I finally found a video I like on improving your running form. I've gotten a lot of questions on barefoot running, and my opinion at the moment is that barefoot running probably forces people into better running form, but the actual barefoot state is not required. Some of us run the "right" way naturally, and running slowly is more likely to reinforce good habits, but take a look at this to check your technique.
In other news. The past few days have been ok. Whereas last week was AWFUL. So awful that I texted my therapist. This was not a big deal to him or probably to most people but the barrier of not wanting to be That Patient is huge to me. That Patient being the one who is so dependent and needy and unwilling to take steps to help themselves that you cringe when they contact you. I realize that sending one measly text in, what, a couple of months is about as close to being That Patient as sending a fan letter is to being John Hinckley Jr., but in my bad moments my ability to zoom out is harder to accomplish than it is on Google maps using 3G, and the bad moments were many.
The therapist had given me homework (at my request): "Try to think about The Events for 60 seconds only, just once." Me, ever the overachiever, thought I'd push a little harder and - bam! I was thinking about it nonstop. Pretty much every moment of every day that my mind was not fiercely engaged on another topic, I was thinking about this. Waking up, going to sleep, running, everything. Monday I texted my therapist. Tuesday I saw him, after which he offered extra sessions and wondered if he should speak directly with my psychiatrist and whether I had any anxiolytics available to me. THAT PATIENT! was shrieking in my head. "I'd rather you didn't, though I'm not sure why," I said. "Because you don't want people talking about sensitive subjects and making plans about you behind your back," he said. "Oh. Well, yes, that," I allowed. I did, however, make sure to tell people (including my husband) about it. So I've got people watching my back. Which reminds me of the time I got hammered at a wedding and a group of us went out afterward and I insisted on going skinny dipping in a lake in the dark. My boyfriend at the time (a nice one) and one of our friends, who were not drunk, did not think this was a good idea, but they humored me and swam out in a protective circle around me. This is a lot less fun, though. (Though that turned into the worst hangover ever ... one of those Lesson Learned episodes.)
Oddly enough, Wednesday was much better. (Hmmm. Could it be - the therapy?) (And I texted my therapist that I was doing well, thereby to my mind bringing my tab back to zero in regards to my text of last week.)
I felt better even before getting through The Big Meeting Wednesday about the future of my projects where I had to talk with the CEO, the Dean, the Chief, the creepy guy, etc. etc. This meeting was such a big deal that I just sort of gave up. E.g., I thought about wearing a suit or some such, but realized that I wanted to dress the way I feel comfortable. Hello bright yellow Target dress:
Aside: One of the Big Wigs, Botoxed to a fine sheen, entered the meeting laughing merrily and said "This is so funny! We're renovating our vacation house and had to gut two of the bathrooms - we're talking 1980s bathrooms! - and they mixed up the colors. The funny part is that after they fixed it they left all the wrong-color cabinets and things at the house and said 'Sell them on ebay or something'! What on earth am I going to do with them?" (There were a few strained smiles. "Habitat for Humanity?" someone suggested. Fortunately most of the people I work for are not entitled idiots. But you can see why I feel nervous about my shabby but honest educational projects involving trainees working with the underserved.)
And, in line with his perceptiveness plus tenacity, HB finally insisted on me telling him what was wrong. "Mom. You have been distracted, sad, in a bad mood, and you keep saying you're fine or that it has nothing to do with me, but will you please tell me WHAT IS GOING ON?"
He knows that sad things happened to me as a kid - mainly my father dying when I was five, and having little money - that aren't going to happen to him. So I sat down and explained that sometimes grownups who had something bad or sad happen to them when they were kids for some reason get sad all over again for a while when they're grown up, and that was happening to me, but it would go away, and I was talking to a counselor about it. "Like when you lie on a couch and everything?" "Well, no couches, just chairs." "Ok then!" he said. "Thanks for letting me know. That's very helpful." (I don't know what I would have told him had he not had some knowledge of my crap childhood. That would have been a much harder discussion.)
In the midst of last week I couldn't see through to how this would ever get better. Just what the hell is going on around here? Someone needs to shape this place up. Jeez. My ignorance as to all of this is epic. I've been doing some reading - knowledge, power etc. - and have been startled by a lot of things. I did not know, for instance, that my episodes of overwhelming anxiety/fear/self-loathing/etc. are flashbacks. I thought a flashback was always visual like a movie, not just a feeling. Nor did I know what dissociation is (though that's not a simple topic, apparently). In general, I kind of thought no one else felt this way. And I couldn't understand how part of me can be doing so great and part ... so very not. Very black and white thinking, which is odd for me.
I'm both encouraged and frightened to think about the things I might learn next. The chaos state feels like wading in a river and slipping on a rock and suddenly being swept into a fierce current and thinking you'll never find your footing again and you're going under and you'll be over the waterfall in a moment. Then the current slows and one foot finds a little purchase and then the other does and you can stop and wipe the water from your eyes and catch your breath. For a minute.