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Running Is The Only Time I'm Happy


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I'm serious. The only times in my life I look forward to anymore are my early morning runs, especially on weekends when I can take my time. I actually look forward to it so much I obsess about doing it.

I go to the local park and run for 30-45 minutes (I'd run even longer but I have to watch my lower back where I have some scar tissue from surgery about 8 years ago). During that time I feel no pressure and I escape. I run by a river and let nature take me over.

Trouble is, I can't maintain that feeling. Within an hour of returning home, sadness and loneliness and my empty house start to overtake me again and I start to feel like a failure again.

If only I could maintain that elation I feel on those running trails. Guess those endorphins are only temporary and not a solution.

Is that all that's left for me in life? Periodic 45 minute shots of temporary happiness? Pathetic, isn't it?

I work as a graphic artist professionally, but I'm trying to write and draw a graphic novel on the side. I can't even get my creative juices flowing anymore because depression has locked them up. It's so freaking frustrating.

I'm a good person. How did it come to this?

Edited by SoulfulGuy
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I know what you mean - I am best when I'm working out, and for about an hour or two after a good hard workout. It would be a solution except as you point out, you can't work out every waking hour!

Have you tried meds or therapy? I've been pro & con -med but at times it definitely helps clear the shadows a bit so I can gain some perspective.

How about other things to purposely keep you active/ busy, even if it's not exercise - I've handled some crisis times like that. Annoying that you "have" to make yourself keep busy to avoid bad thoughts but if it works, it works.

My best days are when I have an hour or more of cardio, and manage to keep myself busy with work, errands or chores the rest of the day, so that I fall into bed exhausted with my bones aching. Can't do that every day though, I'd break my body down!

(((Hugs))) from fellow runner - have completed 2 marathons, the 3 months training for them were my best phases mentally!

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Hi SoulfulGuy and welcome to DF,

Feeling great after running is fantastic and you do get those essential neurotransmitter up and running with you - super. Then you go home and go into depression?

Why? Well for possibly two reasons, you are on medication perhaps your dose is ineffective and you need a review or change of medication so see your PsyDoc.

Secondly - Habit: You anticipate that after your exhilaration run you are going to feel depressed again (cyclical habit - vicious cycle) Now like most habits that change your moods and perceptions they can be changed by you.

As your mind is your own, your decisions and choices are also your own. Now make a decision to attract into your life only those empowering and limitless emotional feeling that take you out of depression and into a totally different way of feeling.

You can attract into your life exactly what you need by how you manage your mind, thoughts and feelings.

To achieve what you want focus totally only on what you want that is going to take you out of depression and into wellness. Body and mind are so linked together that you can create the good heath you desire and the way of life your desire. Id does require determination, passion, being unstoppable and sheer belief in yourself and abilities.

So make your thoughts, wishes and desire focus only on the good life, help, happiness and love that you want and you do have this power to attract into your life only what is good for you.

Turn your life around with sheer commitment to only focus on being a loving, caring, generous being and life will pay you back with achievements.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow

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My most recent session resulted in a breakthrough of sorts wherein I broke down in tears because of the realization I stopped expressing myself creatively literally years ago. Go back to your graphic novel. As another poster said, you can control your mind to a certain extent. Anticipating being depressed is almost like a promise you will be depressed. Think more along the lines of "Once I'm done with this run, I'm going to work on my graphic novel." Do what you love as much as you can. Now, I'll try to take my own advice...

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I run too and can definitely relate to this. You feel good for about a hour after than you feel the depression creep back in eventually. I feel like if I could feel good like this all the time I could actually accomplish things.The only thing I could really recommend is doing similar hobby's to replace other free time. I definitely notice a better mood when Im in in a different environment physically doing something.

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I appreciate your posting SoulfulGuy. I do.

My life has been deteriorating for years, and although I can still work, which pays bills, I was in a mental state where hourly anxiety and crushing sadness made that a dangerous place. In complete desperation, and without any hope of a plan, I started going to a public gym about a year ago. I did a bit of cardio and some strength building, and running in a pool. I was almost immediately able to forget my obsessive thoughts and feel nothing. I started going every day, first for an hour and then 2 to 3 hours after work and 3-4 hours on weekends. I felt good for the first time in maybe decades. I do think I was simply replacing one compulsion with another, but it resulted in me constantly looking forward to the end of the work day when I could stop feeling bad and start feeling good. My overall health greatly improved in the process of course.

I am not cured of anything, but it gets me through the day. And yes, I do feel fine for an hour or so after. Since I work out at the end of the day and since I really drive myself, I am exhausted and my mind is clear and I can get a few hours of solid sleep before the bad thinking creeps back.

Thank you for your message. I am glad that someone else gets a bit of joy (or at least lack of pain) from physical activity. I suggest you stick with it and accept that not even 'normal' people have anxiety-free lives. We all have something to deal with, although some of us have an awful lot of 'something'.

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