Monday, December 4, 2017

I Spoke Too Soon

Actually, a small setback isn't the end of the world, but I'm not exactly training or holding steady at the moment. It turns out that the exhaustion I experienced last week was probably less the result of race fatigue and more due to the fact that I was coming down with something. Despite doing the right thing and taking it extra easy after my most recent race, I ended up with a cold that morphed into something more. I rarely get sick, but when I do, the malady seems to hit hard. As a result, I'm taking a few days off and regrouping, hibernating in a way. It's too bad I didn't have any control over this. It would have been less frustrating to take time away from romping around outside when the weather is horrible, but this was out of my hands. Now I'm forced to miss out on some gorgeous running weather. I have to admit, though, that no snow in December and temperatures in the 60s is somewhat unsettling.

With down time comes reflection. I'm seeing more where I need to improve habits and where I'm doing well. I was listening to a Sam Harris podcast recently, and his guest, Frank Ostasesk, said that we live life the way we look at death. This is an accurate statement for most. I'm terrified of death. As a result, I carry a lot of fear into my everyday living. We carry stress in our posture and in our interactions. In addition to contemplating life and death, I'm also trying to make sense of what matters. Putting things in perspective is never a bad move.

I have noticed that I tend to get emotional when I'm not feeling well, even more so when I have a fever. I can often be on the verge of tears and feel vulnerable when I'm physically down. I crave comfort and companionship while also wanting to isolate and avoid people. I'm not alone in this. One of my coworkers is the same way. I recently read an article about the effects of stress, especially physical stress, on emotions. One study mentioned in the article suggested that "the physical sickness caused by the inflammatory response significantly overlaps with depressive symptoms." Emotions can also impact physical health. It's not surprising that many people react the same way I do and have trouble self-regulating when ill.

Speaking of emotions, more than once, someone publicly claimed that I have "a lot of emotional problems." Part of me is tempted to say, "no shit." I mean, my entire blog addresses these issues, but who doesn't have emotional problems at some point in life? Despite the loads of issues I supposedly have, I've managed to hold the same job for over 15 years, stay in recovery from an illness that kills more people than all other mental illnesses combined, and write several books. More importantly, I've managed to show up, even when I don't want to, and be accountable without feeling the need to tear others down for no reason whatsoever. Something I will never understand is bullying for the sake of bullying.

We all have weak moments that don't necessarily define us. My confidence might be easily shaken, but my inner strength can sometimes surprise me. I just wish I could tap into it more regularly.

With that, I'm off for a short stroll in the warm outdoors. I need a dose of fresh air.

1 comment:

  1. "Something I will never understand is bullying for the sake of bullying."

    If you look at it instead as "Bullying for the sake of a perverse psychological imperative," it makes a lot more sense.

    Someone like Donald Trump is the consummate egomaniac ravaged by insecurity, and he cannot hide it. He may get up on the dais and bluster away about his own greatness and so on, but he is also a hugely brittle man (or "man"). He holds rallied in safe havens like Forgotten Asshole, Arkansas and Rancid Goatfuck, Mississippi because his critics in such shitholes are few to nonexistent, and Trump, though stupid as hell, recognizes that most thinking people (and he wants their approval, yes, he does) regard him as a moronic monstrostity. He can't help but see the torrent of derision hurled his way every time he tweets, material that is ten times as clever and on-point as anything his organically ramshackle brain could ever conjure. And, rich as he is, and as successful (by some standard) as he may be, this burns his tiny, calficied balls.

    The bully you're talking about has now been at this for years, beating the same drum about the same small set of people formerly in her life, and because she, too, is -- to put it kindly -- a mental unsophisticate, it is not hard to see the theme: raw envy. She goes after women who have something she covets, be it the respect of those in and beyond her hometown, motherhood, aesthetic appeal, or hell, basic life stability. When someone consistently razzes anyone for being too skinny or for working a supposedly menial job (something that is literally impossible to do in one place for 15 years), she might as well be waving a sign around that says "HI! UNEMPLOYED, AND FEELING FAT AND UGLY OVER HERE! MIND IF I SPREAD THE MISERY BY PRETENDING I'M NOT MISERABLE?" Except that this would 1) be honest, something no bully can ever be, and 2) make for an overly burdensome sign to display in most settings.

    I very much empathize with the desire to prove oneself to the people who go for what they think are your weak spots, but most of us have too energetic an inner critic as it as; allowing an abject basket case and overall dismal human being's words to gain purchase would be the only satisfaction this bully would ever know, so fuck her sideways with a ping-pong paddle.