On a Hot Summer Saturday Morning


This photo was taken last year at the beginning of the trail race that I am now registered for and training to do a second time.  It will be my 13th half-marathon, but first one I have ever repeated.  I loved that race.  This morning I am getting in my car and driving to the place where it is raced – it is only 2 miles from my house.  You might ask why I would drive, but if you saw the 2 miles, you would agree that I don’t want to do 2 miles straight uphill at the end of my 8 miles today.

I am working on remembering my dreams, which I had thought was pretty impossible until yesterday.  When I really thought about it yesterday, I could remember.  And today, I tried to keep the dream in my consciousness.  This dream is fascinating!   I dreamed that I was meeting with a blind man who wanted me for a guide and coach as he started running.  We were talking about how we would do this.  I was explaining our route to him.  We would go 2 miles from our start point and turn around.  If he felt like it, he could call it quits at 4 miles.  Or we could go another 2 miles in the other direction, and then we would both quit at 8 miles.  (of course, that would be insane for someone who is just starting, but I guess I had 8 miles on my mind.)   But first I had to get dressed for the run.  And I couldn’t find any of my running clothes.  When I went into my closet, I could see that my ex-husband had been there, had rummaged through everything, and that about half of my closet was now empty.  I continued to frantically search for my running gear…. and that was the dream.

I will take the risk to tell you – I am hideously depressed.  Like I don’t know how I am going to continue like this.  It will not work.  I am barely functional.  But, you can see I am trying like crazy.  Maybe I should stop trying.  I was once this depressed – at five years of sobriety, I ended up in the hospital for 10 days.  On the wrong side of the locked doors. Or the right side.  I found ways to make that a spiritual experience, but let me say that I would not care to repeat it.

Everything I KNOW tells me that I have to keep moving.  I can’t surrender to this desire to stop.  I cannot lay down in the daytime and pull the covers over my head.  I think I will never get up again if I do that.

So I will go out this morning and run 8 miles on trails in a beautiful foothills park.  I will come home and get dressed and meet a friend and go see a movie.  After that, we are going to a street fair.  Then I will come home and get ready for Mass.  I am driving to the church relatively far away where the music is sacred, the priests are solemn, and the sermons have meaning.  When I get done with that, I will do some grocery shopping and then come home and make dinner.  Eat, watch 15 minutes of the Olympics, go to bed.  Call it another day I survived and maybe got one day closer to the lifting of this dark evil cloud.  I called my doc’s office yesterday, told them I was feeling horrible and didn’t know what to do, and was told someone would call me back – and they never called.  That makes me want to cry.  My wonderful doc is on vacation, maybe his nurses are overwhelmed.  I will try with all my might not to take it personally.

Do I feed this depression by writing about it?  I could write about all my plans for today and I would sound like a healthy vibrant woman.  But this is clearly a case of “fake it till you make it.”  Maybe I ought to write about what I want to be instead of how I really am. I worry that I am investing in it by writing about it.

Off I go, onto the trails.  I’ll have nice pictures tomorrow.  Please take care, all of you.

To recognize and accept God’s Fatherhood always means accepting that we are set in relation to one another:  man is entitled to call God “Father” to the extent that he participates in that “we” – which is the form under which God’s love seeks for him… No one can build a bridge to the Infinite by his own strength.  No one’s voice is loud enough to summon the Infinite. — Pope Benedict XVI



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26 Responses to On a Hot Summer Saturday Morning

  1. Mary LA says:

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers Mary Christine, I really hope that running today helps lighten that depression just a little. As you know, it is the Feast of St Clare, that most luminously spiritual of women, and I thought of you when I read something she wrote:

    “May you go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly, on the path of prudent happiness, not believing anything that would dissuade you from this resolution or that would place a stumbling block for you on the way, so that you may offer your vows to the Most High in the pursuit of that perfection to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.”

  2. Bill Drescher says:

    Praying that you find you way out of this depression.

  3. patty says:

    Glad you called the doc 🙂

  4. mike says:

    Good luck on the run

  5. Kary May says:

    Mary, I’m praying for you also. That’s at least three Mary’s (my real name) praying, surely that carries some clout. From the Prayer, “Hail, You Star Of Ocean”

    Break the captive’s fetters;
    Light on blindness pour;
    All our ills expelling,
    Ev’ry bliss implore.

  6. Syd says:

    I hope the run helps and the other activities of the day. The black dog has slinked away here. I hope it will for you as well.

  7. Kelly says:

    This was the reading at mass this morning, it has always been a favorite of mine:

    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14.

    I think you are doing the right thing. I find that getting inside my head too much during the rougher days of a depression only makes things worse.

    many prayers for you–
    St. Philomena, pray for Mary Christine!

  8. Ellie says:

    You are in my prayers. I hope for healing for you.

  9. luluberoo says:

    Your 13th half marathon on such a challenging course! I truly stand in awe.

    I’m learning a lot about depression from your writing. I have days when I’m feeling great, and it’s still hard to make myself do 3 miles. Your determination and fortitude are weapons against this perplexing condition. Still it’s frustrating. I think of you often and hold you in my morning prayers.

  10. shadowlands says:

    Mary, I wish you lived nearer, I would invite you over for dinner to try and cheer you up. I don’t run (too lazy), but I would look at your fotos of past events enthusiastically whilst eating the apple pie that you would have brought for our desert. 😉

  11. Pam says:

    Hmmmm ex-husband stealing all your running gear-He always took the things/people you needed most.
    I am praying that this evil cloud will be lifted from you as well. Sticking to plans has got to produce some positive results, I would think. I am loving you from afar sugar!

  12. atomicmomma says:

    Hugs, love and healing prayers to you Mary. I am so sorry you are going through this right now. I am thankful you are talking about it with us and know that we are out here to listen and pray for you every step of the way.

  13. Hopester says:

    When I read this the first time yesterday Mary I really needed to hear that it is possible to do things while being mentally spent. Thank you for being so honest. At meetings I feel like I can trust someone if they reveal their humanity to me. It’s when the journey is all shiny shiny that I don’t.
    I will lift you up in prayer at Mass today.
    I’ve had a picture from the cover of The Word Among Us from many years ago of an icon on the wall above my computer of Archangel Raphael that says “Take courage! God has healing in store for you.” This is my prayer for you.

    • Hope, that sounds like a beautiful icon!

      And I feel the same way about people at meetings. If everything is just a little bit too neat and clean about their story, I just am not attracted. I do not relate!

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