My head is a bad neighborhood. When I go there alone, bad things happen. Thoughts like ‘I’m not worth this’ & ‘I hate pain’ plague me. If I choose, I can let intrusive thoughts derail my run. Worse, I leave myself unarmed against destructive behavior. Like, romancing the idea of a drink or a drug. Or self harm as a release.
I’m mostly ok with how my alcoholic mind works. This kind of thinking is not uncommon in alcoholics & addicts in recovery. My active using provided temporary relief from this thinking. Drinking gave me a pause button to a brain that wanted out from an almost constant barrage of negative thoughts. At almost nine years sober, I have some tools to stay out of my head. Stress is a trigger to self imposed martyrdom. So much time in my head on a long run can be a funny place.
Reading an article on iRunfar got me thinking about my use of headphones. For today, I don’t think I’ll be one of those people running ‘wireless’ & free in the woods. While the woods of Vermont are where I feel at peace, I use podcasts to stay out of my bad neighborhood. No one is there judging my use of headphones. I know that. Part of me wishes, though, I could be the author of that article. Running free of distraction. Listening to the animal & forest sounds. I do sometimes. Mostly, it’s me & Aggie dog & some soothing voice telling m their good story. Ted Talks, Fresh Air, Stuff You Should Know or Joe & Charlie tapes (sobriety stuff) are my favorites.
This isn’t to say I could relapse if I don’t have my precious podcasts. It’s not that dramatic. Simply, I have a more enjoyable run with some company. My runs, nine weeks out from Umstead, are loooooong. This still slow scurrier has a 25 miler followed by a 16 this Friday & Saturday. A total of eight hours listening to my own shitty thinking makes for some baaad ideas. So, I choose to listen to someone else’s good ideas.
What’s your favorite podcast? Please & thank you.
Thanks for running with me,
I so appreciate how you are able to recognize what your triggers are for what I have labeled as ‘darkness’, and know how to keep it away. Each person is unique and we should always remember and respect that, even if the way we handle things is not the same as the person next to us.
Democracy Now! And the Diane Rehm Show are my faves at the moment. Also Ralph Nader. Definitely more political news than usual.
Great post!! I think it’s great when you know to be YOU!! That’s the best way….don’t do things just because its sounds “perfect”! Nothing ever is….love you girlfriend!! xo
Podcasts have helped me to escape and learn so much, so I can see why you are keen to discover new ones to listen to.
Your inspiring story reminds me of ultra-marathon runner Rich Roll who is also a former alcoholic and is now a word class athlete. I think you’d really enjoy listening to his podcast where he interviews lots of other inspiring people.
I have also just started a podcast, each episode is around are around 30 mins long if you prefer something a bit shorter, which you can check out here (and maybe leave a short review if you like) here: http://apple.co/2kjNoGN
Loving the content, keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂
Miss your blog lady! And I do the same thing. I use it to decompress from my high stress life. I am addicted to Trail Runner Nation 🙂
Your writing style just gets better and better. And. . . you are extremely brave to bare fears for all to hear. You give others permission to bare theirs. Those runs are so long, don’t be bothered by the “virtuous” ones who can make it solely with nature. Remember- you were conceived, born and raised in NYC. I love you the most. L
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I enjoy listening to “Happier with Gretchen Rubin”. Though I’ve never considered myself a particularly “happy” person, her tricks to living a more fulfilling life are interesting and doable. Also, I found both seasons of “Serial” extremely well-written and fascinating to listen to, though I would recommend listening to the first episode while around other people just to ensure you’re comfortable with that particular content while running.
Powerful post. As someone who has dealt with mental health issues for many years, I always find it refreshing to see other people candidly open up about their struggles.
Thanks for commenting!
I’ll def check out “Happier”. The 1st Serial was so well done. I’ve put off the second season, I bet it’d be worth it, though. Thanks for the reminder.
I really appreciate your feedback here. Thank you.