What I understood about my journey to diagnosis and beyond, after running 1800 miles across the UK, came out (unexpectedly, I must add) in the form of a poem.
Some words need life breathing into them, others just drip off the tongue like honey.
It’s a peculiar time right now. Nothing appears to follow any order, routine, sequence or plan. Each day, in fact each hour, is a different story to tell, a different emotion heralding a seemingly different outcome. It’s confusing.
Keeping a focus on running now is harder than it was five months ago. Back then I was running to free myself from the shackles of a shame, a stigma—self-created no doubt—and a sense of loss. Loss of who I thought I was and what I would end up doing if only I just kept on…keeping on?
It all seems so much more complex than I wanted it to be. I’m still getting to grips with being social on all sorts of social media. It’s unnerving. I’m still petrified of using a phone and yet for every tweet one part of me says – get involved, make it sassy, make it witty, be casual, be bright & bubbly – then before I know it the other half is whimpering with fear that someone will take offence, that someone will not understand and confront me and I’ll be forced to retire from social media altogether. It’s a situation that isn’t making my task to campaign loud and proud easy by any stretch of the imagination. Some days the social bit is so overwhelming that I take naps to climb down from the ceiling.
This whole sense of mirky-jiggly-ness is part of my condition. I understand that now and I need it to run its course. But it’s flipping hard. I rested yesterday, but for the rest of the week I have mileage to gain. I’m also going to shoot a little video of what I’m doing to help my running. Some of them I am honing in on to build my resilience, such as yoga and meditation.
Focusing on the running alone would be very welcome right now.
My head is at war, it’s a little like a part of me has discovered mutiny, things just aren’t adding up, I’m not sure why I ever thought this was a good idea, I’m rubbish with numbers anyway. Organising lodgings, getting my kit across the country, having some support on the road, it’s all starting to weigh on my mind. I haven’t figured out food yet. I’m resigning myself to flannel baths. And so far my current Hoka One Ones have about two weeks running left in them before they need to be retired. My mind is screaming to jack it in. Why bother?! Why do this when no one cares! Everyone has their own issues, everyone is raising money for something, why on earth would what I do make a difference to anybody when I can’t even manage to make a living.
I am honestly asking myself, “why don’t I just close up shop, say I can’t, and head back under the duvet until the episode has passed? Or even stay there?” Is that unreasonable?
I don’t know what it is exactly that is keeping me going on this tightrope of a course, but whatever it is it’s pushing me. It’s reminding me of the primary school in Enfield where small children needed help. It’s making me think of my friend Gavin Zibe who took his own life just when he needed help the most. It’s a feeling that is stronger than me.
It’s telling me, like a quiet whisper, that this can make a difference, even for just one person.
And so the fight goes on.