As time passes, it is the little things that show me how my brain has changed through its interaction with depression. A mole hill becomes a mountain. A small inconvenience can become a massive tragedy.
Two nights ago my throat started to feel sore. You know that sweet feeling you get in the back of your throat before a cold? And the hard lump that makes swallowing uncomfortable? I went to sleep making excuses. Dust from sanding things down. Paint fumes irritating.
I woke yesterday morning. My throat still sore. The hard lump uncomfortable. My nose was itchy, my head slightly stuffy.
Panic. “How can I carry on my training which is so so early on and every run important in extending my staying power? If I don’t run today when will I start again and will I have to start all over again? Every run counts. Every day is important. Every single run needs to happen within a couple of days of the last or I will need to start all over again. I can’t start all over again.”
It was the beginning of a cold, but my very real panic was whether to run through it and risk making it worse and potentially missing lots of days, or whether to hold off, dose myself up with everything that might help kick the cold to touch, and give myself a day off.
I searched Mr Google “can I run with a cold?” and the overwhelming advice that came out was that if it is above your throat, running is ok. If it is in your throat or your chest or both, then running is a no no. Obediently I decided to stop, have the day off, get lots of drugs from Boots, and hope that this cold would go nowhere. I had to go shopping anyway, so while not running I did walk and walk and walk through the day.
Today I woke up, and the cold seems to have been halted. It hasn’t gotten any worse, and my throat might even feel a bit better. With echinacea, garlic, and zinc taken this morning, I have to stay in and wait for a delivery, but after that I am going to attempt a run. If I don’t complete it it is not the end of the world. But believing that is a hard thing. It seems that now my head is hard wired to believe the worst possible outcome of every inconvenience. My brain will rush forward 6 months and see the failure emblazoned over my life. It actually takes a lot of effort now to break things down and look at situations logically and sympathetically, and with kindness to myself.
A cold is a cold. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a small inconvenience, and it could potentially delay my training. But training if I can’t breathe properly would be pretty pointless anyway, wouldn’t it? It would be draining at least, and potentially make me feel worse. In the *cold* light of day I can see how unreasonable I am being on myself. But it has taken 24 hours to realise that. To reflect and allow things to run their course as much as possible.
Today as I write this, there is a lot of news coverage around Mental Health. The Liberal Democrats are seeking to improve waiting targets for sufferers. Katharine Welby-Roberts is on the BBC talking about media coverage and the stigma from those around us as sufferers.
We are still a long long way from wide understanding and acceptance as sufferers of Mental Health issues. And for me, it is understanding from myself too.
If you would like to sponsor me as I train and run the London Marathon, please click the button to the right of the blog entries. I am raising money for SANE