not sure why I found this so damn funny, but maybe because there is some truth to it!
It was a good day. Two sessions, a trail run and finally winding down. That may be the clonopin, not the length of the day or everywhere I have been. I’m hoping to settle in and get some sleep tonight. Seeing Virgil reeled me in a bit. I was distracted and disconnected with Beatrice, and also early in the session with Virgil. I wasn’t sure where I was at. There were not any particular thoughts going thru my head. Nothing causing the distraction specifically, so it was hard to put a finger on it. Focusing was near impossible. I left Beatrice figuring it would be a crappy session in the afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised. Not that is was ground shaking, or earth shattering. But it was simply, exactly what I needed. To be lost out there, and disconnected doesn’t do much good for me in the long run. As she does so often, Virgil just did what I needed in that moment. I returned home, far different from when I left. Regardless of whether it sticks or not, it helped. I returned to the trails on a tired set of legs. Lost in the beauty of the late afternoon sun casting shimmering golden splashes along my path. It was just me, the steady ruckus of the wind in the trees, and the sun. I reconnected with myself physically, and it completed my day. I had returned to my head, and my body. Now to sleep, and to stay tethered as these next couple important weeks face me.
Feeling a bit like the piglet in the geico ad- weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. weeeeeeeeeeeee. Guess it is the clock change, and the daylight. Wow. somehow refrained from running, but did ride yesterday and today. Bathed horses, groomed, and cleaned in the house. fun. Like this energetic me. Lots of stuff racing in my brain right now. Hopefully it settles a bit over the next couple days. It is hard to adjust when the clocks change.
I have spent much time thinking about the next step. I am not one to sit back and bask in reaching a goal. I’m off and running in my mind trying to find the next one. Obvious choice is to try to train up to a full marathon. yep, 26.2 miles. It is real easy to just say, oh it is only twice what I did yesterday. But it is a lot more than that. To run 26.2 miles is a huge undertaking, and the training would be more time consuming. Never mind harder on the body. Do I want to do that? yep. I knew myself well enough when I said if I did 13.1 than I’d want to run a full. Oh yes, I’m pretty much bent that way. Least I know myself.
I did it. ran 13.1 miles and did fine. Finished exactly 2 hours after I started. Surprisingly, it felt really good- start to finish. No pain, no body parts being disagreeable. I was really worried about whether I had trained enough, or properly. I was worried about if my nutrition and hydration was good. Everything just clicked. All those wicked hills in the park had my legs ready for the various climbs along the way, including one very late in mile 11. Not a nice place to put a hill.
I was really excited and nervous this morning as we got ourselves out of the house. It was a cold 29 degrees. All the way there I just kept telling myself I could do it. Not to go out too fast. Take it easy, just finish it. It was hard to follow those words. I am pretty competitive, and it was hard to settle. Between the nerves and the crowd, I could have taken off like a shot. Least the first mile was uphill. That tempered my enthusiasm slightly. I watched as everyone around me settled into their race pace. I was a bit put off by the guy that just went on and on, talking to the guys around him. I am used to quiet, only my breath for company. I did have my iphone, but I felt playing music would somehow cheapen the experience. I wanted to see, hear, and smell everything. Not to be lost in some playlist. But with this guy talking I really considered it. Instead I focused on my breath. My feet hitting the road and nothing else. Thankfully he shut up. It was nice and easy for the first four. My pace was exactly what I train at. I found my normal rhythm despite the people moving around me. I tried hard not to get pulled by those that moved past. It was extremely hard, and I found it difficult to trust my sense of pace. It was pretty amazing that I did, and that my body knew, even if my brain had doubts. Moving thru 5 and 6 it continued rolling hills along a lake. The group had thinned out. I had no more than one or two people really close. I lost myself in my mind. Coming past seven I felt myself change gears and go for negative splits on the return. I had told myself I wouldn’t race. That it was just to get my feet wet. Well fuck that. I was 7 miles in, and content, I was running faster. In the 10 and 11th miles I kicked a bit harder than I thought. My brain was telling my I was closer than I was. It was a rough pace, somewhere in the 8:20s. More than a minute faster than I train. As we got into the 12th mile there were some nasty surprises in the form of hills. In fact I honestly muttered to myself, you have got to be fucking kidding. Here I was, having kicked off early in mile 10, and was trying to sustain a brutal pace for me. I kept telling myself, you put in all this training, don’t think about it, just keep your legs moving faster. As mile 13 approached I could hear the crowd. I ran for all I was worth. I had some help since it was downhill. Closing for home at 7:20. Some guy watching yelled out “nice strides”. I was flying. All I could think about was that timing mat. I knew 2 hours was within reach. I this goal in my head to run under 2 hours. Pretty laughable considering I don’t do this, and I have never raced before. But there was the big clock ticking down. As my foot hit the mat the clock read 2:00.01 I had done it. I had raced. I had followed the plan in my head. But most of all I found another little something that I had. I could call myself a runner, and not have any doubts. As I sat in the snow bank icing my legs all I could think of was all the little moments I slowed to take water, all those seconds that added up. What I could have done differently. I know I have a sub 2 hours in me. I just know it. More training, more devotion and more dedication. I am a runner. and I can fly.
