Thursday, December 8, 2011

Soggy Steps

Yesterday was a good day.  It was cloudy and rainy so there was potential for feeling sleepy but I decided to power through.  It's not always possible but I was successful yesterday.  I woke up on my own at about 6:30am and couldn't go back to sleep.  This is really weird for me.  If I can't do anything else I can always sleep.  Yesterday morning I felt refreshed and awake though.  I was thinking about getting up and taking the dogs for a walk when I heard the rain start.  Well that settled that!  I can't walk in the rain....can I?  After I was done arguing with myself about it I had to get up and get the kids off to school.  I got them all to school with only one incident of someone getting kicked and a little yelling.  It was a good morning!  I came home after running to the pharmacy and the grocery store.  It was only 9:30am and I felt as if it should be at least 11am.  Not in a "I can't believe how slow this day is going" way but in a "Wow, I still have so much time" kind of way.  The dogs still needed to be walked.  I was already wet from running in and out of stores and I needed a shower anyway so I took them out in the rain.  We ended up walking for about 30 minutes.  They slowed down before I did, it was really strange.  I was really wet, a little cold, really happy and it was still only 10am.  I still had two hours before I had to get the little one from pre-school.  This happiness carried on throughout almost the whole day.  It was really, really wonderful!

You see, I have been told exercise helps depression but I was not sure.  Besides, how am I supposed to exercise when I can't even get dressed?  I am still not totally convinced but two things happened recently that have made me lean towards thinking that it really does help.  One, my Dr. took the time to explain to me why it helps and everything she said went along with what I am studying for school.  Two, was my experience yesterday.  The thing is, I need to remember that it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  I don't have to put on sneakers to go for a walk because honestly, (I am not making this up) finding socks and putting on sneakers is sometimes what keeps me from exercising.  I don't have to do it every day.  I may have a bad day and not be able to get moving but that doesn't mean I have failed. 

I have always been a perfectionist of sorts.  If I can't do something completely and perfectly then I don't do it at all.  This is why I didn't do well in school.  It's why my house is messy.  I know I can't do it perfectly and I don't want the humiliation of trying my best and still not being good enough.  I have to have a constant dialog in my head telling myself, "it doesn't have to be perfect" or I freeze.  I am working on this and walking in the rain yesterday was a soggy step in the right direction.

My cute dogs, my motivation.     


  1. Next time after you finish walking the dogs you should sit down and write a book! I'm serious you are such a good writer Dawn! yesterday I had wet exercise day as well. I started doing the Couch-5k program and yesterday was going to be my first 30 min run. I was so excited. Only 7 weeks ago I was running 1 minute and walking for 90 seconds and that was HUGE. I've never been a runner. Anyway, yesterday I did the 30 min run but it was pouring outside. I decided to go anyway. I felt so good! I used to be super active and then ever since I had my kids I pretty much stopped excercising. Now I'm trying to do it. Another thing that has helped me is to exercise and then come home and eat something healthy, like fruit. Try to stay away from processed sugar as much as you can. By the way I keep meaning to introduce you (via web) to my sweet friend Natalie Norton, an LDS woman I met in Hawaii. She lost her baby last year and lost her brother two years before that. She's struggled a lot with depression and grief. Here is her blog url

    Anyway, I'm so glad you're writing. I love reading your blog! Keep it up.

  2. I can completely relate with the perfectionism thing. I once read (part of) a book (another thing I don't do completely is read whole books) that said something that really stuck with me: Instead of trying to do something "perfectly" just aim for "perfectly fine." My family room doesn't look perfect, but I ran the vacuum, tidied the shoe pile, and sorted my stack of magazines. Now it looks perfectly fine. Get it? It has helped a lot. Your soggy walk was an awesome step!! Go you!! People don't always realize how hard it can be to get past ourselves and our own quirks that make things especially difficult for a person with depression even though it seems simple to someone else. Thank you for continuing to write. It helps so much to read your words that could easily be mine. You are wonderful!!

  3. AHH, I've been thinking about trying the Couch-5k program! Everyone I know who's tried it seems to like it a lot. Good for you Damaris! I saw on FB that you had gone out in the rain too. I'm guessing it wasn't 40 degrees where you are though and I wasn't on the beach. Your adventure probably looked like a scene out of a movie. :) Still not an easy thing to do either way though.

    Tami, your pretty great too!

  4. yeah...I was thinking about that with your post. I was SO happy it was raining because it was so dang hot. You're a rockstar Dawn! I don;t know how anyone survives in the winter. 4 years were plenty though I have to say I really miss MA a lot.

  5. You HAVE to talk to Peepz! She has depression and it can get really bad, but she keeps it in check with exercise. She is also on meds, but says she absolutely has to exercise. Otherwise, yikes. She does yoga. She'll make you a believer for sure!
    p.s. LOVE you! You amaze me and are really a very talented writer!