I hate leaving my home, hate interacting with people out in the world, hate the whole hullabaloo. It’s SO much easier chilling on my couch, wearing comfy clothes, feeling at absolute ease. But you can’t be a functioning adult that way, and sometimes you can’t avoid society. This is Adam Leaves His Apartment!
Today I went for a run. I realize that’s not very momentous or revelatory, but I did and it’s one of the few consistent activities that gets me out of my apartment. Seriously, I hate doing things. Anything at all, whether it’s going grocery shopping, or going to work, or going to work out, or hanging with friends or family. I don’t hate my friends and family, of course, but I can’t avoid random moments when I freeze several hours before scheduled plans. A panic will run down my spine, this bizarre internal tension that starts to crack at my complacent facade, and my brain will race with possible outs. Part of this is attributable to the fact I’m, more or less, lazy, but I also often can’t overcome that nagging desire to find a way to stay home and avoid it all.
Is my avoidant personality a symptom of my depression and anxiety? Sometimes, yeah. Other times it’s just a desire to avoid any sort of social engagement or interaction beyond the bare minimum. Really, why is that? Partly, I’m a cheap bastard who doesn’t like spending money on drinks or food out, but that’s more symptomatic of the fact I’ve never been financially stable. The pay in human services is garbage, as anyone can tell you, and I’ve been mired in that field almost exclusively over the past decade (mostly; any talk of my disastrous endeavors outside human services since I left college will have to wait). It’s an inevitability you’re doomed to poverty in that field, because why should those who work with and support society’s most vulnerable populations be fairly compensated?
The human services field is also stressful as fuck, and is almost equally mentally and physically exhausting no matter what your role. It leads to unhealthy habits and lifestyles, and leads to immense employee turnover and discord at every human services company I’ve ever encountered (suffice it to say this field has never helped with resolving my psychological state). Beyond being lazy and too tired to work out, the brutal stress of such an unappreciated job made me turn to massive quantities of junk food when I’d return to my private domicile. And sitting at home, housing fast food and fried food and pizza and snack cakes and bags of candy and whatever, alone and away from the world’s judgemental eye, is a double edged sword. I was avoiding the world and being incredibly unhealthy on all levels, so certain steps have been needed at different times.
I love working out, even if I’m not really a fan of going to a gym or doing group workouts. I’m a former college football player, after all, so I enjoy working on my core, lifting weights, and performing HIIT routines. While none of those require me to encounter the world, I also greatly enjoy running outside, as long as it’s by water, which poses a conundrum. I used to run through the Venice Canals in CA, and have been drawn towards river runs along the Merrimack since my return to Lowell. There’s something so peaceful and relieving about rushing or sitting water, something so pacifying to the soul. Running beside water and getting my heart and lungs pumping, feeling my legs burn as I push my cartilage-less knees to the limit (I’ve had no knee cartilage from years of wear and tear in football since college); I’m not just working my body, but I’m working my mind past it’s normal level of comfort.
Today, I went for a run by the Merrimack behind LeLacheur Park (Go Spinners) and the Tsongas Center, then back up along the Pawtucket canals (I told you I love running along water). It was hard, some people seemed to laugh at me as I ran by (or not, and that was just my crazy brain assuming anyone thinks twice about me), and I feel fantastic about myself. A friend (hi, Cristina!) suggested I explain what motivates me to get out and run since most things don’t. I’ve noted I used to be an athlete, but by the time I moved to California several years after my playing days ended, I didn’t look great, and I REFUSE to let myself fall back to that. Plus, I’m not getting younger and know I can only help myself potentially avoid health problems in the coming years.
Lately, I’ve even been contemplating training for and running the Boston Marathon next year, perhaps with Team MR8 and the Martin Richard Foundation (Miss Liz says hi, Jane!). Despite the fact I left a job and am pursuing full-time work from home (which would seem counterproductive to my goal of staying home LESS), I won’t avoid the world, and will continue to pursue activities and life outside of my apartment. Today, I left to go for a run. Next time? The possibilities are endless.