musings on running, life, and everything in between

Getting older, women’s stuff, and depression

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Exciting title for the post, no? It’s gonna be loads of fun! To convince you of that, here are some silly photos of the kids post-lawn raking.

The younger one is really into silly poses lately.

Jumping into leaves is always fun, particularly if you bowl your younger sister over in the process.

So Halloween happened and I did not take the obligatory photos of my kids dressed up standing side-by-side. Mother of the year here, folks. Instead, I will give you this random photo of the younger one trying on her dad’s Easter bunny costume (side note: That wasn’t a costume we rented for Halloween, but one we’re storing for awhile). For the record, the kids were a ninja and a butterfly.

You can see she favors the side parallel arm pose

As we all know, people who have young children know that the end of daylight savings means NOTHING. Oh wait, it means that your kids do not know it is daylight savings and will get to wake you up an hour “earlier.” You get to be tortured by children jumping on you when it’s technically 5:30 in the morning because they think it’s later.

Then you send them downstairs and they proceed to dump and sort all their candy. It is unknown how much candy was consumed in the process. And yes, there were chips left out from the previous night. Don’t judge.
Mr. Sometimes-Runner also made an attempt at a mask. An attempt that was promptly forgotten and not worn while out trick-or-treating.   I have to say that the fact that Friday was a completely cloudless sky and Sunday was a completely cloudless sky, but Saturday was a mass of constant drizzling rain makes me think there was something paranormal about Halloween. That also meant, I had the great joy of running in the rain.
I ended up going out with Michelle and Jen at 6 a.m. when it was pitch black for our long run. I will say that it also never really got much brighter, just less dark. We finished around 7:30, but I swear the sun never rose. With the cloud coverage, it really was just a slow progression of less darkness. Still, it never really rained hard enough for us to get really wet. And despite the wetness and 40-something temps, we were okay in shorts (well, the two of us that wore shorts, although Jen also lubed up her legs with Vaseline for added cold protection)). We ended up doing just over 9.6 miles. It was pleasant and easy, which was a relief for me, since I’ve been feeling nervous about long runs and tiredness. It didn’t feel like it was too much, and we had only been planning on running 9 anyway, so the extra half mile was a bonus.   One of the things I love about running with Michelle is that she’s like a giant kid. She’s super-enthusiastic about things and has a really great energy, which is a nice break from Jen’s dryness (haha!). Michelle had a grand old time running through the big leaf piles on the side of the road (our village has you rake them into the street and big trucks come and scoop them up). I loved that she was enjoying herself in such a childlike way, right at the end of the run! Reminded me that running is supposed to be fun 🙂

One thing that did come up on our long run, though, was my recent decision to go on birth control for the express hope of better managing depression. I had noticed recently that my feelings of deepening depression were tied to my cycle, that they were happening at similar points in my period. The more I talked to others, the more I realized this was not uncommon. When I talked to my primary care physician about it, she informed me that an increase in PMS symptoms and moodiness were not uncommon in women over 35. In other words, this can be a byproduct of aging. Ugh. She suggested I could either increase my current medication or try going on the pill and skipping my period altogether. I decided to go with what seemed the easiest/simplest plan for now and try going on the pill for a couple of months and then reassess. The idea that I could skip my period would be an added boon to addressing my emotional turbulence.

Let me be honest, I debated addressing this issue on here. I have struggled with depression since high school, some life-related and some not. I have tried going on and off medication and found my life better through medication. I also do things like yoga, pray, and meditate, although not all the time and not always regularly. I run. I eat fairly healthy (and it’s about to get healthier, but more on that in another post). And yet, it doesn’t always “get managed.” As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve started to recognize when things are not going well and to take action. I believe that’s called wisdom 🙂 There is definitely decreasing stigma about depression and other mental issues–I’ll be frank, I still struggle with calling depression a mental illness, but that’s another post. Still, the idea of people knowing this about me is a little uncomfortable. But I know alot of people who struggle with this, and I DO feel that it is important to let people know that they are NOT alone in struggling. So there it is.

Frighteningly enough, the Internet knows all and this popped up as a sponsored post in my IG account. Coincidence perhaps…

Regardless, I can’t help but cringe at the thought that someone’s selling an app that will make me “happier.” Just like depression gets anthropomorphized as a cute glum blob or a wind-up doll that runs down. It’s not like that. Not all the time. Sometimes it’s the “mean reds” and not the “blues” (Breakfast at Tiffany’s).

I don’t know if the pill is the answer to this blip in my emotional journey, but I know it’s important to talk about these issues with the appropriate folks (friends, family, doctors, etc.) and to take action to address it early on. Otherwise, I don’t want to get in a spot where I feel too bad to have the emotional energy to do anything about it (something that happened more often in my 20s). Either way, I’m doing what I need to do to take care of myself, which is definitely something I’m better at in my mid-30’s.

To end the post on a more “up” note, here’s a little side-by-side of me (left) and my youngest. Gotta say we’re pretty stinkin’ cute. 

Author: runNerdier

Marathoner. Academic. Mom of 2 ankle-biters.

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