Monday, August 6, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole

Starting last Thursday night, I've been having bad dreams - the kind where you're falling and then jerk awake.  I'm sure it's my subconscious coming into play as I feel a bit out of control right now.  Literally I woke up in the middle of the night and thought "I'm Alice falling down the rabbit hole.  Problem is, it's not a Wonderland down here."

I think what precipitated it is not being able to run the race on Saturday.  This race is the 11.6 mile one that's held in my very own city, starting and ending at our beach.  While I haven't run it every single year that I've been running it (at least twice I was away), I've run it every single time I could.  The race is free for goodness sake and the post race festivities are just plain fun.  I was really looking forward to running it as this year was the 50th Anniversary race.  But it became evident a couple weeks ago after I ran 8 miles and it took an entire week for my foot to feel like I wasn't going to die with every step, that while I could probably get through it, that wouldn't be the best idea I've ever had so I had to lay it to rest.

As friends have posted online about their intentions to run that race and others that are upcoming (fall is really distance race season around here), I can literally feel myself spiraling into sadness.  Almost like I'm grieving.  What makes this so odd is that I've had past years where I didn't race and it really did not bother me.  I suppose this is a bit different though as it's not really a choice I've made as much as one I've been forced into.

I soothed my upset soul by keeping busy with my niece and nephew having them overnight Friday and all day Saturday.  Amazing what time with a child can do to make you forget your own issues.  And even though we spent the day at the very beach where the run was taking place, it turned out OK.  I just stayed away from the area where I knew all my running friends would be congregated and concentrated on keeping Gracie from going into the water too deep.  She's fearless that one and knows how to swim just enough to scare ME.

While all my other aches and pains (back, quadricep, shoulder) have healed with treatment, turns out my foot issue is one that ultimately only time will heal.. The doctor even insisted I go get another x-ray to make sure it wasn't an actual bone spur or worse like a stress fracture.  But everything came back all clear.  Which made it all the more frustrating that  it seemed like it was getting better... and then it wasn't.  I have some days that are pretty good and others where it aches so much, when I walk in the door in the evening, Mr. Helen says I look like I've been to hell and back what with the pain on my face.

The bad thing about all of it (other than the obvious not being to exercise and weight gain) is that I tend to be a bit of a hermit naturally and I've noticed as this has gone on that I don't want to do anything.    I just want to go home, put on my shorts and a tank top and zone out.   I don't want to email, talk on the phone, meet a friend for a glass of wine, nothing! I have no desire to be social.  Not a good thing for me ultimately as I spend quite a bit of time alone at work as well.  I can see myself easily getting sucked into a whirlpool of depression.

It's all such a vicious cycle isn't it?  So here I am again at Monday, hoping for a better week in every way.  Today at work I will concentrate on the encouragement Roz gave me last week and hope for better things.



21 comments:

  1. You mentioned the word yourself already: depression. When I kept on reading this post the word popped up in my mind. Looks like you're in a negative spiral at the moment and the only one that can get you out is you. But it's hard. Chosing not to run a race is something different than can't run it.

    I feel for you Helen and hope you see a bright sky soon and things look more positive for you. Roz's oneliner reminds me immediately of the Bob Marley song "Three Little Birds" a song that always cheers me up. Maybe you too?

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  2. Yep, it's really depressing when the choice to race is taken away from you. I did the same thing as you are doing - I avoided going to a lot of running events because it was just hard to not be participating. It IS a vicious cycle, but there will be an end and you WILL be back to running again. It's just hard to wait through it. I KNOW. Big hugs.

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  3. Boy, it is hard to see the mountain top when we are in the valley, isn't it? Grieving any kind of a loss can manifest in so many ways - and come up again, even when we think we are past all of it. As far as the injury, we have to look no farther than Shelley to know that is does get better. And like you friend Roz said, it's only a matter of when. Sending good thoughts your way.

