On Mental Health

Building Good Habits Again.

Remember how I used to brag about how I didn’t need an alarm? Well it turns out if you skip your morning runs enough (something I’ve done a lot over the last year) your body gets used to sleeping past 4am and then when you try to really become disciplined again with your morning runs, YOU HAVE TO SET AN ALARM.

So for the last two weeks I’ve been setting an alarm for 4am on my running days and so far, I’ve run every day I was supposed to. I’m doing 4-5 miles some mornings, and if I get up at 4am I have time to do that plus all my other morning chores before getting Nikki to her bus at 6:45am. It’s been weird using an alarm, I kinda felt like a failure at first. But I got used to it and it was working so there I was, setting my alarm last night again for this morning’s run.

BUT I WOKE UP AT 3:30! Maybe my body is getting back to used to the morning runs!

I had to run last night too and I did NOT want to. I actually had a beer with dinner at 4pm (we eat dinner early on soccer nights) and then was sitting there looking at the clock seeing I had an hour before I had to take Wes to soccer and just sighed dramatically and said, “Welp. I guess I should run.”

And it was ROUGH. My body was SO SORE from all of the moving furniture and painting this weekend. And I did a small strength workout on Saturday that was also haunting my body. But I knew I needed to stay disciplined since I’ve only been consistent for the last week. Habits take much longer than that to form so I pushed myself out the door, turned on my running playlist, and squeezed in 4 miles before Wesley’s game.

And this morning I head out for 5 miles before the crazy full day (TWO soccer games tonight!) begins. It’s hard, y’all. The running desire is not as strong the busier I am or the more tired I am. I didn’t get to bed until 10pm last night so that’s only 6 hours sleep for me and I AM NOT GOOD ON THAT LITTLE SLEEP.

But really – at this point – it’s all about my mental health. My Lexapro is really helping with the Depression but I’m still struggling with my Anxiety. Two different med attempts haven’t helped so I’ve added regular (instead of panic) therapy back to my schedule and I’m really trying to run regularly. Those two decisions are MUCH easier to make now that the depression is in check. It’s hard to push yourself to run or make therapy appointments when you’re wallowing in despair.

So I try to push myself out the door. Grateful the Lexapro has knocked the despair back enough that I can focus on just the anxiety that tends to cripple my brain. My body and my brain are both starting to feel like this is normal again, the running thing, and I just want to keep pushing that so I can try to keep my anxiety in check. Mental healthcare is exhausting but the alternative is unacceptable.

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