Organic Runner Mom

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Life is never linear. A peek into my PTSD

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PTSD

Life as I have learned is never linear. Even though time has passed since the 2013 Boston Marathon I still have PTSD and I need to talk about it and recognize the feelings that go along with it. This is hard for a perfectionist, a planner, a type-A, someone who likes to have their ducks all in a row, and an emotional being. When these feelings are triggered I need to own them, to experience them, to rationalize them and to accept them. This week is one filled with excitement as I prepare to run my 3rd Boston Marathon but then there are the emotions and unexpected curveballs that still can come at any time. If you have been reading my blog for a long time you have probably guessed that I am emotional being. I generally try to present myself here on the blog in an upbeat and positive fashion but some days life is just not like that and that’s ok. I have learned through life and therapy that we need to allow ourselves to recognize and accept our emotions so as not to fall to pieces and to crumble.

This week I am feeling extra emotionally charged. First of all my body is experiencing effects of the marathon taper. Taper can have real effects on your body and mind that you need to be ready for. The reduction in the number of miles that you run can actually make you feel more tired, you may feel grumpy, depressed and even anxious. These feelings compounded with the fact that I still do have PTSD from the 2013 bombing is making me especially vulnerable and out of sorts. I am due to check in with the therapist that I saw for a year after the 2013 Boston Marathon but this won’t happen until after the marathon so for now it is helpful to write my feelings down (I hope you don’t mind). My feelings are real and feel vibrant.

I am so excited to run my best race on April 18th. I have worked so hard to accomplish my goals. This excites me beyond words and I can almost relive the feelings of sheer joy in finishing what felt like a perfect race on April 15th 2013. But then in the opposite corner of my mind are the feelings of fear and anxiety and terror. The PTSD is still there. I fear being in the crowds at the expo. Too many people and faces that I don’t recognize. My kids will be with us this year and honestly I would be 100% happy if they were not standing on the sidelines of the marathon as I run by. Extreme mother bear instinct and the desire to protect them is in high gear. I can still vividly hear in my head the horrifying sounds of the bomb blasts echoing through the streets and the eerie silence and confused faces in the aftermath. The phone call to my mom who verified that yes people had been hurt, and that I should stay where I was until Jesse found me. I remember the feelings of being completely alone and stranded on the streets of Boston as I waited for my husband to somehow find me as the sirens wailed and the streets emptied of people. 3 hours I sat fearful waiting for his face to find me and take me out of Boston and away from Boston. Far far away.

What happened in 2013 was out of my control, it was unpredictable and sometimes that is just how it is. I will do this. I will run Boston and I will continue to grow, to learn, and to heal.

Thank you for listening and for cheering me on. We all need a cheerleader in our life sometimes. . .

#BostonStrong

#BostonStrong

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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18 responses

18 responses

  1. I cannot even imagine it. But, you are handling this exactly the right way – by owning it and recognizing it and allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling. My type A applauds that about you 🙂 And, the fact that you are returning to race again will make you even stronger. I believe they call that BOSTON STRONG! xoxoxo
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – Things I’m Not Good AtMy Profile

  2. I can’t begin to imagine how you must be feeling. Running Boston is going to be cathartic for you this year. I will be tracking you and virtually cheering you on! With every step you’ll be one step stronger and more resilient. Big hugs, lady!

  3. You are brave, you are (Boston) strong. You have trained for this, even knowing the fear that would come. Take every second of your training into that race with you to give you the strength you need. Returning the scene of a trauma is never easy, but it will help you heal. You will triumph over this.
    You are capable of overcoming this. We all believe in you!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…I Need a Marathon of Life Training PlanMy Profile

  4. Reading this makes me weep. I have it too. You and I are so much alike. I’ve qualifies two times after 2013, but still have yet to go back– I always pull out two weeks before. I do not like crowds and really have done very little racing since 2013. I had some health issues, like chronic migraines, lock jaw, chronic neck and shoulder pain, TMJ– but one could say, “what came first the chicken or the egg.” I am wrapping my arms around you as tight as I can. The light within you is stronger than the dark– make friends with that light. May you fly through the streets of Boston with joy and happiness, to the finish and into the arms of your family. Love you my strong and beautiful friend!

  5. I am thinking about you my friend. I know sharing here will help with those feelings and will also help others who are experiencing similar thoughts. I’m so proud of you for not being afraid and continuing to go back to Boston and face everything that occurred in that city for those affected, for runners everywhere and for yourself. I’ll be cheering you and Sarah on from FL. This is your race. This is your day. xoxo

  6. I have been wondering how you have been doing emotionally as you approach race day. It’s interesting to realize that the “normal” taper craziness is playing a role too. I will be holding you in my thoughts and prayers for a fantastic race with only tears of joy as you cross that finish line Boston Strong once again.
    Coco recently posted…Facing The Reality Of Needing RecoveryMy Profile

  7. I am sitting here in my kitchen eating (well deserved!) chocolate and crying over your post.
    Sandra, wow. Just wow. Such beautiful writing and expression of your feelings. I can’t even imagine the horror of sitting and waiting for Jesse to find you, the fear you must have had. What an incredibly emotional day and I am so glad you are healing. I remember being at home and hearing the news. Elle wasn’t even 3 months old and I remember thinking “No, please – don’t bother runners. Not the marathon.” I can’t imagine being there during that time. But the fact that you came back in ’14 and now this year is a true testament to your courage and strength. I applaud you friend. You are amazing and so strong. xoxo
    Natalie recently posted…The Boston Marathon 2016: A Mother Runner’s PerspectiveMy Profile

  8. I love your honesty and bravery in this post – good for you for going back, for being Boston Strong, and for being ready to talk about the hard stuff, too. XOXO

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