Sharing the Burden
I don’t sleep. This fact goes back for years and years but I have never been a person who can get their head down for seven hours of peaceful and necessary rest. I am almost always awake between 2:00-3:00am and sometimes, if I am lucky, I can get back to sleep relatively easy. But some nights I end up going downstairs and staring at the wall for a few hours. I relate this restlessness to stress and anxiety. I used to justify my insomnia by bragging that staying awake provided me the time to work out my daily problems, or prepare myself for possible pitfalls. Lately, I have been trying to alleviate some of the factors that prevent my nightly rest, but I have come to the realization that at the crux of my problem is a simple explanation – I don’t know how to ask for help.
As long as I can remember, I have struggled sharing the burden on helping with tasks for fear of putting out a subpar product. I often think that’s why I got into running to begin with. I have the control to achieve exactly what I want from running, it all depends on the amount of effort I put in. There is no nepotism, favoritism or shortcuts. If I put in the work and train correctly, I can push through any obstacle, and see a positive outcome. I don’t need to worry at night how to get better at running; I just need to run more. The amount of work that comes from operating a business is overwhelming, but unlike running I cannot just power through on my own. After years of living this way I am lately starting to show the cracks in my armor. It is almost as if I can no longer carry all this weight on my shoulders. My sleepless nights and additional stress are affecting my family, my running and the business. So, what can I do to fix this? I need to learn to ask for help.
This is not the easiest thing to practice, but I am willing to try. To take some of the weight off my shoulders I am learning to share my responsibilities. Today, I am having my new intern from McDaniel College make a post for me and I am not going to even double check it. I have another new hire that will be here later today, and he will be putting inventory away and checking on stock and I have to trust that he will do it to the best of his ability. If I can’t allow people that are here to be my support, which is what that they were hired brought here to do than I might as well just work alone and continue to stay up all night. After all, despite all of my training, sometimes what makes the difference in a race is the unexpected support of a fellow competitor or a cheer from a spectator.
I bring this up as we prepare for a big race this Friday night. The Chase the Light 5k is a race in honor of my friend’s son who took his own life in early 2015. I only met Chase once or twice but I’ve been friends with the family for several years. They are some of my favorite people, and I don’t know, or can’t begin to know, what it is like to be in their position. But, I do think that on a personal perspective that I will be thinking of them this week as we organize the race, and I will try to avoid finding myself becoming overwhelmed in any of life’s challenges.
I don’t know why we have such a stigma over mental health and openly discussing it. I had Chase’s family on my radio show two weeks ago and it was still very difficult for them to talk about it. Mental health disease should be recognized and talked about in the same way as any other disease. No one should feel guilty or ashamed for having depression the same way as no one should feel ashamed for having Lyme’s disease. Both diseases need treatment, support, love and attention, which is why this event on Friday is so important.
For anyone looking for a great event raising money for a great cause then I invite you to join us Friday for the race. A link to the register is below, and all funds will stay in Carroll County, going toward suicide prevention. There is live music, free beer and all the Fall Fest activities following the race. Bring your whole family and come run/walk or cheer everyone on.