My son didn't go to school this morning--this was after nagging him for a bit over a hour to get dressed, eat and stop complaining. I misplaced my keys once again and it's not the first time that I've ever done this. Forty-five minutes prior, I saw this orange tag sitting on my coffee table nudging me to pick them up; and so, I nuzzled them into my large palm before going to the bathroom.
My plan was simple (or as simple as my life can be): Shower, eat, drop off my son to school, swim practice, 4 mile run, workout, pick him up, eat again, work from home and destress my mind with a friend. See, I told you I'm not that simple. Instead, I found myself shaking, muttering and nestled in a fetal position as I had a full blown anxiety attack in front of my son--I'm the mother of the fucking year. This too is nothing new for me but maybe for you.
If I believed in religion, perhaps I could engulf myself into someone's synagogue, church or sanctuary and speak out my demons to a man on the opposite end who would help me sort out the loose marbles in my life. Instead, I had a therapist--had simply because being a freelancer doesn't guarantee that every month can accommodate my mental health bill.
'You should be so happy right now. Girl, you're like EVERYWHERE. I'd die to be in your shoes.'
Tune in to The Long Run with Martinus & Latoya. This podcast is on the 300 Pounds and Running Podcast channel. Available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music and Soundcloud.
Being sought over for five minutes doesn't remove the insecurities, burdens. obligations or pressure from my life. If anything, it's enhanced with an eclectic audience that might watch you fail more times than you succeed. With my fitness endeavors, I'm okay with that; in my personal life, not so much. I don't know how to tell a therapist -without sounding overly dramatic- that I feel like my birth canal has failed me. How do you utter to your loved ones that you feel like you feel like your body betrayed you yet social media, the actual media and everyone and their mama is telling you that your body and mind is amazing.
Personal Note: I feel fragile at least two days of the week. No bullshit; hold the milk and sugar.
And with the wrong person, I'm told that I should smile through it. With some friends, family members and onlookers, I'm told that I'm a strong woman or I am abundant with success. Politely, I'm suggested to get the fuck over it and sorry but not sorry, I can't. The world doesn't work that way for me. Granted, I'm not one to wallow in my depression for too long unless it's my seasonal depression or anxiety on overload. I know that there's sunshine and twerking Skittles waiting for me to do the Harlem Shake but a bih is going through some real shit.
Physically, I am not happy with the way that my training is going. It feels as if I'm being sabotaged by Mother Nature or my own body at times. When I feel good, this bitch wanna snow, hail, rain or blow windy PCP in the air to stop me from doing my training runs. And when it was unusually warm, my body said 'fuck this, pay me more and I'm going on strike.' Then I had the audacity to sign up for an ultra marathon AND a triathlon. Sure--it's easy for people to tell me that I got this but do I really? One of these things is something that I haven't done before and the other is something that I received my second DNF (did not finish) in a year--so I let my good friend talk me into a mega redemption race by surpassing my original goal of completing a marathon and going for a full blown 50K in the muthafuckin' mountains. Sure. No pressure at all. And it sounded like a good plan. Depending on the day of the week, it still feels like a good plan but am I prepared enough for it? I don't know.
Emotionally, I'm conflicted about how I feel about all of these opportunities that are still coming my way. Having the opportunity to write for Runner's World about the aftermath from being fat-shamed is nothing short of amazing; but I'd trade in all of these amazing opportunities if my babies were here. It's been exactly seven months since I miscarried with one of two twins - proper terminology is vanishing twin - and tomorrow marks the finality of it all with the second baby. I cannot help but feel like my body has become a morgue and for that, I cried while looking for my misplaced fucking keys this morning.
Aside from paying for a doctor to talk with me one on one, there's no dedicated groups that I know about that helps grieving mothers deal with miscarriage. I heard of stillbirth or people who pushed out children after 20 weeks--nothing like my case. I stopped counting after 4 miscarriages and I'm losing hope about this whole 'rainbow baby' thing. I think my son is the only rainbow baby that I'll have. For those who are like WTF is she talking about, it's a term commonly used for those who have a child after a miscarriage, stillbirth or anything that falls into this spectrum. My gynecologist told me that I have a decent chance of trying again but my endometriosis makes me skeptical as fuck.
After getting my mind together, I was able to find my keys laying on the upstairs bathroom sink; obviously I left them there as I was taking my multivitamin. Sometimes I move so fast that even my brain hasn't caught up. I took a breath. Sighed. Felt stupid. Made a bunch of Instagram stories. Cried again. Left my child home with my mother in law since my child was now distraught about his mother and feeling sick himself (sometimes he internalizes other people's pain) and left him home with my mother in law.
'I have to push this nervous energy somewhere,' I thought to myself.
I opted to do what I could do before I had to pick him up from my mom in law's home: So I picked myself back up and tried to complete my 'simple' list of things to do. At eleven, I went into the four feet side of the pool, immersed my problems under my arm pits as I practiced bicycle kicks in the water. Strangely enough, I felt exceptionally comfortable placing my head underwater, blowing bubbles from my nose as I hummed like my initial swim instructor taught me. The water moved my ankles freely to practice flutter kicks while mildly gripping the ledge and allowed the non-existent gravity take over. I felt lighter for 50 minutes and was so empowered that I went for a three mile run. My time wasn't ideal for me--fourteen minute pace on the High Line park isn't the best place to go for a run through the lunch crowd. It's like going over the Brooklyn Bridge any time after 9am or trying to speed walk through Times Square. Despite the time, I feel better.
I must say this: To hell with all of these silly articles about running/fitness being your therapist--it's really not. Instead, it did help me calm my nerves. If you are like me and have peaks of feeling broken, seek professional help and don't feel no shame from that shit. Just because you feel broken doesn't mean that you actually crumbled. And if there's pieces of you on the floor, know that it can be placed back together. Know that as I type these words, I'm eating my own serving of this crow and applying it to my own life.
This too shall pass. My training is severely altered all over again because my mind hasn't caught up to all of the trauma--and that shit is okay too.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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