So Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?

To summarize this post (because it’s long): in the last week I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, a fifth metatarsal stress fracture and a rare form of food poisoning.

It’s a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or did four rotten chickens just teleport from nowhere at the same time for a meetup in my life…

It’s not only raining, but it’s pouring in my life too.  Since I have all of the time in the world, I have time to write an emotional second blog post of the day right?

Let’s dive in: 

On Memorial Day, I sat on my downstairs steps, crying.

I didn’t have a reason to cry. 

I wasn’t physically hurt. 

It was a holiday, and I was supposed to be having an enjoyable day with my husband who also had off work. 

Yet, I was crying hysterically. My husband has always been there for me through thick and thin and it isn’t easy to be there for someone who has been as needy as I have been.  I was anxious and sad for no reason. My emotions were running wild, and I didn’t have any triggers. Anxiety is funny that way; you don’t need a reason to be upset, but if you’re upset, you are.

Anxiety and depression are demeans always sitting on your shoulder. They never leave.  Some days they are more prevalent than others, but they are always there.

You fear judgment, comparison and often like two days ago; it manifests itself into panic attacks.

But two days ago isn’t the only time I’ve had a panic attack during the two months, I’ve had more than I would like to admit. I learned at a previous job by my boss, Shelly, that you could be having the worst day of your life, but it’s easy to leave it at the door.

So I’ve done that. Like a normal person, I’ve left my house, and my emotions have stayed at home.  My body has been a shell going through the motions with my emotions at home.

I’ve gone to work and hung out with friends, but I’ve hidden a whole lot of pain that truly my husband only knows about.  Except now that you’ve made it this far into the post you know too because I’m blogging and oversharing.

Even when I’ve come home sobbing for no reason, he has been there for me. 

Part of the reason mental health has a stigma attached is because we hide those problems and feelings.  Put ten other people and myself in a lineup and I can fake a smile or witty comment with the best of them.  That doesn’t mean the pain is not there. It’s the textbook example of you never know who is suffering from a mental health issue.

When discussing with my therapist suppressing emotion has probably led to more negative thoughts than I care to admit.

I think being transparent is extremely important and I originally started my blog to be transparent about my life.  I love blogging but my life is neither perfect nor close.

I struggled with social anxiety and depression through sophomore year of college.  Eventually with talking with someone, I was able to work through it.

So what happened? 

Since about March, I’ve struggled a lot.  I’ve struggled with both mental and physical motivation.

I’ve struggled with what exactly the next chapter of my life is?

Will we move this year again?  Will we not?

The list of small things that just compiles into a long marathon.  I had been doing well and the last week was perhaps my brightest in a while until of course, today.

Like a mud run, I dug out of one hole only to be thrown into a deeper one. 

Let’s talk more about the running aspect first. I preached about taking rest, and I have.  Both mentally and physically, I’ve been burnt out since early May. I’ve had small minor aches in my foot for a couple of months, but it never seemed like anything serious.  Nothing that altered my stride and in fact I ran both a 10k and 10 mile PR in May.

Like a responsible runner with no major races, I took time off.  Honestly, it was nice not to worry about racing over the weekends and really giving no care to running.  Even with rest, my foot felt the same, so I went to see a doctor who ordered X-rays and an MRI.

I’ve been walking around with no limp, just minor aches.  Imagine my surprise when the MRI concluded I had rebroken the fifth metatarsal.

Previously, my X-rays came out clean, and I hadn’t flinched when they poked, prodded and stuck a tuning fork against my foot. They squeezed the $hit out of my feet, and I didn’t flinch. It was like a bad episode of the Maury show: Hollie, you have a fracture and the whole room gasps.  By the entire room, I mean me.  You’re silently gasping from your computer. 

Since my fracture is not from yesterday and there is no timeline, I probably ran Broad Street, the Newport 10k and that mile race on a fractured foot. Which makes even less sense because it never altered my stride at all. If it did, I wouldn’t run.

It’s actually shocking because I never felt anything of that degree of pain.

Yet, at the MRI my foot lit up like the Eiffel Tower.  Since I haven’t run in three weeks already, I’m well on my way to healing.  I’m already allowed to run at a low weight on the alterG. I can pretend to be Kenyan, but I don’t know if I’m really in the mood.  Running has broken my heart more times than old flames and why go back…

My cause for concern is more:  multiple stress fractures over the course of 5 years.  A bone density test concluded my bones were healthy two years ago but are they healthy now?

