Sunday, 20 November 2011


I still get reminders. Days that feel as hopeless and dark as they used to.

Luckily they are relatively few and far between. They still don't feel any less real, or any easier to deal with. In some ways it feels like there is more to lose. I'm daring to dream, daring to do more than that. I'm daring to back myself again and put trust in my own ability, drive and my own sense of who I am.

But that allows for self-doubt to creep in. Whether it be work, relationships, money, or just whether I like myself very much. I question myself. Am I really good enough/fit enough/strong enough to achieve my racing goals? Am I driven/committed/intelligent enough to find a job I excel in and enjoy? Will I actually end up in a relationship where I am happy and make the other person happy? Does it matter? It's not life or death... in fact, for the most part I'm not even risking hurting anyone else. Perhaps I should stop being so self-obsessed.

I've thrown away a proverbial safety blanket of doing only what I know I can do. I've started taking more risks again. Nothing special in many ways. Nothing that any normal person wouldn't associate with living a full life. I'm trusting my mental strength to see me through. So, when my head has a wobble, it is that much harder.

Today, I had a wobble. No specific reason behind it. I woke up feeling panicked, empty and deeply low. A horrible, introverted, unattractive self-loathing. I've done nothing all day. I've not wanted to communicate. I've not wanted to do, or be anything. I've not told anyone... in fact, I've had no direct communication with anyone all day. Not even the electronic kind. I don't want it.

I hate that I've lost a day... but while my head feels unable to comprehend being able to do anything with what remains of Sunday, already I have a tiny chink of optimism about Monday. I want to run. I want to feel damp, clammy, cold autumn air fill my lungs, sweat condense on my base layer, cold muscles warming from the inside out. Maybe, after that, things will feel a little brighter, a little more achievable again.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Moving on, staying me

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this blog.

For those of you who don't know, I've set up a new website:

I decided to set it up, as it is very much about looking forward and new goals. I've always said I don't want depression to define me. And I don't want it to define my future.

A new website and new longer term goals has coincided with a more positive, more stable outlook in general. I feel more confident, happier (yup - actual happiness) and genuinely feel like I'm enjoying life at the moment. I'm still having therapy, which is helping me maintain focus. In fact, I'm considering lowering my dose of anti-depressants (with support from my GP of course).

I will continue to update this blog, particularly when talking about "head stuff", but for the time being my ramblings will be more frequent over on the other side.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


I went to a therapy assessment today. I asked for a referral from my GP a few weeks ago. I've mentioned on here that I've been through a course of CBT and how beneficial that was.

Over the last few months though, I've become increasingly aware that there are so many other issues which are nagging there. But, fundamentally, I'm just not that happy a lot of the time. I'm not the person I know I can be, I know I have been, and I am utterly determined to rediscover the drive and confidence I once had.

I know some of the things I need to do to achieve this, but there are other areas where I feel like I'm spinning around in circles and simply feel weak, helpless and lost. I had a 45mins consultation with a therapist today. The idea was to work out what the most appropriate next steps will be.

It's bloody hard sitting opposite a stranger and talking about how many times you think about killing yourself. It's even harder trying to consider whether you would ever actually go through with those thoughts (I don't believe I will by the way). But, we talked or rather, I did. The therapist suggested something called IPT. I'd never heard of it, but it sounds like it has the potential to be incredibly beneficial.

I'm now exhausted. Deeply, deeply tired. The sadness and stress of yesterday, on top of the raw exposure of my deepest thoughts today have taken their toll. Time to sleep.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Two people

Sitting in the office.
Eyes beginning to fill.
Confirmation of what I maybe already knew.
The end of uncertainty?
What is better? A chance of happiness, no matter how remote, or the safety of the grey?
Relationships... two people.
I can think about my own feelings, I can choose to commit, I can offer my love. No matter how hard the decision is to risk everything, the decision is in my hands.
But then, the other person has to make a decision. Is it right for them? Can they take that risk? Are they ready to?
We came to different conclusions.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

1 month to go...

Just over actually, but a month of proper "training" time to go until the Nokia Coast to Coast.