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  4. Take care. Like you, I am also a bit of a hermit by nature, so I know that feeling of just wanting to isolate. I never know if if I should accept it as my mind and body knowing that's what I need, or if I hould fight it tooth and nail. I usually keep to myself for a while, because for some reason, the solitude is restorative, but after a while, I start pushing myself out the door again. I guess we all deal with things differently, but I know there will be better days ahead for you in time. Sending healing thoughts your way...

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  5. I get the hermit thing. Sometimes I MAKE myself go to the grocery store just to be in contact with humans.

    If your foot is carpal tunnel, it took 3 long years for me to get over that. At the end of my 12 hour shifts I would wish that I could just unscrew my feet and carry them home. At the time I was at my heaviest, which in a way was a blessing, because I had no problem staying off them and resting them (on my days off.) Physical therapy? Night braces? Custom inserts?

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  6. Sending big hugs your way Helen! I loved that you spent time with the kids and even had party pizza Sunday. I couldn't agree with that quote more - hang in there! :D

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  7. I'm sorry you are feeling so down. I can totally relate but that probably doesn't make you feel any better! Have you considered talking to a therapist? I'm in the process of finding one that takes my insurance. It's the only thing I haven't tried on this journey...hugs!!!

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  8. Helen, I've been reading your blog for about a year now, and admire you so much. I've been through this same thing, only it was my knee. In my case I decided to bike (which I was doing for cross training when I ran), and 10 years later at 56 years old I still bike and love it. Hang in there, it's tough, but I think you are a tough cookie and will be able to figure this out. Good luck to you, I hope you see brighter days soon.

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  9. Sending GIANT hugs your way Helen. Brighter days are ahead..hang in there.

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  10. Oh for heaven's sake....Dennis' comment above is actually me, Roz. Note to self, check if Dennis is logged into google before you comment using google. In the words of Homer Simpson "DOH"!!! However, for the record, Dennis would give you a hug too!!! We're huggers up here in Vancouver! :) Take care Helen.

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    1. I was wondering who this Dennis was!

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    2. Me, too. Got all excited that I had a male reader and then Roz just dashed my dreams LOL!

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  11. Hugs. Not much more I can say or send that hasn't already been said or sent. Healing takes time, damn it! Your IBFF can surely attest to that. But it's good to just unload your frustrations and negativity here. It helps with the tendency to isolate, even tho we're just your virtual peeps, we love you and will listen to every word you need to say!

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  12. I feel bad that you are having such a rough time. Its amazing how having kids around for the day lifts our spirits. I will be having my own nephew with me in a couple of days and he is a hoot (sorry that was the first word that came into my head, corny, eh?). You sure lifted my mood with your comment about "mean people suck". I am still smiling at that. Take care!

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  13. Ditto-ing everyone else. It sucks...and then it doesn't. Sometimes it takes too long not to suck though, and THAT sucks too. Hang in there...

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  14. Oh, Helen. That sucks, and I'm sorry you're spiraling down. It is so, so hard to get motivated and keep going when it feels like life is kicking you in the teeth. Just hang in there, and do what you can do.

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  15. **reaches through monitor and hugs you**


    Miz.

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  16. I echo what Paulette said. You are a tough cookie, and you will get through this. I like the looking for another avenue, like biking. That is what I have had to do. Just getting started, but it makes me feel good. I have faith you will come through this an even stronger woman.

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  17. I echo all above - I have read your blog for a while & hope you can find an activity that you enjoy and helps you out of the doldrums. Maybe swimming? Where one door closes another opens?

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  18. Grr! I hear ya about issues that make decisions for you! It is so frustrating to not heal as fast as we once did! I know for me when I have to cut back on my workouts, I suffer from the endorphin loss more than anything! Once those are dwindling everything seems to pile up on me and then I'm a big grouchy baby!

    I hope your pain goes away and you are able to get back into the things you are missing!

    xo,
    Linda

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