But you sound “fine” to me!

 

What does Mental Health sound like ? I was told I sound okay ! The below has been taken from the mental health charity MIND mixed with my own thoughts.

Why is it that to be taken seriously, to be listened to, or sometimes even to qualify for treatment, people think that you need to look or sound ill?

One of the worst and most prevalent misconceptions when it comes to mental illness is the “snap out of it” response. If you’ve ever suffered from a mental illness, you know the drill: you start talking to a friend about your problems. They listen for a while and offer some support, but eventually they start to talk about your attitude towards the problem. “It’s all in your head,” or “Just don’t dwell on it so much,” or “You need to move on.”

The thing is, the inability to “just get over it” is exactly the problem. It’s what separates mental illness from normal, day-to-day stress. Your brain is supposed to be able to filter your emotions and process thoughts rationally, but sometimes it doesn’t. Everyone has problems handling their emotions and could use some encouragement sometimes. What makes mental illness different is that the part of your brain that helps make the jump from discouraged or worried or unmotivated back to normal is malfunctioning.

Some elements of some mental illnesses can be physical , or scars created through acts of self harm but so much of the time there is nothing to see. The thing about self-harm though, is that on the occasions there is physical evidence people are able to better comprehend that something is wrong.

But then ignorance sets in. From someone that has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts as well as being advised recently of extremely high anxiety (as if the other labels wasn’t enough)

much of the time there is nothing physically wrong to see. People often look me up and down, with puzzled expressions on their faces, before announcing, “well, you sound fine “or”well, you don’t look ill to me.” It is here that I wish they could spend a moment residing in the multi-car pileup that is my mind, knowing that then they would understand that to be ill, you don’t need to look sick. Sometimes I am surprised by my own reflection, wondering how it is possible to look so healthy, when the storms are raging so strongly in my head.

I believe that there a Such risk that any type of mental illness will not be taken seriously, due to the misconception that people who look okay are okay, and I really hope that people begin to realise that saying to somebody who is ill that they “look fine” and “sound fine” can demean that person and their illness, and prevent them from seeking the help that they need.

The misconception of the general public that people who are ill have to look or sound certain way is one of the main reasons that I initially wanted to speak out. I wanted to help convey that anyone can be ill, regardless of their appearance. changing perspectives and views on those with mental health problems.

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Power of Belief.

So my first update for a while. The Brecon Beacons Ultra has been and gone. One of the toughest challenges to date. Mind you I suppose each new challenge is tougher than the last. A whole new element to encounter. I went into the Brecon Beacons petrified.  I suppose I thrive of the feeling. Almost always wanting to give up just before the start.  Then conquering my own fears and doubts.

I often hear things like it must be easy for you or some form of derivative.  All I can say is, it is not!  Each I time I go for a run whether it be a 1 mile or 32 each is an internal struggle and battle to get out there.  Once I do I wonder what all the fuss is about.  And the tranquillity away from my own thoughts kicks in.

We all have our own little battles whatever they may be. I suppose it is tapping into the power of belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do.  Applying it to your current situation. Conquering the seemingly impossible starts with the right mindset.

Its is all so easy to look at someone’s success and think that it happened overnight, but most of the time what you are witnessing is the last part of the journey. You miss all of the work that goes in to where they have got. Part of my journey is Oliver my late Nephew. This is one segment of my journey. The other segment’s are the long lost brothers and sisters (7) that where adopted when I was younger. This all plays part into me strive to be the best I can be. And see how far I can go.

The more I am accomplishing the more I am building up confidence and finding out there is much more to accomplish. I started out with The Great Wall Marathon. An off the cuff idea. One I thought of but one I thought I myself would fail at. I conquered the wall and am now looking forward to the Inca- trail / Everest and the Amazon. These are places I only ever dreamed of when I was younger.  Yet now from working most hours within the day with a bit of hard work and determination they will be seen within the space of a year. I am not going to lie it is stressful, it is daunting and draining. In all senses emotionally, physically, and financially, However the biggest ask is. Is it worth It ? the answer is yes. Running has given me my life back.

It is interesting to think that if you dare to put yourself out there, that fortune will side with you. It appears that if you commit yourself to an endeavour and commit yourself to its achievement, then fortune and providence will be on your side. You will see amazing things happen that you never thought possible.