I honestly can't describe the exercise that I've been doing as training. It has lacked real structure... and fluctuated according to my moods. There have been time when bigger issues have stripped any motivation away, and other times where exercise has felt like the only medicine that worked.

I'm a little scared about what I face, scared of the pain mainly. But, overall, I bloody can't wait.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Keep taking the medicine

40mg Citalopram daily
One programme of CBT complete
And something new... I'm meeting with a counsellor on Wednesday to decide whether it will be appropriate/useful for me to have some more general talking therapy. At my last appointment with my GP, I discussed with her that I still feel as though there are underlying root causes to my depression that I'm simply not getting to the bottom of. I hope this might help.
I'm also aware that I'm putting myself through lots of additional stress at the moment (see last post). For the most part I'm coping fine, but I also know that there are the odd signs that it is getting to me. I'm having more "off days", and my sleep is less settled. Not surprising in many ways, and I'm not overly worried, but also know that if I'm not careful I could slide down much deeper, which will help no one.
So, despite really, really not in the mood, I'll be going out for a run today. It's all part of the medicine.


Love. A very little word, that covers an incredible range of attached emotions.
According to all romantic comedies love will conquer all. No matter how dumb the people have been, no matter how impossible the situation, love will shine through. It's just meant to be... and it is.
Back in reality. A little look back over my relationship history. Bit of a late start with serious girlfriends. I wasn't a particularly good looking, or confident teenager. But since then... serial monogamist is probably a an accurate, if not entirely flattering description. Lived with three different girls. Had other shorter relationships in-between the serious ones. I ended most, feeling guilt ridden that I was hurting someone whom I cared about. And I always did care... but deep down, knew I didn't love.
Nearly a year ago, things were different. I could feel a relationship that had felt different to any other slipping through my fingers. But in some ways that was the least of my worries. I was beginning to suffer from panic attacks I was permanently exhausted. The quality of my work was slipping. I couldn't concentrate on anything. I felt the deepest, clawing sadness, that I couldn't escape from. And to make matters worse, I had lost any ability to articulate what was going on.
Fast forward a few months, and the first girl I had ever known I was going to spend the rest of my life with was leaving. Moving out. The end of the relationship. She needed to for her own health and sanity as much as mine. The stress and strain of trying to cope with everything broke her too. I will feel eternally guilty for the pain I caused. There was no big bang. No finality. Just like the sea gradually reclaiming a sandcastle... it was gradually washed away, drowned in bigger individual problems.
As time went on, there were bouts of awkward, painful contact. I would be left reeling for days afterwards. It felt as though it would be better for both of us to simply not see each other at all. But there was always a curious, or fateful draw. And the meetings became less painful. There was always a feeling of deep emptiness afterwards though. We both opened up. Both talked. Both began to understand, forgive, move on. But as that happened, old emotions were reawakened. I don't think I ever stopped loving her, but at least when there was little or no contact, there was no reminder. It almost felt cruel. A few hours of blissful life in a bubble. Talking and laughing and being "us", before returning back to the house that used to be ours. To the double bed that I now sleep in the middle of. Despite this, I couldn't help but be drawn back for more. And neither could she. Regular Thursday evenings. The odd day trip. Sometimes staying over. Jokes and frivolous emails exchanged daily.
But all the time in our bubble. No real interaction with the other people who are important in our life. Always just us. Always with gnawing fears lurking in the back of our minds. Must not get too deep. Must not let this affect our own mental health. Must not get hurt. Must not fall back in love.
I fell back in love. She tells me she has too, and I believe her... except when I'm lying in bed by myself, feeling vulnerable and scared. Then, for a while at least, my mind runs riot. Thoughts of jealousy. Insecurity.
We talked. And still talk and talk. Do we do this? Do we really get back together, after everything? Are we strong enough to? Why weren't we strong enough before? Is this honestly the right thing to do? What happens if I get ill again? How would we cope? What if I hurt her? What if I get hurt? How do we rebuild the trust with friends who were there for me, but not her?
And now... limbo. Too in love to walk away. Too scared to take the next step. The safety of the bubble threatens to be popped. We both know that we need to make a decision. And have utter conviction in that choice.
This is never in those bastard films.
I don't want to lose her all over again. I need to be strong enough to be able to though.