I know what I want. It’s something that’s been in my soul since I was a teen – to be in good health, fit, and active. One of the things I’ve noticed, since the onset of depression, however, is that I have lost total interest in taking care of myself. I used to always believe that positivity, happiness and health were choices. I still believe it, but I have also come to realize that they are difficult choices.
I have mentioned to one of my followers – a wonderful friend carried over from my last blog – about my history with martial arts. And last week, I shared a picture of myself with another friend on here and it is a picture of me wearing my taekwon-do uniform. This friend, of course, offered encouragement to me to return to doing this. I took it as an implication that I already know what I need to do. But, the reality is that I am terrified to try it again. I’m terrified for, what feels like, so many reasons.
You see, I hold a 5th degree blackbelt in this particular martial art. I began practicing in 1988 and instantly fell in love with the awesome capabilities of the human body. I had participated in hundreds of competitions, various belt testings, demonstrations, taught hundreds of students, etc. I made a commitment to pushing myself to my limits and expanding on those limits. I have broken boards and concrete tiles, I have fought hard, I have been inspirational to some. I had a proud and strong history of participating in taekwon-do. All, up until I began experiencing depression and everything else in life that swallowed me up.
Now, I find that I hate what I have become and I recognize that the effort it will take to return to some semblance of what I was before is insurmountable. The thought that I could drop weight to be where I was at my healthiest is such a massive (every pun intended) proposition, it almost seems like fighting a losing battle. I know, I know…”mind over matter”, “focus”, “self-discipline”, and all of the other catch phrases that comes to mind in pushing forward to achieve a goal comes rushing in when I think about it.
This past weekend, I decided I would return to a kickboxing class I had signed up to take a couple of months ago. And I decided I would go back this morning. But as the time approaches, I feel all of my anxiety filling me up and stopping me in my tracks. I have this tightening in my chest, my breathing is quickened, my eyesight is narrowing when I think about it. The muscles in my arms and hands are clenching as I try and catch my breath. The irrational physiological effects of fear and anxiety wash over me and as much as I tell myself I’m being stupid and silly, as much as I tell myself no one cares except for myself, as much as I tell myself I have to go through with this, the fear becomes my brick wall.
I have never felt such anxiety over anything like I do working out. I fear the commitment it will take. I fear the reality of feeling good and I am unsure if I know how to feel good anymore. I’m not sure how to handle it, since I have been so used to feeling miserable. But the worst fear of all for me is that I will love it, want to pursue it, want to return to taekwon-do and then realize I won’t ever achieve anything I had hoped for…
I’m terrified to feel good…