I say this in the 8 days before Peru and the challenge that faces me as the world’s toughest marathon distance!  A mixture of doubt, anticipation and excitement. A place I never had a reason to see. But one I wanted to. Running gave me that purpose.  I shall also be catching up with a friend Helen from Australia. The people I have met on this journey have become lifelong friends.  I do not need to see them each day nevertheless I see them in the most random and exciting corners of the Earth.

What springs to mind was the fact the other day I was asked, why I ran? I was asked, do you not think you have done enough? Why do you do it to yourself?  I was told to think of the damage to my knees and told what happens when  I can’t walk when I am older!

I suppose the main question is, why do we do anything?  Self-gratification is the main response.  It isn’t in this instance just about me it is about the people I am raising funds for.   The second response in response to my knees :  many people go through their life not living an active life style and still having knees that do not function.  Ailments and old age come to us all. When I am unable to run and such. I shall be able to look back and think what an adventure. As the saying goes, I would rather go into my grave kicking and screaming saying” what a damn good ride”. Rather than being well preserved and never living a day in my life.

The reason I am so open in this journey, is because each part of it past and present has brought me to this point. I have made some bad decisions and some good. I admit I am not proud of them all. Still as cliché as it may be, I am who I am because of these decisions. They will also play there part in who I will be in future (as will yours)  I am deciding who am with each passing minute. Developing as each second passes, like a polaroid photo I get better with time.

Now to you all I say is “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Many people believe they done have the prerequisites or the tools to succeed . As I have said previously it is all to easy to think it isn’t the right place, or the right time, or the right resources in order become a success.  What you do need to do!!!  Get started now!!! From where you are and with what you have, your resources will grow as you go along. So do not waste another minute and get started on what it is you want to do!!

Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift, Tomorrow is a Mystery.

Hi guys, by the time tour reading this I’ll probably sat on a plane to Dubai. About 4 pm yesterday, my friend from san Diego had a family emergency. So unfortunately, cannot come. I will therefore be doing this trip alone. Very last minute and means all my plans have been thrown by the wayside. I shall be flying to Dubai first and then connecting to china.

To say I am apprehensive is an understatement. A long weekend in Hong-Kong who does that? Haha.  I will hopefully be able to access the internet via a VPN so if I manage to keep hold of my phone I shall be updating this as much as I can.

To my work colleagues and friends, thanks for getting behind me. No pun intended J. If you have got the time to drop a sponsor, please do so. It is greatly appreciated. Those that already have thank you once again.

This journey is going to be one long ride, trials and tribulations. I am already being tested before I have left the UK. That as you all know is being true to myself.  Now let the fun begin. (although I believe fun to be the wrong word).

BTW is anyone in Hong- Kong last minute I know but a friendly face would be good to see.

Yesterday I was just looking back at old picture and thinking. I used to live for the weekend. Going to places like Tomorrowland!  And festivals and probably hanging around the wrong people. To now traversing the world. My life being enriched with so many different walks of life.  Achieving so many amazing things.

Now just remember Yesterday is HistoryToday is a GiftTomorrow is a Mystery.

The Year Ahead

As I started Writing this post a few days ago, I was thinking about the years ahead. Thinking have a bitten off more than I can accomplish? I had an upcomingrivington2 run up Rivington Pike, Night runner. I hadn’t slept and had a long day ahead in work. I was hardly feeling it. I was worried Id lost my passion for running.

I was thinking about the amount of overtime, time and monies that has been invested in the year ahead a deposit on a house gone. I thought what have I done. I turned up to the start line and bumped into a few of my old British Military Fitness buddies. There was a little warmth and spark that ignited within me. The briefing took place, we were off!  Nearly all uphill, my calves burned I wanted to give up.

Then something changed the adrenaline kicked in. The splashing through the steam of water working its way down the mountain. The mud working its way into the back of my trainers. This was why I ran. The feeling of being a child again. No fears, all the real world didn’t matter and I was on a mission. On the way to the top I stopped to take the opportunity to look around, it was stunning to views were immense. The runners passing by an orange moon over a rivingtonfrost concealed mountain.

On the way down, after my ankle had been bent this way and that. My head torch beginning to do my head in. I thought about the year ahead and the sights I am due to behold. I remembered how lucky I was. Testing my body to the limits, living life to the fullest.

So in some ways it has been as good and bad week – running has been ok. My nutrition is so so. However, although everything from flights to deposits and future ideas being juggled around my mind. I am looking forward to this year.  Looking back on the last and seeing I achieved more than I ever thought was possible. I am looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

Love Macca.

night-runner