“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Considering my whole blog is dedicated to writing about my struggle with mental health issues and my unusual treatment thereof, it only makes sense that I would participate in Blog for Mental Health 2015
I’ve written about about my depression and anxiety at length in this post, but I’ll give a quick run down about my experiences here for those of you who are new.
I’ve had depression and anxiety for most of my adult life, but it really started to effect me in college, although I didn’t realize that was my problem at the time. After graduation I had my son EJ and got really bad postpartum depression. And that never went away. I spent a good 2 years in a really dark place. I barely functioned. Knowing how much I loved Florida, Hubby decided to quit his job and move us back to the town surrounding our Alma Mater in the hopes that it would help me feel better. And it worked, sort of. I almost had a complete breakdown from the stress of the move, but being back in Florida and spending time outside and around people I knew helped a bit. The week after we moved in, I was still really in a bad place, and I started looking for a doctor who could help me, but we didn’t have insurance so I hit a dead end. But my awesome friend decided to take me & EJ to Disney World for a week (Hubby was supposed to join us, but work was desperate for him to start, so he stayed behind to work). While that week wasn’t carefree it certainly freed me from the grips of the stress I had been feeling from the move. When we got home, I started taking EJ for walks in the afternoon (he got so used to taking naps in the stroller at Disney that he wouldn’t go to sleep any other way) and after a week or so of that I noticed that I was starting to feel motivated and the darkness was not so oppressive. So I decided to start running. I did a ton of research on the positive effects of running on depression and Hubby talked to his psychology professor (who is a former clinical psychologist) and we decided that it was worth trying to see if it helped me at all.
Because I was such a couch potato there was no way I was ready to start running 1 hour 3 times a week (the suggested running routine to treat depression) so I started with C25k. That was when this blog was born. I wanted to use it as a way to keep myself accountable so I would stick with my training.
Fast forward to today. I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve had days and weeks (and even close to a whole month back in December) where I basically felt like this (the Heartless representing my depression & anxiety, of course):
But overall I’m in a much better place than I was 5 months ago when I started this blog. In about 3 weeks I will have finally worked and conditioned my way to the point where I am running 60 minutes 3 days a week. I am hopeful that once I get to that point I will start to see the effects that were seen in this Harvard Study…or at least I’ll be there after 16 weeks of running that regiment.