So I told her that I have been trying to figure out if writing this here in my blog would be good or detrimental. If it would help me or help others who may happen to read it. As I was talking to Renee, her supportive head nods, looks of understanding and mm hmms, I realized that by not sharing what I was struggling with I was robbing myself and others dealing with healing, in whatever fashion that may be, of knowing that ups and downs are there for each and every one of us. That it really wouldn't be fair to not share it. And so, here I am. Spilling it all out on the page, trying to refocus, learn something, get it all out there and maybe, just maybe give someone else a moment of relief from the fears and anxieties that they too may have. I wrote earlier that my goal for this year was to find a balance between running and organizing the SJS events surrounding the half marathon. It seems to me that I have lost that balance.
On our last night of camping, my husband and I sat around the fire well after the boys had gone to bed. You know how the colors and the heat from the fire can be so mesmerizing? I finally began to think about what it is that I am actually trying to accomplish. If you don't stop and think about it and simplify it all, it will begin to consume you and that is what has begun to happen. Plans for the pasta dinner, getting people housing if they need it, asking for donations, ordering team shirts, getting registrations turned in for people, raising awareness, answering questions, interviews, speeches, and so on. It's a big job! And then the training comes in. Making sure you have the right shoes, eating the right things to prevent further issues, hydrating, following the schedule, putting the shoes on, mapping the routes, keeping track of the miles, actually running them. Fighting the voice inside your head telling you to run faster, slow down, run farther, that short runs are as important as long runs, don't forget to run hills, do this, do that, don't do that!! It never stops.
I shared all of this with Mike, afraid for some reason that he would brush it off. Tell me I'm overreacting or something similar. But I was so relieved when he didn't. Instead, he told me to tell him what he can do to help. Relief began to wrap itself around my shoulders and it shoved the weight right off and onto the ground. He told me to remember that the most important part of Team SJS is the healing it provides to those who have suffered and that includes the ones that love them. Raising money and awareness are necessary parts, but that isn't what my original goal was. And he was right!! I had forgotten what it was I was doing!
Now, if I had just gone back through my own writings and rantings I would have seen it for myself! I would have seen that I have always found it to be so important for people who have had SJS or TENs to realize that although life is different, it isn't any less great! That we can do things that amaze ourselves and others and feel good about that! It just might be the reason we are still here!
The next morning, I was feeling a bit less pressure, but being the non-morning person that I am, I was CRABBY!!! The answer to that was an easy one. I changed my clothes and put on my shoes prepared to run 5 miles. I needed to sweat out the negativity, needed to breath in the clean and the fresh and push myself past a comfortable place and see myself go farther than I believed I could. To set a goal and nail it, even though it was a distance I had run so many times before. So I did! And did it well!
After talking to Jim, my coach, I am back at it and feeling pretty good. We have just under 6 weeks to go until the big weekend, but I am on this up and down journey for the rest of my life. I'm facing an 11 mile training run with my fellow running group on Saturday. Scared yes, but knowing that I am not alone in it. Just as I have learned through my illness, I am never really alone. I have made life long friends and I have an incredible husband who is there through it all. Two boys that love me, with or without my disabilities. And numerous family members and friends who know that I am still who I was before June 28, 2008. I was a spirited fighter then and continue to be now.
As most of you know, music is a huge part of my life. It heals, it comforts, it conveys anger as well as love and sometimes it gives you a voice you never knew you had. There's a song that I sometimes listen to when I feel so lost, so angry, or so alone. Written by Audra Mae, it goes like this:
Through all of this, the ups and downs, the failures and the triumphs, the pressures and the stresses, this is who I was born to be. A mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a runner, a support and yes, a Survivor. Sometimes even a pain in the ass! God don't make no junk! Here we go, people! Le's get this thing done!!