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March 2019

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15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!

Location:

Rexburg,ID,

Member Since:

Jun 21, 2011

Gender:

Female

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

800m- 2:23

1 Mile- 5:12

3200m-11:03

XC 3 mile-17:55

XC 5k- 19:00

XC 6k- 22:25

Local 5k- 18:42

Local 10k- 41:31

Local 15k- 1:03:55

Unofficial Half (first and only)- 1:45:46

60% (5 miles)- 32:32 (6:30 average)

80% (3 miles)- 18:52 (6:17 average)

16x400s- 82.0 average

20x400s- 82.6 average

SUU Road Race- 23:30 (3.9 miles/6:02 average)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Get up to 45-50 miles/week

Run a sub-19:30 5k again

Officially run a half marathon

Train for and race a half marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

18:45 or under 5k

14+ mile run

Run a marathon

Personal:

Current student at BYU-Idaho and former runner for Southern Utah University. Served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Independence, Missouri.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 11.00 Month: 69.33 Year: 1088.85
Adidas Distancestar Spikes Lifetime Miles: 3.00
Adidas Boston 7 Lifetime Miles: 430.33
Nike Pegasus 34 Lifetime Miles: 133.58
Total Distance
55.41
Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 50.31
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Total Distance
7.00

Today was the first time in I don’t know how long that I’ve actually started to get excited about something, or felt any positive emotion really, in a while. Instead of just remembering what it was like, I realized that’s not just a thing of the past but I could get excited and feel good today or tomorrow unexpectedly. And that gives me hope that things will get better eventually. It’s like a dark blanket has been lifted, even if for just a moment. Reminded me of how life normally is when not depressed, I’d forgotten 

It was also warm today! 56 degrees and sunny. 23 mph wind but we’ll forget that part :) lol. Gusts were strong. 7:45 average 

Things I’m looking forward to: practices starting back up and finding excitement and happiness in running again, going home to see my family, and a Vegas trip I have planned with my friends

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
0.00

No running. I was dreading it and didn’t have the energy so I pushed it off and pushed it off, then I forgot I promised Maddy I’d go to the library with her and get a pizza (the real way to study lol) and that seemed more appealing. Still didn’t study at all but got some insurance crap figured out for my new medication I’ll hopefully get on Monday. And I got out of my house, which I didn’t wanna. I should’ve gone running

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Total Distance
5.00

Warmups, mile warmup, 80%. After 3 laps I was already exhausted.

Mile splits: 6:16, 6:59 (13:15). Dropped after two miles. It’s hard to fight/push myself nowadays. I’m exhausted, not motivated, apathetic, I’ve lost the positive-thought mental coach within me. I simply didn’t care about how the workout went, I was just fighting my own bad thoughts.

Cooled to 5, I was planning on more but again, I was exhausted and didn’t have the will to work through it. Skipped weights again, sigh.

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Total Distance
5.50

I’m trying to switch my attitude from “it’s too hard I can’t do it” to “yes it’s hard but just do what you can.” Not going to lie on days like today that is really difficult. But I’m actually pretty happy with myself because I met with both tutors today, I went to class and I got myself to practice even though that was really, really hard for me. But I fought it and went even though I was dreading it. I knew I was not in any mental spot to do a workout today, especially 1000s (I always struggle with those even when I’m feeling good). I knew if I tried it I could crank out one maybe two but then I’d drop, so I asked coach if I could just do a distance run today. He said absolutely, I was surprised by that. Half our team (5 of us haha) went on a distance run today and the other half did the workout

Main Street, my watch died so I didn’t get the pace. Nice and easy. Rehab after. 

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 5.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
4.50

