Versus: Let’s Compare Things

I decided I miss math class so I put together a little graph of the past two days (by which I mean today and yesterday).  I don’t miss it so much that I’m going to calculate the slopes of the lines or make any points about their intersections, or anything like that.  So don’t hold your breath.

I know it’s on the small side, font-wise, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me to adjust that while I was working on it.  As you can see from the graph, though, I went running Tuesday morning and it was like the heavens opened up to shine happiness and good cheer upon me (I also had 10 in mind for a maximum mood value, I’m not sure why the graph went to 12 of its own accord.  And I couldn’t figure out how to fix it).  I’m pretty confident I would have stayed in the 7-10 range during the evening, but we’ll get to the reason why things didn’t work out that way in a second.

In contrast to Tuesday is today.  I woke up still feeling the effects of last night (it wasn’t a hangover), and didn’t go running (which is what that dip to zero is.  It’s not that I had a bad run).  Work was actually something of a relieving distraction today, although it didn’t lift my mood significantly.  Other than that shift upward, it’s been an unremarkable day.  The weather is crummy, I’m feeling stressed and crummy, and my mood is (unsurprisingly) crummy.

So, yesterday.  What a nice run.  It was freezing outside, but it just reminded me how much I really do love running.  Exercising in the morning put me in a good enough mood to carry me through my day.  It’s such a great feeling, a little bit like what invincibility might feel like.  Something happens that would normally frustrate you, but instead you just laugh at it.  You’re kind of sleepy because you were up early, so you’re just detached enough from everything that’s going on to not worry too much about anything, but you’re still alert.  And, if you’re me, you’re able to actually eat without thinking so much about it and having such a hard time identifying what you want to eat, and overanalyzing ever single detail involved in every meal.  A day that starts with a run is a day that you are setting up to be full of win.

Well, unless something completely terrifying and beyond your control happens.  For instance, you come home to find that your fiancé had a seizure earlier in the day.  If you’re me, that’s enough to make your mood plummet–you go from happy to worried sick and feeling really scared and helpless in very little time.  And then you spend the rest of the evening crying but trying really hard not to cry.  And then the following day all you can really think about is your fiancé seizing in your apartment and why it might have happened, and if seizures are ever not a big deal, and how lucky he was that the worst thing that happened (apart from the seizure, obviously) is that he bumped his head, and what you should do if he has another seizure while you’re with him.  And you’re still terrified because even though he went to the doctor and is going to go to the neurologist, you still have no idea what happened or why it happened, and you don’t really have anyone to talk to about it, and you’re worried that even after all this, you still might not be able to get him to take his Type 2 Diabetes seriously, even though you’ve been after him about it for a while.

Now, it’s not that I think that if I’d gone running this morning, I’d feel as good as I did yesterday before I got home from work.  But I do think it would have cleared my mind a little bit and helped me to get a little bit more centered and a little bit less frantic and frazzled.  There would definitely have been much more of an upward trend in the graph above.

I’m going to try to do some yoga in a little bit, so maybe I’ll have to change the data for my after-work mood tonight.  Maybe it’ll be uplifting enough to warrant that.  I can’t really say, although I do know that I wish it weren’t dark and wintry mix-y outside because more than anything I’d like to put my running shoes on and hit the pavement.

Do you notice any changes in your mood on the days when you exercise or don’t exercise?  Have you ever used your favorite form of exercise to get through a difficult time?





  1. Emilie, j’espère que tout ira bien le plus rapidement possible pour lui. Je t’envoie toute mon énergie et mes encouragements. Je suis certaine que le yoga t’aidera, puisqu’il te demandera au moins de respirer et de te recentrer. Je crois que la course (et l’exercice en général) a été le seul véritable moyen de passer à travers les expériences difficiles, en ce qui me concerne. Ça disperse un peu le brouillard qui se forme dans ma tête. Je pense à toi.

  2. I hope the doctors will be able to find what caused the seizure, and my thoughts are definitely with you. I had a mental flash of my own husband in such a situation and I would be just as unsure and scared as you.

    I like the graph, though (not what the graph actually presents, but the idea of it). I find it difficult to separate out my emotions when it’s a tough day, and it ends up making me feel even worse. I’m wondering if making a similar graph puts it in perspective. Even though there were dips, there were also a few “highs” (at least higher than the lows). I might give that a try.

  3. Okay, I can tell you that there is a good chance the seizure was brought on by the diabetes (though there’s also a good enough chance the Drs will find something else, but I find it reassuring that it might be that). Had he not had much to eat, by any chance? Hypoglycemia can trigger a seizure. It can also come from hyperglycemia but it generally happens when the person has SERIOUSLY high blood sugar (I found this information here:

    What I take from that is if he actually works to keep his blood sugar level, this shouldn’t happen again.

    Incidentally I didn’t know he had T2DM. He seems awfully young to have developed it – Type 2 usually develops in adults in their 50s or 40s; how long has he had it? He also seems like he’s in pretty good shape and T2DM more often develops in people who have other health factors. I’ve been reading lately about versions of late-developing Type 1, sometimes referred to as MODY – Mature-Onset Diabetes in Youth (or something, I can’t remember what the Y stands for). I think ther’es another name for it. There’s some speculation that there may be an “in-between” kind of diabetes that hasn’t really been recognized yet, a later-onset than the T1 which is considered congenital but more spontaneous and in younger people than T2 generally is.

    Just some thoughts, anyway. 🙂 I’m so sorry – that’s awful, must’ve been so scary but I hope it’s something that can be dealt with easily. I’m sure it is. 🙂 Love you guys!

  4. I’m so sorry you had to deal with the scary seizure-situation. That is terrifying! My husband has been having heart palpitations and that’s been scaring me. I hope your fiance gets everything figured out so that both of you can be more at ease (although, I kind of hope that seizures don’t ever become a “no big deal”… I want you guys to know how to deal but that would be really tragic if they were a non-event!)

    I have never graphed my mood like that, but I probably should. I can already predict how Sundays would look though, wherever I started on the mood scale it would just be downhill as the day progresses because I just start dreading having to go back to working on Monday. Sunday nights are always hard for me, emotionally. Perhaps I should introduce a run into my Sunday night repertoire?!

  5. Wow, what a scary experience. I hope everything turns out ok!
    Exercise makes a HUGE impact on my mood. I’m usually crabby as I’m driving TO the gym, but then I’m a chatty cathy on the way home happy as can be. 🙂

  6. LOL! That’s so funny, I love making graphs (and lists). I think it has to do with not being in school anymore. The student in me that needs to be solving and planning all the time. Definitely don’t miss HAVING to do it though. It’s much more fun now 😀

  7. umm yes! i have been so mopey/depressed-like this week because i get home from work and “don’t want to run” so then i allow myself to have (another) day off. then i’m grouchy because i didn’t run… vicious cycle. i need to just force myself out there cause i know i will feel better even if i just do 10 minutes.

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