Running and Depression

Having suffered since childhood from depression, I was deeply moved by an article I read on written by Daniele Seiss, entitled “Running For My Life“.

I began running to get fit and to shed some pounds and also discovered, accidentally, the huge benefits that pounding the earth has on my mental state. While I can never presume to understand Daniele’s personal “hell”, I understood as it related to me her description of depression as being an “isolating disease.”

I also remembered my pain in childhood because no one, not even myself, understood what was happening to me and why I felt so different. I blame nobody in the generation before mine because I understand that they were working within the constraints of their era. I believe, with exceptions, that every generation produces a unique parenting imprint that is related to the mood of the world at that time.

After years of war and depression, both physical and emotional, baby-boomer parents needed joy and a lightness of spirit in their lives. It was time. These parents were scarred themselves and mine were no exception. Being protected from truth in a time of extreme fear, I believe can produce an anxiety with no name – the worst kind. Both my parents were victims of this time. I was a product of their perceptions.

We cannot and should not forget our past. In our bigger world we need to analyze and dissect our history so that we don’t repeat our mistakes and so that we can repeat our triumphs. Just the same, we need to understand our personal history so that we can understand who we are and why we became that way. More importantly, understanding our past allows us to shape our future with conscious intention and by doing this, have a far greater chance of achieving personal happiness.

While depression has definitely lost much of its social stigma, there are still many who view it as a shameful disease. Many also believe that depression completely defines who someone is and not just one aspect of that person.

For these reasons, I choose the people I share with, but I no longer hide.