This probably doesn’t follow proper blogging etiquette, as I just posted something yesterday and I’m simultaneously typing this out on my phone while doing the stair master.

But I have something to say, and thankfully a platform to say it on.

You know, I talk so often of all the good and positive things that can come from working through your mental turmoil, trauma, or illness. And it’s true. About 95% of my days are really good. I have come very, very far. And do not struggle with what I used to.

But then some days remind me that I am human and need God far more than I’m allowing Him to come into my life.

Yesterday, I woke up in a panic. My heart pounding and stomach turning as my mind raced: “I did it again. I stayed up way too late and ate way more than I needed to. I’m a failure. I’m a loser. I’m a hypocrite. And I’m sure as heck going to get fat.”

I tried to fall back asleep, but couldn’t stop tossing and turning. Grabbing my phone. Throwing it on my bedside. Grabbing it again.

“Okay, fine. I’ll pull myself out of bed.”

I hobbled over to the coffee maker, feeling the pain in my knees from the long run from the day before.

“Great. I need to do 12 miles today. Great. You’ve set yourself up to fail… AGAIN.”

“No. Stop. You’re not a failure,” I compromised with myself. “You’re not a loser. You lived your life. No it wasn’t the perfect life you have crafted in your mind. It was REAL life. You went to a nice Christmas party. You did NOTHING WRONG. Now continue on with your day.”

Coming to an agreement, I shifted my train of thought. Or at least tried to.

“Okay, I’ll move on with my day. But ONLY because I have to. Not because I want to.”

I had responsibilities and chores and things to get done that day. I had no choice but to move on.

So I opened my laptop after making a peanut butter sandwich and starting typing away.

What a relief.

Until I went to get ready for the day. “Holy crap you are gaining so much weight,” I surmised as I analyzed my hips in the mirror.

Here we go again. “No you’re not. You’re fine.”

I grabbed my phone and texted a dear friend who I knew would understand where I was coming from and why I needed to stop the train before it rain full-bore into the side of the mountain.

“I’m feeling like you felt on Friday right now. Torn in so many directions and not doing a good enough job at any of them.”

She called me right away and listened. And then gave me some practical advice and I said, “You’re right. I love you. Thank you.”

And then I tried to continue on my day.

Running errands, smiling at strangers when I didn’t feel like smiling, making small talk with the cashier. All while my heart was racing and my mind was saying, “Get the heck out of here.”

I made it home, curled up on the couch, and couldn’t stop my mind from running through my to-do list and all of the things I needed to get done at work the next week.

“Okay, I’ll wrap Christmas presents and then clean the kitchen.”

It took all my energy to gather my gifts together, wrap them, and then nestle back onto the couch.

“I need to run. I have to. It’s the one thing I have.” So, I again mustered up the energy to download my next book from Audible, and began stuffing myself into my leggings.

“Goodness, Maria, get it together. These pants are tight on you now!”

“Whatever. I’m so sick of you telling me these things. I’m fine.”

I set off on my run. It hurt and my body was exhausted from fighting myself all day. I made it two miles and then I started crying.

“Why can’t I get a grip today?!” I told myself it’s okay to walk and then immersed myself in my audio book, crying about every 10 minutes.

After finally making it home, I felt a little better.

I cooked and prayed while cooking, and continued listening to my book. I’m pretty sure I cried a couple more times.

But things were looking up. When the cooking was done, I made some tea, nestled into the couch again with my laptop, and planned out my week.

“I’m good. I’m okay. See, I am in control of my anxiety.”

And then I went to fall asleep and as I dozed off, sharp and shooting pain hit my heart.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I TOOK MY MEDICINE. WHAT IS HAPPENING.”

So, I texted my boyfriend who sympathized and asked if there was an essential oil I diffuse to help.

Such a sweetheart.

Unfortunately, It didn’t work. So I went out to my living room and passed out on my couch, pressed snooze for two extra hours the next morning and got my hot mess self ready for work.

And said, “Oh heck no, anxiety, you are NOT ruling this day.”

I’m telling you this, because not every day is perfect. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Every one of those Instagram models is not perfect. No one is perfect. We mess up. We fumble. We scrape our knees. And then we pull ourselves together and say, “No thank you. I refuse to live this way.”

And then we move on. And while we paint pretty pictures of our lives, our lives are actually pretty messy. But that’s what makes us beautiful, because despite the pain, God loves us so much. Messy and beat up, He welcomes us home every single day. Do not take that for granted.

To anyone who feels so trapped, so burdened down by their anxiety or depression, KEEP GOING. Do not. I repeat, DO NOT give up.

You are made for so, so much more.

 

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Maria Abbe
One day I decided to go for a run, and it changed my whole life. Having struggled with an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression, I found that running was exactly the outlet I needed to recover. Now I work to promote the goodness running can bring to each person’s life by writing about and sharing my story on my blog (www.runningmyselftogether.com). I also share running and mental health tips and promoting self and spiritual care. If you’re looking for a local, casual run club (ARC Running) in Charlotte, join us every Tuesday at 7 pm!