Tag Archives: grief

Why I Share My Mental Health Challenges

If you follow me on Instagram stories (or read my last post), you know I have been in a dark place the past few weeks or so.

To be incredibly honest, I felt really hopeless about my current station in life and didn’t see it getting better. I can usually dig deep and see some light; I saw none. Where things *should* have been light, I could only see darkness, and that made me even more frustrated.

For example, we had a Junior League wellness day and there was an incredibly inspiring panel of female wellness entrepreneurs. This should have been my JAM. And it was, sort of. I sat there in awe of these badass women…but immediately went to feeling frustrated I haven’t accomplished more in my own life. One negative thought led to another, and I found myself sitting on my couch an hour later sobbing with my shades down, wrapped in my favorite blanket. I felt like I was dropping the ball on…everything because I couldn’t motivate.

I was feeling so many physical signs too: fatigue, headaches, jaw pain from grinding my teeth, poor digestion.

Finally, frustrated, I made an appointment with my doctor. “You’ve been talking about not feeling [your own level of] functional since before your mom died. You don’t need to feel this way.” And so we made a med change. I hope I don’t have to take an additional med forever, but if it keeps these feelings of hopelessness away, it’s worth it.

I went to BlogHer Health the other day (thank you, Chase, for the ticket) and was thrilled to see a panel on mental health and media representation on the schedule, talking about the importance of sharing mental health information. There was an exhibit called Be Vocal, Speak Up for Mental Health — its goal is to portray honestly and accurately people living with mental health challenges. It’s showing that it’s not just the overdramatized images we see in the media; it’s also people like me who can (for the most part?) hold down a job, get dressed in the morning and get out of the house. People who put a smile on despite the pain in their hearts. But people who have so much going on that you don’t see.

And that’s why I share. If you didn’t read my blog or follow me on social media, you’d have no idea that I have faced depression and anxiety. You’d just see the races, the dinners out, the trips. You’d just see my highlight reel, like most people’s.

Preppy Runner Ali on the Run Show Theodora Blanchfield

I had the opportunity to be on my friend Ali’s podcast!!!! I’ve listened to it since Day 1, and so it was an honor to be on it (even if I was a little demanding and basically dictated to Ali what I wanted in the show notes.)

I talked really honestly about my career, losing my mom, therapy, etc., and I got so many amazing messages from people thanking me for my honesty or telling me their stories of how they’ve overcome similar or just telling me they’re thinking of me.

And that’s why I share — grief, anxiety and depression can all make you feel so, so alone. (Even though I know I have amazing friends and family.) If I pretend I’m OK (when I’m sure as hell not), nobody else will know how I’m feeling, so then I’ll really feel alone.

By opening up, I realize I’m not alone. So yes, I open up sometimes for selfish reasons, but also because I hope that by showing that when you’re honest is when you realize you’re not at all alone.

You’re never alone, I promise. I’m always here via email [theodora at preppyrunner dot com] or via IG DM [@theodorable], and the Crisis Text Line is always there for text or online chat. You don’t even need to pick up the phone.

Channeling Grief Into Running

Hey, remember when I used to write about running and fitness more?

Yeah, me too. Ah, yes, back when life was more simple and running and fitness were a novelty, not something that I now depend on for my sanity.

Well, I have found the perfect way to channel and combine my grief and my running.

Teal Walk Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Remember when I did the Teal Walk? First with my mom, and then with my friends in memory of my mom. 

Teal Walk Ovarian Cancer

Well, Teal got charity bibs for the NYC Half this year, and I’m proud to be raising money for them and have another race, another goal, on the horizon. 

I’ve been doing Orangetheory again, and I’m really excited to see how all of this torture speed work pays off.

I would love to dream big and say I’m gunning for a new PR, but I’ll have to see how much running fitness I can recover in the next 3.5 months. It’s been a while since I’ve even gone sub-2, so I know that is at least my solid B goal, no matter what.

Do you have any big running goals right now?