I turn 40 on January 5th. I planned to run a 40 day streak leading to my birthday. That didn’t happen thanks to my foot tendons and nerves. I intended to do 40 “firsts” over the course of the year. My lofty plans included trying to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, considering another marathon, and my first trip to Germany.
I’m not worried about turning 40. In fact, this is the most “myself” I’ve ever been in my life. I’m the most assertive and comfortable in my skin than I can recall being in the entirety of my existence. I’m physically healthy and I’m working on my mental health daily.
Even so, I’ve felt the creep of my mental illness this week. I am fighting the ice cold waves of depression trying to flow into the flames of positivity I’ve been building up. I still can’t do a pull up despite working at it regularly. I get injuries from running every time I start gaining on my target speed. I love running too much to give it up. I hate not be able to run and release my stress. I don’t have time to train for a marathon even if I wanted to try again. I’m not good enough at crossfit to keep trying. Even if I enjoy doing it, my coaches and peers will never respect me because I can’t do all the movements [like freaking pull ups]. I did a shitty job competing in crossfit despite giving it my all. Other people who have been at it for much less time are surpassing me in strength and ability. I’ll never lose these last 15 pounds of fat and I’ll probably gain all the weight I’ve lost back anyway. I can be real with people and kind and they’ll turn around and deceive me anyway. I can’t make friends. I’m not exactly mother or wife of the year and being around everyone all of the time can really wear at me. That makes me feel guilty.
I’ve been learning positive affirmations. I posted supportive statements in the places I spend the most time. It’s hard not to roll my eyes at them when I’m not feeling well, but I can still start to believe the things I read. I feel pretty good about life most of the time, but negativity intrudes when I’m simply enjoying some quiet time or doing something mundane. I don’t want other people to feel like I do, so I radiate the positive when I’m feeling that way. If I find something that makes me smile, I instantly share it. I’m thanking people for saying things that make me feel good or especially laugh. I don’t feel as low as I have on my lows in the past. Maybe it’s the newer meds. Could be that I’m working on my my mental health more. Perhaps it’s a hybrid of those things.
This year, I experienced new things. This was my first pandemic and quarantine. I started and finished the One Year Bible for the first time. I’ve totaled 40 pounds lost since 2019 and I weigh as much as I did when I got married. I kept up with my fitness during the lockdowns and became close to my friends through that shared situation. I started working on my nutrition from a psychological stand and made a positive impact on not only my weight, but my attitude. I competed in my first crossfit style competition. I got to run a competitive half marathon and barely missed my best time, which is an accomplishment. I discovered the few close friends I have always support me even when the enemy is in my head. My husband is really supportive even when I’m being a brat [and I can be a total brat]. There are people who tell me I inspire them or somehow bring them joy and that’s all I can hope for by working hard and being positive. I’m finding beauty in the details that I took for granted. I’m not unhappy. The fact that some of these things are directly in opposition of one another doesn’t make either untrue. It makes it clear that the impermanent things of this life are unimportant in the larger picture. I yearn for greatness and miss the goodness of things. I have to work on that to reap more positivity from life.
Thanks for reading! I’ve been marinating on this for a few days and I couldn’t get how I would put all of these things into a readable length. Here’s a photo of me holding the gallon water bottle my husband gifted me for Christmas. Now I don’t need to refill my 32oz four times….