I started this blog post less than a week ago and I’m so very glad I didn’t post it.
If there’s something I’m learning (intermittently), it’s that I cannot always rely on my own advice and judgement. Much to my own dismay. My opinions, my feelings, my emotions are not merely clouded, they are cloaked in darkness and a foray of energy-sapping hogwash that I truly start to believe my own misery as authentic and real.
That’s not good. It’s not the case, and it’s likely not the last time it will happen.
I’ve left the original post below to share how my thoughts are drifting as I try not to skid sideways onto my Saturday start line; an air of grace wouldn’t go amiss.
What I’ve learnt is that my medication management is a rather important part of my life right now. Recently I was lax with taking my medication. I’ve done this before, just going to bed too late and then feeling too tired to hunt out the meds and count them out and refill the water bottle so I can take them all individually. Day-in, day-out. So sometimes I just can’t be bothered and want to sleep because I know I’ll just have more the next day.
Unfortunately, two days into this same bothersome ritual, mixed with emotions surrounding my event, family, finances, the usual, I started to become detached at the seams. Irritated. Anxious. Ratty. Jumpy. Restless. Nightmares. Wanting to roar at the wretchedness of my life. Craving only chocolate, coffee and croissants. Unable to run, rest, read or relax. I was miserable. The thought of being able to take on this challenge was just, well, ridiculous!
But somehow I kept going with the sharing, I reached out and pleaded with the public for support for lodgings, driving, essential kit, supporting as a cyclist, for motivation, to keep me on track, to keep me from giving in to my condition. I worry more about being lonely on this adventure than I do about going hungry (although I really am not keen on being hungry with so much ahead of me). As I shared, people responded, and the light within me started to glow once more.
Wow, an E.T. moment, or what!
The voluntary support itinerary is slowly filling up, a new sponsor (Wild Trail) has been added to the support team – especially since I owned up to saying that my nutrition budget was about £150 for the 6 weeks. That’s a lot of porridge and vegetables to consume! Fortunately I can now count on this blossoming Welsh company to keep me nourished at my pitstops on everybody’s favourite trail food. Nom, nom.
Sharing the story with the press is starting to happen thanks to people taking my story to them and speaking on my behalf, a god-send when the phone is more your enemy than your friend.
Rupert Moon, who supported me as a fledgling artist starting eden with pencils, brought me into contact with Ash Dykes (with adventure stories that sound straight out of a scary Tin Tin saga) for great endurance advice and documentary support; Ryan Roberts in Bangor who is a staunch supporter of mental health charity Combat Stress; Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias who offered pertinent tips on sharing information to great effect and also great food and coffee; and Wild Trail, a snack bar after my own ethical heart.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, be they the devil’s procrastination or support outlets for those (like me) who find it very easy to become reclusive and detached from the world, has turned into a veritable support network that has transgressed from the virtual into the real…as in real people will really be supporting me, and I haven’t met them yet! (My mum would be doing cartwheels if I told her this.)
Now, I am positively doing forward Frosby flops in my skin as I frantically finalise all of my admin, itinerary, nutrition, kit, and, even though to this day I still don’t have a cyclist for days 2-5 or a support driver from day 3-6, I’m quite positive about the whole experience working out just fine.
So, that little gremlin that poked its head out less than a week ago has retreated, and Mogwai is finally back on the scene, ready to roll south, and south again…
…to the End of the Land; for the beginning of the story.
(Read at your peril, it’s rather dark)
Faith is an important part of life. It need not be religious but it can certainly be spiritual.
Having faith in an idea is one thing, keeping it when the road becomes murky, twisted, thick with obstacles or leads to a crevasse, is something else entirely.
I feel I have reached that impasse on this journey: I’m struggling to keep the faith in the idea of this run because it relies too heavily on the goodwill and grace of others to donate their time to see it through. I have always been an independent person, and asking for help rarely comes to pass. So asking is no small task, it eats away considerably at my self-confidence and fattens my anxiety.
In just six days I start a quest – originally fuelled out of anger, resentment and self-pity. Also self-loathing.
So incensed by a government that seeks to marginalise me, I simply felt that I had to show each and every one of them what it means to survive, with a mental illness.
Being pigeon-holed, having had to work from within a glass cage my entire policing career for being female and a mother, I thoroughly resent how society perceives its most vulnerable and treats them as separate citizens. No one is second class. This challenge would be a suit of armour to wear into the battle of the stigma.
Why me? These are the two words that knock around in my head until I cry myself to sleep.
Why me? As if I didn’t already have enough to deal with as I feel like a square peg being asked to jump into a round hole.
Why me? A nobody failure living in a remote town without close friends, no social life, no car, not a penny in the bank, a pocketful of dreams, deciding that the answers would come by throwing caution to the wind and putting blind faith in many strangers.
Why me. Why not me? There is only so much I can ask, write, say, retweet, post, email, within my own reach, and after that I have to have faith that others will understand the plight, understand the battle, maybe even empathise. And the reach will grow. And somewhere along the lines, there will be those who will come forward and become a part of the journey. Just for one day.