If you know me in real life (or maybe even virtually) you will know that I’m a pretty anxious person.  I’ve suffered from anxiety for quite a long time, and for a long time I honestly had no idea what it was.  I used to lay awake at night as a child convinced I was going to die in the next few minutes.  I’d wake my mum up just so I didn’t have to be alone.  And at the time, I’d feel rather sick to my stomach, so I was convinced that it was my stomach that was causing the issues, not my mind.  It was never talked about, only those moments in the dark were the evidence anything was wrong.

I didn’t know it was anxiety until I was 18 when I took a psychology class.

It took until I was in my 30s to discuss it with a medical professional while I was trying to sort out my headache issues.  And while I was more or less dismissed by this person in relation to the headaches, I was listened to about the anxiety.  It took until then to bring it up because throughout my late teens and 20s, I was able to control it relatively well.  The “episodes” flared up under times of stress, like exams.  I knew to expect it then, so I was ready for the shaking, the crying, the tremors, the feeling of imminent demise.

Once I completed my first Master’s degree and started working in education, the anxiety flared up.  I could barely drive to work without having an episode.  I was terribly grateful that I was given medication to help deal with the symptoms and I could at least get out the door without hoping that I’d get in an accident so I didn’t have to go to work (it’s a very long story, but things weren’t good for me and it was heartbreaking all around, but I won’t bore you all with that right now).

And now, ten years later? While I still have medication to help me out, I have to ration it.  So I run.  I just lace up my shoes and run.  And while these days, I’m usually running towards a goal (a race or a personal goal), it’s still the enjoyment of the wind in my hair and the sun (hopefully) on my face that can clear my mind.

While I was trying to deal with all of the grief and issues from losing my parents, I ran.

While I was trying to deal with the multiple times I didn’t think I’d get to finish my PhD, I ran.

While I was trying to get the blasted thing finished and hit any number of roadblocks, I ran.

It doesn’t always solve all my problems, and certainly there are some runs where it just doesn’t help.  But it is a bit better than it used to be.  And that’s all I can ask for.

 

 

 

This post was written for #mentalhealthawarenessweek.  All thoughts are my own.

 

I haven’t done much running this week, maybe once?

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I’m not sure.  The days seemed to run into one another.  I did spend what seemed an inordinate amount of time doing work for one of my supervisors, and not enough doing real work.  I also spent far too much time watching 24.  Too much in fact, that I’ve now finished watching all 8 seasons in less than 3 weeks.  (avoidance much?)

Anyways, I went for a run today and I didn’t really want to do much thinking.   Since, that’s what I do when I run, perhaps that’s why I’ve been avoiding it.  I don’t believe I got further than OMG today they are recording the last episode of Cabin Pressure *sobs!* (Will Martin find true love and a paying captain’s job?  Will Douglas become a captain again?  Will Carolyn be able to keep GERTI?  Will Arthur still be playing yellow car?***)

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That being said I managed a little over a kilometre before I was done.  Finished.  Deaded.  My heart rate was way too high for the speed I was going; I couldn’t breathe.  So I stopped right there on the path along the water, turned around, and walked home.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that I had only drunk coffee by that point, or the new med I am trying out, but I didn’t like the feeling at all.  Coincidence?

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I’m hoping for a better week, where I perhaps get my life in order.

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***You’re always playing yellow car, duh.

If you follow me on social media, you know that my dad has been ill for a year and a half.  Last night after I called to “talk” to him (he couldn’t respond but he could hear), to say goodbye, he passed away.  Peacefully.

I don’t really talk a lot about my family.  Right now, mainly, because I still miss my mum so much.  Mostly, it’s because I’m a ridiculous woman and a selfish one to boot.

Never seen by me until today (pictures of my parents on their wedding day 17 February 1968)

Never seen by me until today (pictures of my parents on their wedding day 17 February 1968)

 

I am usually loath to admit it, but because of my dad I am who I am.  He always encouraged my “obsessions,” be they what it may; reading, collecting vinyl, music, and most importantly television.

No matter what issues we ever had with each other (mostly because we were so much alike; so quick to temper) we always could come back to a common ground.  If it weren’t for him I’d have never have fallen in love with my all time favourite television show, Blake’s 7 at a young age, and I certainly wouldn’t have met Paul Darrow while I was as an impressionable 10 year old.

My dad took us all to a science fiction convention, most likely so I could meet Kerr Avon in the flesh.  I remember that day so vividly; I was so nervous, but my dad was there with me the entire time.  I couldn’t have done it alone.

He always referred to him as “my Paulie” after that.

Whenever I mentioned liking a new band or a new television show, he would be the first with bootleg tapes and tshirts.  I still have all of my Blake’s 7 memorabilia he bought me as a kid, along with assorted other items that have made up my fandoms over the years.

The one and only family photo in existence (2002 perhaps?)

The one and only family photo in existence (2002 perhaps?)

While we have had our differences over the years, right now I am most grateful for what he did for me two years ago.  Two years ago, when I was very close to my lowest point, he agreed to co-sign my loans that allowed me to go back to Glasgow to finish my Ph.D.