I’m really not doing well. I went to CAPS today instead of going to practice. I’ve lost all hope and I’ve become fixated on suicide, started planning out how I’d do it and thought about writing a note in case I do commit suicide soon. Then I asked myself what I was doing, do I really want to die? No, but I don’t want to live either. Not in this hell. I’m done trying to suffer through and force myself to do things I dread doing, I just want to stop trying. And not feeling anything, no happiness, no sadness, just nothing is literally the worst thing. I only cry when I think about having to push myself to do something I dread doing, or when I try to feel any emotion at all. The thought of suicide makes me feel something. Not happy, not sad. But it calms me down. My thoughts stop racing and I visualize it. So basically, I don’t trust myself anymore. I talked to my friend James last night, he called me randomly and asked if I wanted to go get ice cream. He’s spontaneous like that. I said sure. We went on a drive for like an hour. He said he has been depressed before and understands to some extent what it feels like, but that he doesn’t have depression so not entirely. Out of the blue he asked if I was having suicidal thoughts. I told him yes. I almost lied but I trust him enough. He told me that for what it’s worth he thinks I’m dope, ha. But that if I commit suicide I’ll be surprised to learn, unfortunately from the other side of the veil, that even those that I don’t think care actually do. I know deep down people do care, but I don’t think people should. I’m not worth the trouble, I only bring people down. Anyways, it was when I started thinking about swallowing a bottle of pills in my hand that I decided I probably need help. Before I do something stupid. That was last night. I texted the crisis text line from 10:30pm-12:20am, it was only towards the end that I started to snap out of it. Then this morning I cancelled both my tutoring appointments, a planned lunch with Angie, and decided to go back to sleep instead of going to class. I dreamed about committing suicide. When I woke up I looked at my iron supplement pills (different bottle), the label said high fatality risk for accidental overdose, I thought perfect. I can overdose on these. It’s almost completely full. Then I put the bottle down and went to CAPS. After talking to the crisis counselor, I’ve decided I’m going to stay with Ruthie until I go home on Friday for spring break. She can monitor me. That’ll carry me through at least another week. Idk if a week will make much of a difference, but maybe spending time with my family and Ruthie, people I know care about me, will remind me why life is worth living.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Total Distance
0.00

I was hospitalized Thursday and released this afternoon. I met with a second therapist on Thursday after taking the cap off the bottle of pills and pouring some in my hand before catching myself and talking myself out of it- mostly for my family. Paul walked me over to CAPS (he’d texted me after I missed practice on Wednesday asking if I was alright since I don’t miss regular practice without giving an explanation or asking permission first). This time around, I decided to be 100% honest with the therapist. She wanted to hospitalize me. On a scale 1-10, 1 being happy about life and 10 being I’m going to kill myself, I was at about a 6 when out in public but at a definite 10 within an hour of being alone. I was honest with her about that, then felt ashamed of myself for having those thoughts and feelings. She told me I was brave to be so honest, I could’ve lied my way out of being hospitalized, but I didn’t. I accepted that I needed help and went to the ER voluntarily, escorted by campus police and transferred to the Dixie Behavioral Unit in St. George via ambulance. I thought it was a bit much, but I guess I was a danger to myself. I tried to get out of the ambulance ride and ask a friend to drive me, but they wouldn’t let me. I guess they take these things very seriously, which is good. I was constantly watched while at the ER (spent several hours there) and couldn’t close the door to my room. I was okay until we got to the behavioral unit and they took my phone away. It was the last of all my things they took. That’s the first time I sobbed in front of strangers without even trying to hide it, I didn’t care anymore. I just wished I was dead. I had been told to change into a hospital gown at the ER then given scrubs to change into at the BU. They had to do a skin check to make sure I hadn’t cut or bruised myself in any way (I hadn’t), they thought I was anorexic because I’m so thin. But I’m not. They gave me a sleeping pill for insomnia and I slept well. In the morning they gave me lithium to quiet the suicidal thoughts and Prozac to stabilize my depression to a better mood/state. I stayed in bed the first half of the day and the nurses didn’t bother me, just did their 15 minute checks. I was a bit annoyed that again I couldn’t close my door. But I understood why. Then went to lunch where I discovered there were about 8 other patients in the mental/behavioral unit. I kept to myself, I certainly didn’t want to socialize. I hardly cared to be with even my best friends in that state. 

Over the next couple of days I made friends with the other patients and discovered what had brought them there. I was the first suicidal one to get there this weekend. The others came Friday night. Saturday night group therapy was cancelled because the staff were so busy. The Unit was moved into the new section very recently to open up a couple more spots, that night we were at max capacity (18 patients) and it must’ve been overwhelming for them. A patient was becoming violent and had to be sedated and another had a stroke and a seizure. So understandably, no group therapy. I talked with a couple women that night who were also suicidal, one had to be talked down from shooting herself by family and the other overdosed on Benadryl on impulse. Her mom got to her just in time. At that point I was feeling almost back to my normal self and I was horrified to realize I would’ve either died or gone through what she had if I hadn’t reached out for help.

While the mental ward was quite the experience, I have to remember I did go voluntarily (even though voluntarily and involuntary mean the same thing once you’re admitted- you’re not going anywhere. Except the involuntary are REALLY not). And I am grateful I did because I honestly think I would be dead right now if I hadn’t. I struggled for a while because I felt weak and subpar. My childhood therapist ended up coming to see me last night (I got special permission). I haven’t seen her since I was 18, when the state money ran out for my twin brother and I (we were adopted from Utah’s foster care system). She reminded me that I was prenatally exposed to meth and alcohol, that this isn’t my fault. I’d forgotten that part and was blaming myself for not being strong enough to fix it on my own. A book I read said sometimes true strength is found in those that are willing to be vulnerable and ask for help. My therapist caught me when I told her what was going on then ended it with “but it’s fine” like I always say. She said, “but it’s not fine.” She’s right, it’s not. Hence why I needed to be hospitalized.

I learned several new coping strategies, got put on new meds that work far better than any I’ve ever taken before and I have been given the setup to succeed and make it through. The psychiatrist believes the suicidal ideation was caused by stopping my meds two weeks ago (I believed they weren’t working when in reality, they probably were. But it was so subtle I didn’t notice, then when the meds ran their course, my brain freaked out and I crashed and burned). Much to learn from, I’m grateful to be alive and well. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(5)
Total Distance
5.00

Crazy how fast cardiovascular fitness fades. It should feel better within a week. 7:51 average.

After seeing comments on my post yesterday (thank you all), I've realized I do have an opportunity to help other people that maybe struggle with depression and anxiety. So I will try to summarize some of the things I learned through my experience and coping strategies shared with us while in the hospital this past weekend. With all of these, they're not a cure-all. I know before I went to the hospital I believed that I must've been doing something wrong because no matter what I tried, I still struggled and felt terrible. These are just coping strategies and even though they don't always help and you might still struggle, it's okay. They're just things that can help. Treatments like medication or talk therapy might be needed.

ANXIETY

Threats to emotional well-being trigger the fight-or-flight response in your body. It's one of the tools your body uses to protect you from danger and when triggered, several physiological changes prepare you to either confront or flee from the threat. Those changes could include: increased heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness, shaking, racing thoughts, nausea, sweating, difficulty concentrating, rapid/shallow breathing, and tensed muscles. When the anxiety is constructive it is good, such as when a deadline is approaching and it gets you to act and meet the deadline. When the fight-or-flight response leads to excessive anger, anxiety, prolonged stress, makes you feel stuck and unable to do what you need to, or other problems, it might be time to intervene.

With an anxiety disorder, the body has this response but in inappropriate ways. The response a person has depends on the anxiety disorder he or she has. With some disorders, the anxiety is way out of proportion to the threat that triggered it. With others, anxiety may occur even when there isn't a clear threat or trigger. Anxiety is an illness and it can respond to treatment like talk therapy and medicines.

In addition to the flight-or-flight response, your body can also initiate an opposing relaxation response. Many symptoms of the relaxation response counteract fight-or-flight, such as slower and deeper breathing, relaxed muscles, and a slower heart rate. The relaxation response can be triggered by using relaxation skills. One of those is deep breathing. Place a hand on your stomach. When breathing, you should notice it rising and falling with each inhalation and exhalation. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds. Repeat- practice for at least 2 minutes, but preferably for 5-10 minutes. If it's not working, slow down. The most common mistake is breathing too fast. Counting out your breaths also serves a second purpose- it takes your mind off the source of your anxiety. When you catch your mind wandering, return your focus to counting.

A second one is mindfulness meditation. Aim to practice for 15-30 minutes a day. More frequent, consistent, and longer-term practice leads to the best results. However, some practice is better than no practice. Find a time and place where you are unlikely to be uninterrupted. Silence your phone and other devices, set a timer for your desired practice length. Sit in a chair or on the floor with a cushion for support. Straighten your back, but not to the point of stiffness. Let your chin drop slightly and gaze downward at a point in front of you. If in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the ground. If on the floor, cross your legs. Let your arms fall naturally to the sides with your palms resting on your thighs. If your pose becomes too uncomfortable, feel free to take a break or adjust. Because the sensations of breathing are always present, they are useful as a tool to help you focus on the present moment. Whenever you become distracted during meditation, turn your focus back to breathing. Notice the sensation of air as it passes through your nose or mouth, the rise and fall of your stomach, and the feeling of air being exhaled. Notice the sounds that accompany each inhalation and exhalation. It's normal that your thoughts will wander during mindfulness meditation. At times, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain focus on your breathing. Instead of struggling against your thoughts, simply notice them without judgement, again it's normal. Acknowledge that your mind has wandered and return your attention to breathing. Expect to repeat this process again and again.

