My Drug of Choice

1.28.2016 -
I laced up the laces of my bright worn running shoes that had seen my pounding feet through hundreds of miles. I thought about how I hoped I would get new shoes for my birthday and if I didn't I opened a new tab in my brain (that was the last thing I needed was another open browser) to put in my budget to get me a new pair before my next half marathon. I sat on the concrete to stretch and continue to convince my mind I had to run. I had to stay on my training schedule true but that wasn’t the only reason. I needed my dose of medication for the day. I had put it off until it was now 4 pm and I had exactly one hour before my time would be taken up for the rest of the evening. My mind was trying to overpower the itch my body had to run. My mind was tired, whining at me. I had spent all morning hashing out the future on paper, pros and cons, looking up options for which direction I wanted to go on this fork in the road I have come too in life, and I had starting some online classes that had my brain swirling with thoughts, ideas and 'itches'. But my body was telling me to run out the emotions pent up in my shoulders and back. To run away the voices, the noise, the chaos, to focus and quiet my mind. To run out the demons and once again sort through the mess in my head and heart.

My feet pounded out the pavement to the blaring playlist in my earbuds, finding my rhythm and pace as I got further and further away from the comfort of my home I could hide in the shadows of if I wanted. I was running streets and through neighborhoods I usually don't run in and my eyes started noticing things. The dirty streets. The consistency of thrown out cigarette butts, too many to count. There were lost shoes and gloves, littered trash thrown thoughtlessly out of windows and even a flattened metal spoon. Empty beer cans mixed in with the leaves and grime and then the liquor bottles, empty glass bouncing off the afternoon sunrays.
Stories. Things that were once in peoples hands. Behind every cigarette butt something that spurred the need to cope, to deal with something. Pain. Stories. Behind the lost worn out shoe that someone once wore. Wonder what horrors and what joys they have walked and faced. If they are thriving or just breathing. If they are full or empty. The empty cans and bottles. Who’s lips the liquid fire passed between to drown out whatever it was inside them that was eating away, that hurt that was killing them, or the guilt, or the shame, or whatever it was they couldn’t face. What sadness or pain did they endure. What bad or good are they giving to this world. What was it, who was it, that made them the person they had become. What life have they known. Have they ever only known this small town of people living in boxes and molds. What are their dreams, their fears, their hopes, their nightmares. Stories. Beauty and hell.
I think everyone medicates. Everyone has some way of dealing with pain, sorrow, anger. Everyone. And those who go into the church building doors medicate as much as those who can’t even step foot inside the church doors. And there is no difference in the worshipping servant of religion and the worshipping servant of anything else. But it is easier for me to empathize with those who know they are hurting and in pain and don't hide their medication of choice than those who hide their medicating in the shadows even sometimes from themselves. Those who stay blinded. God however I have been able to make it to where I am today…I am thankful. Sometimes I wonder how. I do. I am thankful to have been split wide open and broken. To be going through the pain of psychological surgery. I can not even imagine being back in that horrifying place where I was so blinded and brainwashed I could never have seen the stories on the streets. Where I couldn’t even see my own stories. Where I couldn’t breath for myself or think for myself. Where I walked through the church doors nearly every day of my life for years and years and thought I was safe and better than and had been taught how to have appear at least to have it all together. That the evil that happened all around me in “god’s house” was okay, somehow, okay…I mean it must be, right? This stuff happened in other girls homes too right? My parents are my authority, my go between between God and myself so everything they did or said had to be right somehow. Because somehow we believed everyone there was better than the other humans in the world. That somehow we were different because "we had Jesus". When really everyone was just hiding their pain and ugly humanness behind religion and masks and false pretenses. That was what I knew.

So I…I run. I run until the pain, or lies, or stress and emotions of the day, of my life, of my stories has poured out of my body with the sweat. I run until I can no longer hear the voices of my mother telling me I am a bitch or a drama queen or a lier, or my father whispering in the dark, you are my special daughter and this is our secret I can't have with anyone else or God has put me here to help you grow up in "this way”. I run from the voices saying stop because you aren’t good enough. Give up on yourself you can’t do anything right. You are worthless. I run.
And I damn them to hell. I run for myself. To prove to myself. To fight for myself. To love myself.
Because my stories are mine to tell, to share or not to share, to be vulnerable with, to heal through. And I don’t want my stories to end with: she gave up. Because now, deep down under the shit and lies, I believe I am worth it. The opposite of what I was even taught, told and shown is that I am valuable. And that is something that I have learned on my own. From my pain and my stories. No one implanted that in my neurological pathways. That is something I have found on my own. I have taken back my own power.
And so...I run.

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