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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Monday, January 26, 2015

running saved me

On Thursday, I learned that a girl I had worked with for about 5 years, committed suicide by jumping off a local bridge.

When I googled the news article and saw her picture, my heart sank. I have nothing but wonderful memories of a co-worker that showed me kindness and was always willing to go above and beyond her job to help me with a problem. She could always make me smile.

I can't imagine how bad things must have been for her to feel that her only relief would come from death. How scared she must have been standing up there, all alone, facing something so overwhelming and exhausting.

Depression is real. Mental health issues are real.

After the birth of my first son, I suffered from postpartum depression. For 6 weeks, I did nothing but cry. Multiple times a day. While showering, while walking to CVS to buy twizzlers, while on the phone - nothing but tears. I was overwhelmed. I was exhausted. Having to have a c-section threw me for a loop and breast feeding was a complete bust. I kept looking at this little person that I was suddenly responsible for and wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.

I thought the pain, the fear, and the exhaustion would never end. I would sit on the toilet and beg God to help me. To make me feel better, to make me a better wife, a better Mom. I felt like a complete failure.

Then one morning, I started running again. It was ugly. I cried. I felt guilty for even leaving the house without this little person they ripped from my body six weeks before. But by the end of the run, I remembered a little bit of what it meant to be Lauren. Not Lauren the new Mommy who couldn't stop crying or even Lauren the emotional psycho. I was Lauren the runner who ran her first marathon before the baby bug bit. I was Lauren the wife of a newly minted P.h.d and finally, Lauren the new Mommy of an amazingly adorable perfectly perfect baby boy.

Running saved me.

It was what God used to bring me through the momentary darkness and reconnect me to this wonderful life.

On Saturday, I ran my 7th marathon. It was a small, low-key race where I spent a good amount of miles by myself running through the woods. Before my races, I ask family & friends to pick a mile and a prayer request and dedicate that mile to that person. All of my miles were claimed before I found out about Laura, so I decided to dedicate the race to her, to the memory of a life that touched mine and countless others.

Please join in me in praying for all of those who struggle with depression and mental illness and for their family members and loved ones.

If you run, please consider dedicating a mile to these people who are struggling mightily.

This one's for you Lau. xxx

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