I’m a thinker. I also am a doer, but my thoughts are what I have to deal with.

Last time I wrote here, I was finally going to see a therapist for my issues. I have been seeing one and spent a few sessions spewing out the highlight and “lowlight” reels. I’d been assigned to recognize my thought patterns when I binge eat and most recently to stop attaching myself to the word “fat” in addition to the negative thoughts that I associate with the word. That one goes way back to my youth and is deeply ingrained into my mind.

I also said that I was more confident about my running in the previous post. I ran the 6.6k with very few stops to walk briefly due to the heat, but not pain. I still get sore in the plantar of my feet, but no heel pain while running has been a step in the right direction. I’ve been trying to train up to at least 6 miles so that when I run MO Cowbell, I can complete my half of the half marathon without much stopping to walk or stretch. I did 5 this weekend, which is the furthest run I’ve completed since my injury early this year. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll complete the run.

I am a thinker. I try to interrupt some of the more intrusive thoughts with prayer. I’ve been more aware of my internal dialogue while running and started using positive affirmations like: “I am strong,” “I am fast,” “I am doing the best that I can.” It actually helped. It helped when I remembered to do it. Otherwise, I have thoughts like “I’m really self aware and that’s why it isn’t my anxiety telling me people don’t like me. They don’t.” or “I don’t really work hard enough or I’d be stronger, thinner, faster than I am right now.” or “You were a gifted child in advanced classes and look at you now. A college dropout.” I’ll tell you what. No matter what mean thing you say to me, it couldn’t be meaner than the things I’ve said to myself in private. These thoughts enter unannounced and unwelcomed even when I’m feeling confident or optimistic.

You might be reading and thinking how that took a pretty dark turn quickly. It’s actually ok. I’m dealing with it. I am exploring where the beliefs expressed in those thoughts come from. I pull myself out of the thoughts by exploring my physical surroundings. I tell myself that what I’ve thought was wrong. Like I said, I also pray and remember that those thoughts aren’t who I am, but just passing through.

I think it really made sense when in therapy, I brought up my efforts vs my results and she told me that there were really only two options: 1) Give up/stop trying or 2) Keep going and see what happens. Well, I’m not giving up. I enjoy what I do or I’d find something different. So, I’ll run my training runs over the next 20 days. I’ll keep going to the gym to get ready for the competition I signed up for in October. I’ll keep eating healthy and adjusting to figure out how to feel my best.

I fight my mental illness with my fitness. So it makes sense that sometimes, my mental illness fights back and tries to drag me down. I’m attempting to shed more light into that darkness and it isn’t a foolproof method, but I’ll learn and I’ll get better at recognizing the reasons.

Thanks for reading! I hope you can find a sprinkle of light when the darkness sets in to battle it a little better. Let me know if you have any questions! Comments and shares are always welcome!

Here is me after 5 miles. I don’t look like I’m dead because I actually enjoyed it once I settled in: