If I don’t get to run I’m not such a great parent. Or, to put it another way, I’m “a crazy sh*t a** mother f*cker of a mother”. Which is how I described myself over the phone to a friend last week. There was a pause and she said, “Well . . . at least there’s no judgment.” And perhaps I was notbeing as objective as one can be. Perhaps I was, in fact, being the teeniest bit critical. And dramatic. But here’s the thing: I’m also a little bit right.
Running keeps my depression and fibromyalgia pain at bay. I haven’t be able to run for 10 days due to an IT band injury. And those 10 days have not been pretty. Patience seems to be something I no longer possess. I’m snappish and yelly and, often, just plain mean. Frustration tolerance? Puh-HA. I can feel depression reaching out it’s boney fingers trying to grab me and pull me in. I’m angry and anxious and needy and lonely all at once. Which, as one might imagine, is taking it’s toll on Demetri. And Zoey. Which fills me with shame.
And not only do I have to deal with all that, but my side-butt seems to be expanding. As we all know, I have no real ass. But my side-butt, that flabby flap just below the hip on the side/back of the thigh, is getting wider. I was sitting on a lawn chair this morning and I swear I could actually see my side-butt coagulating and creeping outward. This didn’t do much to improve my anger or anxiety. I had to go eat an ice cream bar just to calm down.
So, I’m in this place again. I’m on the edge of The Pit — the place where my doubts and judgement and depression and fibromyalgia all meet. My toes are dangling in the murky water and I’m not yet sure if I’m going to be forced to take a swim. I hate this part — the being-on-the-edge part. I want to just be well or . . . not. The worst thing is not hitting bottom; it’s the ride on the way down. I’m going through the motions and doing the things I know I need to do: seeing my doctors, asking for help, surrounding myself with people that lift me up and show me the light. And still, STILL I don’t know what will happen. Depression is tricksy — it’s one of those things that will knock you on your ass even when you’re doing everything right.
So . . . I’m waiting and seeing. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe this afternoon I’ll completely loose my sh*t. For now, right now, I’m trying to be gentle with myself and with my daughter. I’m protecting both of us. We’re spending hours in the shade of the tree in our front yard making pretend salads with grass and flowers and weeds. And when things get hard, we watch TV and have a snack. Then maybe we’ll have a little dance party. And a nap.
I know I’ll be able to run again soon. And I hope I’ll return to being just a mother instead of . . . that other kind of mother.