Is Your Glass Half Empty Or Half Full?

I’m going to run today. That might not sound like the most earth shattering statement, but for me it’s a fairly big deal. After the disastrous Causeway Coast marathon a few weeks ago, I fell out of love with running for a while. I huffed, I sulked and I briefly considered packing it in altogether. I felt like a failure, it had beaten me up and left me, literally, lying in a painful heap on the roadside.

When it comes to throwing a pity party, I’m in a league of my own. Moping around comes second nature to me and were navel gazing an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I would be a medal contender. You may have picked up on this in some of my recent posts. For that, I can only apologise. Nobody deserves Sulky Stephen, be that in the flesh or in writing. That all changes today, I hope.

When I wallow, I eat. A lot. And allllllll the wrong foods. Which plays right into the hands of the voice in my head. Telling me I’m a failure, that I’m a fraud, that the weight is creeping back on and in the blink of an eye I’ll be 15 stone again, four years of hard work gone in a puff of smoke. That’s what the voice does best. It needles and niggles until I raise the white flag and admit defeat. It is relentless.

I cannot allow that to happen. I’ve worked too hard for one bad experience to wash away everything I have achieved so far. So today, I run. Not for personal bests or fancy medals, but for my own piece of mind. I need to run for my mental health. It dulls the voice and fills me with a self belief and worth that I desperately need in order to function as a reasonably normal member of the human race. It keeps me sane.

I have no targets in mind, no big race plans ahead. I just want to retain a level of physical and mental health that can then permeate other areas of my life. When I run, I’m a better husband and father; I’m a better employee; I’m a better writer. I’m not going to worry about the time and I know this first run back won’t be pretty. There will be sweat and quite possibly tears. But, hopefully no blood. Unless I collapse in a blubbering heap at the end.

As ever, my family have inspired me. Fionnuala has encouraged me to get back out there. Adam’s never say die attitude every time he steps out onto the rugby pitch; Hannah’s ultra positive outlook on life and Rebecca’s infectious enthusiasm. They have all contributed towards evaporating the gloom which has settled over me these last few weeks. The gloom that seeks to consume and devour me.

I’m no world beater when it comes to times, but I won’t let the world beat me when it comes to my mental health. There is too much at stake, too much to lose. I’ve come too far, to slip back into the abyss now. This not only refers to my running, but other things as well. My family, faith, work and writing. People are relying on my, they have invested their time, love and prayers in me. To turn my back on that now, would be incredibly selfish.

Finally, I want to thank all my fellow bloggers who have supported me of late. Those who have written kind comments and prayed for me. I am incredibly grateful, a subject we all neglect and which Fionnuala reinforced in a blog she posted yesterday. She has inspired me to adopt a ‘half full’ mentality as of today, as of now. It’s time to stand up, step up, rise up. It’s time to run 7 miles at a spectacularly average pace.

Is your glass half empty or half full today?

70 thoughts on “Is Your Glass Half Empty Or Half Full?

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  1. Stephen, what’s been going on? Forgive me … I’ve been so wrapped up in my own dramas that I’ve not read anyone’s posts or considered anyone else. I’m so sorry. Get out there and run, jog, walk … but get out because you and I know it helps. I know all about wallowing – I’ve been doing rather a lot of that lately, but if you go first and get out and have that run, then I’ll take Claude out for a ride because I haven’t since getting back from the trip. Is that a good deal? I shall read back now and see what’s been going on, but suffice to say my friend, I’m sending you a huge hug, a smacker of a kiss and a boot out of the door to get you running. Katie 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Though my glass is half full, on most days it seems like it is half empty. And I can’t possibly fill it up or empty it out.

    All I have is the fight in me. The fight to see the bottom half that is filled rather than the empty top half .

    C’est la vie

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  3. In the case of clinical depression and other deep rooted mental illnesses…sometimes no matter how hard you try you can’t for the life of you see joy in anything or find the strength to be thankful for anything….is that not true. Some people aren’t capable of positive thinking and affirmations. It’s just not possible. Maybe you don’t agree?

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    1. I ran across your comment and wanted to respond.

      I think sometimes we struggle to create that positivity, and that’s why seeking professional help is so important. I have anxiety and have suffered from depressive symptoms (though not clincial depression), and, when those episodes set in, I know it is so hard for me to pull myself out of them. That’s why I continue to go to therapy. Because even in good weeks, I know there’s a negative voice that’s waiting for the right moment to speak, and I want to be proactive about being able to combat it. I think we are all eventually capable of thinking positively, but it takes a lot of practice and help from others. 💕

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for your reply Alexandria. I admired Stephen’s post this morning, the way he decided today was the day of change. But not everyone is capable of that and they are stuck in circumstances that don’t promote recovery. For some, every minute is an internal battle just to stay alive. They’re not just wallowing….it’s clinical, a chemical imbalance. 🤷🏻‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True—there is a difference between clinical depression and “wallowing”. But I don’t think Stephen has ever claimed to have clinical depression, so his ability to decide today was the day for change would not be equal to someone who suffers from depression. However, I do believe everyone has the ability to become mentally well, and that is why seeking professional help is so vital—because it can provide a a circumstance that can promote recovery.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. This is Fionnuala replying to Stephen glad my words yesterday inspired you that must be a first 😂. Myself and the kids are your biggest cheerleaders we are proud of everything you do and support you 110% There is only so much pep talks and advice we can give you but none of that matters unless you are going to receive it and act on it.

