Friday, May 30, 2014

A Beautiful Realization

It has been a struggle for me the past few weeks. The terminology would be "setback" but I hate saying that. It's as if I have been rebuilding myself brick by brick this past year and a bunch of bricks were just flicked off. So hard to build, so easy to tear down.

I believe I have been pretty open about my struggles with God these past months. As I have been reminded... those who have suffered greatly are bound to have a faith crisis at some point. It has been extremely hard to see God's role in my depression... especially in the setbacks. Of late I've been feeling abandoned by Him.

Coming up in the next few months are poignant anniversaries, if you will, of the worst moments in my depression. The first is next week. The knowledge of these anniversaries have put me on edge... the memories flood me like a dam that has been unleashed. These memories, along with the "setbacks," have given me an extremely negative outlook right now and further distrust towards God.

Today I was having a conversation with a dear friend who reminded me how incredibly far I have come this year. Her observation along with the conversations with my therapist and Dhrumil this week seemed to come together as I mulled them over in my head.

And then as I was I about to go to sleep last night the following poem came to me. Tears ran down my face as my own pen spoke the truth of the matter...

I have not been abandoned by God.
And I never will be abandoned by Him.

A Beautiful Realization

You know who you are
You see her right there
She's the one staring
Her eyes glimmering, Her skin fair

You see every flaw
Every sin
Every shame
But do you see the girl who is no longer in such pain?

Can you look past where you are
To see where you've come from?
You've climbed reach-less mountains
You've discovered the sun!

Don't dwell on the battles that are sure to still come
But turn your head toward the victories you've already won

God has been there too
or would you rather forget?
He is the one who saved you
AND He's not finished yet

So open your eyes my dear beloved one.
Give yourself mercy...
Give yourself the Son

Beauty and strength
Courage and might
They have all helped you win
Helped you fight the good fight

Now look again
See the girl who has come so far
You can do this, you can beat this
You are who you are

Beauty HE made you
Beauty HE sees
And He is real, He is there
He comes to you like the warm ocean breeze

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Panic Made Me Run

Who would have thought learning how to control my anxiety/depression and panic attacks would teach me how to run?

I have never been one for exercise. And I have definitely never been one for playing sports. Gym time and I have had a rocky relationship spanning almost 25 years. It was the fifth grade when I realized I couldn't quite kick the ball like the other kids. That led to the ninth grade where I was picked last for every team sport and overheard a kid complaining to the teacher that he didn't want me on his basketball team. Then on to the "fun" ultimate frisbee games my friends wanted me to participate in during my college years... all I ended up doing was huffing and puffing from one end of the field to the other. Oh the volleyball nightmares, the kick ball nightmares, the throwing a football nightmares, the running the mile in high school nightmares (I was always the second to last kid to finish.)

awkwardness at its finest via ballet costume
circa '95
Was I a couch potato? No way... I was always riding my bike somewhere. I was involved in classical ballet until 19... some say ballet dancers are the toughest athletes out there.  I could never be that kid who felt confident in the gym and unless the sport was archery... just leave me be!

I bring up my past because I feel it has something to do with how I looked at the gym in my adulthood... doesn't the past always have a way of creeping into our now? Anyways fast forward to age 26... the french fries and ice cream didn't just magically disappear anymore. It was time to get healthy... I had to begin exercising. Dhrumil signed us up for the gym... I went once after being was awful. I couldn't bounce up and down on a machine I didn't know how to use a mere two feet away from some stranger. I went with a DVD at home.

Fast forward again (two kids later) to last summer... the Doctors said exercise would be good for my mental health. We signed up for the gym again. This time I didn't feel so self-conscience... I figured out the machine and I too bounced up and down... trying to ignore those next to me. But it was still work to me... horrible dreadful no fun work. And then it just became too much to drag myself there. And so me and exercise had another hiatus.

Funny how certain ideas/people/activities may pass you by multiple times in your life but you may not click with them until the time is right. How many times had I tried cheesecake and it wasn't for me, but now I love it? How many times did I roll my eyes at the chore of planting flowers, but now look forward to it? What about an acquaintance I had years ago who has now become a good friend? I could go on and on...

This is how it is with me and running.

Last year around this time I wrote a post about starting to run... running and I have had a hate-hate relationship. It has been a once in a 5 year thing for me... never lasting past the first day. It kinda went hand in hand with the hating the playing sports/gym thing. I could never get past the mental block that I wasn't good at it, thinking the feeling of burning lungs would never go away and feeling people were looking at me as I ran.

But then something happened. I decided it was time to get healthy... ever since I had Nolan I have been working insanely hard to just get back to a healthy mental place. Now that I'm somewhat there I knew it would be good for my mind and body to get exercise and to maybe try to lose those last few pounds. I told Dhrumil I was going to start running to which he just looked at me.... rightly so as he was well aware of my track record. But then with an encouraging yet cautious smile he replied... go do it!

And I did!

The timing was right. Me and running clicked. Everything I have learned in overcoming my mental obstacles found there way into my mind and set my feet into motion. It has now been a little over a month and I have run close to 5 days a week.

My recipe for success?

Third day running in a row... "hey maybe I can do this"
1. The pressure is OFF! 
There is no set time, no set route, you are doing this for you! Whatever you need today your body will do.

2. Focus!
Put the mental blinders on, concentrate on you, who cares who sees you, you know you are doing great!

3. Concentrate!
Don't worry about making it up the next hill, just think about your breathing, sing a song in your head, listen to the wind, contemplate life and where you are at, think positively

4. Be NOW!
You are here, you are you, no worrying

5. Don't Panic!
WAIT you're running!? You HATE running!? No don't panic, its ok, just breath, just relax, just BE

Whenever I finish a run... no matter how far or how long... I feel a great sense of accomplishment. If I had to stop for a few seconds to walk... no problem. If I took a shorter route... who cares. I got out, I did it for me, I am empowered.

Running has been a good reminder of what trials in life can do to you. They can make you stronger, they can make you wiser and they can push you to be you and to accomplish things you never thought possible!