Once upon a time I was obsessed with running. In high school I wasn't great by any means, but I worked hard and saw constant improvement. Sometime during my senior year I decided I wanted to run in college, so after speaking to some coaches I committed to a fairly well known D3 school. I was motivated, eager, excited, and when I arrived on campus I was in the best shape of my life. I fell in love with my teammates and I had a fantastic cross season. Everyday I woke up feeling happy and for the next two years xc/track practice was the best two hours of my day. During my freshmen and sophomore seasons I set PR's in almost every event and even found myself running at a few National Meets. Life was awesome, but then something changed.
Honestly I can't even pinpoint what it was that changed. Junior year started and I just felt "off". I had no motivation to do anything. I didn't want to run, I ignored all my friends, and I just hated life in general. To make a long story short I was eventually diagnosed with MDD (major depressive disorder) and was prescribed the typical antidepressant medication. I jumped around from medication to medication, and although my mental health slowly improved, my running was severely impacted. Three mile runs felt like a death march. I could barely finish workouts. My coach and teammates were supportive through everything, but I still felt like a scrub.
So I guess that brings me to current day (senior year). I've been on the same medication now for over 5 months (viibryd + wellbutrin) but I still can't seem to find my legs. I don't hate practice, but it sucks knowing that I'm severely underperforming. For the first time in a long time I wake up feeling happy about life, which makes the whole situation much more difficult. I feel like I'm being forced to make an impossible choice. I can either:
-Be happy and suck at running
-Be emotionally unstable yet athletically successful.
Obviously being mentally stable is more important, but I can't help feeling like I've wasted my running potential. I know my experience isn't unique, so if anyone has advice I'd love to hear it. At this point I feel like hanging up the spikes, at least for a while. My coach and teammates have been so supportive over the past few years, and I've incredibly thankful for them. Sorry for the block of text, but I just needed to write my thoughts down.