The Anniversary Effect

Last week it suddenly occurred to me that I was nearing my anniversary – July 26th. For a minute I had forgotten all about it, but on a random Tuesday it hit me and I felt a bit sick to my stomach. Today is the 3-year anniversary of the day I was admitted to the psych hospital for postpartum depression/psychosis.

I like to take this day each year to share parts of this story on the blog, in hopes that it might help or encourage at least one person. For whatever reason, this year it is proving to be particularly hard. It’s like reopening the wound – healing has taken place, so it hurts to go back and poke around inside of it.

For those who are new to my blog, I’ve written a series of posts over the years about my experience with severe postpartum depression, which led me to admitting myself to a psychiatric hospital for a week. My son was only 4 weeks old at the time. If you’re interested in reading them, you can search the tag “Postpartum Depression” and find all the posts I’ve written.

That experience was really what inspired me to start this blog – I wanted to be open and honest about my struggles with depression and anxiety, and use it as a way to let others know they are not alone.

Before writing this next section, I went back and reread all of my previous posts, including a draft that I have not made public yet. There’s so much more to say, so much more to the story that is not complete. Someday I would really like to write all of it out, but it feels too hard today.

Instead, today I would like to focus on the idea of trauma, and healing from psychological trauma. As the days were leading up to this anniversary, I found myself really struggling with a lot of anger. It was coming out (mostly at Dean) but at everything in life really. I had an appointment scheduled with my counselor yesterday, and I came in seething. As we talked, I decided to bring up to her that Friday would be three years since I was admitted to the hospital. I couldn’t even say it out loud without crying. I didn’t realize how much this simple date, July 26th, was really causing havoc to my emotional and mental state.

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Focus on What You CAN Do

Back in April, I wrote a post about how I had been consistently running for an entire year.

Today, I’m sharing a post explaining why I may not be running anymore at all.

First, a little history. If you read my blog, you know that my husband and I recently got to go to Japan for 11 days to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We left May 11 and returned May 21. Among the many other things we did there, we also did a ton of walking! I don’t remember a specific instance of injuring my foot, but about halfway through our trip my left foot was hurting pretty badly. So much so, that I opted out of doing some of the things we had originally planned to do on our trip.

I hadn’t been running or exercising on our trip, so after we got back I decided I’d wait a few days and then try going for a run. My foot still hurt, but I pushed through the pain (being stubborn comes in handy sometimes.) I ran two more times that week, and then decided that the pain was getting worse. I told myself I’d take a week off of running to let my foot heal. I wasn’t too happy about this, but I had done this before in the past for injuries, and figured this was just another one of those times. No big deal, I’d just wait a week or so and then get back into it.

I actually ended up waiting a week and a half before I got back out to go running one morning. I had not been having any pain for 4 or 5 days, so I was optimistic as I headed out on my 2.7 mile route. I think about halfway through my run was when I could tell that left foot was beginning to hurt again. By the time I made it home, the pain was bad. And this time, my ankle was swollen too.

Some people might have chosen that day to make an appointment to go to the doctor, but not me (remember, stubborn!) I thought I’d rest it, ice it, etc. and see if it got better. After an entire week of having a swollen ankle, I made the appointment.

“If I had your feet, I think I’d cry every day I had to walk on them.” 

Not exactly what you want to hear from your doctor, or anyone for that matter. He told me that I had most likely sprained a muscle or ligament and wanted me to wear a boot for a few weeks. He told me that I should never wear flip-flops or cute shoes again – I needed to go for the “ugly old lady shoes.” He also told me, that because of the way my feet are designed, my left foot bends too far to one side, which means I overcompensate and put all my weight on one spot on the other side of my foot – which is what caused my injury. He told me I was not built (literally, my feet were not designed) to be a runner, and that I should look for a new sport.

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