Healing: It’s not a Sprint, it’s a Marathon. And That’s a Good Thing.

When I do cardio at the gym, I listen to my iPod. Traditionally I’ve chosen fast-paced upbeat songs, but I’ve broadened my playlist to explore new motivations because like may of you, I’m facing significant challenges right now.  Job search, the economy, my therapy, etc.  Averaging it all together, I’m doing okay.  My healing is amazing, and my therapist hammers me to be proud of myself.  Smile.

So when I heard this lyric the other day, it made me feel a little more real.   That I truly am learning pace and control.

But the race is not, for the swift
But who really can, take control of it †

Nearly 18 months ago when I struggled with the start of this therapy, I thought I could concentrate fully on it and just push through pretty quickly. Get on with life. Having had therapy experience himself, a friend at the time counseled me that this is not a sprint, but a marathon. I’ve since learned that it is even less than a marathon, but a meandering journey with fits and starts, but always generally leading towards peace and healing.

I’ve accepted that healing is a process that happens in its own dimension, somewhat distantly related to time. I’ve found periods of slow understanding that have solidified in me at an absorbable rate. Other times, I’ve been slammed horribly into understanding that has left me shaken and confused; sometimes completely off balance.

I’ve cursed both.

Slow steady progress is great for the turtle. Yes, every several months when I look backwards in time, I can see the healing process. But sometimes it’s frustrating. I want action, milestones, goals and plans. Let’s. Get. Going!

On the other hand, the rabbit speeding over the bumpy road nearly careening off the sides while somehow managing to stay on course … massive flashes of understanding and milestones galore .. at the expense of emotional overload.

Please, whatever therapy gods exist, balance these two for us.

So when I heard these lyrics during some massive cardio the other day, I reflected on my own course of therapy. That the massive flashes of understanding are important, although they temporarily interrupt life in a big way.  Sometimes more than I can handle.

But for each of these difficult realizations and associated healing, I’ve been very thankful after my period of anguish and hurt.  Much progress in a blast.  But I can’t take that level of “race pace” realizations for longer than a sprint or two at at time.

So the marathon, with interspersed floods of understanding and healing, seems to be a pretty effective marker of regular forward progress despite the challenges.

As long as we are making forward progress, it is good.

† “Union” by Black Eyed Peas featuring Sting, from the album “Monkey Business.”



  Jackie wrote @

I’ve never had macrothumia (sp?). Patience. I, like many, want it “fixed” and “over with” NOW. But Also, I, like you, get on overload with to much, and get tripped up or injured.

So, what to do, what to do? We’ve been taught to go for the long haul…run the good race.
There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
There IS satisfaction at the end.
What goes around comes around.
They’ll get there’s.
“Life is like a box of Chocolates”.
Shit happens and then you die.

BUT, we’ve also been taught that we can make a difference not only in our lives, but globally, on how we react, respond, or not. The phrase “Actions speak louder than words”, comes to mind.

Fortunately, it’s still a free country here.
I can be as crazy as I want to.
Think what I want to, and not succomb to what is “normal”. Isn’t that what this is all about anyway? Behavior control, “acceptable” errr normal behavior that was written down by someone a long time ago from when people actually did have self control, but were never traumatized let alone knew me?

Give me tools that can help me.
When I’ve tripped or have gotten injured, I’ll call for help. Behavior control and labeling. Why were we taught that everything had to be this nice pretty package, perfectly squared, with attractive ribbons curled just so?

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Jackie –

Makrothumia – good new word for me – ” patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance”

Yes, lots of stereotypes in life about healing, there is hope, etc. Yup. Platitudes, but socially-necessary ones.

You said, “Actions speak louder than words.” And this business about what “normal” is.

This has been on my mind lately. I have been in a very hard place in a lot of ways. One one hand, I really want to reach out to my support network for help, which I know they would give. On the other hand, I want/need to be normal and *appear* normal for my own need to show/feel I am healing. It is double-edged – I WISH we could be seen for who we are, and have it NOT be ABnormal! Double edged sword I know.


Wrapped in a pretty pink bow. Hmmm. I always push the edge on my packaging, my actual present wrapping – just always a tad at the edge of interesting but still acceptable. It is a hard line to walk, but I refuse to be perfectly packaged. But, I can’t go over the line.

Ah, for the day that the line is where I live most often.


  mo wrote @

Right now I dont even want to run the race. Starting see new T, I like her, but feeling so overwhelmed. She told me to listen inside, god it freaks me out. I go between thinking face this and doing an about turn. When I catch myself thinking this is real, and thinking about this with this in mind, I then get so mad at myself for thinking this way.

Its like it was so much easier to be indenial and block things out when no one else knew, now that three doctors that I deal with know and act like its so run of the mill, the most natural thing in the world to be like this, I freak and the blanket of denial is moth eaten, and no longer can block things out.

And now I have a fractured heel from running too much, but get this no pain at all, and apparently someone went to sports doc to get it looked at and is doing all these things on my behalf and I feel like my life is being totally run by someone else, I hate it, but yet when I say to myself enough, take control, I cant seem to face things enough to be able to do it.
Sorry for rambling, my brain feels like its going to explode.

I guess my question is how does one even get to the starting line of said race, dressed and ready to go with no fear 🙂

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Hi Mo

I am sorry to hear your struggling. Boy, all you say I know first hand. All the freaking out too. **nods**

… (oh, hugging me and you) … there is just so much I want to say in response to your comment. There is such pain and confusion, but so a normal part of the process.

My therapist’s have used the word “process” and at first I rebelled against it, it is SO HARD to SEE that there is a process, because you have to get to one step before you can even see the next one.

I have to answer you in a separate post. Your words just tug at me.

My hugs
Cami and Emily

  Tigerweave/Anna wrote @

NO! I want it all fixed NOW!!!

Hehe, seriously I do!

Hey at least each step takes us to a better place than the last step. Then the “goal”, the endgame becomes not such an issue. Just the fact things are better than they were does.

Good to see you posting again.

  Cat wrote @

I always feel really lame when I tell someone to take it a step at a time, but truly, it’s very wise and very challenging all the same.

It’s good to see that you know this and you’re working hard to keep your head above water while overcoming HUGE transitions in your life. I applaud your progress and your sharing…for that’s what helps others like us heal with you and find pathways for our own journeys.

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Cat and Anna

Thanks for your support. Yeah, it’s hard – JUST WANT IT DONE NOW! *smiles*

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