Stay in the sun when the sunshine is gone, and you will find that the sunshine lives within you.
As we are in the middle of Mental Health Week, I thought I would share a little about my own story and what makes me tick; or not as is sometimes the case!
Things came to a massive head in 2019. My Step-Dad, Father-in-Law & Dad had all died within a couple of years of each other, from the same horrific type of Cancer and I had been present when all of them passed. In July of that year, we spread my Dads ashes and then, walking away from the Memorial Garden, I had the fall that has changed my whole life. I won’t go into the details of that, mainly because I can’t remember much but also because I have rightly or wrongly, put the emotions of the early days of my recovery into a little box and filed it somewhere safe for another day.
My Anxiety & Depression continued to spiral until my head exploded. It didn’t explode in the literal sense, but that is the only word I can find to explain how it felt. I have gone through every emotion you can think of; along with the self-loathing, things will never get better, feelings that then consume every single part of your day and night.
Christmas Day 2020, I saw a post on Facebook advertising a Charity challenge to run 50 miles in January, in support of Maggie’s in Cheltenham; and then, like Forrest Gump, I just kept on running.
Running frees me, it distracts me and it releases those all-important happy chemicals in your brain, the runners high!
I now support a different charity every month, that in itself gives you a sense of worth, and do a mixture of Running, Walking, Rowing & time on the Cross Trainer to get my miles in, usually between 60 & 100 a month.
Earlier this year, I joined Sunflowers as a Volunteer and continue to make progress with my Mental Health, it’s still very hard but I now just head towards the Sunshine.