But wait, there’s more: food poisoning:

Last night I felt extremely sick. My stomach felt off, so I decided to go to the doctor. They figured out I had a rare form of food poisoning (only 200,000 cases a year!) from either undercooked fish or fish that came from brackish waters.

Since it can stay in your system for up to a month, there is no real answer of where that developed. This can last in my system for 48 hours or 2 weeks.  Hopefully, I don’t have to take these garlic pills long…its just another thing to add to the list.  After a shot and pills that reek of garlic, I was off to the foot doctor. While this only gets a paragraph in today’s post, it’s a somewhat serious issue that has me at home too. Not life threatening but life inhibiting.

This is a long-winded, pretty depressing and Debbie downer post.  It’s not the post anyone wants to write, but I think it’s beneficial to write it.

I do plan to write more about my fracture.  I’m going to get another bone density test and get my form and gait looked at.  It’s easy to rule out most summer races as well as a fall marathon.

As far as my anxiety, that will be a constant battle.  At the end of the day, there are far worse things in life and I’m not comparing my issues to anyone else.  But being honest with myself, I have a lot of issues going on. If you need me today, I’ll be sitting at home watching Americas Next Top Model, and anyone is welcome to join if you can hang with a garlic lady.


43 thoughts on “So Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?”

  1. Hollie, I wish I had words to make things better. I really do. Sometimes (okay, all the time) depression and anxiety is a huge massive jerk and it rears it’s head at the most inopportune times.

    Please know that you are not alone. I’ve been there and still have days, weeks, and months where I struggle more than I’d like to admit.

    If I lived closer, I’d be by with wine, hugs, and donuts and would curl up on the couch with you. xo.

  2. Oh my gosh, I am so shocked. The way you had described it, I never thought it would be a fracture. I’m so sorry Hollie! Wish I was closer to buy you some Wawa coffee with whipped cream!! Rest, rest, rest, and spoil yourself! You deserve it with all the stress lately.

    1. And it still feels that way! The amount my foot has been manhandled with no issue makes this even weirder. When they did the tuning fork, I just sat there with no issue.

  3. Hi Hollie, I hope you feel better. I personally don’t go to doctors. AT ALL. I know that is odd. Mental health is something else. That’s not what I’m talking about. I stay away from the physical doctors. The reason is that they can find things that might have been there for years. Who knows if you actually have a fracture or if it has been there for 10 years? Who knows if you could run and run on it with no repercussions. It can get into our heads if someone tells us we have some rare disease or issue. I went to a doctor about 20 years ago and they told me I had some tumors or something on my ovaries. It turns out it was a full colon. No joke. I just had to go to the bathroom. Since then I have been very very skeptical of doctors. I am definitely an extreme. But I would say that since not going, it is liberating. I’m not suggesting you stop going – it is what works for me. But I also would say that I wouldn’t over-go. I think sometimes too much faith is put into these medical experts and people take what they say as 100% correct. They are trying their best but at the same time we know ourselves the best.

    I wish you healing and happiness.

  4. Hollie!

    I’m always impressed by your bravery to talk about your life. The most important thing is that you are taking care of yourself best you can, and remember that this is an illness and it needs to be treated in whatever way works for you. Lots of people (including myself) relate to what you’re going through…it’s good to have a voice. Stay strong! Enjoy ANTM and we’ll get diner food/cake soon!

  5. Thank you for your candor and opening up your life to us. So many people struggle with injuries, sickness and mental illness, but tend not to discuss them, especially the latter. Being a military wife can be very stressful and sometimes isolating. As a military brat, I understand the constant uncertainty. One thing is certain: you are loved and cared for. I hope that your doctors and therapist are able to get you to a point where you feel physically and mentally better.

  6. Oh Hollie I’m so sorry. I’ve had the fifth fracture twice in two years so I totally get it. Just take lots of deep breaths and focus on one thing at a time. We are all always here to listen!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having a rough time! That stress fracture must be very demoralizing considering you were being careful to take time off when you felt little aches and pains.

