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I’m The Juggernaut, Bitch

Some time back, I was diagnosed with PCOS and told I had to lose weight, like, yesterday. I picked up running and began enjoying it till I started getting awful shin splints during and after each run and ended up having to switch to spinning and rowing for my cardio fix. I had read a few books about running before I gave it up, and I’m reminded now of a quote from Running Like a Girl:

Once you’ve experienced the delicious realisation that you can carry on when you are quite sure you are about to die of tears in a crowd of thousands, you have taught yourself a skill that is applicable to all of life. It turns out that to survive, you just have to keep going.

I think anyone who goes through depression or a difficult phase in life learns this lesson. The only way out is through. I remember I used to just go through the motions each day, cleaning, cooking, errands etc. and go to bed with a slight hope that I might not wake up to have to deal with it the next day. That continued for months, through suicidal depression, through therapy, through countless arguments with my husband, through smiling for our friends so they wouldn’t know. I didn’t know how to get out of it, but I didn’t take my life and instead ploughed through it. One day I woke up and got the errands done with quickly so I could read. Another day to exercise. Another day for a walk to the park. Days passed and one day I looked back and realised that cloud of horrible depression wasn’t there any more. I don’t think anyone ‘cures’ themselves completely; it’s always lurking in the background waiting for the opportune moment to consume you again. However, you slowly give yourself the strength to clutch desperately at life, your hold on sanity powerful enough to stave those dark thoughts for yet another day. You just simply… keep going.

10 thoughts on “I’m The Juggernaut, Bitch

  1. Great post. I have had some depressive bouts, and have realized how important it is to Just. Do. Something. Establishing routine and just chugging along. Of course, I have realized this logically, but still really struggle putting it into action.

    One piece that is desperately missing from my routine is exercise. Maybe it was just the urgency of the diagnosis that spurred you into action, but do you have any other tips for incorporating exercise into your routine? I feel that I should start small, but I’ve yet to identify a sport/exercise activity that I don’t hate and/or find insurmountable.

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    1. I used to wait for that one moment of epiphany where everything would suddenly become very clear and I’d be motivated to do all the things that are good for me like exercise everyday and brush twice a day. This never happened.

      It works differently for different people. Some people tell me they started running to just satisfy the need to run away from everything. Others tell me hard exercise felt like good punishment for them for feeling this way when there were real people with real problems ‘out there’, and the endorphin rush after the exercise was the only real feeling they had had for awhile.

      In my case, I was alone at home and just randomly needed to see other people to feel human, so I went for a walk. I realised more than ever how alone I was in that sea of people, but I kept walking. I didn’t want to go back home because walking felt like I was doing something rather than crying on the couch, so I did it again the next day. And the next. Somehow hours would pass and I had no idea what I had been thinking of while walking, but it would always feel like I had thought out every sad little thought possible and my head was empty.

      As my body lost a bit of its pudginess, I started wanting more, and began running on and off. Then came the diagnosis and that spurred me to go to the gym and swim too. I could never keep it up now without all those days walking by myself, though. So maybe the only thing I can tell you is to try something different every time you have some energy, and one of them will feel less detestable than the others have so far. Some people like group activities so perhaps Zumba or salsa lessons with a friend might be worth a try.

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  2. I’m like ScrewLooseHoney, I need to do more exercise to help over come my depression. But I have no motivation to do it because of the depression. Classic catch 22!

    I think you might like this video –

    It talks about depression in a very honest and refreshing way. I often show it to people that don’t understand depression (or don’t believe it exists).

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  3. That’s such a positive outlook! I’m sure years later when you read this again, you’ll realize how much you learnt from your experiences… :-)

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    1. I feel more realistically neutral than positive about it, but it is a good thing to have ringing in your head through the many tough times in life when you can’t seem to see anything good happening.

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