I had a really rough weekend.

My sister overdosed on Friday and spent the weekend in the hospital. She’s been in emergency many times before but this time I really thought I might actually lose her.

She couldn’t speak properly or see well. She couldn’t feel her body and she had problems with her memory.

And she was terrified. It was so heartbreaking to watch her cry. She kept asking if I could forgive her and that she did it for “a lot of reasons”.  The most painful part is that I know exactly how she feels. Why she does what she does.

It’s like a dark cloud that will not lift. And fear – all the time. It’s a pressure on your chest. And loneliness. Knowing that if you screamed, nobody would hear you. That nobody would care. And you’d do anything to numb the pain. To just forget. And in a desperate search for relief, you want to hurt yourself.

That’s how I started to run. Because running hurt. My muscles ached and I couldn’t breathe. Like an ice pick through your heart, it focused my mind on only trying to not collapse. The greater the physical pain, the deeper the emotional relief. It felt good to push until I could push no more.

My sisters and I – our lives are plagued with struggle. Ultimately we’re just trying to survive. And sometimes it takes yet another brush with death to remember how many times running has saved my own life.

Emma is home now, but you never quite recover from these things. They make you feel helpless and angry and scared all at the same time. It’s like my old horror story of a life sweeping back in and I’m powerless to stop it.

I just run… because it’s all I know how to do.