I just want it to be over. I know I should be happy, excited and a whole jumble of things, including grateful. Instead, I am somber. My mood is low. I don’t want to do anything.
This marathon has taken over my life and not in the good life-affirming, catalyst for positive change way. It has taken over my life in the way that an illness does. It invades my daily routine with its demands. It saps my energy. It must always be considered.
My body has changed but again it has changed in unwelcome ways. I am about 2 dress sizes bigger and no, it isn’t muscle. It’s surprisingly common to gain weight whilst marathon training. A combination of exhaustion and low mood has fed my appetite for sugary food. I don’t feel like myself. This depresses me further. I had begun to develop my own personality which was no small feat with my personality disorder. BPD makes you feel empty inside, that you are a vacant cavernous nothing at your core. Developing a sense of personality feels like slowly unwrapping a lovely present. Losing my sense of self feels like standing on a desolate beach with nothing around you but a cold wind.
My training has not been as I had wanted. I have struggled. This was due, in part, to low iron levels but I found out about this too late in the day. I haven’t clocked up the miles as I’d wanted, my pace almost embarrasses me because I know I am capable of so much better. I’ve had enough therapy to know that this is my unrelenting standards schema. Unfortunately I’ve not had enough therapy to figure out how to whack that particular mole back into it’s hole.
Running the London Marathon for the NSPCC was supposed to be my moment. The point in my life where I showed that I CAN! Where I took my scars and did something bloody positive about them. Instead I feel crushed with disappointment. I knew that raising £2200 would be a challenge and I was up for that challenge. However the challenge has far exceeded what I expected, another thing to worry about and to scold myself over. I’m up to about £1500 now. The trouble is that I’m a bit of a hermit. I don’t have colleagues. I don’t do social things. I have a huge extended family that I don’t have contact with due to distance and my mental health complications. I won’t quit. I’ll get to that total, but I’m disappointed in myself that I have most definitely not, smashed it.
Today the kids, husband and I have been to visit a very ill relative in hospital. He’s due to have open heart surgery tomorrow and I can’t help but think that really, in the context of everything, this marathon thing doesn’t matter. It further confuses me. Am I supposed to be excited or actually should I be humble and blasé? Never mind what I’m supposed to feel – what do I actually feel? Ah! Just the depressed dread.
There has been continued encouragement and reassurance from the running community. I feel guilty and undeserving of their kindness (that’s the defectiveness schema I think). When people reassure me that I will do it on the day and I mostly agree – because this is me and stubbornness runs through me. However, what isn’t seen, is that in achieving this one goal, this one thing, that I have lost other things that matter to me. I question whether I will manage to complete my Reflexology course. My mood, my body, and my bank balance have all been victims of this bloody marathon and for what? For a day where I may end up spending the majority of the day dissociated just to cope with the overwhelming emotions. Imagine experiencing the London Marathon without actually experiencing it? To complete it and feel nothing because your self protecting emotional shut down mechanism has been activated. I’m scared of the emptiness I’ll feel when I cross the line. The nothingness numbness, the ‘what was the bloody point in that’ ness.
Training – or attempting to train – for the London Marathon has trampled all over me but it will not steal my love of running. If anything, the whole experience has made me more resolute to run and enjoy it, to do the type of running that I want to do (not marathons, that much is clear).
I cannot wait for the marathon to be over so that I can run again! Run again my way, with my choices instead of being a slave to the 26.2.
I’m sorry it’s such a moan but in the midst of social media showing me people smashing their fundraising targets, cranking out PBs, experiencing delight at running 20 miles and generally being all positive, I wanted to add the other side. The running community are fabulous, no doubt about that, and we love cheering people on and celebrating their successes. So we should too – it’s bloody brilliant. However balance is always a good thing and this is my marathon truth. This is why I’m saying never again.
With the final 26.2 miles to go on Sunday the 28th of April 2019 I am hoping to begin to find my way back to myself. Cheered on by strangers and surrounded by my people I will find my way to the finish where I can collect my medal. That medal will be a full stop. Enough now. That’s enough. You don’t have to prove anything. You are done.
If you want to help boost my fundraising and feel goods then my JustGiving link is:
… I think…
PS if the text is yellow I have no idea why or how to fix it