I thought long and hard about whether I should publish this post, which I drafted last night. I'm torn between not wanting my friends to worry about me, but still wanting everyone to know that it's not all roses and cinnamon doughnuts. That even though I have a great strategy for dealing with the disappointment of being injured and missing out on races, and even though I've found a positive approach to dealing with my negative self-talk, those thoughts still come to me. I still get down, and I do my best to deal with it.
So I've decided to share this, to let you see the full story, and maybe to give you a bit of courage to face down your own uncharitable thoughts. But I also want you to know, before you read on, that I'm ok today.
I felt really shit tonight. Shit to the point where I briefly considered checking myself in somewhere. It started when I left work, having worked my arse off all day but leaving with a bigger to-do list than I’d started with.
I drove away thinking about how much I desperately wanted to run, and wondering if maybe I could strap my ankle firmly and go for a small trot in the forest. Maybe no one would know. But I didn't, because I know I shouldn't.
So I went to my guitar lesson where I played better than I have for months, because I actually had time to practise this week, only I still felt like I played terribly.
Then I went home and decided to try defrosting the fish on a small dish resting on a hotplate on the stove's lowest heat setting. It worked really well, but I still felt awful, like I was somehow failing.
That feeling got worse when my boyfriend told me the dates he'll be away. I already knew he was going away around that time, too, so there actually wasn't any surprise, and I just noted it down in my calendar. But then I went to my bedroom and lay down on the bed cried for a few minutes, because…well, because why not? Tonight is getting to be just all too much.
And when I got up from the bed I had a strange headache at the crown of my head. It persists, but I can't even be bothered taking a painkiller.
I want someone to do something nice for me, to make it all better. And I know on a logical level that’s not possible, because no matter how kind someone’s actions, they aren’t going to fix my ankle or my mood. I know they can’t but I want it anyway, so I’m disappointed. In effect, I’m disappointed by nothing, by no one. It’s silly, and I can identify and declare that it’s irrational, but I seem helpless to do anything beyond that.
I don't know whether I'll share this yet.
Maybe I will, because I’ll bet my injured friends (such as Katherine, Jennifer, and Susannah) go through exactly the same lows. I’d say other people feel like this, too, and maybe if I accept that it’s ok for me to feel this way, maybe it’ll make it easier for others to accept their own feelings, however negative they are. Maybe that will make them feel less alone.
See, I am suffering, and it's over something so small, so temporary, so damn frivolous that I’m quite sure I have no right to even feel like this. But I do feel like this: so maybe it should be on the record.
Maybe I should put it there, on the record; maybe that’s something I can do. I can show the world that I’m not some superhero who is always positive and happy, and that even though I’m putting on a brave face, I still go through those patches where it all seems like a conspiracy against me. So right now I feel like shit, and that the only thing that is going to fix it is the thing I can't do.
I've saved this, offline. Well, sort of. It's on Dropbox. Maybe I should share it instead of posting it on my blog. Maybe I should screen capture it so you can see the ugly plain font I didn't bother changing because it so perfectly matched my mood.
Now I see: I was wrong.
Because running is not the only thing that makes me feel better. Words do, also.
These words make me feel better because they are powerful. Kept inside, they weighed me down, they dragged me under, but now that I've let them out they no longer burden me.
And this is why I choose to see myself as a lucky, lucky person. Because other people don’t have the good fortune to be able to release their burdens like this.
In case you were wondering how it worked out for me, I actually had a pretty shit morning, too. I had a completely disproportionate reaction to a rude driver, and then I flipped out at a work colleague who was just trying to start a conversation that happened to interfere with my getting to the gym. (She's an elite athlete who understands exactly what I'm going through, and she forgave me before I even got a chance to apologise—what a legend.)
I felt a lot better after a brief gym and swim workout, but then dropped my bundle when I dropped my home made bircher muesli all over the floor. But that's justified, right? I mean, I grated that apple and hand-squeezed those oranges!
In the end, though, it worked out ok. I'm feeling good, and I'm looking forward to a weekend, so please don't worry about me. I'm sharing this post not as a cry for help, but as a war cry for you to be kind to yourself, and accept that we all get like this at times, and that's not ideal but it's ok.