On Monday September 16, I came home from my second visit to the psych ward after spending almost three weeks completely immobile and extremely suicidal. Luckily the immobility kept me from hurting myself and the hospital stay allowed the doctors to readjust my medications leaving me feeling more stable than I had in months. Unfortunately, the same day I left the hospital I walked into my home to find myself facing two family crises.
This was not the ideal way to leave the psych ward, but moms are here to take care of our families and I immediately went into the “I’ve got this” mode. And I did. I handled both problems with as much care as possible and started getting my life back in order at the same time. I started running and riding again. I started sleeping better again and I began to feel the sanity return.
But sanity is a funny thing. One minute we are feeling like we have got it all together and the next we receive a phone call that knocks us on our ass.
For me the phone call came on that same Friday- four days after leaving the psych ward. Since that phone call I have spent my days traveling between NYC and the hospital to visit a member of our family at every allowed opportunity. It was not an easy week but I did something that many of us runners do. I relied on exercise to keep me sane. Unfortunately, because my packing took all of three minutes I left the house without running clothes or proper running shoes, but each day I walked.
I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time and was so thrilled by the experience that I cried.
I walked past the Flat Iron Building and realized why it is such an icon.
I walked along the Hudson River and let my worries float along with the flow of the river.
Each day, before I boarded the train I walked and each night as I arrived back in the city I walked.
I walked and walked and walked. And with each step I let go of a little of the pain and I found that I was able to keep my sanity even as I teetered on the edge of insanity. I was able to support our family member who needed supporting without filling him with my fears, anxieties and depression because I left it on the walk each day.
Today I received a report from my Fitbit.
Although the actual numbers, almost 70 miles walked, surprised me at first, when I thought about it I realized how much sense it made. The numbers don’t lie. They show the stress and pain that was released. They show the sanity I held onto and the insanity I let flow out of me.
It was not an easy week, but as any runner knows, it was a week that was made easier by moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other and not looking back.