In it for the Long Run
One of my favorite pastimes is long-distance running. I started running nearly 14 years ago as a means of weight loss. Little did I realize the emotional benefits I would receive as well.
My recovery from Bipolar is analogous to running a marathon. Like a marathon, my disease requires a measure of discipline and determination. Also, like a marathon, I have to approach my Bipolar with a “never give up” attitude. I recall at about mile 23 of the Marine Corps Marathon I “hit the wall.” Despite having to take a few walk breaks, I still had to muster the energy to finish the race.
When I was ill, I had to find some kind of way to not throw in the towel and give up. This was incredibly hard. Like my experience at the Marine Corps Marathon, I was fortunate to have family and friends available to cheer me on during my illness (okay they weren’t exactly cheering but they were supportive).
Another crucial component for me was simply having faith in a Power greater than myself. When I’m out there running I have to believe that I can do it. And when I can’t believe that I can do it, then I can turn to my Higher Power to get me through. There have been more times than I can remember over the years that I have turned to my Higher Power to get through a major manic-depressive episode or when I may be experiencing milder symptoms.
I will leave you with lyrics from the song Marathon by the band Rush:
“You can do a lot in a lifetime
If you don’t burn out too fast
You can make the most of the distance
First you need endurance
First you’ve got to last…”