Mental Health Awareness Week Day 2
The Philosopher’s White Line
Running is an activity that gives me the time and opportunity to draw metaphors of life from it. I often compare elements of the good, the bad and the smelly trails and road slurry spray, with experiences in life, as well as with future aspirations, hopes & expectations.
I once read that for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder it was better to not make plans.
Because with plans comes a heightened sense of purpose, and a drive so spirited and passionate it envelopes all else around it: however, should that purpose not be achieved in an acceptable form surpassing original intentions, then the once-fantastical plan easily becomes a guilt-ridden burden of failure and hopelessness. The experience obtained between start and whatever the end result is, is often logged in the memory as shame. A major depression usually ensues.
Some of the traits of bipolar disorder are so heavily linked to emotion – indeed, emotions so intense that they can crush or exacerbate the heart, soul, hope and happiness of a person in the blink of an eye – that separating passion from logic would be like separating tar from honey.
Running in this challenge, I am dealing with plans not just going awry, but positively developing in a way I never expected.
My anxiety levels peak on the road when dealing with traffic, the stress so great I almost burst with rage. They also peak again as I’m nearing the end and I realise I really have no clue where to get help from for the next lodging.
I am having to deal with scrapping the original meticulously detailed plan – in hindsight it was ridiculous to have created one considering my expected outcome of failure vs irrational/delusional expectation of being capable of achieving anything I envisage – and literally following my nose down the road. This is not without a whiff of shame, disappointment, or failure.
Having faith in society, when I fear drivers are purposefully targeting me for Grand Theft Auto points.
Believing in my purpose when I sometimes question whether I have really lost the plot to even conceive of an idea.
And realising that the white line on kerb side of the road is really all I need to follow, the definition of existence between my challenge – facing the threats, obstacles and indeed the road ahead – and doing nothing.
Whilst I continue to follow it, it will lead me home. With every step, I am showing that not knowing how, or why, or when, can be just as acceptable and rewarding as knowing every detail, and following every plan to the letter.
Sometimes, the white line is all we need to fulfil our lives: with faith in ourselves and faith in society, an extraordinary outcome can be achieved, so long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other.