Highs & Lows

Up to now I have been writing these entries off the top of my head. But I'm gonna venture off that track tonight. I had this thought rattling around my head late the other night and so jotted it down in my notebook, and I'd like to share it with you.

It's a well know fact that exercise is a great way of alieviating symptoms of depression. Having a 40 hour a week job, 10 hour a week commute, and two (Rad) kids means I don't have time nor money for the gym. Sure, I have a bench (thanks to the MIL) with some free weights and I try to make time for that where possible, but my steady and reliable exercise of choice has been jogging. It's something I struggle to enjoy, but find it very rewarding. I also stick with it because my body reacts well to it. What I can't take pride in my body? Come on give me a break!

So I was laying in bed after having had a great run (ignoring the fact my knees felt shot to pieces), and I was wondering why jogging seems to work so well for me not only physically but also mentally. And without putting much thought into it this became apparent - running is the opposite to alcoholism for me. Woa, did I get deep for a bit there? Yes well hang on and I'll explain a little more.

I've tried the age old method of self medicating with alcohol followed by a denial chaser. At certain times this was just too easy for me. It does run in the family you know. It's really not hard to live that way, especially when you have minimal responsibilities. At one point I even managed to work whilst (at least) half cut and sleep it off in my car on lunch. Daily. Not cool.

Wait - It's my intention to try and keep my family out of these posts as it's meant to be a blog focused on me, my interests and perversions. If you wanna know how the fam are then check Facebook. But I'd be a failure as a husband, father and brother if I didn't say that my family pulled me through (most probably unknowingly and definitely selflessly) and continue to keep me on the right path.

The other thing that saved me was seeking help from my doctor. I've heard it said that taking prescribed meds is a sign of weakness. I can understand how people might think that. It's true if you do take pills and don't do anything under your own steam to find the cause and solution to your problems. And having sought medical help twice, I am somewhat guilty of that the first time around. But that doesn't really explain the state I was in so I feel no shame or guilt. After a while I got to realise what Kurt meant when he sang "I miss the comfort in being sad". But I sure as shit don't miss it now. So for me alcohol was a quick fix. Impossible to endure over a long period of time bcause my body just can't handle it (I'm really not that good at keeping it down, never was). I like to think had it come down to it that my body would have lost the battle before my mind. But thankfully I'll never know.

I'm on that long term fix now. All down to my own effort and stamina. Sounds easy right? That's insulting if you think that. There's a lot we still don't know about what makes us tick, as a race and as individuals. I trusted my doctor when he said to me quite simply "These will get you back on a level playing field, then it's up to you". With alcohol, I didn't have to try anything. With this I have to try every day to make it work. And this work ethic has given me so many blessings already, it's impossible for me to think of what the future holds.

If I try and make some sense of the different choices I made this is what I see - I tried the easy Highs, and suffered the devastating and scarring Lows that always followed. Now my Highs are harder to reach, harder to accomplish, and amazing when conquered and achieved. My Lows are now a relief, a rest bite, a chance to get my second wind. Rewards coming from both the Highs and Lows. Jogging. Physical and Mental. Can it be that simple? Sure why the f uck not? I'm happy with that rationalisation. But then again I am on happy pills right, shi t if I was you I wouldn't listen to a word I say, or type for that matter.

Work Hard, Stay Up.

Comments

  1. Inspiring and brave post my friend. Exercise is a physical and mental stimulant like no other and running is the smack high of all exercise. The simple one foot in front of the other, taking breath... and time to think. And the feeling of elation of finishing the course, the happy slow down, the pleasant feeling of fatigue in the muscles and deep peaceful sleep brought of the exertion. We are all still cavemen deep down, hunting that mammoth!

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