I have said this before: I thought I’d got through the hospital phase of my recovery, and then I discovered that wasn’t true.
It happened again.
A fortnight ago I allowed myself to get tired from working too many hours, under too much pressure, with too much travel, and then I followed that up with a weekend of activities which pressed a number of my PTSD buttons.
The following Monday I felt largely unaffected, and I was exultant. I knew I’d taken a risk. I thought I’d made it through. (My therapist thought so too. We celebrated.)
Yesterday I ran 18 miles without at any point believing I couldn’t do it, wanting to die, screaming at myself in my head for being so utterly fat, unfit, useless and stupid, hitting my legs in a bid to go faster, denying myself food and water as some sort of punishment for not running well enough.
This, my friends, is noteworthy, because all of that was normal to me every time I ran. Absolutely every time.
I kept running for all those years. Of course I did; I’m bloody-minded like that. But it always involved that constant self-inflected brutality, which is to say it wasn’t very nice.
I thought that was the only way running could be, and I couldn’t understand how other people could run so well with that going on; it didn’t occur to me that their minds were different. Continue reading “Changing My Mind”
Just less than a year ago I wrote that there were bright spells in my life and that I was slowly beginning to function more reliably again. That progress has continued. Here’s where we are today.
Most of all I am glad now that I am alive.
Stop there. Let’s say that again. I am glad that I am alive.
(Early on my therapist said his job was ‘to keep you alive until you can make the decision to do that yourself’. By that criterion his job is well done.)
But there is more: I also want to be happy. That’s a feeling that is entirely new to me; since my teens all I’ve wanted is to be numb or full of adrenalin. Now I want a calm, contented happiness.
It’s even been a while since my head told me that I wanted to die. Yes, I learned to stop listening to that voice a long time ago; that’s a necessity if you’re to survive the worst of depression. So I wasn’t listening, but until recently it carried on insisting, and that’s not a great voice to live with every day. Now it’s gone.
And there are other things.