Even though I’m connected to tons of runners on the internet, and I have lots of people in real life who may not care about running but care about me as a person – last spring, I felt alone. I felt like I was the only person who ever had these specific frustrations of an injury with a seemingly unlimited recovery time, and not knowing the next steps for life (finish school or not).
I felt like nobody understood how upset I was. Even at the time, I knew this was dumb. But that’s how it felt.
So I wrote some blog posts about it.
Part 1: How I used to run track at Baylor (but missed my last season). SAD.
Part 2: The part when it got bad (MAD)
Part 3: Moving forward from there (Maybe I’ll be ok)
When I got out my megaphone and wrote those posts, people just knocked my socks off with positive responses. So many people texted me, sent me facebook messages, and talked to me in person, sharing their own stories and encouragement. Old friends, new friends, people I hadn’t talked to in months, parents, people who were like, “We had no idea you felt this way” and people who said “I had that same feeling.” It was incredible and I owe all of you thanks for showing me love in your own ways.
This experience came with some mighty empowering lessons:
- The internet is awesome. It gives people tools to connect in new ways. My blog gave me a medium to start this conversation with friends who were distant and close.
- That said, the internet is not magic. You do have to reach out (both online and in person). If you don’t talk about how you’re feeling, people won’t know what’s going on or how to help you.
- Whatever emotional duress you face, you are never ultimately alone. I believe that thinking that you are alone is a flat out lie. There are a ton of people who have been through similar situations who are ready and able to listen and offer advice.
- Finally, God never leaves you. I knew this and believed it, even at the mopiest moments, but I didn’t feel it. I think that might just be how life and faith is – you are not going to feel God’s presence all the time. That’s where faith comes in, as in, Hebrews 11:1
Maybe feeling alone and coming out the other side OK was part of learning to actually believe that God was there. What I can say is that even when I was miserable, and I didn’t want to talk to God because in my eyes he was being sucky and not giving me what I wanted – he didn’t stop pursuing me or showing me where he wanted my life to go.
Never alone! I mean it. Oh, and take this chance to reach out to other people sharing encouragement whenever you can. Talk. Network. Nourish. This is the human experience, to reach out and care for each other.