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. . .