It has been a nice break from running, blogging, but of course life goes on. I jumped back into the running this week. I couldn’t control myself anymore. It has become so much a part of my life these days. Then again so has the blogging. They are each interwoven so completely now. I have found I have times when I need to take a step back from here. The words on this screen rarely come easy. There is a price, especially the deep and darker pieces. There in an inherent recovery phase, just as there is after a hard run. Some runs take more time to recover from. This week I jumped in hard with a quick hilly 7 1/2 miles. I want to hit the road again today, but I know it just isn’t there. It is no different with the blog. I have times where I cannot type fast enough to keep up with what is clawing its way to the surface. Other days I want nothing to do with it. It is the rebuilding and processing that brings me farther than I have ever been. As the days click closer to the one year mark I am just amazed at how far I have come and just how much ground I have covered. It is remarkable. If someone had told me that a blog would be this therapeutic I’d probably have shrugged it off. From the first day of treatment there has always been someone along the road suggesting writing. I’ve written here and there, but never in a consistent soul baring way. Why a blog? Maybe the public nature of it leaves me feeling accountable. That I can’t just drop it where I left off. Or it might be my finally realizing how important it is to lay this out there. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I could get run over and my life ends. Or I could live for many more years. the point is I know I have a lot to say. I may be quiet, but my brain is not. It is a never-ending stream of images and phrases. My hyper critical voice always giving me shit. All of that combining to make me who I am. In my almost 40 years on this earth I have lived and survived. What a shame it would be to leave this earth with no story, no words. No explanation. In my darkest moments that is meaningless to me. The depression stripping my mind of accountability, and a responsibility to leave a why. This blog can be my why, god forbid I walk down the blackest of paths again. This is my battle, my war. There are no guarantees here. I can only hope that the treatments get better, and I find a steady place that I can live my life from without the constant glancing back to see when the void will swallow me whole again. I say this not to be dramatic, but to be pragmatic. This is the reality I have lived thus far. How can I possibly believe in something else? I could not think of a more joyous thing than to not have depression come visit me again. But only a fool would buy into that fantasy. This blog is my life, for better or worse. As I close on a year of writing I am struck by an ingrained hopefulness that I don’t often sense in myself. In the very hardest of posts I seem to come out at the other end in a better place than where I started. I have no idea why. My only thought is that my writing allows a bridge to form between my inner survivor and all this processing. I can only sense the negative, glass half empty pessimist as I slog thru the day-to-day. But beneath that exterior my heart and soul is very different. I could have quit a long time ago. I could have remained willful, angry and self-destructive as hell. I didn’t. I’m still angry, and have moments of willful, but I am not who I once was. I have swapped willful for determined and brave. Instead of finding ways to destroy my life, I look for ways to challenge myself. Look for the tougher more resilient pieces of me, instead of hiding and glowering at the world. I use this blog to challenge myself. With each post I explore and chart a course through my mind. With each I survive, and look hard at where I have been. When I get lost and lose my footing I often come back here. It gives me hard evidence it isn’t always SHIT. I can will myself to hold on another minute, hour or day because there are my words, my voice talking about a better place, a better experience. The very worst thing about depression is the conviction it pounds into you that tomorrow will never be better. But here, in my own voice, I see the proof. From the darkest moments with a gun to my head to the most triumphant highs of accomplishment. They are all here. I am here in these pages. All of me. This is my gift to myself. This is an invaluable voice of reason when I really have none. I can’t think of a better gift to myself. Beyond that I have opened the blinds to let people see me for who I am, and for what goes on in my head. Whether I am processing a session, or reacting to news, it is here. I offer myself, all of myself. One might think that would be appallingly uncomfortable, especially for someone as reserved as I am. I truly feel the opposite. It is a relief to have a place to unburden my mind, reset, and move on. I am looking forward to the coming year and more blog posts from the mundane to the heart wrenching. Wherever it takes me, wherever my mind wants to go. This is my blog.