- I almost never see it coming. It does make me feel slightly better that my hormones are a factor in my recent emotional instability, but I have to be honest with myself and address the bigger issue. I’m not in a good place with my mental health. Something has to change.
The icing on the cake? I have only worked out twice since the half marathon. I’ve just been so tired, so down, and so full of excuses. This is history repeating itself. This is me back sliding. I have to get my hands around this, or I will find myself more depressed, and at least fifty pounds heavier.
I’m going to a new doctor today. She’s a primary care doctor, and not a mental health specialist. She comes highly recommended, and I’m hopeful she can point me in the right direction of finding the right mental health doctor for me. If not, I have to give myself permission to try someone new, and keep trying until I find the right fit for me. Maybe putting this out into the universe (internet) will help me ACTUALLY do it, and not just talk about it.
It’s Sunday.. I wrote everything above this Thursday morning before seeing the doctor.
Re-reading what I wrote, I feel annoyed with myself for being so damn dramatic. The floor is lava? Come on.
I talked to the new doctor, and I actually got to talk to the mental health professional in the office right away as well. I’m depressed. It is what it is. I’m taking steps to get better, but right now- I’m not totally ok. And that’s ok.
I’m so tempted to edit this. Whittle it down to a funny anecdote if I can, but I’m not going to. It’s dramatic, and so angsty, but it’s honest.
It’s raining right now, but if it lets up, I’m going to go for a run. If it doesn’t, I’ll work out in the basement.
Baby steps. But I’m back.