Sunday, October 20, 2019

Update #1

First, let me start by saying that since my initial post just over a week ago, I can't help but be amazed by the amount of support and encouragement that I have received from so many people.  Not only from the close friends and family that I knew would be there for me, but also from some acquaintances that until now I had only had some passing conversations with.  Every conversation that I've had, and every bit of encouragement has been more helpful than most of you might realize.  I sincerely thank every one of you.

I find that writing this out is pretty therapeutic, so thanks for sticking with me.  I also know that someday God will use me to help someone through something similar, so by keeping this it'll help me to remember.

With that, I thought it was worth giving an update as to where I'm at since the initial post.  Truthfully, it's been a rough, very up and down week but things are getting better.


The first day after my post, I felt pretty good.  There was an initial feeling of freedom that came from having everyone know what was going on and not feeling like I had to hide, or put forward a fake "everything's great" face.

Then things started to come back down again.  The days went on, my leg continued to hurt, I still couldn't run, and the depression was hitting like a ton of bricks.  To go from running 50+ miles per week to nothing almost overnight was just crushing me.  I had no idea what to do.  I told Sarah "I feel like I've lost my identity."  Sunday (the day that was supposed to be my marathon) was especially difficult...  All I could think about were the "what if's?" and "the weather is perfect, I could have crushed it."

Since then, I've been feeling much better.  Almost as if I've "detoxed" from the running addiction.  I've been walking as I've been able, but am finding other things to keep myself and my mind busy.  I'm sure at first I was driving Sarah crazy...  A few times I found myself just pacing between the living room, dining room, kitchen, etc. just trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.  Eventually, I started cleaning... and cooking... and generally helping around the house (things I should have been doing before).  Anything to distract my mind and keep it off of the "I should be running" thought train.

On the physical side:

My leg does seem to be slowly getting better.  I've tried running on the treadmill a couple of times.  On Friday I was able to run 3 miles comfortably before I could feel the knee pain starting to creep in, so that's where I stopped.  The pain quickly went away and I knew that I hadn't overdone it, so I felt good.  I decided to try again on Saturday and the knee pain started to come back again just a mile into my run, so again, that's where I shut it down.  I'll be taking (at least) a few more days off before I give it another attempt. 

At this point, I'm trying to figure out mentally if I'm trying to run because I WANT to run, or if I'm trying to run because I feel like I HAVE to run.  It sounds strange, and seems like something that I should know, but it's not quite that easy.

The food and eating has proven to be my biggest challenge so far:

There are definitely two sides to my brain at this point: the "logical" side and the "disordered" side. 

Logical - I know I need to eat to survive.  I know that eating regular meals, eating enough to feel satisfied, and having healthy snacks (and even those "unhealthy" snacks on occasion) when I'm hungry are all healthy, normal things.

Disordered - It's like my brain often says "you haven't even run a mile today, how dare you be hungry?", or "you can't eat that snack, you didn't do anything to earn it!"  Even though I've deleted my app from my phone and stopped measuring out portion sizes, etc, I still catch myself subconsciously calculating the calories for the different items I've eaten throughout the day.

These two sides of my brain are in constant conflict with each other when it comes to food.  The good thing is that I feel as though (and this has come with a TON of help from Sarah) the logical side of my brain is slowly starting to win more of the battles.  It's not coming without a lot of anxiety, and there is a long way to go, but I am starting to feel a difference.

So that's where I'm at right now.  I'm definitely feeling like I'm in a better place than I was just a week ago, but know that there's still a lot of work to be done.  I appreciate all of the continued prayers, and will try to provide regular updates throughout my "recovery".

Update #2

Another week down... Running/exercise: I really feel like I'm starting to find a good balance and relationship with the exercising....