Significance, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll

I'm peeking at all the great blogs around me - everyone getting ready for (and recovering from) half marathons, marathons, Ironman, Half Ironman - marvelling at all the profound and positive postulations being tossed around (Andy, Linae, Jayme, Tea,Duane, Allez, CPB, New England Meggan). It really occurs to me that I have nothing to say. And that I also say it very poorly. Seriously. How uninspired and uninsipring I've been lately, doing nothing but complaining about my life, whining because I am too sick to do more than a measly 6- or 10-mile run each week! I sound like a toddler who didn't get a cookie. Waaaahhhh, I couldn't run again today. Waaaah. And my blog has been really boring. Training-free. Quite embarassing. I'm shocked, frankly, that anyone is still reading it. Blogging My Way to 140.6? Who's she kidding? She can barely blog her way to .6!

So, on that note, I'm going to whine some more.

I'm going to start actively pursuing an appointment at the Mayo Clinic again. Last night was a bad night. At 4:30pm, I texted Al to ask him if he could leave work to pick me up because I was afraid I couldn't drive myself. Of course he didn't (his response: Well, I wasn't planning on leaving work till 6 or 6:30.) He gets home at 6:45 and wakes me up to read the mail.

To read the fucking mail. Who does that?

I spent the night lying in bed - actually, propped up, because once you take midodrine, which I did at 4pm, you can't lie flat for four hours, because it makes your blood pressure spike. (And yes, when Al came in at 6:45 and dumped the mail on my bed, I was so tired that I was falling asleep sitting, propped up by all my pillows.) I slept off and on from 6pm last night till 8am this morning. I would have slept the whole time, had Al not come in and woke me up to read the mail. (What would possess you to do that to a person who has expressed to you mere hours earlier that they're afraid to drive more than 10 miles on their own, to read the mail and pay the bills?)

The only good thing about opening the mail was that my mom sent me this kick-ass thing she made. My mom is the craftiest woman on earth. I don't know if you can read it, but it's a wooden plaque that says "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." (Funny, sarcastic Meggan would, at this point, interject something like, "Well, Jesus Mom, every moment takes my breath away. You should know, you'e on some of the same drugs I am!") Leave it to your mom to know exactly what things or what type of things you need to hear at any given time. And it matches my office color palette perfectly. I wish she wasn't so far away some times, but I know she and dad really, really love Alabama and my opinion is, as long as they're happy, I'm happy.

After I ate a small meal and paid the bills Al so unceremoniously dumped on my bed, I returned to bed to attempt to do some homework, at least until enough time passed that I could de-prop myself and lie down. I got as far as opening my psych notecards before I started to fall asleep again, and as I did, I came to a profound realization: I'm in mourning.

I've lost so much the past few years that I can't even begin to recount it all: my health, my ability to maintain a normal life, my ability to run and train, my marriage, my sense of love and romance, my sense of attractiveness, my parents, some key friendships, the chance to graduate this year. And, when you lose things, people always want you to focus on what you have, because there's this misconception that it will make you feel better, or heal faster. Oh, but look how blessed you are. Look how much you still have. You have friends and you're alive and your illnesses aren't terminal and your debt isn't too bad and your job is cool and you get good grades and you're this and you're that . . . . . And you know what? I bought into it. I have been so wrapped up in trying - and failing - to keep my head up and remember how much I still have, that I never stopped to mourn anything I've lost. And I realized how deeply, profoundly, significantly sad I am. And how terribly alone I feel. And how I've been valiantly trying to avoid that. It may sound like I'm dwelling on it, because I spend a lot of time and energy talking about my health and how to improve it, but you have to understand that this is my life. This is every second of every day for me. But that doesn't mean I'm facing it. That doesn't mean I'm dealing with how frightening and frustrating it is. And the worst part is? No one understands. And the even worse part? I know, deep down in my bones, that there is still something else wrong with me that they have not figured out.

And what do I do when the divorce is final and I'm all alone and sick like this? Or sicker? That's pretty scary. Although, the scariest part of this whole divorce thing is, if I ever date again, that someone is going to have to dive into all my issues. I'll never find a person that's normal, but ok with me not being normal. I frequently wonder what it's like to be normal. Remember how I made a friend at the Jacksonville Half? His name was Al. We talked during our warm-up through miles 1-5, and in the course of that conversation he revealed to me that he started running because of his Type 2 Diabetes. He asked me why I run (before he smoked me at mile 5). I told him, "Because it's the only thing that makes me feel normal." That was a pretty significant statement for me.

I'm well aware that significant and important are pretty subjective terms. In statistics and psychology, normal and significant have very special meanings. Significance indicates a study's demonstration that a certain variable is <.05, which indicates a high probability that the results have not been found by chance, that the results of the study can, with great certainty, be repeated in the real world. Normal relates to norms, or roles and concepts that are socially accepted. For me, they have pretty typical, non-scientific meanings. Normal is? Not sick. Significant is? Important. But, with T-Minus One Month to the Philadelphia Marathon, I've got exactly 4 weeks to take off the black cape, come out of mourning, and rock and roll. You heard me.
Did I stutter?
I have 3 weeks of training and one week of taper until M-DAY.

Am I ready?
Am I backing down?


HELL NO!!!!!!

I'm going to Philly.

Who's going to Philly?


Phew. Too much time spent around those Marines at work and at the Half in Jacksonville.

Anyway, as Ken on the Higdon forums once said, I'm going to "walk, crawl," do whatever I gotta do, but I'm going to cross the damn finish line. Is there crying in running? Definitely. Is there mourning in running? Quite possibly.

Hey, I am booked FIRST CLASS on the return. My first ever first-class flight.


1 tidbits of wizdom:

CCP said...

Thanks for the mention!

Mourning is healthy, and the blog is a great outlet for it. That is a lot of stuff to "let go" of and you need to vent. Mourn on girlfriend, as much as you need. We're here to support you!

WAY TO GO on your resolve for Philly! HOORAH! And first class! That is the only way to travel:)