I always wonder about that saying, “I have the blues.” I never really feel blue, I love the color blue, I equate it with cool and tranquility. What I have are the greys. My world is grey, just kind of there, sort of drab.
Its fall and the leaves are changing beautiful colors all around me, but getting out there to enjoy them is the hard part. I opt to stay in bed with the dog until I have to get up and go to work.
It always leads me to the “chicken or the egg” question, but for me the answer is obvious. I have always had emotional ups and downs, not manic or depressive…but seasonal, or after an exciting event. Growing up in New England the shorter days, the longer time spend indoors always made me want to crawl into bed and not get out.
Sometimes I think to myself that we cannot really experience true elation with out also feeling true depression. Maybe I am wrong and this is something I just tell myself, but I seem to not be alone. Many other athletes/people feel the same things. My running friends all know about the post race blues…but somehow we are still drawn to the events, we keep coming back to them over and over.
I posted this today on Facebook, and in return someone sent me this video, it is quite fitting and illustrates my mood exactly. My black dog is sitting next to me right now.
A lot of people have been talking about the connection to depression and ultra running lately. Rob Krar bravely put out a video just last week about his battle with depression, and how ultra racing can be so uplifting…meanwhile he knows that dark let down is just around the corner.
That is how I feel. GS100 is over, the planning, the excitement, the training, its all behind me now. I’m tired, but does this tiredness just mean that I have let me guard down, does it mean that this is how I really feel deep down…like the world is bleak?
I have both ignored and embraced this black dog of my subconscious. In the past embracing it has meant a few days in bed, but eventually it comes out in creative ways. Currently it is coming out through my fingers as they hit the keyboard, other times it comes out through them on a canvas; creating an emotionally charged painting. I think I have been pushing them down for over a year now, I haven’t been painting or writing much, just numbing myself with training and focusing everything on training.
Perhaps I should welcome the re-arrival of my black dog. He is introspective and sensitive. I know he will leave as suddenly as he came.
Do the rest of you deal with this let down after your endurance events? Major life events?
In a way it feels good to let go and let the gray wash over me. The colors must come back eventually. I should go and ready my canvas in my art room, its best to capture them on paper once they flood back!