Couldn’t possibly be more nervous. Feels a bit like pre Mudder. I have some moments of I got this, and some moments of I should have trained more. But they are running neck and neck. Guess we will see tomorrow.
I am still marveling at the way the system actually worked. I called each of the drug companies today to be taken off their assistance programs. Each had approved me. Their assistance programs had stepped up to fill the void of no health coverage and dependance on medications. It took filling out some paperwork, and for Virgil to fill some out as well. It worked. There was no endless hours of sitting on hold, or wondering what was going on. The programs each did what they were designed to do- help. I’m still in awe of how fast medicaid came thru as well. I’m not used to things working out. I’m used to issues, and hassles and let downs. Every time. I’ve grown hard and cynical. I expect the worst. Always anxious, always doubting. Now, in the most stressful point in my life, I got a break. I can’t even tell you how badly I needed one. I can say now I don’t always get fucked. I wish I could say it changed my outlook, but it has not. If there is a way to get screwed it’ll happen. If something can go wrong it will. Nothing ever is as it seems. Ever.
You’re probably wondering how I ended up so dark. It isn’t a long journey, though it is a tough one. There is a security we get growing up within a safe and healthy environment. I lost that. I learned to question when people said “It’ll be okay”. What was okay? There was loss, and fear, and abandonment. There wasn’t anything status quo. It just was not. I learned early on to doubt everything. Not take it at face value. I found a way to just keep on going. Make the outside look fine. Build a strong and seamless facade. It never held up, no matter how I built it. My partner often snaps at me when I am worrying about something, or am having an anxious day. Sometimes in jest, but often with this air of frustration and failure to understand. It irritates me to no end. So I’m fucking anxious. Last time I looked things were not all that great around here. I can be worried and stressed. Fuck it. I can be stressed and worried whenever I damn well chose. It is mine to own. I don’t think I started out an anxious child. I do not think insecurity was my default. I was quiet. But a worrier, I was not. I have a very strong confident side, that rarely shows itself, but none the less it there. I don’t think that coexists with a worrying, hand wringing anxious personality. Not that one cannot be both, but I don’t think to such an extreme. I tend not to be a follower, though most people I have met along my path that are worriers tend to be followers. I may be wrong, it is just my experience. I do really think I would not have ended up where I am had life taken a different course. I think that strong willed, stubborn leader would have been me. All the time, not in fits and starts, and sporadic dribbles that tease. I want that person, not the one I have become. To not be cowed into submission by a racing anxiety that grow more powerful with time. When did this become what my life was about? I am sick of the restless, nauseous feeling that nags at me. The questioning of my ability. I wander out on the edge, running faster, playing harder. Challenging the endless doubts that swirl in my mind. To me it has to be more, better, or it isn’t good enough. I find ways to doubt it. That game I played wasn’t about the great moments, it was about the play I missed, or the shot I failed to make. Anger pushes at me and I try harder. The intensity ratchets up a notch. Most would say I am intense. That is fine. I am not competing with them. I am competing with myself and the extreme benchmark I set to prove worthiness. To be okay isn’t good enough. To make a hard play is not enough. It is not good enough. To get beat means I am not strong enough, fast enough, or skilled enough. It is a dog eat dog world up there in my brain. The anxiety drives it. The insecurity prolongs it. There is no solid middle. I exist in this vicious proving ground. Always finding ways to sell myself short, and come up empty inside. I didn’t start life like this. I was made.
But can it be undone? Can the confidence come back? Can I step away from the endless loop of worry, doubt and insecurity? Why does it grow stronger?
I cannot explain. This has been another rambling, strange post. My mind is still disconnected and scrambled. apologies for the ramble.
