depression, moving forward, running

Throwback Thursday

I started long distance running back in 2007, but have been running since my track days in junior high and high school – 35 plus years. Running has always been my therapy, so the lack of running has started to affect my mental and physical health here lately. I’ve been fighting some demons I thought I let go for some reason, so wanted to share a throwback picture of one of my strongest half marathons in Chicago IL, 9 years ago.

I miss feeling this strong-and pray I can get back to this place someday. Can anyone relate?

Cheers,

Michelle

Celebrate the good, depression, moving forward

Finding my happiness…

This morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs over at Suzlyfe. I love her blog because its raw, its real, all while being informative and entertaining. I needed a little respite from the funk I’ve been in, so when I opened my email this morning to get my daily dose of Suz, I found myself moved to tears.

See, between not getting promoted and not hearing back on any prospective leads I thought I had, along with dealing with some resentment and anger issues (don’t ask, we can save that for another post, or not…) I’ve found myself in a funk. My mood sucks, my running sucks (if you can call running twice a week actual running) and my cooking has even started to suck. The ONE thing I actually think I am half way decent at has fallen flat and left my family (more so me) less than impressed. This has been ongoing for the last few weeks, and with each dish I prepare, it’s either under/over cooked, over seasoned, or just plain blah. And this is quite unlike me, I’d like to think at least. So last night when my hubby had to take my oldest to the dentist, I thought, HEY, I will make the steak for the tacos we planned on having along with getting the beans and corn ready. Too easy, right? Wrong…I cooked the steak with beautiful grill marks and set aside to rest. I then decided it necessary to mutilate the beans, overcooking them by a good 15 minutes. Just before they got home from the dentist I went to slice in to my beautifully grilled and rested meat to find it was still RAW. And not just slightly raw, I am talking, the cow may have had a MOO or two left in him. Ugh…I threw it back in the pan, and sighed a heavy sigh.  

After dinner we cleared the plates and I told my family I was on a hiatus from cooking. If I can’t joy in cooking, I simply can’t cook. With that, I headed upstairs to take a shower and have a good cry but when I turned around my oldest daughter had decided to come up and comfort me. I don’t hide my emotions very well, and my family knows me better than most. She gave me a huge hug and said, “You ok, Mom?” and I broke in to a sob. “Don’t settle in life honey,” I pleaded with her. “Write your books, chase your dreams, just please don’t get stuck like Mommy is. While I was in the Air Force it was ok to have this job, but now I feel stuck.” And she just hugged me tighter, promising she’d chase her dreams. We even pinky promised which is like a golden seal in our house. Yup, my almost 18 year old still will pinky promise with me. ❤ And suddenly I found my happiness again, right there in the comfort of my first born daughter’s arms. Funny how the tables can turn.  

My takeaway from last night was twofold. Yes, I am feeling stuck, and I think RUT might be my new middle name. BUT…I had a beautiful moment with my daughter that no one can take away, and I need to focus on moments like these vs. feeling a little stuck. Because we can’t be stuck if we are still making the choice to get out of bed every day and do our best.

OX10L

 

My time will come. I just know it. And I am so thankful for the beautiful people in my life that have helped me see the brighter side of things. Thanks Suz, this one is for you!

 

Cheers,

 

Michelle

 

depression

And then it happens…

You realize almost suddenly even though it was always there, that you haven’t been walking the walk…the mantra you preach of “keep movin’ forward” is partially a front.

And that my friends, hurts…

I realized in the last few weeks that I really hated didn’t like the person I used to be.  I’ve mentioned it in recent posts, you can read about it here, that I truly work hard at NOT being the girl I once was…I want to be the woman I have worked so hard to be…

Yet the past sometimes creeps in, and in recently I have visited the “On this day” app on Facebook and was blown away by what I read.  Posts from 5-6 years ago haunted me, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. No wonder I drove so many people away…I was down right DEPRESSING.  Yuck.  Delete…delete…and delete some more!

So this past week I’ve dug deep to redefine my goals of the future, who I want to be, and what I need to do to get there successfully.

First up…quit looking back.  I am SURELY not headed in that direction.