Both of these techniques help to bring your focus back to the present moment. Oftentimes we stress about what's in the future or what happened in the past. Instead of stewing in these thoughts it's best to let them go, not worry about them, and focus on what you can do in the present moment. If you're wide awake at 2 in the morning stressing out about a job interview, that's not going to help you in any way. What can you do right now? Rather than staying stagnant and obssessing about how things could go wrong or how they went wrong, breathe, relax, meditate. Remember things will be okay and will work out in the end. You will make it through, one way or another. Then progress to do what you can do in the moment. In the job interview situation, that's falling asleep. Sleep will help you rest and be more alert and functional in the morning.

Keep in mind that you can't control everything about a situation. Change what you can and let it take its course. Exercise is a great way to relieve tension and help your body feel relaxed. Avoid caffeine and nicotine, which can make symptoms worse. Fight the temptation to turn to alcohol or unprescribed drugs for relief. They only make things worse in the long run. Consider online or in-person support groups. Try stress management techniques such as meditation.

One thing that my coach suggested I do a while back that helped with my anxiety was to allow myself to go out and have fun for a few hours rather than worry all the time about things. Then come back and do what needs doing. Again, relax and be in the moment rather than focusing so much on the issues of the past or the future. Do what you can about them, but try not to stress out to the point of not being able to get anything done.

DEPRESSION

Depression is much more than just feeling down all the time, as I’ve kind of explained in previous posts haha. Depression is also an illness, just like diabetes or heart disease. Would you tell someone with asthma to just breathe because there's plenty of air around them? No, probably not, their airways are closing and it's difficult for them to breathe (sometimes it's like trying to breathe through a straw). It's the same concept with depression. A person with depression can't just pick themselves up and be happy, even if they have everything in the world to be happy about. There are things they could do that can help improve their state, but it is necessary to remember that depression is an illness.

It is believed that a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors cause depression. Chemical changes in the brain may contribute to the symptoms. The brain controls all the workings of your body, including your emotions. It does this by using messages that travel from one nerve cell to another and from one brain region to another. Brain messages travel with help from chemicals called neurotransmitters. No one knows exactly what happens in the brain to cause depression but we do know neurotransmitters are involved. The two main neurotransmitters involved with depression are norepinephrine and seratonin. Antidepressants and talk therapy (the main treatments for depression) both change the levels of these neurotransmitters. In many cases, this relieves depression symptoms.

Now, there are things that can help someone manage and cope with depression. One is to look outside of themself and help someone else. This can get them outside of their thoughts and help them focus on other people rather than their own issues, which helps to provide a temporary relief and break from the spiral of depression (not to mention the person they helped feels better too!) Another is to keep a self-esteem journal (meant to help boost your self esteem. A person with depression tends to feel worse about themselves when their depression is more pronounced). Every day, write down three things that happened that brought about a good feeling. Some prompts could include: Something I did well today, Today I had fun when, I felt proud when, Today I accomplished, I had a positive experience with, Something I did for someone, I felt good about myself when, I was proud of someone else when, Today was interesting because, a positive thing I witnessed was, and so on. You could also keep a gratitude journal and write three things down each day that you are grateful for. This helps to train your brain to look for the positive.

Another thing they had us do was set life goals and analyze each category of life: family, friends, work/school, spirituality, body, and mental health. We wrote down what we were doing well in each category, where we needed improvement in each category, and then goals we had. This helps because with depression, we typically look only at the negative and forget the positive. When in the spiral, we can become so centered on fixing the things that are wrong and we forget about what we're doing right, what positive qualities we might have and so on. Doing this with anything will help to improve self-esteem and give direction on what you can do to improve. I think for me, a major part of it is my perfectionism. I feel a need to do everything perfectly, be perfect, and if I can't then I feel like I've failed. Then I start believing I'll never be good enough because no matter how hard I try, I still can't do everything right. Instead, acknowledging where I'm doing well and where I'm not, then making goals can help to relieve the stress and anxiety that might come with this probably-not-good-obsession with being perfect.

The main techniques to help with depression are thought-replacement techniques. One is called "Changing the channel in your brain." It uses thought-stopping and replacement thoughts to help you feel better. When a TV show comes on, do you have to keep watching it? No, you can switch to a show you like better. The thoughts in your brain are like that too. When you get stuck on a bad thought like "This hurts so much. It's never going to go away. I can't deal with this." You have the power to switch to a helpful thought. It takes practice, but you can do it. You can also create a positive statement to repeat to yourself when a bad thought comes to mind. You might say: "I can handle this. I can do hard things. I have coped with this before."