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin
I have been in a disconnected strange state since yesterday. Very much perplexed as to who would come onto our property. I pulled in the driveway, after being gone for 5 hours. The solid electric gate that stands between us and the world. The barrier that keeps those without a code from entering our property. but even more important, the gate stops animals from leaving. If one of our horses gets out to the road, and is struck, we are liable. It is critical that all of our fences are sound, and that the gate functions to keep the property safe, and the horses contained. There I was staring at a gate swinging in the brisk wind. I couldn’t quite comprehend what it was I was looking at. I wasn’t afraid. It didn’t add up in my head. I got out of the truck and looked at the gate. It started to add up. The steel pins were not holding the electric arms to the gate panels. These arms open and close the gate when prompted by the control panel. The only way for them to function is if someone knows the code. If the gate malfunctions, or if you do not know the code you can pull the pins and disconnect the arms. This allows the steel gates to swing unhindered. That is what I was looking at when I pulled in. I quickly tied the gate fighting the gusting wind. I had two horses in the trailer, and could not stop to look at it in detail. I pulled up the hill to the barn looking around, wary. It was pitch black. I unloaded the horses, like I do every wed night. I return at the same time, every week, just as I leave at the same time. My life is predictable. Too predictable. What is so scary is that it takes time to pull the pins and once in, there is no other way out. Meaning whoever came in was bold, and was confident enough that we would not return early. It just makes me sick. But what scares me most is we can’t figure out what they did while here, or what they took. The dogs were in the house, so that would be enough of a deterrent. The barn, that is another story. The machine shed. All the tools, and equipment. Nothing looks out-of-place. Why take the gate apart to get a vehicle in here? what was the purpose? It makes my skin crawl. The not knowing. The invasion of our space. It bothers me to no end.
I called the police once I had put the horses in stalls and walked down to the house (armed with a 5′ hickory twitch, kind of like a baseball bat, like that was going to help me….) I opened the door to a happy group of dogs, and the bird. Nothing looked out-of-place. Relieved, but anxious, I called the police. I walked out on the deck and looked around. Still trying to come to terms with the fact that someone other than us had been there, or was still there. 4 town cops showed up about 10 minutes later. Not really the best response time. They walked the place with me, looking for anything missing or out-of-place. They asked me about clients, any problems? Boarders, horses etc. No. No. no. We haven’t had any issues. We stay to ourselves. We live behind a coded gate. We got to the main barn and I went to check the drugs. The cop asked me about bute. Bute is roughly the equivalent of you or I taking tylenol. He said they were cutting ketamine with the bute. Lovely. A little carcinogen on the trip down the k hole. Locally there is a problem with ketamine. It didn’t dawn on me, since I didn’t know they were cutting it with bute. what happened to baby laxatives? I’d think bute might be harder to come by, but what the fuck do I know about street drugs these days. My drug days are long over. Probably a good thing, since there is some nasty shit out there now. I digress, back to the walk through. I checked our injectibles, and also the needles and syringes. Keep in mind these are for horses. I don’t know many people who shoot up with 20g 1 and 1/2″ needles. Anything is possible. I don’t know. Appears all meds, and needles and syringes are accounted for. We are left with a mystery. Left with so many questions, and no answers. I understand the disconnect. It is safe. It is better than where my mind goes when it thinks about trespass. I know I’m trying hard to keep my head here, not losing sight of this is now. It is not the past. It is now. The present and someone has trespassed into our world. We thought it was safe. I am rethinking that now.
We have a set date for FL. I am trying hard not to think about it, but it is there in my peripheral vision. All it takes is a quick glance and my heart rate spikes and I break out in a sweat. I know I am staring at my panic. It is all around me in a split second. I chase it away and think about something else. It comes back. Not much I can do. I have to go. Think I might have to keep myself sedated the entire time. I am not even sure how I am going to get myself on a plane.
It wasn’t ever a problem traveling, and leaving. I would go wherever. Going to dinner wasn’t anxiety provoking. Flying halfway around the world was an adventure. I have seen a lot of the world. This shouldn’t be all that difficult. Yet it is. I don’t know when I changed so much. I have. I don’t like this me. It is hard to not think of this me as stupid and weak. How fucking hard can it be to leave for 24 hours? I want to smack myself and say get a grip. But this panic is so very real. I can only sit still and fight for some control. Just turning my mind is an exercise in extreme will power. I can’t shrug it off. I doubt smacking myself upside the head would do much. I know it isn’t weakness. My judgmental nasty inner critic is the one throwing out that term. It is an inner battle to see who is stronger. Will I just give in and sit still. Desperately trying to settle my racing heart. Will I do it anyway and face the awful anxiety. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground. Though once I have gotten past the anticipatory anxiety, and the sheer panic at getting myself going, I can usually find my footing. It is hellish getting there. I know I can do it. I don’t want to. There is a huge difference between can’t and won’t. I do not have an option. I have to find a way to tame my panic and do it anyway.
It won’t be pleasant. Nobody ever said it would be.