Secondly, one of my yearly goals was to be more present.  That being said, my husband travels and works A LOT with his job and the military, so my kids need me to step up for them, and away from time wasters. I need to be present for THEM, because I am essentially a single parent from here on out and I need to embrace that vs. hold anger and resentment.

So today, I started fresh by celebrating National Running Day by running just over a mile with my youngest, and making me and my daughters a yummy salad since my husband is going working late.

One of my favorite pics from 2013, my youngest daughter running me in to the finish!
One of my favorite pics from 2013, my youngest daughter running me in to the finish!

Love!
Love!

Romaine lettuce, shredded broccoli, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and shrimp!
Romaine lettuce, shredded broccoli, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and shrimp!

Lastly, I need to quit doubting myself, and beating myself up over things I can’t control.

It’s time to move forward, y’all!!!  I’m back in the saddle!!

How do you battle past demons?  Did you run today?  What are your favorite salad toppings?

❤ Michelle

depression, moving forward

Fear and frustration = FUEL for marathon motivation

In 2013 I ran my second FULL marathon. I swore I’d never run a second full, but got the bug after the first training run.  I PR’d by nearly an hour (58 minutes to be exact, I SHOULD know the seconds, but don’t, lol) and I SWORE I’d never run another full marathon.  I ran a couple half marathon races in 2014, to include my husband’s first half…did you read about it?  You can read about it HERE!

I love this guy...
I love this guy…

So today while on my break I decided to catch up on blog posts.  My friend Kim asked when training for the Grandma’s Marathon started, and after scratching my head and thumbing through my calendar I realized official training starts in TWO weeks.  WHA????  Here. WE. GOOOO!  In two weeks I need to be back up to a steady 6 mile run. Easy peasy, right?  I’m a marathoner for goodness sake…Ack…I haven’t ran more than 13.1 miles in 4 months…but I’m ready.  And a little scared, too…<3

Yup...
Yup…

Have you heard of this race?  If not, read here!  For those that don’t know, this is my hometown race, where I grew up watching marathoners crossing the finish line, thus my  dream of being a marathoner began.

grandmas

And a marathoner I am…to me, this is one of the hugest mental and physical accomplishments of my life.  I have loved, I have lost, and I have ran 26.2 freakin’ miles.  yeah…quote THAT.  🙂

But the last 2 days I fought with some mental demons, past hurts, and irrevocable YUCK that just can’t be forgiven forgotten.  I ALMOST let it get to me….but NOPE.  Sorry y’all, I’ve got a marathon to train for…#movinforward

So I thank you all for your positive feedback in regards to my last post.  I know we all struggle, we are all human, and we all have those negative forces that try to creep in…BUT…I also know, only some of us decide to move forward…and not let that crap in.  (Yes, I was literally shaking my head today)!!!!

LOL
LOL

At the end of the day, I managed to finish my plank challenge (Day 2) and added an additional 10 seconds, as well as did the push up challenge I am participating in this month.  Tomorrow is mill day, and I hope to get in at least 3 miles.  I’ll be taking all of my fear and frustration and ‘running it out’ tomorrow…who’s with me? Let’s leave the crap behind us, right?

#this
#this

What are your plans for the week?  Do you have any upcoming races?

depression

A Mother’s love…

I am sure at reading the title of this post, you expect beautiful pictures of my daughters and poetic prose sweetly written about the joys of having daughters.

But nope.

This post, is about being a Mother to a 4 legged creature.  A dog more specifically.  MY dog.

I gave birth to my second daughter in 2006, on August 5th to be exact.  After which I was overcome with terrible post partum depression.  I thought it would pass, but after nearly a year the depression stuck and my husband stepped in.  I had encountered many “life issues” and had had enough…even running wasn’t going to get me through this patch.

Quickly, I welcomed this handsome 4 legged creature who would do more for me than any medication could touch.  THIS dog, helped me find my smile again.   I’ll remember the sunny January day we drove to pick him up, gosh, for the rest of my life.  My husband did research, and found a local breeder that had a male Golden Retriever.  We packed the kids in the car, Sophia just a year and a half old, and Jordyn 8 1/2 years old, and went to meet our new family member.

We had many names picked out, but Samuel Adams was the name he responded too, so there it was.  “Sammy” as he is known to our family was welcomed with open arms.  And then things changed.