What I now realise, (and hindsight is 20-20) is that all he ever wanted was for me to be happy.  I think that he thought tough love back home was what I needed, when in fact it was not about either of us; it was about a competitive job market for someone without a car.  But that’s neither here nor there.

Most of our conversations over the past few years have been via email, talking about various things, but mostly our interest in the same television shows.  Right now, it’s hard to accept that this has happened.  I’m sure when 24 comes back and the first new Doctor Who episode airs or the NCIS season finale will roll around and I will expect to get an email  . . . only one won’t come, and that’s probably when it will make all of this so real.

For now, the best tribute I can give to my dad, is to sit here on the couch and continue my re-watch of 24.

I’ve been off the grid, because I haven’t really had much to say.  Sorry for the total randomness/brain dump ahead.

To be honest, I happened to open up my blog login because I was curious.  Someone had been talking about blog stats and how they felt that their low volume was depressing.  Honey, you don’t know low volume.  I don’t even have 200 hits this entire *month.*  (I’ve even lost several Facebook followers too.  🙁   Not that I had that many, but when you have less than 30 the lower numbers are so much more obvious.)

While that may sound whiny and passive aggressive (and quite possibly the reason that I have less than 200 views this month) it does make me feel rather pathetic, especially for the length of time that I’ve been blogging.  However, not much I can do about this at the moment. I can’t really expect people to read here, if I am not posting here, and I haven’t had anything to say that wouldn’t have been the following:  *sob* *sob* I miss Molly.  *sob* ZOMG SHERLOCK.  That pretty much sums up the first half of this month.

As for the rest of it:

Running:  Not spectacular.  I missed another training run last week and haven’t run since Sunday.  I did get all my jantastic runs in, although 2 of them were super short.  The weather isn’t helping.  I don’t like to get wet/dirty and I’ve been to lazy to go to the gym.

Planned 10K at Eton in March: Probably isn’t going to happen.  I can’t justify the cost.  While the train fare is reasonable at the moment (if I were to book today), I just can’t afford the additional cost of a hotel + food for a 10K.  I can probably find one locally or just run by myself.  I am bummed out because I was looking forward to it, but I still have vet bills to pay so . . . .

Dissertation writing: Ugh.  I have 2000 words out of 8000.  I probably need to have this sent in in a weeks time.  I just feel like I have no idea what I am doing.  I am probably over thinking it.  I am having one of those very long moments where I am doubting my ability to do this.  FML.

Headache:  Worse than usual.  🙁

Whole 30: On hold.

Reading:  I’ve read 8 novels this month so far.

This can only mean one thing . . .

It’s clear I am depressed.  Even more so than usual.  The weather, no sunlight, grieving over Molly, stressing over finances, all are just bringing me down.  I’m on an anti-depressant (I’ve been on meds for half my life now) aren’t helping.  I do feel better when I run, so it is just getting out the door that is hard (and avoiding the never-ending rain).

If you’re wondering why I am not in therapy (as I often wonder myself), it seems that the services that I am eligible for here, don’t really seem to cover talk therapy (which is what I am most familiar with and comfortable with).  I did see someone a year ago, but it wasn’t helping as she wanted to focus solely on my anxiety issues and I really just wanted to talk about my mum.   I plan on looking into what else is available (perhaps at uni) or if I have to go private or something.  I don’t know.  I do know it is my choice, and the choices I was given were not things I felt comfortable with and processes I knew I would rally against.

At any rate, that’s where I am halfway through January.  I hope the rest of the month gets better.

 (I also need to do something about my blog name, since I haven’t been to spin in ages.  Should I change it?  Suggestions?  Thoughts?)

Yesterday was long run day.  Well, what will be long run day once I get a few more weeks into my training plan.  Had it not been so miserable out yesterday, I could have gone on longer, like last Sunday.  (Only without the getting lost bit.)

Yes, I got lost because at 38 I still can't read a map.

Yes, I got lost because at 38 I still can’t read a map.

However, I was running without having had any coffee, and the cold air wasn’t waking me up, and being in my own head space, well just was not good.  I had to stop several times to keep from losing it completely.   I tried to sing along with my running playlist (I think I need some new tunes) but all I could think about was Molly and how much I missed her and how angry I was at myself for not realising something was wrong sooner and not spending more time with her while I could.   Being in the flat right now, it’s so empty.  But being outside the flat doesn’t give me a reprieve from my thoughts either.  This is hard and it sucks.

I did finish my run (in some new kit that I got to try to cheer myself up [the hat I got isn’t on the website- I will have to take a picture when I wear it again]) and even got my first day of yoga in for the #21daysofyogachallenge.  Oh, and as this run was over the 5K distance, I finished the Virtual Runner race for the month.

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I think I’m getting faster? Still so damn slow though. 🙁

This week I have a few runs planned and also my first day of floor barre class.  I also need to get cracking on writing, (I *only* have 8K to write ha ha ha I’m screwed) but all I feel I can do is wallow in sadness.

*sigh*