ALERT: JO FALLS OFF TREADMILL

So real life. I fell off the treadmill.

Faceplant, feet fly out from under me, chest hits the deck.

It was HYSTERICAL.

I was doing a tempo run on the treadmill to beat the heat. I finished and missed judged the footing on the side, didn’t have time to react, I stopped running, but the belt did not. Boom. (Great run on sentence there wasn’t it?)

Haha but really. I’m fine. It was so funny.

Though today has been one of those days that I feel like I’m falling off the treadmill of life. Like you’re running so fast and doing an okay job of keeping up, but all of a sudden you’re just worn out and your feet stop, but life just keeps on going and it wipes you out.

I’ve dealt with depression for a long time. I’ve found out it comes in ebbs and flows. There are seasons where you’re great, you feel awesome and love life. There are seasons where you’re coasting: things are good, not much bad, but nothing challenging. Then there are seasons that are blah…when you are just tired. Then there’s all hell breaks loose and you’re living in hell.

Right now, it’s one of those seasons I’m tired. There is a lot good going on, but I feel like life is winning. I’m spending most days waking up tired, having a hard time getting out of bed and not having a lot of motivation to get crap done. Now, I’m in a bit of transition. I’m coaching at the high school again, doing doubles almost daily, track meets, social life and church. None of which is bad, but figuring out my schedule has been challenging the last 3 weeks or so.

But I’m also just tired. I don’t share this for pity, but for honesty. I often have a hard time admitting I’m not doing great. Or I have to be really bad in order to say something. Or I just get to a point I’m fed up so I make clear how I feel. However, this is a season where I enjoy moments-there is a lot of good around me, but the day to day is often hard and long. It’s in these seasons I’m reminded that I still face this disease called depression. I find joy around others, but alone time is hard to be motivated. So yes, you better believe I’ve been calling up all my friends recently. I believe in taking action and not letting life happen to you. Though, there are even times with them when I struggle being fully present. Not for any particular reason, but my brain feels like mush and I just want to go to bed.

I find that I’ve gotten used to some of these feelings. I sometimes don’t even think anything of it. Until today on the phone with my husband he asks “How are you?” I respond with “I’m good, just tired.” He says “Are you just always tired?”

Lightbulb.

Dang it.

Being tired sometimes is normal. It being what you say everyday-all day is not. Every time in the past I have been mildly or majorly depressed the one thing I always always say is “I’m just tired”.

Damn.

I’m not saying I’ve fallen of the train. I’m functioning, happy a lot, but still struggling.

Anyone out there want to say an Amen!

I know you do. It’s convicting writing this out. It’s a pattern of mine. I struggle, talk about it, then time passes and I just get sick of talking about it so I shove it down and move on. It’s like I just try to forget about all my feelings. It’s easier than dealing with them. Right?

Dang life is hard friends. I feel so blessed and thankful for the journey I’m on, but it’s still hard. I’m not where I want to be at 27, but I trust God has me here for a reason. But it’s hard day in and day out when things don’t change. When I grind and things remain the same. It’s easy to want to just forget, pretend everything is okay. When down inside you’re anxious or depressed. You feel like a failure or a mess. When you feel called to something and for some reason there are just barriers thrown in your face. It’s discouraging. It’s hard as a mom when you have everyone screaming your name. When your a dad who feels the weight to be the provider. It’s awful when your job lets you go or you lose a loved one to cancer. Man it’s all a mess.

My life isn’t harder or easier than anyone else’s. We all have a journey and a story uniquely ours. I write because it helps me process, but also helps me gain perspective and encourages me to help others along the way. And as I sit here right now, I feel convicted. Why? Not because my life is falling apart and I’m not asking for help. But because my mind is getting the best of me and I’m letting the easy way win. Man, Rusty and I have had some HARD conversations the last 4 months. I mean hard. We’ve gone to counselling and I’ve left bawling and things have gone unresolved. A lot of our conversations and decisions are ones that take time. So what do I do. Well, I feel I’ve worn out the conversation. I’ve cried, said my peace, now I’m moving on without saying anything, but it’s all good.

Then what happens. The feelings I had don’t magically disappear. I just shove them down and pretend they aren’t there. We’ll just address that later… I’m just going to focus on the present. Now, focusing on the present is good!!! Very good. But it doesn’t mean neglecting our feelings. Feelings aren’t everything, but they are important. We can’t shove them down or eventually we will explode. Then it’s also easy for Satan’s lies to trickle back in. When those thoughts start off small, but then grow to something much more powerful.

Some of you may never understand this. It’s so crazy how this disease can take over, especially when we don’t fight it! But it can sneak in when we least expect it. It can fester inside when we think we have finally got things figured out.

But friends, we can never let our guard down. Life does not have to win. Depression does not have to win. But it does take work. Hard work, honest work.

Honestly, I don’t want to do it. I don’t have the energy. Because yes, “I am tired.”

But I know I cannot let Satan win. Ugh. It’s so HARD. Conversations are so hard. Making life decisions is SO HARD. IT’S WORTH IT! And I’m saying this because I need to hear it. I must fight. I must not let this disease win. The vulnerability is worth it. The tears are worth it. The sharp pain in my heart is worth it if it means depression does NOT win.

When we fall, because we will, we cannot let it stop us from getting back up. We must get back up and keep pushing. Don’t let one fall off the treadmill keep you from ever getting back on. Yes, I used my embarrassing fall as a life analogy. Because if I want to run with USA on my singlet, there is no way one fall off the treadmill is going to keep me from running again. Same with life: if we want to get the most out of it we cannot let our falls keep us from running the race. And yes, we’re going to fall a lot and the journey may be hard and painful, but the reward will be so so so so much better. And the lessons we’ve learned will make us stronger. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if we don’t know what that light is. Hang in there. Push with me. Do this with me. I don’t want to do it alone. Let’s fight the demons in our heads and cling to God’s truths. Because as hard as it sometimes is I know TRUSTING God is the only way. He is GOOD. And I don’t always believe it, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

Jo ButlerComment