    And I’m sorry that your depression and anxiety are acting up. I live with depression and anxiety as well, so I know what that cycle feels like. It will always be something that you deal with, but you won’t feel this bad forever… I’ve learned that, at least, and it does often help me through those really rough periods.

    Take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself!

  8. Awww Hollie I am so sad to hear this. I’m wishing you speedy healing and your sadness lifting. ~hugs, jade

  9. I was really shocked to see the second blog post of the day, although I’ll admit I did wonder if something was up when you only ran one mile on National Running Day (mainly because I know you work at a running store and they are all about big group runs for NRD). I don’t really know what to say, except that I’ve been reading this blog for a LONG time, like since the swim and college days. You’ve gotten through injuries before, and illnesses, deployments, depression, etc, I have read about it all, and you will get through this one. We are here for you and know that while you’re a rockstar runner, you’re an overall fun person in so many other ways too and aren’t defined by that.

    I hope that everything will be okay, and if you ever need someone to chat with, I’m here.

    1. Actually I had to help man down the fort at work so I had no plans to run long that day. It’s funny because the one mile I did run, felt fine.

      Thanks for your support Amy! 🙂

      1. You’re welcome. Yeah, our LRS has that too- someone has to stay back at the store while the big group runs are going on because they are technically still open.

  10. Girl, I’m so sorry to hear this. That’s a whole lot to deal with at once! I truly am shocked to hear about your stress fracture. You do run a ton of miles but you are so proactive about taking days off when you need them or when you feel any aches or pains. It just goes to show it can happen to anyone!

    You know I have struggled with depression and anxiety as well and we both know there is no rhyme or reason sometimes. It is really hard when you don’t know what the future holds, and I’m sure as a military spouse you are constantly having to face that! I’m so glad Tim has been so supportive of you and that you have each other. Hang in there! We’re all rooting for you.

  11. Thank you for being so open and honest about the anxiety and depression. I dealt with that early in my 20s.. and you’re right, it never really goes away. I just have tools to help handle it now. You my friend, are so brave to talk about it. There is nothing wrong with you and i’m sure more people than not are dealing with the same issues. Stay strong and be positive! And give your husband a high five for me. He needs to be your rock when you’re not feeling like yourself.

  12. I’d come watch ANTM with you.. even with the garlic. I remember watching that show during a few rough patches of my life, and it’s definitely a nice way to disconnect and relax. But oh man… I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with all this right now, Hollie 🙁 I had my own bout of food poisoning a while back, and that shit sucks. The anxiety and depression are things I’ve gone through phases with through my life, and I know how difficult it can be to feel like crap and have no idea why. Sending you internet hugs and all the best vibes <3

  13. Oh hun I’m so sorry to hear about all this!! When it rains, it pours… I went through a really horrific period last year when everything in my life really fell apart- everything just went wrong at once! So I can understand to some extent how shitty this all feels. Wish there was something I could say but all I can say is that you can do this. I have depression and anxiety too, and I know how horrific it can be sometimes, especially when things are going wrong in life. Remember to lean on the people in your life when you need to, and you can weather this storm. x

  14. Hi hollie, I wish there was something I can do, I’m sorry to hear about your foot and the other things, you are so strong to open up about this.
    Your not alone ,i to have depression and anxiety, it an on going battle for me.
    And a lot if other people, I’m so glad your husband there for you. I wish you well, take all the time off and heal healthy. Were here for you if you need to blog or chat with us..
    Your the best ..

  15. I’m so sorry about your foot and your food poisoning….. And as a personal who deals with anxiety I absolutely feel for you and can relate. I’m so glad you have a loving, caring husband because knowing that you have someone who understands is huge (for me, anyway….) Anxiety is a sneaky bitch who tends to come out at the worst times and make you feel so helpless. You are a strong woman and all of us are here for you, even if only over the Internet.

  16. Im sorry you are going through this rough patch Hollie 🙁 I dont know if you follow The Blogess but she is a hilarious blogger who battles severe depression. I love her blog and she has helped me through my own messes a time or two. I cannot believe you have a stress fracture and even stranger all that handling of your foot and it still didnt hurt. tell your anxiety and foot to get it together 🙂 PS—I was at an awesome diner in San Antonio and totally thought of you today!

