The rhythmic thud, thud, thud, of my feet on the ground is soothing to my ears.
It’s been less than a week since my discharge and it feels like forever. The team is keeping a close eye on me. V and I talked about it in our session on Thursday. I have been off work for 2 weeks now, and there is still one more week before I am “sane” enough to return.
It is just slightly before dawn as the sun begins its awakening.
The hospital stay is a close memory. I remember parts of it like snapshots, like still pictures taken from a camera.
The cool wind on my face is seductive, tantalizing. My body warms up as I pick up speed – falling into a comfortable stride.
I sat for long periods in the TV room, mostly where no one really bothered me aside from the first 24 hours when I was on suicide watch. For that period, I was “special”. What were my thoughts at the time? I don’t know. Nothing. It was blank. I was flat. There were no emotions.
Why have I not awaken this early each morning when the magic of the day begins? I used to. I used to wake up each and every morning to run because I remembered the dawn like an old friend. Running was my embracing the world.
Yes, I remember V’s visit. I remember giving her a drawing I made during “creative workshop”, like a proud child handing her mother the first painting she ever made.
With each breath, I land on my feet. Left right, left right, in out, in out, so effortlessly, as if I were flying. People say that the true essence of running is the knowing that for one brief moment, both feet are off the ground.
What did we talk about, I asked V. She explained, and still my mind does not grasp its meaning. Words are all disconnected somehow. My brain on drugs.
The dawn fades away now. Life begins to stir, but it is only a disappointing dull gray spring morning threatening more rain. We don’t need more rain.
I gave J, my favourite nurse a “Picasso” painting I made. Again, like a child to her mother. What did my mom ever do to my childhood paintings or projects? Nothing. There was only silence and retribution.
Thud, thud, thud. I could go on forever. I could fall into this comfortable stride to the edge of this world, and I would jump off it. I would.
They want to help me. I can see the earnest efforts. But can they ever imagine what truly goes on in my brain? Can they ever fix it? Not by simply wanting to. Maybe not at all.
I pick up speed as I turn round the last corner. My coach used to scream “Give it all you got1 It’s the home stretch!” And I would sprint as hard as I could. I loved the home stretch.
I still do.
It's the moment when a runner's true strength and courage is tested.