Happy new year, friends! There is no day so full of hope and promise as New Year’s Day (unless you’re nursing a hangover, in which case, I’m sorry). I generally don’t “do” New Year’s resolutions, but I do like the contemplative aspect of the global turning of the calendar page. 2015 was an interesting one, filled with the amazing reaching of some goals (hello, BQ, and running 2015 miles with a friend) and the ongoing battle with some struggles (balance, depression).
The ending of 2015 was filled with friends and family.
And also some snowy running in Wisconsin.
I also got a chance to catch up on some podcasts in those runs, which included Another Mother Runner interview with Suzy Favor Hamilton–celebrated middle distance runner who gained notoriety when the Smoking Gun divulged she was working as a high end escort in Vegas (while married and a mom in Wisconsin). It turns out that her behavior was fueled by untreated bipolar disorder, an illness which took the life of her older brother. She explores her experiences in the book Fast Girl: Running from Madness.
The interview was such a teaser for her book that I promptly downloaded it when I finished my run. It’s intense and scandalous and powerful. I have friends who have been diagnosed as bipolar, but I hadn’t understood how intense and out of control the mania could be for some. One of the main points Suzy underscores in the book is her hope to destigmatize the illness and her desire to heal and help others.
This book intersected with an article I recently came across about a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania runner who killed herself last winter. The article I read (a different one is linked here) seemed particularly fixated on how her Instagram account was so highly curated to only show her life as fun and happy. No one had any idea she was struggling. Down to a post of twinkling holiday lights right before she killed herself. It is always heartbreaking to hear of someone so young and promising taking their lives.
These two stories remind me of why I talk about depression on this blog. I run and eat relatively healthy (I had to bite my tongue recently when someone suggested I exercise to help my mood), connect with others, take medication, and do a host of other things that should make me ebullient. But I’m not. I still struggle periodically with depression, and it’s ok. Many people struggle with it. And the more we talk and support one another, the healthier and happier we can all be.
So my best wishes for all of you. For a healthy, happy, and hopeful new year. May 2016 bring peace and love for all.