Sit or lie down in a quiet place and close your eyes. Notice when you have a bad thought that worries or upsets you or makes you feel worse. When you catch one, tell yourself, "That's a bad thought." After you've caught your bad thought, imagine yourself using a remote to change to a positive thought. Think about the thought you want to watch in your mind. Picture a good memory that makes you laugh or feel proud or happy. Build all the details so it feels like you're really there. Or think of something in the future you're looking forward to. Picture what it will look or feel like when you're doing that thing. Focus on all the details, like you're making a movie in your mind. Let your body relax as you focus on the new thought. Practice changing to a new thought in your brain whenever you catch your mind thinking unhelpful thoughts. Have a few different "shows" or memories you enjoy so you can always have something good to switch over to when you need it.

And the last thing I learned- not to wallow in your misery. Sometimes it can feel nice to just feel angry or sad or upset or hurt, but it's not good to stay there. Obsessing about it is only going to make you feel worse. Instead, allow yourself accept and feel it for a moment and then start doing something to either distract you or help you feel something more positive. If you still can’t stop feeling that low, tell someone about it. It increases norepinephrine and seratonin levels to talk through what’s on your mind.

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Total Distance
3.61

Running kinda sucks right now but it’s ok. I’m short of breath. 7:45 average

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 3.61
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
6.70

Better day today. I am a bit done with hospitals - I had to go back for an appointment this morning. Shoveled walks for 3 hours, took a nap, then felt meh but went outside anyways. Roads were clearer than this morning. I took the trail to parks then to campus, Walmart and trail back home. About a mile into it I felt surprisingly good. Crazy how much easier running is when your spirits are a bit higher. That’s what spring break is for, eh? Glad to have a good day. 7:26 average

Observation- when I think about school I get stressed and spiral down into depression again. Solution- don’t do homework! Lol

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 6.70
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(4)
Total Distance
3.00

Paul talked with me before the warmups and told me he only wanted me to do a couple miles today. I left feeling really bad because he said I scared the bejeebies out of him last week. And he said one of my teammates had called him crying when she found out (I don’t really know how she did, but I am grateful she reached out). I didn’t realize they cared that much. I’ve been overwhelmed by how many people have reached out to me saying they care and want to help, even despite my efforts to keep it secret from those I see every day. I have been embarrassed and ashamed of myself for what I almost did, but I just have to remember that wasn’t the real me and I got the help I needed instead of making that decision. Thanks to Paul and James and you folks on the blog for reaching out to me. And I guess maybe to some extent me for reaching out for help instead of keeping it entirely secret and going through with it.

Anyways, Paul said to do the warmup with the girls then help him time them on the workout. So a mile warmup then I asked Paul if I could do a mile of the 80%. He said he was okay with that. So 2 laps warmup then a mile. I hit 6:09, it felt nice and relaxed. I just tucked behind the second group. Then a couple more laps and helped Paul time. I hadn’t eaten much beforehand so I was a bit lightheaded 

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
5.50

7:52 average.

Met with my new therapist for the first time today, wow I’ve already learned so much. Apparently there was a study done a while back and doing 3 sprints a day is more effective in combating depression than 30 minutes of continuous exercise. HIIT training. Interesting.

Turns out I do have a mild form of anorexia. I didn’t think so, but my fear of gaining weight, wishing I was thinner, low self-esteem and eating habits say otherwise. I have so many issues. Oh well I’m in Vegas now so I can forget about them for the time being :) lol

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 5.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Total Distance
0.00

I was readmitted to the Dixie regional hospital Saturday night after a phone call to my mom and she urged me to go. This time I went to the access center in St. George to avoid the ambulance ride (my dear friend Ruthie took me at 11pm, which was so kind of her. I think I freaked out my roommates though). Anyways, then I arranged to be transferred to Uni at the University of Utah and my dad came down to St. George and brought me there. I'm so glad it worked out- Uni is about 10 times better than Dixie. They took me off of Lithium and were curious to know why the psychiatrist at Dixie put me on it (for the suicidal thoughts), it must've helped for a little bit or maybe just being in a stress-free environment at Dixie helped ease the thoughts, but as soon as I started thinking about having to go back to class and track the thoughts came right back. So now I'm here, in Salt Lake at Uni. Not sure how long I'll be here, but at least a week. Treatment plan is to stay on Prozac and do ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). There are some potential side effects like headaches, memory loss, and fatigue and on rare occasions unintended siezures so I'm a bit nervous but it'll be alright. The thought of inducing a seizure seems a bit scary but somehow it helps with depression. At this point when I've tried several medications over a couple years and none of them have worked, ECT is looking like a good option.