    I am so looking forward to washing This is Fionnuala replying to Stephen glad my words yesterday inspired you that must be a first 😂. Myself and the kids are your biggest cheerleaders we are proud of everything you do and support you 110% There is only so much pep talks and advice we can give you but none of that matters unless you are going to receive it and act on it.

    I am so looking forward to washing your sweaty running gear when you get home tonight 😂 Now it’s time to shake the dust off the laptop and get back to writing again.

    We all love you and will always be routing for you xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Half empty or half full, it will seem refreshing halfway in. Happy running before you are halfway to the end! You have a great support crew, and we lookers-on are pulling for you too!

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  6. Good for you Stephen! I also have frequent discussions with that voice in my head. With out fail, when I allow myself to cave in to it, I do indeed fail!
    With regard to the glass being half full or empty, I am for the most part a glass half full person. For those who continue to struggle in this area, I counsel them to pour the contents of their half empty glass into a smaller one, thus making the new one more full!
    Blessings,
    Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely understand wallowing. I’ve been there. Like you, I’ve found running (and exercise) to be a great benefit to my mental health. But I also know that mental and physical health go hand in hand—we don’t have the energy to be physically well if we aren’t mentally well. I’m glad you are overcoming that mental obstacle and getting back out there. I’m rooting for you. 👏🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m glad you are running again! That is great news! My glass is half full 😀😀😀. I think we all have moments in life were something bad happens and it makes us think our entire life is over. Us humans can be a bit dramatic. I know I am. Probably more than most. Lol! But I am glad you are doing what you love again

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  9. Well done! Mental health is so important. My meager exercises are not to be compared to running , but the struggle is real. I’ve been so faithful and have seen and felt progress in my mobility yet I so want to give in. Going to the fair did me in. Pity parties are part of life. I’ve been in one, but I think sometimes when we “overdo it” we need to wallow a bit or our body forces us to do that we regain some strength. I’m glad you are running again, and I did my exercises finally, after dinner.
    You are an inspiration! Thank you!

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  10. Stephen, to quote my sister “Running drives away the crazies.” When she couldn’t run after a shoulder surgery, she walked as far as she would normally run. My point being, some of us get that endorphin boost, or zen state or whatever it is we need by running. I will never be one of you, but give me something to create with? All is well. I’m glad you’re running again, if for no other reason than to take care of you and those you hold dear.

    TBH, I never got the half full/empty analogy. The glass is there – what I do or see in it (or with them) is up to me.

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  11. Aw, it is so good to read this post. Good for you! My glass is half full and the rest is filling quickly. I hope yours is too. Sending prayers and positive energy to you, Fionnuala, and your family – may blessings be many and fears be few!

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  12. Do whatever makes you feel better. Personally, I hate running but I understand how it can be a great game changer in terms of feeling better. It has a way of making you feel accomplished. I mean, you ARE running laps around all the other people stuck on their couches. Just remember that!

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  13. My glass is empty because I drank all the milk! But seriously I do find it helpful to try to find at least one good thing about every day even if it’s just I saw a flower outside I liked. Much love and hugs to all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I worried about my health after working so hard after my heart attack. It has been 12 years but I reached a point where my knees won’t or can’t take the pounding. I walk a lot and have added cycling and strength training. Honestly, like you, it is more about my head than my body. Keep on keeping on!

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  15. FANTASTIC! It’s SO good to fead this. I love your honesty. I haven’t been reading your Blog of late, becayse of illness, but I remember your post about the marathon. So glad youvare getting back out there now, though. All the best for yoyr running. Mi know how things like thus are vital to us for so many reasons. Mine was swimming! Prayers coming from here

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  16. In my case the glass is half empty, My 12-step sponsor says it could become half-full but that my self-pity needs to stop.

    They say that I first need to accept accept that I am an addict. Then accept the fact that every time I hit my addiction, I hurt someone. Every time.

    Next, I need to let go of the all the guilt I have held on my shoulders for years.

    Only if it was that easy. It will take a lot for me to fully let go. I will literally have to say to myself, “Okay I did a lot of horrible, nasty things while I was in my addiction but I forgive myself. I know I’m a good person when I’m not in the addiction, and I’m not anymore. So from this point forward, I will accept responsibility for my actions, I will let go of my past and move forward.”

    I will have to practice this. From this day forward I will have to accept responsibility for my actions, that I messed up, let people down, and hurt others around me. But when I do, I need to instantly make an amends and say sorry. Not just the words, but a sincere, truthful apology. If I keep doing that I will learn quickly that as long as I keep my side of the street clean now and stay away from the addiction, I wouldn’t acquire any more guilt.

    Hopefully someday I will be forgiven. I hope my sponsor is right

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      1. Yes, I hadn’t touched upon that, the fact that I can rarely forgive myself. It’s almost as if there are higher standards which I place upon myself than for everyone else. It’s this perfectionist streak which runs through me. When I fail I fall so miserably far from the mark and expectations which I have set for myself that I have no compassion for myself; only contempt. Learning to forgive myself, I suppose would also emtail learning to accept that I am capable of making mistakes and transgressions. This is a difficult area for me to look at because of my perfectionism. Still, if you say it’s possible, than there is hope for me as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Way to go Stephen! My Mom likes to say that whether you’re a glass half empty person or a glass half full doesn’t matter, because the glass refillable 🙂 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:4-6

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  18. Great read. I think you’re right not letting one race determine the long haul and applaud your willingness to press on and keep exercising for the sake of your own well-being. As for me, some days I’m a glass 1/2 full kinda guy. Other days, I’m more 1/2 empty. Some days I’m a bit of both.

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