For anyone who struggles with depression you know how difficult it can be to break the cycle of darkness. You nap to pass the time and avoid most activities especially the ones that involve leaving the house. The longer you remain in that survival zone the harder it is to break out of it.
I think it’s safe to assume at this point that everyone knows that physical activity promotes positive mental health and decreases symptoms of depression. Despite knowing the facts, breaking that cycle still seems insurmountable. Sometimes we need to accept a little motivational push from those around us.
Tonight I planned to join a new neighbourhood running group. Two of my least favourite things merged into one activity, meeting new people and running. Half an hour before the group was set to start I messaged a friend i know in the group to say I wasn’t going. No made up excuses, I just didn’t want to go. It was cold outside and warm inside, decision made. Fortunately this friend encouraged me to come out despite my lack of motivation. The annoying benefit of joining a group is that you become accountable to others. Often times my own desire to change is simply not enough, I need others to give me a gentle nudge in the right direction. We all have times in our lives when we need the nudge and when we are the nudger. That’s the wonderful thing about humanity isn’t it? We are all connected to help each other when we need it most.
The outcome of the run was completely predictable. I survived it and felt good about myself afterwards. I wish I could bottle that feeling of positive empowerment and spritz it on myself when I need it most. And by spritz I mean bathe in it.
I guess I’ve now committed to this couch to 5k thing and to my new running buddies. I’m going to be one of those healthy people that I see on weekend mornings running in the rain while I shovel pancakes into my mouth and judge them for being better than me.