I had an EKG done tonight and I have bradycardia (expected since I'm a runner) and a T wave abnormality, the doctor will assess it and see if I'm still okay to do ECT. The technician said it could be nothing, but we'll see

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0.00

I will be emergency withdrawing from the semester seeing as I won't be able to go back to Cedar for a few weeks anyways. I feel bad about not being able to complete the semester, but I really, really tried. I quit my job, I dropped 2 classes, I resolved to fail anatomy and focus on my remaining 3 classes in order to still be eligible for cross country next semester, I got help from tutors and my academic coordinator and met with the sports psychologist, then switched to an actual therapist at the hospital rather than waiting after being on the CAPS waitlist for 2-3 weeks. I asked friends and Paul for help, and they did, but I just simply wasn't able to do it no matter how hard I tried. I hold myself to high standards and feel like a failure for it, but my therapist tells me depression is a disability and out of my control so I shouldn't be so hard on myself. But still, it's hard.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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My mom gave me some really good news today- my dad talked to Coach over the phone and he's going to hold my scholarship so I will still have it next year. I was really worried I wouldn't so that is a huge relief.

This morning I started ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) in which they put me under anesthesia, gave me a paralytic so I wouldn't thrash about except for my right hand (so the doctor could tell when I was siezing) and induced a siezure by sending an electric pulse through my brain. For some reason doctors don't understand, it helps with depression. Something about balancing the chemicals in the brain, I guess. And they say it's the most effective treatment for depression, quicker and better than antidepressants. It usually takes 8-12 treatments and they usually do it every other day, except for at first to get a jumpstart on it. The first 4 treatments I have to stay at the hospital for, then after that I can come back and forth from home on treatment days. So about a  week? left in the hospital. Anyways, I was out for it so I don't remember any of it, but my mom was there and she said I was very confused when I woke up, had huge hiccups (I guess the diaphram is one of the first muscles to move again) and couldn't remember much of anything. I knew my name but when the doctor asked if I knew where I was I had no idea. I don't even remember that conversation, but my memory has improved significantly. The rest of the day I still had memory loss, and still do to some extent when I try to remember certain things (for example I had to ask the nurse if I took my antidepressant this morning, I did apparently but I have no recollection of it). My mom said I was white as a sheet when we had to part ways, I was very nauseated. Haha, she also said the first thing I did when I awoke was grab my leg and say, "ow my leg..." My muscles are very sore. Like the fourth day of effort and hard core weights sore. And I have a headache. So I stayed in bed until dinner. I could hardly eat anything because it hurt to open my jaw more than a centimeter or two (again sore muscles). Yayyy I get to do it all again tomorrow! Except it's in the morning so I won't have to starve myself- it'll just be a late breakfast since I can sleep through most of the time (no food 8 hours before and no water 5 hours before).

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Had ECT done again this morning (they wanted to jumpstart me- normally they do every other day). I'm no longer nauseated and I don't have a headache anymore. Really the only things affected are incredibly sore calf muscles, a tight back, and being extremely fatigued. I slept away most of the day - one of the nurses tried to wake me up at 2pm but I couldn't keep my eyes open so she let me continue to sleep. Another nurse came and woke me up at 4:30 so I could get up in time for dinner - I hadn't eaten anything prior. I'm still rather tired and have moments where I feel as though I might black out, especially if I move too swiftly. I also have slight memory loss and confusion. But mostly I just have a hard time staying awake. All are normal side effects of ECT, just annoying.

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My social worker spoke with me this morning before the first group meeting. She said I look brighter and better than I did when I first got here. I'm a little more present and pay more attention to the interactions of people around me. I feel a little better too, I don't want to hurt myself anymore so that's a plus. That deep darkness/sadness/despair is mostly gone. On a scale from 0-10 on how I'm feeling, 10 being the highest and 0 being the lowest, I'm about a 5 today. That's improvement from a 3 yesterday and a 2 the day before that. Today is a rest day, I will resume ECT tomorrow. If I keep improving I should be set to go home early next week, then finish out the ECT treatment every other day by coming back here to UNI. They also doubled my Prozac dose today, so now I'm at 40 mg. Not sure why? I must say, I'm surprised at how much the ECT has helped. I'd given up hope that anything would work since none of my antidepressant medications were doing anything except giving me side effects.

