Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Naturally and Spiritually Healing Depression (My first steps)
Before reading my story please be respectful of my “truth”. With respect, I ask you not to judge, but realize that like you, I have feelings, my own purpose, and my own challenges. Even if you don’t particularly like what I say, please see I speak from love with the hopes of helping others. Thank you.
“I don’t want to keep going through this. There has got to be a way out of this”
This thought came into mind for the millionth time the day before I ran Speedgoat 50k as I felt my mind crumbling under another “bad day”.
The thought then came again the days after the race alongside the thought “I don’t want to keep fighting my own mind.”
If you don’t know what it’s like having depression, imagine having a bad day. Then imagine feeling like you have no control over your negative thoughts or ending that bad day. It’s kind of like that song Bad Day by Fuel. I have hated myself for not being able to control my thoughts, making things get only darker.
So on the day before Speedgoat, I felt my depression rising. While adrenaline used to get me ready to race, a series of not feeling so great races replaced that adrenaline with a fear of feeling bad. I tried to fight back but could only pull off attempts of seeming “normal” to those around me. I could feel my mind wearing itself out along with my body as my cortisol levels rose. This stretch of depression lasted for 4-5 days, leaving me exhausted. (This was a bit of a long stretch for recent years)
In that time, I contemplated my 25 years of life. I felt that while I had some amazing and beautiful adventures, I had missed out on too much joy. Moreover, I realized that I have people in my life right now that I love too much to screw up the relationships. Though I have had my fair share of rejection and failure, I really enjoy living in Colorado, I have been blessed with some great adventures this summer, and I have people who I love deeply and completely and love me the same. It’s time I truly enjoy it.
I had already been to see my doctor, and tears rolled down my face as for the first time in my life I had the courage to admit I faced the challenge of depression and my healthy lifestyle wasn’t enough to fix it. I really appreciate and like my doctor and trusted her opinion when she prescribed my Prozac.
I thought this could be the answer until I told my sister. She accepted it, but then lovingly said she wished I would have tried harder to help my depression in a natural way. At first this really upset me, and I believed she just didn’t understand, but then the thought popped into my head that maybe there was a higher purpose to her statement. I also researched Prozac and learned that it is most likely to have a negative effect on running and that immediately put an end to that since there is no way that was going to make me happy.
I began my research once again and found things I hadn’t found before. I found natural supplements like St. Johns Wart and 5-htp that can do the same things as Prozac without the negative effects. (I AM NOT SAYING PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BE ON PRESCRIPTION MEDS FOR DEPRESSION. THIS IS JUST OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER.) Then I found books dedicated to helping people improve their thinking based on the research that 40 days of practicing meditation or saying positive words (even if u don’t feel like it)will start to change your brain. I kept on finding more and more ways to naturally and spiritually heal depression that I believed in. And you know what… it has helped me. While everything hasn’t been perfect, I am starting to feel better. On the “bad days” I don’t feel quite as bad and I can now look at myself on those bad days from an outside perspective and be aware of my thoughts and actions. If you’ve struggled with a mental illness, you know that’s a miracle.
I am extremely proud to announce that my mind is already improving my body as I FINALLY did the side ways crow pose (it may not be pretty but I can do it) and on tired legs I had a 2 minute PR going up Green Mountain! (What I pretend to look like do side ways crow pose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXwh3Jr3YBg)
With this information I have started new journey. As you can see, one of my first steps has been to accept and appreciate my journey to this point and share it with others. I know I am not the only one who has gone through this and my hope is to help others as I help myself, as helping others is a really important tool to feel better. Thus, you can expect tons of new blog posts on possible ways to help improve depression (or your life even if don’t have depression) naturally and spiritually from now on.
I promise I will write whole blog posts on specific things to help improve depression/ your life, but for today I will leave you with a simple mantra:
“I choose to see love instead of fear” (from GabrielleBernstein)
Run wild, run towards happiness, not away from pain,