Deployment thoughts · moving forward · running

The rescued Introvert

I have battled with depression for more than half my life.  Those of you that have been following along for a while, know that for most of my adult life I had taken depression medication.  In fact, my distance running career started partly because I had hit rock bottom, and I HAD to pull myself back up for me AND my family.  So in 2007 I decided in late September that I was going to run my first half marathon just 7 weeks later.  I trained for this race while working full time, going to school for my Bachelors degree AND studying for promotion.  Did I mention I had an 8 year old and a 1 year old daughter to care for too?  LOL.  Most said I was nuts, but deep down I knew I’d go completely nuts if I didn’t escape to the roads to train. I finished said half marathon in 2:19, and I had never been more proud of myself other than the day I graduated basic training.  I DID it.  I didn’t quit.  I didn’t give up. And my husband was there, cheering me on the entire time.
Several years later, in 2012, I would finally complete my goal of finishing my first full marathon, and I did so with my sister by my side.  Another very proud and amazing moment that I will never forget.  I also haven’t taken any depression medicine since 2012, and I keep movin’ forward and feel better for it.
What does all this mean?  Well, running has truly saved me more times than I can count.  Why? How?
Well, I saw myself pulling back from my friends and family again here recently.  I just wanted to go to work, come home, and curl up on the couch and forget that with each passing day, it meant a day closer to when my husband leaves.  But a few weeks ago I decided I was going to accept an invitation from my friends and start running with them on Tuesday evenings.  I was going to GET OUT OF THE DARN HOUSE and do something just for me.  This last Tuesday as I was running and chatting with one of my very dear friends, we spoke of depression and different times in our lives that we battled this yucky disease.  She spoke of a time where she stopped doing all the things she loved, and she became introverted and just wanted to be alone.
And a light bulb went instantly ON.  I was doing this. I was declining invitations, not doing the things I enjoyed, and I was avoiding my friends.
So last night after work, I took my youngest shopping (I normally HATE stopping anywhere after work) at Target, threw in a couple CPK frozen pizzas in the oven, and treated myself to a MUCH needed massage.  I hadn’t had one since June, and it was long over due.  The point, is that I did something for me FINALLY.  I’m not one of those women who gets her hair done at a nice place, or manicures/pedicures unless it’s a special occasion.  I honestly don’t do hardly anything for ME, and it’s gotta stop.  Because here soon, it’s going to be ALL me, and I better MAKE time to recharge.
I feel better today, better than I have in quite some time.  I know some pretty amazing people have my back, and that helps lighten the load tremendously.  And I’ve got hope…barrels and barrels of hope and faith, that my husband will return home safely, and that our family will be even stronger through all of this.
source:Giphy.com
source: Giphy.com

Questions: What’s your go-to stress reliever? Have you or any of your family members dealt with depression?

Cheers to you all for you amazing support!

❤ Michelle

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41 thoughts on “The rescued Introvert

  1. My go to stress relievers are fishing and working out but not running.

    I have actually always hated running but I have committed to do a half marathon by mid year.

    Thanks for writing this, it is just the inspiration and encouragement I needed.

  2. Sometimes friends are the best people to pull me out of my ‘funk’. While running helps me and getting out, it’s having someone notice I’m absent pulling me into the lights again is what helps more than anything. I am in need of a massage, too, so thanks for the reminder. I’m glad you’re getting out there and spending time outside and running again 🙂

  3. Both my son and husband have had battles with depression. It’s so tough. For them. For the people who love them. My son was particularly bad and was suicidal two years ago. It’s been just so, so incredibly hard. But he’s better than what he was. He’s worked really hard with a therapist and is on anti-depressants and at the moment things are good. Exercise has been his key too. He plays indoor soccer with his mates three or four times a week. The physical side of it has been so good for him but the social side has been even better. I know it’s tough but you have to keep on reaching out – especially o the days that you want to hide in your cave.

    1. Char…my prayers go out to you and your family. I’ve been in your sons shoes several times, but have come so very far with my mental health. Thank you for your constant support. And when can I order my running tights?? 😘

  4. Way to go Michelle! I’m so glad you’ve found running as one of your sources of help to get you through some very challenging times.

