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Showing posts from 2016

I will cry, and that's ok

I don't want to write today. Or think. I want to cry and kick and scream. I want to beg people that I know and love...why? 

I could write so many things. But instead I will write to my children. My strong and funny daughter, my bright and active son. I met your father 11 years ago on Halloween. On October 31, 2016 I cast my vote with him in Athens, GA. I voted for the first woman presidential candidate. 
Things did not go as planned. 
I falsely believed my vote mattered. It did not. 
Not in this red state. 
That doesn't matter, always vote.
This is not the place to educate you on the electoral college, which I will be actively attempting to protest against in the future, but in time...I will educate you. 
You see, I was not educated about that or many other things. 
My history was white-washed. Gender-washed. Christian-washed. 
Sure, honey, you can be anything you want when you grow up...but they forgot to tell me that I would still be just a 'girl.' Even with a PhD, I am not e…

When life happens

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I'm training. Life has been happening...a lot. I don't even think I have really had time to process how I am doing lately. So here I sit, thinking. I finally registered for the Kiawah Island Marathon. We had to save up the money for it, it is not a cheap one. I selected it because it was a mild race, not too far from home, and right around my birthday. Unfortunately it also raises money and awareness for absolutely nothing. We typically do not run races such as this, but it is my first marathon, so we made an exception.

Then, as mentioned above, life happened.

My very amazing and funny brother-in-law, Craig, passed away. He had cystic fibrosis, and he was 43 years old. The current life expectancy is 37 years of age for individuals living with CF. Craig was a fighter. More importantly he was a human that inspired many others, championed for his friends with CF, loved with all he had, and always had a smile for you.

Life happened and it hurt.

I have not lost anyone in a little …

I interrupt your day for a message about BODIES

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Wow, you look really thin. (Is this even a compliment?)
If I had your body I would... (Really?! Why not try not objectifying me and take a look in the mirror.)
You are so lucky. (Because I choose to run A LOT and eat healthy?!)
I don't know how you do it. (I choose to.)
I hate running. (That's great, I love it.)
I just don't have the time. (You think I do? I get up at the butt crack of dawn.)
I wish I could look like you. (I wish I had a million dollars. You will never look like anyone but you.)
I wish I had your strength/dedication/determination. (It is a daily effort, get to work.)
Do you need to eat something? (I eat all the time. Didn't your mama teach you manners?)
I have bad knees. (No you don't, unless you injured them recently. Running is great for knees.)
It's just too hot. (Or too cold. There will always be an excuse if you make one.)
I can't run. (Are you human? Do you have legs that work for walking? You can run...with practice.)

What is it abou…

Where will you be?

8.1 miles

I made it. I set a goal of 8 miles before July, when marathon training begins, and though it took monumental dedication t get here again...I freaking made it.

Anxiety be damned.
Poverty?  Running is free.

I came home and there was no whining or crying for mommy, just a delicious plate of food made for me by my husband. My biggest support. My coach. My partner.
And smiling kiddos.

WE made it.

Today's run was brutal. As any long run around here goes there were more than enough hills. And I even braved running on the road in long stretches without sidewalks. I typically avoid this, but there will come a time in my future distances where it will be unavoidable.
I trudged on mightily. I talked out loud to myself.
I am a runner.

The real moment of the run today came at about 2 miles in. I passed an elderly woman jogging a long, she beamed at me and I smiled back and said hello. Seemingly no big deal...

Except by elderly I mean she was easily 85+. And JOGGING.
Shit, let's g…

Part 3: Fuck it...There are just too many parts

There is no grand finale.  I left off with us moving back, right?  Well, it has been a roller coaster. It has been hard. Each day we move forward, but many days it feels like we move back. But we don't stop.

It took me a while to get back here. I endured two really rough bouts with anxiety over the last week and finally got in to see my therapist today. That almost seems sugar coated.
Let me scrape off the sprinkles for you.
IT WAS HELL.
And that is just from my angle.
I don't want to try and view it from my husband's perspective.
Please do not make me think of my babies.
Everyone is safe. I am ok. I have a plan and I am on trajectory to keep moving forward.
No one has thrown in the towel yet.
Me included.
But it was bad.
Really, really bad.

So what happens when it gets bad? Typically I hole away, close off, play pretend in public, cry in private. Life doesn't stop, even though I wish it would give me a damn break. No dice. We keep spinning. I immediately sought he…

Part 2: Mountains should be climbed, not carried

I told you I was not ashamed.
And then 200+ people clicked on my blog. Maybe they actually read it, maybe they didn't.
Either way...there it was.
My anxiety peaked. The guilt and shame edged in.

FULL BLOWN ANXIETY ATTACK COMMENCE

I didn't know if or when I would return to writing, but here I am...

I have to finish what I started.
Because it is building up in me. Threatening detonation levels.
Leaking out my mouth in anger and frustration, my eyes in tears of sadness and fear.
I feel removed and yet suffocated.

