Behind Blue Eyes: Angels and Demons

For legal reasons, the original post has been redacted.

For many runners, we all run for a reason; running for something or running away from something. If stress were a reason for running, I would be an Olympian.  I was diagnosed with clinical depression two years ago. I'm embarrassed to write those words, but I'm hoping that hitting the "post" button on this blog may help me deal with it in some way or perhaps help others.

Two and a half years ago, I decided to quit a job due to a variety of personal and professional reasons. With 20 something years in telecom sales experience, I had been recruited to go to work for a local company. Less travel and chances for some international work was appealing. Upon tendering my resignation, the CEO of the former company told me he would be forced to "blacklist" me in the industry if I went to work for a competitor. Knowing this, I still took the job, and naively felt that if I went about my work honestly, ethically, and legally sound, I would have nothing to worry about. Having someone with seemingly infinite financial resources with a personal campaign against me began to gnaw away at me.

For legal reasons, I can't say much, but stories began to emerge about me stealing company data. Industry peers and customers who I've worked with over the span of a 20 year career know about allegations against me. It's difficult to measure the impact. All the allegations are completely false and quite troubling considering the hard work and over 1 million travel miles I've expended to build a strong reputation and lifestyle over my lifework. With three kids within two years of starting college, the financial implications are troubling as personal bankruptcy emerges as a possibility which obviously limits their options. College funds have been used for legal funds.  All of the above invades dinner conversations far too often at home.

A warning letter was sent and five months later a lawsuit was filed against me--that was two years ago. The trial was postponed last week for the third time and may happen next summer. A lawsuit where I know I'm 100% innocent, I can manage, but going against someone far more powerful with no regard to the personal damage that a wanton attack causes a family was too much to handle. I have been in therapy for the last two years and have tried natural approaches and three different medications to manage the demons that invade my thoughts not only every day, but nearly every hour of the day. Trying to go to sleep at night is a burden as I replay my situation over and over. I ran more. In fact I ran too much as I've chronicled here. "PR" is not in my current running vocabulary, as I took the summer off to physically rest my body. I have only recently resumed ramp'ing up with hopes of a Spring '12 marathon.

I have never been a fan of prescription drugs and not a fan of anti-depressants either. Just like the commercials describe, the side effects of these drugs can be just as bad; drowsiness (understatement,) nausea, and the anti-Viagra. Running while on these drugs range from grogginess or some kind of ephedrine rush that would have me banned from running if I was pro. Neither of which are good for running. Running and drugs don't mix well.

Depression is not a choice, just like diseases like alcoholism or arthritis aren't a choice. I am working hard to "snap out of it" but I seem to be stuck in this pattern.

At times I can tell that my kids don't like the Dad they look at, and my wife deserves angel credit for either not feeling the same or not saying she feels the same way. I can't say that I like myself right now very much either. As a salesperson by trade, I must walk out the door each day full of confidence--this does not help. If sales were a battlefield, I have little ammo nor armor. I do not find solace in a prescription bottle yet continue to medicate.  While running does not block out the demons entirely, it's one of the few times when I'm at my best. My other angel.

"No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes"

"Behind Blue Eyes"  The Who


  1. Wow, a powerful post. Thank you for sharing. I can relate for several reasons; having experienced similar situation on a smaller scale & having heavy/consuming life events of this past year that live in my every moment reality. Way to stay strong! Keep on moving forward. A saying that I repeat to myself is "now is not forever". Prayers for you & your family. May God pour out His blessings, grace, & strength on you today.

  2. I'm sorry you've had to go through this mess for so long. Life can be so cruel. They say that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but at what point do we want to stop getting stronger and just BE strong? I guess we don't have a choice, though. Maybe it means that we're capable of more than we realize, so we just have to keep fighting.

    Anyway, I doubt any of that makes sense, but know that you've got plenty of people on your side. We don't care about lawsuits and campaigns against you. We see your positive comments online (dailymile, in my case), and we know you're a good person. We appreciate you for being you.

  3. Hey there, I just came across your blog. Thankyou for such a raw and honest post.
    I dont know if you ever think about spiritual matters, but this would definately seem to force one to think about bigger questions. I am one who has been through HUGE family crisis lately, all consuming of the thoughts. Running has helped, but beyond that, my relationship with God, as I was introduced back in my teens, has kept my life in a stable place. Depression is one of those things that can take away everything. If I feel like hope is ebbing away, knowing a higher form of hope is all I have had to cling to, cuz everything else is a mess.
    Here is my blog. I talk about spiritual matters, running, and life in general. Keep on running! You sound like you are committed to recovery, whatever it takes. Thanks again, Ill be stopping by.

  4. oops here is my blog :)

  5. Wow ! So proud of who you are and what you do , honestly and with a strong work ethic. You have our support !!

  6. Ty, admitting to depression is hard. I have shared my story online and still I don't talk about it with people who are really close to me. But there shouldn't be stigma to it. It should be something we can talk about. I am so sorry to hear about the horrible mess your old boss has put you through. There is a special place in hell for people like that.

  7. For legal reasons some of this post has been redacted. I hope that anyone that struggles with depression can find solace in something. For me, that has been my family and running.


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