    Running is most definitely a must for me to feel sane. I started running on my own and still run 4 or 5 days a week on my own. It’s a great way for me to start my day on a positive note.

    But last year I ended up meeting a crew of runners who invited me into their fold. I now run with them twice a week and the social boost is just amazing. Especially for a confirmed introvert like me.

  5. Running is BIG TIME my escape, my relief from depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and PTSD. I had to learn new coping techniques during the 4 months I was in the Aircast with my broken foot. Now that it’s off, I am just itching for the green light to hit my treadmill (my bliss zone) again!
    You’re absolutely correct, I am slowly learning that it is vital to survival to take time to recharge our own batteries. GOOD FOR YOU for realizing that and taking those steps.

  6. I struggle a LOT with depression. I actually just moved back to New England to live with my sister and her family so that I can be close to family and friends. My go to is sleep and carbs with dairy. (Grilled cheese, Mac and cheese, ice cream and cone, pizza, etc)

    To get myself out of it, I HAVE to go for a run, or plank for a while, or socialize in some way.

    Also, I take medication for it. A lot of it hahah. Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Ativan, and trazadone. I thought I would want to be off them at some point, but I’ve tried to go off meds a couple of times and the depression just comes back in a big way. So, medication helps!

  7. Running is the one thing I mainly do for ME. On our recent vacation, I had two races to do…..and I did feel a little guilt in doing them. But I also embraced the fact that I might never have the opportunity to run (two races and a quick stint across the Golden Gate Bridge!) in California again, and I knew I’d regret not doing any of it. I’m trying to be more of a “Seize-the-moment” kind of person, and it feels great! I will be thinking of you a lot this year, please know you will not be alone ❤

  8. I really did not know that you deal with depression Michelle. I suppose I have some that I don’t want to deal with myself. I will cry, or sleep, or cry myself to sleep… Running is awesome for me. I am a solo runner because I like the peace and solitude since I have to deal with people all day. I need the alone time. I’m so glad you are better and that you have such a great group of friends that are close to you. Friends help tremendously. Big prayers and hugs for you! ❤️❤️❤️

  9. I’m so glad running saved you. I don’t want to see Michelle depressed though so you better keep puttin on those miles! 🙂

    And there’s nothing wrong with being introverted! I’m an introvert and it rocks 🙂 I’m glad you were able to see that something was wrong in your life when you were withdrawing and have the guts to push yourself out of your funk. That’s a big deal! Stay strong Michelle. You got this

  10. Love your post because it is so true and real. I used to eat, then I turned to running, that was taken from me and so now I’m biking and doing yoga and sometimes meditating. God has been gracious to me my entire life to provide me with friends and family that are there for me. Thank you for sharing and making me think about what I’m doing now and what I need to do. 🙂

  11. My cats help a lot when I feel badly. They always love me and want to snuggle, and they live in my house so it’s hard to shut them out 🙂 My husband is also great and just asks what I need and lets me do it, whether that’s going for a run or playing video games for a few hours. I’m glad you were able to recognize what you needed and make it happen! xoxo

  12. Your family is so lucky to have you ❤

    I don't have a go to…I tend to just know in the situation what will make me feel best – exercise, time with friends, along time watching trash tv (lol). The important part is recognizing the need for it and doing it…and you have been able to do just that!

  13. Running saved me from myself. Seriously. In my 30s I was in a really bad place. Anxiety and depression. Self medicating with wine.

    I find myself heading down that path again…but this time I’m stronger for running. I just keep moving forward. Thanks for sharing your story. Hang in there….

  14. Running is definitely a stress reliever! All those endorphin kicking in!! And I actually treat myself to a massage once or twice a month…I too, don’t ‘do’ my hair or nails…but a massage is so worth it – I’m so glad you did something for yourself Michelle!! Hugs & Kisses, Linda~

  15. Hi Michelle, I totally can relate. I have always struggled with depression, even a s a young girl. I think my darkest years followed after the death of my mother. It took me a long time to seek the help I needed. Depression can be really serious, not everyone can understand the depths it can take a person too. It affects your hole body. Thank you so much for sharing

  16. I’ve never been diagnosed with Depression but I have definitely had some sad phases and exercise is the one thing that gets me out of it. You definitely need to embrace doing things for YOU! Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of everyone else!!

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