B.F Skinner argued for half a century that all of mental life was mere epiphenomena, the milky froth on the cappuccino of behaviour. When you flee from a bear, this argument goes, your fear merely reflects the fact that you are running away, with the subjective state frequently occurring after the behaviour. In short, fear is not the engine of running away, it is the speedometer. – Martin Seligman
I have always been good at running away – running from the bullies that always seem to find and torment me, running from a family hell bent on abusing me mentally, running from society too scared of people knowing me, running from my work environment scared they will unmask my disguise, running from that Black Dog that is always there. Running from so much, over thinking the need to run, it’s constant and the exhaustion of it is insurmountable.
I know running is unhealthy, an enemy, a huge factor in my depression, and social anxiety, I know therapy, if I talked about my talent for running, would help me to reframe my mind, stop the self-talk, and unveil the real me. I know it is what I need to reshape my future, to reduce my depression and anxiety, and allow me to be happy, but when you have been running from everything for so, so long, it’s like an addiction that without it you are starved of your protective shield leaving you vulnerable to all the cruel predators in this world. They will never go away, it doesn’t matter how far or how fast you run, they are always on your tail.
I have learnt from a vast experience of bullying, torment, abuse, and loneliness that no matter what protective shield you put up, no matter how thick your mask, people will always uncover the real you, your inner being, and the vulnerabilities that they use against you to destroy you, build a toxic environment that in the end you have to run from because staying is too painful, taking you to places in your mind that you don’t want to go.
I am not a physical runner, I hate it as a concept of exercise, I chose not to physically run and torment my body with such exertion, but a runner in my mind I am a professional. It’s what I’ve done since being a teenager, to who I am today. Depression has forced me to run harder, more cross country, it has made me run from everything that has allowed depression to take me on this journey with a Black Dog who just won’t leave me alone, never giving me a break so I can feel the sun on my face.