It’s November 2017 and I’m poorly.
It’s not the usual coughs and sneezes that bother me (I’ve probably jinxed it now!) Anyway, no, not that. Something harder to explain. For example strong feelings of abandonment and rejection (cheery innit?) clang inside me like a hammer on a gong, reverberating around. I don’t have much in the way of a social life, an occasional coffee with someone from the inner circle is my lot but, of course, it is the festive season so apparently I should be seeing lots of friends and family and partying away.
That’s not going to happen. Firstly because there isn’t a social circle there for me and secondly because even if there were I’d hide from it. So with resignation I accept that Christmas will be no less isolated than usual.
The anxiety is fairly rampant at the mo with shakes, internal jitters, a message randomly plays in my brain telling me I’m going to die (isn’t everyone, eventually?!) Now, add in the regular thought that I should stop leaving the house. Ugh. (I’m doing it though, I’m still going out). The emotional deadness and really unwelcome intrusive thoughts rob me of my energy. When these thoughts turn to urges then that’s really tough.
So, what am I going to do about it?
Well, I’m going to run, of course!
I mean obviously I’ll take my tablets and use the strategies I’ve learned and look after myself but really, truthfully, all of that isn’t enough on its own. At this time of year I’m a borderline skating on the borderline; I can see and dip a toe into the dark side, feeling it dangerously close but equally I can twirl back over into the place of wellness. In truth I find that I’m bouncing between the two repeatedly, daily.
Now depression likes to say everything is pointless. Arguing with depression about this is energy and time consuming and, ironically pointless! I spoke to M about this and she told me that really, if we stopped and thought about things, then pretty much most stuff is pointless. This made me laugh. She was right! So probably best to keep doing things even if they appear pointless: agreed!
However having a goal (or a purpose or a point) is helpful to me and a challenge all the more so. Fortunately my good friend Running is always there with an idea or two. This is why running fits so well into my recovery plan. There are all sorts of goals and challenges I can set myself. Goals and challenges with deadlines! The deadline thing is essential to me (we all know about SMART targets yes?). I’m a classic start-something-and-don’t-see-it-through but deadlines give me focus, an end point and then I can reward myself when I reach it, which is extra nice!
I saw a couple of challenges that appealed:
- 12 days of Christmas run streak – running every day for 12 days in a row
- 50 miles in December
I’ve never done a run streak before but, as I’m feeling extra shitty right now, I think it could help prevent the black dog from getting too cosy. I’ve pledged to run at least a mile a day for 12 days. I won’t win anything, there’s no medal. It’s just for me. Something I am doing just for myself, for my own personal health and satisfaction and that is plenty.
But also it’s cool because the 50 mile challenge is a virtual race and I DO get a medal for that one! Boom! A medal just for running a bit? That’ll make even my misery chops smile!
So there we go warriors, winter is upon us and we’re all feeling crappy. Let each of us grab our weapons of choice be they lemsip, knitting needles, box sets, trainers (for me), or whatever!
YES! IT IS ALL POINTLESS! All of it!…Except…we might just get to feel a little bit happier and be a little more healthy which, actually, is a really good point after all.