Usually I head into a new year with a level of optimism and hope, and 2019 was no exception. While I was still struggling with my mental health I had plans and ideas that I thought would change things, especially financially.
The end of 2019 was bumpy to say the least; notably, I had started level 2 of the counselling course in September, but had to give it up after three weeks because I had a complete meltdown, and couldn’t do it. I also lost my PIP benefit. Both of these had a massive impact on my mood and self confidence.
While there were successes in 2019, my overriding feelings from the year were ones of increasing frustration and failure. All the plans and goals had slipped away to nothing; I felt as though I had slipped down the mountain, past base camp and back to square one.
2020 did not seem appealing to me, I almost wanted to stop it coming; however it approached in its unrelenting manner. Every day running up to New Years Eve, I could feel my anxiety levels rising, and the depression getting worse. For the first time I would be starting a new year with no clear goals and very little direction.
The loss of the benefits was probably the biggest punch I took, and I am still reeling from the impact because it was so sudden. The benefits made me feel as though I was contributing financially, and I could use some of the money for the challenges I was planning. Once again I have had to beg the DWP to reconsider, but when their system is the way it is, I don’t hold out much hope.
I had a plan of the fundraising challenges I was going to set myself for 2020, I had even arranged for an interview with the local newspaper to try and drive donations, which I cancelled because there was just no point. It was like everything had been washed away.
Despite the setbacks, and with Kim’s never faltering support, I have decided not to give up completely, no matter how much my mind wants to. I have accepted that I can’t do all the things I wanted to (a bit like a child realising they won’t get all the Christmas presents they want!!!!) so have had to be selective.
I have committed to running two marathons this year, Milton Keynes (3rd May) and The Great Hertfordshire AONB (7th June).
In addition I have signed up to walk 1000 miles in 2020, which is run by Country Walking magazine.
In a way it may be good that I can’t do all the challenges I wanted to, because even with the ones I have selected, my mind is processing a mixture of excitement and blind panic. I want to do the challenges but I worry about the training and the time pressure, and worst of all, failing!
I struggle with time, so why do I keep putting myself under time pressures? I have to train for the marathons, which means I will sign up to 100 mile challenges with Race At Your Pace for February, March and April; at the same time I need to walk at least 2.7 miles per day to hit the 1000 mile mark by the end of the year……
Deciding not to do something just feels like failing, but then I am driven by the fear of failing to do one of my challenges.
I hope you’re following this? This is how the voices in my head work.
I have Kim’s support, which is amazing, and my counsellor said we can work through any issues or barriers that come up, during our sessions. I also know I have a lot of support from friends and that helps to keep me going.
Guess it is time to get the trainers out of Christmas hibernation pretty soon……
Thank you, thank you, thank you.