A while ago I wrote about how I would be Running from Depression. More than one person told me that I inspired them to start/restart/increase their own running. And for a split-second I feel really good about that – if I can inspire just one person to improve their health, that’s awesome! But then, the guilt enters, along with its best friends, shame, disappointment, and anger. Because I haven’t been doing it, at least not consistently.
I start to do it. I have great plans to run and work out and eat right. And I know that’s the best way to beat depression. But instead, I’ve been eating it. And drinking it (not in a full on alcoholic way (yes, I know denial is the first stage) but if I had to fill out a health history form today I’d have to say I was averaging a couple drinks a couple times a week which is way more than any other time in my life after my early 20s).
I try really hard not get down on myself, because I know that’s a slippery slope and I’m already dangling precariously on the edge of that steep, steep slope. But I am angry at myself for not sticking to my plans. I’m disappointed that I’m not where I know I could be at this point. I’m ashamed that I’ve let things get this far out of control again. And I feel incredibly guilty that I’ve let people down, especially myself.
I’m in a couple of health challenge groups on facebook and I feel like a broken record in those groups. Yeah, yeah, I want to start! I want to be healthy! I want to eat right and exercise and feel good about myself. Then a few days (hours?) go by and already my tune changes. I’ll go running tomorrow, I’m too tired now. Just this one lunch at the buffet – all my friends are going. Let’s just order pizza, I don’t want to cook tonight. Then along comes shame with its best friends, guilt, disappointment, and anger. Maybe if I just don’t check in, I won’t have to admit that I’ve already failed. Before even starting.
I feel like I’m struggling to swim against the current in a raging river. But I remind myself that as long as I don’t give up completely and just float down the rapids, there’s still hope. And luckily, I know the people in my groups and so many of my friends will keep throwing me lifelines. And I’ll keep grabbing on to them until one of them works and I can pull myself back to shore.
So I haven’t given up yet. I started again just tonight. And I may fail again. And I will hate it. And then I’ll start again. Rinse and repeat.