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I had ECT done early this morning at 5:30 rather than 8:00. I've been pretty tired for the whole day and a bit dizzy and can't move too fast or I start to black out. The most noticeable and concerning one to me, though, is the short term memory loss. Well all of it is concerning, I certainly hope they go away once I am finished with ECT. I'm told they're all just side effects so I think they will. Anyways, I forget simple things like what the date is today, what day of the week it is, if I've talked to my coaches and if they know where I am, if there's something I need to do in order to withdraw (the plan for right now is to emergency withraw from the semester and move back in with my family until fall semester, my dad will probably drive with me back to Cedar to help me move). My high school friend visited me today and asked me if I remembered our friend's mom (and our YW president while we were in high school) passed away. I had forgotten until she mentioned it. Then I remembered coming up for her funeral a bit ago.

Also, wanna know something random? When they give me the anaesthesia in my arm it feels so cold and kinda good, but then I'm out. It's like a lot of vials pushed into my blood stream and it feels kinda cool. Not that I'm a druggy or anything haha. Or I guess I'm drugged up while I'm here so maybe I'm a forced druggy lolol

Also my mom said that when they're giving me ECT the machines always beep and freak out because both my heart rate and blood pressure are on the lower end, but the doctor tells her not to worry because I'm a runner and that's expected. I've had blood pressure as low as 90/60 after anaesthesia, at night it's been like 102/75 or higher, a couple times right at 120/80. For HR I think my lowest has been 46 or 48 (they check both every morning and every night).

Just had a meeting with the doctor, he said I look brighter and will maintain eye contact for longer where before I wouldn't and I smile more now. He said those are the things that he's noticed that have changed. You know, I kind of don't want to withdraw from the semester if I'm going to be feeling even better than I do now. I know I won't have the best grades but then I won't have to completely start over in the fall. I can continue to meet with tutors. I'll talk to my parents and see what they think, maybe I can just get an extension on assignments or something. Idk. And running might suck for a week or two after being stuck in here, but I still have another month... I guess I won't be able to go back to Cedar until around the 6th of April anyways. I'll think about it. I thought I was always going to be depressed and feeling good seemed like such a thing of the past. Hence why I became suicidal and wanted to hurt myself. It's hard to explain why that seemed nice, it's like feeling physical pain is a release from the turmoil inside and brings you back to the present. I'm just glad I'm not feeling like that anymore. I'm starting to feel excitement again and happier and things just feel brighter.

Oh, and the doctor also said that I can't drive for a week after I finish the ECT treatment because there is a risk that I could have an unintended siezure. So, yeah. I probably will have to withdraw even if I don't want to. I'd probably do better in track, too, if I waited for next season to use my eligibility. I can already tell I'm more motivated and excited to start running again, even if I am the slowest on the team. Our team is just really, really good, the best we've had in SUU history (2018 Women's Cross Country Big Sky Conference Champions! First time our women have gone to Nationals was this year! I really am so happy to be a part of such an amazing program. Maybe next year I can push my way up and help the team out in some way. I believe optimism, positivity, and hard work are the keys to success).

I'd say I'm about a 6 or 7 today on the scale I previously mentioned. We had a "fresh air break" tonight and I ran 11 laps (each lap was probably between 100-150 meters) before they called us inside. I started to get nauseated again towards the end. It felt so good to run again, though I wish I had my running shoes because running in boots kinda sucks. But they won't let us have any strings or laces here. Maybe next time I'll barefoot it on the grass

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I'm pretty tired today. They woke me up for breakfast, then I went back to my room and slept until they woke me up for lunch. Today is a rest day for ECT. My mood is a 4 or 5 and I'm a bit bored. And kind of down for no reason. I have my next ECT scheduled for 5:30 tomorrow morning. I called one of my friends (I thought it was for the first time) and apparently I called her a couple days ago but I have no recollection of that phone call haha. ECT certainly messes with your memory. I was stunned when she said I've been here for about a week now, I remember only like 2 or 3 of the days this week.

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I had ECT done early this morning at 5:30. This time around they induced two siezures instead of just one. I am really tired now and my memory is terrible. I slept through breakfast because I couldn't keep my eyes open. But I am feeling loads better than I did when I first got here. The staff all say that I look brighter, happier and more alive and so do my parents. They say I have more color in my cheeks. I really am so surprised at how much better I'm feeling, I never thought I'd feel this good ever again. I'm probably an 8 or 9 on the scale from 0 to 10, 10 being the best. I'm getting there slowly but surely. My mom says she's happy that I'm being so open about it and not ashamed when my friends come to visit or anything because it's a mental illness and not something that I would ever consider in normal circumstances. I never thought of it like that, but it's true. I definitely wouldn't consider it now because I am feeling so much better. My social worker talked about potentially discharging me from the hospital tomorrow morning, we'll see if that happens. She said it just can't be on a day I have ECT and my doctor has to be on board as well. And then I need to get a few other appointments set up.

