On the 29th of May this year I completed my first real run/jog/walk as fast as my little legs would take me in the Edinburgh Half Marathon. I raised money for Macmillian Cancer support in memory of my Dad and my Aunt both of whom I had lost to cancer. It was a big ask but hey I did it in 3 hrs 9 mins and blah blah seconds. Here is my picture to prove it!
It was amazingly good fun and I had a friend by my side spurring me on however, once it was over I had an overwhelming sense of pain. I had my legs massaged by the lovely support workers before making my way to the car. The car that my lovely husband parked 2 miles away from the finish! During this walk my knee went pop and my sciatica started playing up. Well not to bother I would get a hot bath and massage later (inner yay!) We then made our way to get some lunch. Fairly normal you would have though but no not for this Bipolar Mama. Food is my ultimate go to coping device when I have an episode. It is how I have always coped from the age of 5 until now. This means that I have had a 30 year love/hate relationship with the stuff that keeps me alive. Great fun.
I had been keeping a pretty clean diet for the previous 60 days before the run. Only allowing myself 2 tins of Dr Pepper Zero at most a day. In one fail swoop a burger ruined not only my diet but my entire mood for 10 weeks. Let’s be honest there has been other extenuating circumstances that have also contributed to this fall from health but the burger definitely pushed me over the top. That and the subsequent soreness from the 13.1 miles. Sometimes I really hate my brain but its mine and I just have to deal with it.
So for the last 10 weeks I have been eating myself stupid. Ice cream, chocolate, pizza and chips these are my go to foods. I eat them then hate myself for eating them then I do it again. It’s a vicious cycle that I am loath to break however, once in a while there comes a light bulb moment when I say I can’t live like this anymore. The depressive periods come and go like the changing of the tide. I am quite lucky just now that they are less frequent than they have been in the past. Why thank you Citalopram you do what Prozac, Zoloft, Fluxotine etc etc could not do in the past; give me some stability and the ability to be a functioning person with a mental health disorder.
This all aside the main thing that I have had to focus on is getting up. Before now in the midst of an episode I could not tell myself to get up. Get up you have to go to work. Get up your children need you. Get up your husband needs you. JUST GET UP! For some odd reason these words would never help me in the past but for some reason this year my 35-year-old brain has gone ‘hey! there might be something with this whole get up malarkey.’ It might be the fact that I need to show my children, especially my 11-year-old daughter that I can do this. Mummy is strong and can change her life. She isn’t scared of going back to college to teach children that they are worth so much more than they think. New things aren’t so scary.
So, for the last 10 weeks I have been telling myself if you don’t get up it has won and we can’t let it win. It has won too many times, the bipolar. This time I got up. I went to work. I did my job. I came home. I played Pokémon. I went to Pilates. I only really failed in regards to food and exercise. My walks and HIIT sessions were sporadic at best and I filled my plate with horrible fatty totally un clean foods. I have made myself a promise that starts today. For the next 61 days I will post a selfie a day whether it is sweaty or not; with make up or without I will do this as I fight to regain my health again. To get up. Why 61 days? I am off to the US to see my family in 62 days but when I come back I will re start this.
So above is my first selfie along with my exercise for today. I have been putting clean food back into my diet for the last 3 days and have not had any sweets or chocolate. I am hoping I can do this before the Big Holiday. My main focus is for my head and heart both to be healthy as I start a new adventure in a couple of weeks. I need all the support I can get and I know that my family will be there for me which is a big plus. Next year I want to complete 3 runs and better my times so there are my goals.
To end this post for all those also suffering with any type of depression you can do this don’t let it win. You are not alone in this world, always remember to GET UP! Do not let it beat you. I will not let it beat me.
Don’t ever give up. Believe you can. Just Get up!