I left you with my desire to be with my baby. My need to be with him. And how I could not.
Damn student loans. Damn pride and promises.
So I went back after 12ish weeks to a hellish schedule and very little lab assistance to run my dissertation experiments. I had to pump every couple of hours, and I would only get 15-20ish minutes between animals to do so.
I was a sleep deprived, anxious wreck. I constantly rushed and drove home every chance I could to nurse. He wasn&#…

Part 1: My story #iamnotashamed #mentalhealthmonth

#iamnotashamed

This is a recent hashtag I came across during #mentalhealthmonth (May) that I really felt.  Deep down.  I wrote a post.  I edited the post.  I hesitated.  That's when I knew.  I even had some anxiety over it.  I didn't have time to write, time is so fucking impossible to regulate and obtain these days. Particularly for myself.  I knew I needed to release this burden.  But my hesitation let me know that maybe this hashtag struck a chord.  I wanted to use it.  I want to be unashamed.  But the truth is I feel very deep shame.

My depression has cycled off and on since I was 16.  I think that was the first time I sought help. Sometime right after I started oral birth control, which I would later learn was a direct contributor to my anxiety and depression.  I am very hormone sensitive.  Even the slightest fluctuations send my brain into a tizzy.  Ok, into a personal hell.  I would not learn this until graduate school.  Thanks, Neuroendocrinology seminar. And thanks t…

Running socks, running buddies, and just a lot about running

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A few weeks ago I did the unthinkable.  I, Jessica the introvert, sent out a beacon via the interwebs.  "Desperately seeking a trail running buddy."  And I FOUND one!  Our first run together was a few weeks ago, a beautiful Sunday trail run.  And with a goal to just slowly get out there, maybe 3ish miles, we managed almost 4.  It was a great match. The conversation flowed, the running was challenging but fun.  I could not believe my luck. We ran again this past Sunday, and today she is joining me on the road.  It is different running with someone.  You must allow yourself some level of vulnerability.  Runs can be beautiful, and then you have the urge to spit or need to pop behind a bush to pee.  Neither of which has happened yet, but these are considerations.  A running partner, like any relationship, is about balance and trust.  If one of you needs to work some stuff out you could end up dragging your partner along on a killer run, potentially injuring one or both of you al…

Getting down to business

The mornings I wake up and immediately throw on a pair of running shorts are some of my best days.  Those are the days I allow my body to take charge, before my mind has even awaken from slumber, before caffeine has coursed its way through my system.  Usually this action of wardrobe choice will lead to a good run, or at the very least a day filled with constant activity.  With two littles under three, activity is rarely something I lack.  There are some days I only sit when they are asleep.
Yet it is the days when I actually make it out my door in my running shoes that really take me places.
To recap why I began blogging let's go back to the beginning.  If you did not join me from the beginning of my journey into writing, openness, mental health acceptance...allow me to recap. I have battled with anxiety and depression since puberty.  We can skim the contribution of hormones and oral contraceptives to this battle, as that's a whole other discussion. So off I go to college, w…

Let's try running, maybe we get somewhere

You think I run to regulate my brain chemistry, maintain my physical appearance, empty my mind of worry and stress, escape. Fair guesses...

You are wrong.

I run to breathe. Inhale, Exhale. Repeat indefinitely.

I run because to not run is far worse. I run for inspiration. I run to teach my children what strong looks like, and how strong their mama is capable of being.

I run because I can.

I run.

This is not about whether you like running, or if YOU run or not. This is not about you at all.

Perhaps my stories sound familiar, seem similar, or are simply very relatable to you. Ultimately it is just me and my journey you are reading about. 
My choices.  My mistakes.  My victories.

Feel free to tag along, it is why I write, to share openly with you.

Hell, sooner or later you might even find yourself running. 
It adds a little adventure to life.

Be strong. Be RAD.

I don't want to write, I want to live (January 2016)

This is an original post written in January of this year...left un-posted because I was too humiliated by our situation.  My latest career flop has led me to believe there is no such thing as failure anymore. Only doing.  Some things work out, some things don't.   And this is MY journey, so we will cover them all.
(January 2016) Life is a fucking shit hole these days. You want a nicer description, go watch a Disney movie.  I am all out of sugar coated lies today.
We actually hit rock bottom, with a whopping $100ish in the bank. No big deal until you remember we are parents to a 3 year old and almost 1 year old. The stress is unbearable. Jobs on the horizon, but rejections pouring in. So we keep pushing. The hubs is back working elsewhere in addition to his solo route, and we are quite literally living on a prayer, except we don't believe in prayer.  Let me tell ya, I wish to fuck we did, because this sucks.

Kids at least are on Medicaid and WIC.  It makes me want to hurl.  Ho…

Christmas 2015

I have posts stockpiled that I am slowly editing for release to the universe.  
Late, but still worthy of a read or two.  

This post is from Christmas 2015, written for my children.

There will be times when the magic eludes you. When you lose hope.  There will be times when you can not bear the pain.
And yet you will continue.
There will be so much disappointment.
And there will be aching joy.
There will be times you are so happy that you don't know how to embrace it all. It will literally leak from your glistening eyes.
Life will go on, until one day it doesn't.  And that is ok.  Because everything must come to an end eventually.  It is how we accept the end that matters most.
How we love. How we live. How we endure.
Together.
Family.
With strength, but not without fear, just the mastery of fear.  You can face it.  I promise.
One day you will wake up and the magic will stare you straight in the face and you will realize that you never really gave up.  As long as you are breath…