An overdue, over-emotional post about the London 10K

The 2am Letters

The short version… 

After five months of banging on about running I actually did the bloody run. And it was bloody wonderful, and I’ve never had a feeling like it that I can talk about in polite company. I was so emotional it’s taken me a week to scrape together this blog post. And I’m doing a half Marathon in October, and then – if I get in and don’t prang myself – a Marathon next year.

The long version…

Some people are natural runners. Some people run because they’re so emotionally battered the only relief can come from doing something completely unnatural.

After the suicide of one of my closest friends four years ago I immediately pledged to Do Something in his honour and fundraise for mental health….then never bothered; probably because I was sore from people asking very personal questions and thought it’d only encourage more of that. The idea of…

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The perfect running event playlist

The 2am Letters

Today is my LAST RUN before the London 10K on Bank Holiday Monday. I’m currently in what’s called “tapering”, which is the 2-4 weeks before a race (depending on the distance), when you reduce your training intensity, aka run shorter distances and spend more time instead watching 90s soaps on YouTube. 

I’ve become a bit of a running bore lately because, quite honestly, the rest of my life involves everything I write being rejected by everywhere and that’s even duller to talk about. For some reason, every time I sit down to write anything I feel like Manu Chao at a UKIP conference, and I’d rather run instead – a slight problem given writing is my job and running isn’t. I run 10K in an hour; a pro athlete can do it in 38 minutes (I don’t know what the equivalent measure is for a “pro” writer, but whatever it is, I don’t feel very close to it at…

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Happy World IBD Day – Ignore the ignorant and mean and keep fighting for awareness

The big stoma bucket list

It’s hard to say this, but for years I wanted to die.

You probably wouldn’t have noticed as I was a determined little sod. I kept my tears (mostly) behind the toilet door and slapped a slightly grumpy smile on my face as I threw myself into work like I was bashing out my frustrations on a career and homework punch bag.

Secretly I was begging for the pain – which left me doubled over writhing and crawling up toilet walls –  to end, and I simply didn’t care how.

10885393_10152528109831674_4836374620243785554_n Happy and (fairly) healthy these days

I was desperate, fatigued, living in chronic pain, battered bruised and exhausted. I never considered suicide but when the pain had me screaming I would simply want it all to be over.

As a teenager I was often too tired to climb up my bunk bed ladders, at University I often slept in the…

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Thoughts on the German air tragedy, mental health and capability

Understanding

I wasn’t going to write anything around the GermanWings tragedy, for a number of reasons, but I was encouraged to, so I have. If you haven’t yet read the statements from Time To Change and Mind about media coverage,  please do.

Against my better judgement, earlier today, I also read the comments below some pieces about it:

“People with histories of mental problems shouldn’t be allowed to be responsible for hundreds of lives!”

“You wouldn’t let a blind man drive a bus….”

Let’s deal with the “hundreds of lives” first. If you’re an imminent danger to anyone you shouldn’t be responsible for any lives, whether it’s five people’s or a hundred. No-one whose loved one has just been murdered says: “Ah well, at least he only killed the one and not a plane full of passengers, that’s something eh….!” In the statistically rare situation that someone with a mental health problem poses a danger to the public (as opposed…

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Some thoughts on #ZeroSuicide

Understanding

(First thought: Gosh. Second post. Responding to media coverage was one of the aims of this blog, but not the first. I wasn’t expecting the government to launch a major new suicide prevention strategy less than a week after it went live…)

Balancing “It’s brilliant anyone’s talking about this at all” with my cynical “Yeah but…” face, from what I’ve read today, these seem to be the overriding thoughts and concerns:

  • Is timing stories about depression and mental health, however well-meant, to the baloney “Blue Monday” very sensible? I’m not sure. On one hand it deflects attention from a silly marketing stunt to a serious point. On the other, as this blog post from a few years ago says, using Blue Monday as a news peg risks conflating being a bit narked off with winter and fancying a holiday with having a suicide plan.
  • Where’s the money for all these resources coming from? Words aren’t…

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