Running Is {Not Always} Better Than Therapy...

You all know how much I love San Francisco and everything about it. That includes Robin Williams, one of the most beloved celebrities to call San Francisco home. Once, Thanksgiving weekend, about ten years ago, I was with my sister and cousins at Mel's Diner on Geary in the Richmond. As we ate one of my cousins pointed outside and said, "Hey, isn't that Robin Williams?"

Not ones to pass up celebrity encounters, we went up to him, told him how much we loved his work and asked if he would take a photograph with us. He politely declined, explaining that he didn't do that when he's with his family. Instead, he offered to sign menus for us. I still have that menu somewhere in storage.

When news broke this afternoon of his passing I was surprised at how emotional I felt about it. I have so many fond memories of his many televisions shows and movies that I grew up watching. Mrs. Doubtfire was my favorite.

As we learned more about the circumstances of his death, it was more tragic to learn of his struggles with depression. As I read dozens of Twitter messages honoring him I thought to myself, "How could someone who brought so much joy and laughter to others, feel so much sadness and despair?" The irony was not lost on me.

Everyone feels sadness from time-to-time. Its normal. Its human. But when it escalates to a point where you no longer feel joy, and start to feel like everything is spiraling out of control, its time to get help. And that could come from anywhere - a friend or family member, a religious leader, a stranger or even a therapist or counselor.

A popular phrase in the running community is, "Running is cheaper than therapy." I guess its a funny way of saying that running is a stress reliever. And while it is, sometimes its not enough. Sometimes you need therapy - and that's okay.

I've been open here on the blog, and in real life that I see a therapist on a regular basis. Have been for the past five years.

I've had those moments where I felt like life was suffocating me. Like I was losing control over myself and the situations I was in. Therapy helped me through those difficult moments. It gave me perspective and helped me slowly overcome. It still continues to do so. My therapist is someone I can talk to who is completely unbiased. I can get things off my chest without worry of offending or being judged. That alone is a huge release for me.

So if you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and are in a dark place, no matter how big or small your problems may seem know that it is okay to seek - and ask for - help.

This was not what I originally planned to post today. But I felt so much unexpected emotion over the passing of Robin Williams' I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this topic.

{Original posting will resume tomorrow, because I know you're all anxious to read about week one of marathon training :p.}