Running on empty…


Hi folks.

Post title says it all really about how I’ve been feeling lately. No, I have not been for a run, because of said empty tank.

Why is my tank empty?

Lately, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I’ve struggled with motivation issues to get out the door for a run. Now, I can hardly face just going out the door. It could be the time of year (short, darker days and nearing Christmas) or it could be just a crap-load of fatigue catching up with me (if it’s fatigued, how the hell does it catch up?). And when that happens, I just start feeling sorry for myself. I know, pathetic really.

But. To be fair on me, if I’m fatigued, I become bored and if I become bored, then my depression kicks in and I start staring into space. Truth be told, I’ve been away for a couple of days on an Outdoor First Aid course and like a fool I forgot my happy-pills, so I’m playing catch up with those too. But missing two days isn’t actually that bad.
In case you don’t know, it can take 6-8 weeks for the medication to reach a ‘levelled’ state in the bloodstream however it can take next to no time for it to leave. Which is nice.

Here’s a science interlude:

SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (not to be confused with SSSIs or Site of Special Scientific Interest, although I think my brain may qualify πŸ™‚ ) work by preventing excessive re-uptake of the neurotransmitters from one cell to the other and back again after they have been released and they’ve done their job. These neurotransmitters are serotonin and noradrenaline; SSRIs work by helping to release serotonin between the nerve cells, thus keeping depressed patients, like me, ‘on the level’. In other words, they try and keep us happy or at least ‘normal’. Which is why you should try and avoid missing doses or assuming you’re ok and then coming off them without speaking to the GP first and then falling into an almighty fricking-dark hole. It’s happened to me and I would not wish it on my worst enemy (well, perhaps David Cameron, George Osborne and Donald ‘Twat’ Trump).

This is one reason why exercise and running has been proven to really help with depression as this naturally releases serotonin in the brain, which may explain the phenomenon of the ‘runner’s high’ which I have had a lot of times; it’s kinda like a euphoric state where you feel untouchable and you could run forever. Ruuuun, Forrest ruuuuun!! And yes, my beard is growing.

Take earlier. I took the dog for his morning conshitution (yes, you read that right) and as much as I enjoyed being outside hearing the roar of the bursting river as it forges its way to the sea, and the trees and sounds of nature, I was arguing with myself on whether to go for a run today or not. Just a little one, maybe 5K. Oh yeah, you should, it’s nice weather. Nah, I’m going to wait until Monday and start again proper. Yeah you should go it’ll help you feel better. Nope. Definitely going to wait until next week and start fresh when I feel more up to it. EDIT: I actually did get out in the end and ran 8.4KM at tempo pace πŸ™‚

I’m sure you’ve all been there. Thing is, I beat myself up for not going and then I have to tell myself off for being such a pillock. If I’m not feeling up to it, then no, I should not feel bad. I’ve felt so tired for so long now and I just cannot explain it. I’m sleeping ok and yes alright, quite a few nights I’ll stay up until 2am playing Minecraft as I’m slightly obsessed with it (hence the header image) but I’ll still sleep well and get say, seven hours but I can survive on six. I’ve been a PC gamer for many years and late nights are not uncommon so I’m used to it. Lately, my vision has consisted mainly of this:

2015-12-09_19.45.11
I’m depressed sure, but jumping off here probably isn’t a good idea.

And on a side note; people who know about Minecraft and don’t play it usually think it’s for kids. Not so. Yes, kids play it, but like most other PC games in the world, it’s played and thoroughly enjoyed by people my age (as in the 30 – 40 age group) and it’s the most relaxing and stress free game I have ever played in 20 years. So, for me at least, it’s a win-win where my depression is concerned. I have it on my ailing laptop and even the Pocket Edition on my phone. And I’m not afraid to say I am most definitely addicted to it, and that’s after just three weeks of installing it. If you’re creative (as a lot of depressed people are) it is perfect and I have seen some incredible structures on the interwebs. Check these out (each ‘block’ in the Minecraft world is 1 cubic metre, to give you an idea of scale). It’s no wonder it is one of the best selling games of all time.

Ahem. Anyway.

So next week, I am going to start fresh and attempt to stick to a schedule of running. Although as I look out the window now the sun is coming out so will no doubt start another internal monologue with myself.

If you are a runner who suffers with depression then I would love to hear from you or leave a comment below.

Take care out there.

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4 thoughts on “Running on empty…

  1. All the best with any decisions you make. On a side note, the company that makes the PlayStation version of Minecraft is in our village, I’ve never played it but maybe I should give it a try.

    1. Many thanks fossilcyclist and it’s good to be writing again. Minecraft is EXTREMELY addictive so don’t start playing it if you don’t think you’re disciplined enough to peel yourself out of your chair afterwards!! πŸ˜‰

  2. Hi Elton, Welcome back πŸ™‚ I noticed your absence here throughout these past months. When I read this post a few days ago, I could so easily identify myself with it/you (except the game bit as I’m not into games, although I can see some room for thought there if I think of other “creative addictions”… like adult colouring books, for example),

    Anyway, I think I could write a book on the topic of “lack of motivation” and consequently, depression. I think both are interlinked and both require constant practice of the art of letting go/acceptance/forgiveness/compassion/etc.
    You know exactly why you don’t have motivation for this or that, why are you depressed. We do know these things. Of course we know.

    The thing is: I’m a firm believer that the essence of every human being is beautiful.
    So, be gentle on your- beautiful-SELF πŸ™‚

    Wishing you all the best.

    Natalia

    1. Hi Natalia πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your kind words and insight. I am hoping to be a little more persistent with the blogging this time and although at the moment it’s more than likely focusing on my running (more due to the fact the time of year, as it’s often too windy for me to ride my bike; I HATE cycling in wind!).

      I hope everything is good with you and you’re continuing with your creative ideas; something I’m pretty rubbish at! πŸ˜‰

      Right, I’ve a blog post to get on with πŸ™‚

      Take care

      Elton

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