  17. Hollieeeeeee!!! You’re not alone. Any time you need to talk to someone who understands you, pick me! I was diagnosed with major anxiety disorder when I was 22. My mom has depression, my dad is a recovering alcoholic. My oldest sister was hospitalized with bipolar disorder when she was 23, my other sister married a man with major bipolar disorder, my first husband has clinical depression, my now husband has bipolar disorder, my oldest son has anxiety disorder, Tourrette’s Syndrome, ADHD, my daughter has anxiety disorder, sensory processing disorder and a partridge in a pear tree. And guess what? People who deal with mental illness are the strongest of the strong. Accepting it and talking about it and even laughing about it when healing happens is the best way to cope, and I have a LOT of good stories for you if you ever need a distraction. 🙂

    Hang in there. Lots of love.


  18. Ugh, sorry for all that at once! Running is my best mood regulator (plus antidepressants) and when I can’t do it I don’t feel completely myself. I’m struggling with hip flexor pain now and not running and I don’t like the uncertainty of how long this will affect me.

  19. Hollie, I am so sorry about the stress fracture and the food poisoning (yikes!) and the garlic reek. Seriously I hate garlic so I give you mad credit for being able to deal with that!
    As for opening up about your battle with anxiety and depression..you have always been honest about this…but you are so very brave and super strong to share and I know it can only serve to help you and countless others. I am hoping you find some peace. Surround yourself with the love and support of your husband, family, friends and please know your strength and tenacity will go a long way!

  20. I know we talked today, but I want you to know I’m always sending positive vibes. This has been an extremely difficult year, and I wish things were better. They will be. At some point in the near future, this will all be just a bad dream. You’re a wonderful person, Hollie, and it’s all going to be okay.

  21. I love that you wrote this so openly and honestly. I mean how much $hit can be piled onto you at once? I’m so sorry you’re going though this, although I know that doesn’t really help but, as a fellow anxiety sufferer I feel for you. Hang in there and lean on this blogging community that loves and supports you! MUAH!!!! xoxoxo

  22. I am so sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time. I hope things improve for you soon. Thank you for your honesty and candor; hopefully someone else who might be struggling will read this and realize they are not alone.

  23. I totally understand how you feel and it sucks! I always feel like once I finally get into a groove and things are going well then something goes wrong. I have mixed feelings about my years of running and due to over training (from a college coach) and hereditary autoimmune diseases in my family I have a long road ahead of me of strengthening my bones back up. I haven’t been able to run more than 20 miles a week in almost two years because my bones got so bad and I miss it so much! Being able to run like I used to again keeps me moving forward and taking care of my body every day. Just remember running will always be there when you are healthy again! and Long term health is the most important.

  24. I definitely get you on the anxiety/depression. I’ve never had anxiety, but I had NO reason to ever be depressed. My life has always gone well and I’ve always been pretty successful. Any setbacks were minor. But just because you “shouldn’t” be depressed or anxious doesn’t stop you from having a mental illness. And I think that makes the whole stigma attached to it worse, because in your head, you know you really have nothing to be depressed or anxious about compared to other people, but that doesn’t make it any easier. That really sucks about your foot and I would have been shocked too. I’m surprised you didn’t notice any changes, but at least you had already been taking it easy! And that really sucks about the food poisoning! I hope things start looking up!

  25. Hollie – I am so sorry you are going through all of this! I wish you the best! We are all here rooting and supporting you!! I just found out I have a stress fracture on my 4th metatarsal and it is no bueno. I have always loved your honest open posts! When it rains it pours, and girlfriend, I see bright sunshine in your immediate future! 🙂

      1. I’m still healing 🙁 it’s been 3ish weeks but the MRI and X-ray still showed no sign of healing so they booted me for 4 weeks. I have an appointment the first week of July so I’m hoping for good news!

  26. Hollie, I am so sorry for everything you’ve been going through. I wish I could give you a huge hug right now. Anxiety and depression (and mental illness in general) are so incredibly tough to go through. Then to add in a stress fracture and food poisoning… ugh. I’m glad you could just let it all out and be transparent. I appreciate that about you 🙂

    Hang in there, Hollie!!

  27. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of this Hollie! When it rains, it pours! But thank you for sharing this, things like anxiety and depression don’t get talked about as much as they should because people don’t want other to see something “wrong.” I’ve dealt with it myself and in my family and it’s a struggle. Good luck to you and sending lots of love your way!

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