Marathon Man – My Running Journey, Part 1.

Monday 6th May 2019 will forever be marked as one of the greatest days of my life; the day I completed the Milton Keynes Marathon!

All the books and articles about mental health that I have read say that exercise is great therapy; walking the dog worked, but I wanted more, I wanted to lose the Homer Simpson gut that too much alcohol had given me; I also wanted to achieve something, anything.

I started running short distances because that’s all I could manage, the problem was that I had no idea how far I was going, so I decided to get a running app on my phone called ‘Map My Run’.  The first recorded distance I achieved was 4.75k, which was a pretty good effort.

Motivation was a big problem for me, especially when the depression got bad; it’s easy to talk yourself out of things at the best of times, but when I hit rock bottom I just couldn’t scrape myself off the sofa.  I needed a goal, something that would get me out and running. Read more

Depressed or Just Ungrateful?

I am really struggling with the depression at the moment, I don’t feel as though I am getting anywhere, which really brings me down, I lose motivation and end up thinking ‘what’s the point?’

It’s not to say that nothing good is happening, it’s just that they seem short lived, and the negative stuff soon overwhelms the positive.  Because of this I then get stressed that I am being ungrateful for the good things that are happening, and the progress I am making.  It’s a vicious cycle.

The main area I am struggling with is work, and not being able to earn money.  This is a big cause of the depression because it makes me feel useless and a burden.  The problem I have is that I pretty much have to start a career from scratch.  It is hard enough trying to change industries when you have a job, throw in some serious anxious triggers, being out of work for 3 years and a mental health disability and the options are pretty slim.

So what’s stopping me from working? Read more

Back to School – Introduction to Counselling, Level 2

I left school when I was 17; I had finished my A-Levels and couldn’t get out of the place quick enough.

It is safe to say that I hated school, or maybe I should say my school; it was fine if you were one of the smart ones or really good at sports, but if you were somewhere in the middle you kind of went unnoticed.

The place was also a breeding ground for anxieties which I pretty much kept to myself. Read more

Cherish the Positives Whilst Fighting the Demons.

When you are struggling with anxiety and depression, it can be really difficult to notice anything positive that happens, most things slip under the radar so quickly that you miss them completely.

It is these positive moments that are really important to try and notice, and when you do, you need to grab hold of them and don’t let them go; they are like precious gems.

Gem - Photo by carole smile on Unsplash

The problem is that the negative moments always seem more overwhelming than the positive ones.  Last week was a great week for me; I had an article published in the Hitchin Comet (my local newspaper) and I completed the first challenge of my ‘Adventures of an Anxious Mind’. Read more

Time Pressures and Amended Goals.

One of my biggest anxiety triggers is time pressure.  Most people will be able to relate in some way to this because modern life is run at a fast pace, and we don’t seem to be able to take a break.

For me most of the time pressure came at work, I was snowed under and never felt as though I was on top of the workload, I always seemed to be playing catch-up.  E-mails were the biggest problem for me because the time taken for people to respond was pretty quick.  It is the speed of modern communication that causes a lot of additional stress at work because people can respond almost instantaneously, or jump on the phone as soon as they have seen your e-mail (sometimes without reading it properly…..)

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The pressures of time also spread to my home life; working Monday to Friday, it only left the weekend to do homey things, such as cleaning.  I had so much I needed to squeeze into a weekend that it was Monday before I even knew where I was. Read more