I found my smile.  Because this wonderful little dog followed me EVERYWHERE.  He knew I needed HIM.  And he was there.  And he still is…

Now, 7 years later, as we celebrate his birthday I can’t help but to get teary.  Because this guy knows…he knows when I have a bad day, and he takes the time to nuzzle me a little more, snuggle a little longer, and give me more extra wet kisses than I care to have sometimes, LOL.

And I love him.  More than I can even put in to words.  Some people tease pet lovers dedication and passion, but I bet you a million bucks they don’t have this sort of relationship in their life.  Many a morning I will lay in bed after a night of insomnia, and Sammy will jump up into the bed, and snuggle in with me, pressing his forehead into mine.  He wraps his paws around me, and he knows…Momma is tired…Momma is stressed…Momma needs some extra snuggles.  HE…is there.  It still amazes me how they know…when you need them. This morning is a perfect example.  I didn’t sleep well at all, woke up far beyond the moment when my alarm would go off, and I closed my eyes, wishing for Sammy to come upstairs.  Seconds later, there he was, ready for his summons up in to the bed.  And for 5 minutes, in the dark, my pup loved me.  In his own way, told me, “It’s going to be ok.”

And for that moment.  All was right in the world.  I was loved.  And I knew, as a Mother of a 4 legged creature, I had done right with the world.  Even if, for just a moment.

So I will sleep well tonight, knowing I have loved just a little more, lived my life just a little better, because of my amazing dog, Sammy.  Thanks, buddy…for truly making my life so much better.

THIS
THIS

He loved his boots as a pup
He loved his boots as a pup

Daddy love
Daddy love

Jordyn and Sammy
Jordyn and Sammy

Me and my bubs
Me and my bubs

Sammy and Sophia
Sammy and Sophia

❤ Michelle

depression

A smile was lost today, RIP Robin Williams

I don’t often blog about my history of depression.  I’ve shared my story in the past, but in moving forward I’ve tried to keep the details and situations I’ve dealt with where they belong…and that is in the past.  I have learned, grown, and pushed myself out of some pretty dark places in my life.  And I know that does not make me special in any way, nor do I feel like I am someone to be looked up to or held at a higher esteem because I didn’t give up.

Because I wanted to give up.

More times than I can count.

I’ve cried, screamed, and pounded my hands on my steering wheel while driving home because it was the only place I could do it privately.

During many a run, I had to stop and hold back the tears…

I wanted to just throw in the towel, believing at the time(s) that the world would be a better place without me in it…Yet I thankfully was reminded quite quickly I’d be missed, and that I was loved.  No matter the darkness I often embodied…

I was loved.  I just needed to love myself.

I needed.  To love.  Myself.

And it took nearly 4 decades to do just this…

Wait for it…

I love who I am becoming.  It’s a daily challenge, and I am taking it full force.

Finally, I have found my true north, within my own soul.  I am, my own compass.

I still hate my hair…my mid section…oh, and that darn cellulite that has dug it’s ever living claws in to my back side.  Oh, and can someone pass over the Botox for my wrinkles?  LOL!  jk

But inside, I am finding out who I am more and more every day. I have remained tried and true to my beliefs.  I don’t let others dictate how I feel most days daily.

Yet today, I found myself choking back the sobs in hearing the news of Robin Williams death.  Not only because we’ve lost a true SMILE that visited millions of lives, but because I’ve been there…in that dark hour where there seems to be no way out.  I used to actually get mad at my Mother for smiling/staring at me because I hated myself so much.  Gosh I was such a shit.

But we’ve moved forward…reconciled and I am reveling in the fact that it is NEVER too late.

Yet sadly, it’s too late for Robin Williams.  The social stigma and criticism of depression has so many people hiding behind clothes doors refusing to ask for help.  And sadly this case is no different.

With that, I ask you to be kind.  Be real.  Embrace the fact that you may not understand what other people are going through, but a kind thought, word, or message can make someone’s day.

This week, my miles are dedicated to those suffering from depression.  Both past and present.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Robin Williams:

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.”

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

“I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.”

So my challenge for you this week, is to dedicate one mile to someone that is suffering.  Who’s with me?

❤ Michelle