A round of running with attention
Yesterday I ran 10 kilometers hard in the Oosterpark with, among others, Koen de Jong, Klaas Boomsma and Dai Carter as part of Blue Monday. Blue Monday, according to a somewhat dubious calculation, is the most depressing day of the year. The run was organized by the Mind Foundation, which used it to raise money to improve help for people with mental health issues. With a nice group of about 20 runners, it was a nice morning with good conversations while running about the darker sides of life.
The action triggered in me thoughts of a dark period. During this period, I was severely depressed. A confluence of circumstances meant that the three balls you need to keep in the air in your life (work, health and relationship) were all down. I left a company of my own that I co-founded, my cruciate ligament was torn which prevented me from playing sports, and my marriage was on the rocks. The result was severe depression. I can hardly imagine it now. Everything around me I saw as negative. It’s like looking at life through very strong dark sunglasses. The thought that this will never get better and that my life was broken made it unbearable. With a lot of good help from family, friends, medication and therapy I recovered, but it could also have ended badly….
It still feels like quite a scar on my soul. Sometimes snippets of thoughts and situations pass by. Then I hear myself say out loud, sheesh…. what was I doing. By letting these thoughts come and go, sometimes while meditating, they become less intense over time. The body reacts less tense and I can find my breath again.
Meanwhile, I see more and more clearly that everyone is trying to manage their own war in their heads.
Paying serious attention and space to it makes the world a little better.