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I was released from the hospital this morning. It’s a bit shocking to realize how long I was in there for. With my memory being as bad as it is, it felt like I was only in there 4-5 days but I was actually there for 9. I got a doctor’s note so I can emergency withdraw from classes and Paul and Coach know what’s up. I’ve been feeling upwards of 9 on that scale 0-10 for the past couple days. Right now I’m a bit sad for no good reason, but overall I’m feeling good. About at a 7. I have to go back to the hospital every other day for a bit to continue my ECT treatments starting tomorrow. I’m not sure how many more times. I have to be monitored 24/7 because there’s a risk for unintended seizures. So I ran at a track during my sister’s soccer practice and my dad watched me run. 3 miles, 7:15 average. Felt surprisingly good. I think I’m driving my dad nuts because I keep asking him the same questions over and over again. I don’t remember asking them before is the thing haha

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 3.00
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I had ECT done again this morning, except this time they induced two seizures instead of just one. It’s made me very fatigued and dizzy. I took a long nap and rested most of the morning/early afternoon. I’m not sure if I feel up to running today but we’ll see how I feel later this evening. 

Didn’t end up going running today. But it’s ok, it’s good to take a break sometimes. 

I am so relieved, I honestly believe coming to UNI saved my life. I’m starting to feel a night and day difference. I have a more treatment-resistant kind of depression, I’ve tried antidepressant after antidepressant and none of them have worked for me. I’d finally hit my breaking point and wanted to be done with life because I was so miserable and felt like I couldn’t do anything right.

I have not felt this good since my senior year of high school/a little into my freshman year of college. I’m not completely better yet, but I have hope again that things WILL get better. I’m starting to get excited about running again, I feel more positive and more happy, I’m excited for Cross now because running is such a mental sport and I know my depression has been holding me back big time. For the first time in over a year I know for a fact I can improve off my high school times if I continue to work hard. I’ve done it before and I can do it again :)

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It’s still a bit unsettling to not be able to remember anything before this morning. I’m sure I’m driving my family nuts with all my questions, haha. My mom wrote up a list of my commonly asked questions with their answers for me to reference in the future. 

I almost went running by myself today but my mom stopped me and reminded me that I have to be watched 24/7. So I went with my dad and my sister to my sister’s soccer practice and my dad watched me run around a dirt track for 6 miles. 7:10 average. 

I’m feeling like I’m at an 8 or 9 today. Pretty good. 

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I’m feeling really good today. About a 9 or 10! And bonus- I can actually remember stuff now! My parents were really surprised when I told them everything I did yesterday because until now I haven’t ever been able to remember what I did the day before. But I remember all of it :) I went to the Grand America with two of my high school friends, I went to my sister Hattie’s soccer practice and ran on a dirt track, and then I played with my younger sisters Millie and Tessa (they’re 7). 

Today I went to Fairmont with my family because Millie and Tessa really wanted to go swimming. I was wanting to go running, but since I have to be monitored 24/7 for unintentional seizures I knew I had to have someone come with me. I was trying to convince my parents to let my sister Hattie ride her bike by me or to have one of them drive me to a track or something, but my dad later told me that the doctor said something about not running on ECT days. I had ECT done this morning. I thought pshht doctors schmoctors, I’ll be fine! But after swimming with my family, I started to feel very faint. My mom asked me if I was okay and said that I’d gone sheet white. Yep, I had to sit down for a minute. I’d only had two bowls of cereal before that so that could’ve been the cause, but it also could’ve been the swimming. I might have to take it easy on ECT days, even if I’m itching to run. 

Yep, it must’ve been the swimming. I just ate and I still feel faint. So no running on ECT days.

I emergency withdrew from my classes today, so that stress is off my shoulders. I’ve never been so happy to click the mouse hahaha. I’m excited to experience what college is like when you’re not severely depressed. I think it will help out my running a ton, too. 

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Didn’t end up running today. I had a reason, I just can’t remember what that was is the thing. It’s terribly frustrating. I’m losing my mind because I can’t remember anything

Trying to figure out housing for next year. I’m hoping to move to an upstairs room because being in the basement didn’t help my depression out at all. It’s very difficult to figure things out for the near future when you can’t remember anything. I’m just going in circles.

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