I gave up running three years ago when I faced depression that I brought me very close to ending my own life. Running was just too much time inside my own head, which was at that time a very dark and dangerous place. With the help and support of friends and family, I sought more help and navigated the maze of inpatient, outpatient, and followup services. I took back my life and now my loved ones see me as a rock, a person who is not unfamiliar with, nor afraid of darkness in myself and others. I have come so far, but I have not yet reclaimed running. I love how much running can be a metaphor for life and for the struggle of mental illness. The Boston Marathon especially is, because you get so much power from the people watching you and the people running along side you, but in the end, only you can do the work- no one can run it for you.
I chose to run the Boston Marathon because I don’t think I can do it. But that is the beauty of it. When I spent my first night in the psychiatric hospital, I didn’t think I could ever get well enough to stay out of the hospital, but I took that night one minute at a time. When I was released, I didn’t think I could get better, but I took it one day at a time and got through lots of everyday hardships that once would have ended me. I am doubtful of my ability to reclaim running, but I can take it one mile at a time and see it as just another thing I will not let mental illness take away from me.
My community has lost three beautiful people to suicide over the past 18 months, all very beloved and successful adults who just couldn’t keep going through the darkness they bravely faced. As I train, my thoughts and prayers will be with the many people who love Lacey, Chris, and Dr. H. and I hope this endeavor opens up more opportunities for me to talk about my struggles with others and hopefully make them feel more comfortable to take the help that is available to them.
Please consider donating on behalf of my run, and check out my blog journaling my thoughts on this endeavor: http://roadrage262.wordpress.com/