Trading Addictions: My Stint in the Psych Ward and Rest Day Related Inappropriateness

Before I get my cheeky running panties all tied in knots thinking of how I am going to miss a day or two of running while traversing coast to coast for summer vacation, I must get rid of this stir crazy notion of how I can fit in a 2am 10 mile morning run and be showered and ready to board the plane with both boys 30 minutes before arrival time at the crack of dawn. 

I am an ultra-running junkie, just as much of an addict as the next drug addict.  I've been running on plantar fasciitis for 4 months and truly believe it’s not an injury until I can't run.  If I can't tell the difference between a "slight heel pain" and polio of the foot, I'll never be a good ultra-runner, I keep telling myself.  And ok, I love the pain, I love getting into my head and ignoring my body, I love the feeling I get from destroying my body over 100 miles a week.  To understand this, you'll have to try and understand that I traded an addiction to self-loathing, self-starvation and disordered eating for something equally as masochistic.  Many people that have never been through an in-patient program for a mental illness will not fully grasp all of what I'm saying here. So allow me to breakdown my kind of crazy in the simplest terms. I was committed because I thought myself unworthy to eat. But whether one eats or does not, a mental hospital is a place you never ever want to be admitted to. We all have that one wack job for a relative or friend, right?  Well, multiply that by like 300 and stick them all in a tiny room painted lilac and make them talk about the issues they have and watch them go. It's like playing a game of stick the blue shapes in the right spots and wait for the red box to explode and blow pieces everywhere.

So basically, when you enter a nut house to be healed from an addiction or mental illness you leave your comfort zone i.e. your home and move into a facility that watches you shower, monitors how many times a day you make a bowel movement, takes your urine from you and stares you down on a daily basis. I passed the time with other likeminded weirdos by pranking the staff dispensing our hallucination therapy (expensive pharmaceutical drugs for the sake of throwing money into the pockets of academia-certified drug pushers, and to mess with our brain chemistry for the sake of experimental mad fun).  The most popular prank involved filling urine sample cups with Mott's apple juice from our snack trays and chugging it in front of the psych staff at collection time.  It's a total shame I couldn't find anyone willing to smuggle in lemon Jell-O during visiting hours to upgrade the prank and subsequently deprive myself further snack time privileges.

The best way to eat Jell-O in public

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Via i.imgur.com

I don't know about anyone else's urine, but mine is liquid, not a gelatinous matter so this might not have fooled anyone.  However, I do think this prank would be riotous in an eating disorder treatment facility if the spoon featured one of those stickers that said, "For Rectal Use Only".

Despite my love of love of chaos and mayhem, a psychological disease or addiction of any sort can begin to feel like imprisonment over time. I've heard other ultra-runners echo similar sentiments but I can only testify to my personal experience in that a ‘healthy obsession’ of ultra-running can be the flip-side of an unhealthy addiction. When things are going well, and I'm able to log in the miles, experience the natural high and feel my feet lead me to tranquility along the road or trail, then I reap the joy of ultra-running in its purest form. This is what I live for. This is what makes this sport so ‘addicting’. Once I experience the happy it brings, I crave more. And if happy is what it gives me, then doing more of it must bring more happy and thus it must be a healthy obsession, right? Well, not quite. There is a fine line when it comes to balancing the highs and lows of this natural drug. 

So without further ado, here's what will happen if I cannot run on any given day in the near future:

I may tattoo something with a prophetic handicap sign in preparation for the day I will be so broken down that I will no longer physically be able run ultra-marathons.  I may also buy an ice cream with my new disability discount and ask the cashier if they believe in unicorns then squish the cone on my forehead.  I might also walk into a gun show with my new handicap tattoo and ice cream unicorn horn and yell, "HE'S GOT A GUN!"

I may go to Nitally's ThaiMex Cuisine & Scorching Esophagus Fare in St. Petersburg and take the Inferno Bowl Challenge. If I eat the whole thing of chili without puking up hot cross-pollinated peppers in 30 minutes, the entire thing is free PLUS I get a grand and my picture on Nitally's ThaiMex Wall of Completely Sober but Loco Chili Eaters.

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Even though I'll become a total mouth breather afterward, this will look so awesome on my LinkedIn resume.

I may slap a silly straw in a bottle of Tito's Handmade Vodka, get wicked drunk and dance with the devil in the pale moonlight.  I'm tone deaf and have no rhythm, but that won’t stop me from preforming a one woman show on the hood of my parked car with an encore closing face first on the concrete driveway.

I may have my tubes fused back together by a televangelist faith healer with really nice preacher hair and have another baby.  If they can stretch short legs to regular leg length, then they can totally throw some fertility mojo on my barren business.

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Not an ideal way to bond with baby

I may cut my hair spiky short and dye it red and get my ears pierced in places most people don’t get piercings – like on my actual ear canal where you can’t even see an earring because I’m a bad ass who values fashion over hearing.

I may go to a bee farm and have thousands of bees sting my upper lip so it isn't so thin and German and then it could match my plush non-German bottom lip that bounces so much when I run that if anyone made a sports lip bra I'd trade a lifetime supply for a glowing product review.

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The Lip Bra protects the bottom lip during a 50k trail race by restraining it from bouncing hard enough to knock oneself out.

I may also go to that bee farm and have a thousand bees sting my booty so it isn't so flat and boxy like a German car and whatnot.

I may train the chocolate lab to fetch plastic Walmart bags and hold my hair back with her paws when I puke up Tito's and chili peppers into them.

Or maybe I'll just spend the time I can't be outside running and Photoshop myself up a new Profile Picture.  I'll need a few more pictures of me running for social media now that I'm an official ultra-runner. Maybe I'll start an athlete page and invite all my friends.

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I'm sure my friends don't get enough updates on my running from just my personal page.

Who knows which of these things I will do if my 25 day running streak is broken but one thing is for certain, I will do something drastic and crazy as a result of the diagnosis I've been brand marked with.  Because I am a certified crazy lady with a history of residing in the looney bin, maybe I'll even get locked up.  Again.  If I do and you live near the asylum I highly suggest you move because I'll be one of the crazy freak show performers breaking out the glass and running free. Then it will be like playing a game of "Where's Weirdo".  Even if I don't get the lockup treatment you should know that because you would not usually find a crazy person pondering on their philosophy of life, discussing how amazing War Literature is or talking about how delightfully tasty their English tea is I'm most likely going to pull off something insane. I’m not 100% sure what it is yet, but if I don't get at least 10 miles in soon I know I’m on the verge of doing at least one thing that is ten kinds of inappropriate for a mother of two.

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My Walmartarian look. They need to restock the lemon Jell-O, btw.

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