Done and dusted
Well here we are at the end of the challenge and the end of my daily blog. The blog has acquired a life of its own, I had no real idea what I was going to do on a daily basis but it seemed to work, people appreciated it and so it grew. I would like to thank you for the words of encouragement, words such as honesty and integrity are important to me, though sometimes too important.
It was never about me, the goal was to hopefully give an understanding of how ‘normal’ many mental health issues can be. If it helps one person to feel able to open up and seek support then that would be great. But it would be really wonderful if the 3 in 4 of you who may not be affected by mental health directly, can be open to looking out for friends or family who are reaching out and be prepared to listen.
By listening, I mean real listening, not asking questions as to why, we have professionals to do that. Don’t give solutions that you have read online, or glib answers that can appear judgemental. Let the person speak and listen to what they have to say and let them say it in their own time and own pace. Let them understand that you love them and will support them. It is what I needed, and received, and it is what they need.
I hope that from reading this blog you will realise that it can take a long time to work these things through. Be patient.
I wrote in an earlier blog that therapy provided my map, but to use a map you need a compass. Gill has been my compass. In many ways this has been an open letter to her as much as anything else. Sometimes the hardest conversations are with those you love the most.
Thanks for reading.
On Blogging – many of you have suggested that I continue with the blogging, which is kind of you. I have enjoyed it far more than I thought I would at the start. It was one of those casual challenges that I set myself from time to time (that drip, drip drip of test, test, test). So I probably will, but on a less frequent basis. It will be linked to themes that you have seen here, especially around mental health/well being/music and photography. I care deeply about our attitudes to mental well being at both a personal and ‘professional’ e.g. trustee level. We need to get it right and soon. There is much talk in the media about populist movements so let’s start one around mental well being!
Day 31 – 45 mins
A fairly miserable way to end the challenge.
According to the weather forecast there will be a ‘window of opportunity’ around 11am between 2 wet weather systems – there is – 15 minutes – and I miss it! So I take the car up to the Brigsteer Rd park up and head up Scout Scar. I decide to go anti clockwise so that I will face in to the wind and rain in the first half of the run. There is no crisp snap, crackle and pop feeling underfoot today this is more like running in a bowl of cheap muesli. I get to the top, head for the dreaded mushroom and then turn south in to the rain towards the trig point. A brief stop for a photo, and onward to the far wall. I go through the kissing gate and descend down the slope, then just out the tree line I turn sharp left. The climb back up the hill is my last ascent of the challenge. The wind is behind me now and as I crest the ridge it is all downhill or level. I indulge my inner child and splash through the mud and puddles. Through the last gate and across the racecourse towards the stile in the wall that marks the end. There is one last puddle and I take a large 2 footed jump right in to the middle, mud and water going everywhere – I get back to the car with a stupid grin on my face. It’s over.
On Running – yes I will continue to run but not every day – I will go back to fewer and longer runs, they really are where I gain the mental solace that I seek and where the metronomic small steps become meditational for me. I’ve set myself a challenge to do a long fell race this year probably the Keswick 50km and I may blog about that as well.
On Photography – my creative practice is also my reflective practice, it keeps me on an even keel even though it does frustrate me sometimes. However I am learning to accept those frustrations rather than letting them fuel my frustration and anger. I have the germ of an idea for a new long term project that has come from this month of running. It is to do with the long term of recording of daily life and I am thinking of the allotment I found on the run and the scrapyard. Everything we tend to do is short term today so longer and slower with my photography as well as my running. For those of you that are interested the pictures were taken on a Google Pixel and played with in Snapseed.
Trig Point Wall – Scout Scar