Hello again. It has been such a long time. Too long. Sometimes life gets the best of us, health issues, high functioning anxiety (moments of low functioning too), need for peace and solitude, and desire for face to face human connection. This has been me for the past few months. Like an old friend though, this blog has a way of forgiving and unconditionally opening it’s arms to me despite the long absence.
In early June I hit a point in my life where I needed to step away, reevaluate, and just breathe. My chronic migraines became so debilitating that I could only force myself to do the very basic care for my family. I had nothing left to give. My migraines had stolen the one thing that had gotten me through all these years: my fighting spirit. They were so persistent that I surrendered.
It was a difficult time in my family’s life, but somehow we made it through one more time. That’s the thing about chronic illness, it comes and goes like storms– you never know how much damage it will cause, when it will happen, or if you will make it through, you just have to be prepared and hang on. I have my illness under control for now, and I am hesitantly trying to get my life back, but it was a type of trauma and it’s challenging to come back from something so crippling. You tip toe around as if there is some monster waiting for you behind a bush. It’s so difficult to trust your body when you feel normal and healthy. You are constantly wondering if tomorrow will be the day things fall apart.
The state of my life is generally the same as the state of my running. This summer I ran a few times when I was having a rare pain free day. Most of the time, I would bring my children with me –it was slow and easy. No GPS, no time or pace agenda, just time with my kids, who have taken a strong interest in running lately. I’d rather be a happy average runner than a stressed out excellent one.
Now that my children are back in school, I have done a few longer runs. According to my internal navigation system, I would say they are about 5 to 6 six miles, but I am unsure because I have zero desire to bring my GPS. I have literally started over and have removed anything with numbers. I have no scale in my bathroom, no GPS, not one race planned, and zero pressure. I am free to run when and how I want. If I skip a day, then I don’t care. When I go out, I allow myself to run fast when it feels good or leisurely jog along at whatever pace feels good that day. The last thing I want is to make running feel like a chore. I’m just grateful to be out there at all.
My writing has been very similar. I have been journalling, writing poetry, and brainstorming ideas, all for my personal well being. Even the simple act of writing this post seems like a huge accomplishment; something that in my past would have been just another daily task. I have been turning down all writing opportunities and closed down all of the “have to’s” in my life.
All of this was by design and due to my urgent need to make my health a priority. I was, and am, on survival mode. In addition to my health issues, we also had a very personal loss. The death of a 9 year old boy whom my family and I were very close to. This changed me in the deepest and most profound way. You never look at your life in the same way after experiencing this type of devastating loss. It’s one thing to hear about the death of a child, it’s entirely different to be physically close to and experience the bereavement side by side with the family. All of the little things in life seam so insignificant, and it becomes crystal clear what is important: love, family and acceptance. Every day, the spirit of this amazing little boy sets me straight and for this I am utterly grateful.
As I begin publicly writing and running again, I do so with the deepest respect for myself. I can’t think of a time in my life where I have felt more grateful for my body and what it has done for me. I am still working on feeling the same way about my spirit. I want to feel the same love and approval, but I am a work in progress. It’s about forgiveness and reminding myself of that every day. My fighting spirit is back, but in a much more mature way. It’s not so brazen and loud. The fighter within me, is more confident and doesn’t need to scream and shout. No, it’s more calm and cool, it listens patiently before reacting and sometimes the answer is to do nothing or retreat.
That’s the state of my life right now and it’s pretty damn good. Hello again.
[bctt tweet=”I’ve taken almost 4 months off from writing– find out why right here #fitfluential #runchat”]