After a two year hiatus, I have decided to start blogging again.
The short reason why I stopped, is during my challenge to complete 13 marathons in 12 months, I sustained a very bad rib injury running the Race to the King.
I couldn’t train, the challenge was over. So I quit. I am not proud of this, but I did. I quit running, quit blogging, and around the same time quit living.
I was diagnosed with depression late in the summer of 2017, but really I had probably had it for some time before that.
My journey through depression has been an absolutely horrible one. I am not ashamed to admit that I was close to suicide on more than one occasion. If it hadn’t been for some key interventions from some close family and friends, I probably would not be writing this now. The irony of depression is that these people probably didn’t even realise they were intervening at the time. Just a phone call here, or a text message there would bring me back from the edge.
I was taking anti-depressants. Little pills that stop you feeling. They stopped me feeling low. They stopped me feeling high. They stopped me feeling everything.
I have been for counselling. I have seen a total of 3 counselors. All were excellent and helped in their own way but none got me all the way out of my slump. I didn’t want to exercise. Didn’t want to take care of myself. Didn’t want to engage with my loved ones. Didn’t want to do anything.
I read countless books on depression. Listened to podcasts. Practiced mindfulness. Tried yoga. Nothing would stick. For 2 years I was like this. 2 bloody years!
A few weeks ago I made a decision, which was against all medical advice, and I just quit my anti-depressants. Cold turkey. No weaning myself off of them. Just stopped. It felt like the right thing to do. I had tried to quit them before but this time felt different. Instantly I felt better. I started going to the gym again. Went back to my old triathlon club (where I was welcomed with open arms despite being missing for 2 years). I started to message my friends again. Friends I had neglected for far too long. Started to go out again. Started to feel myself. My old self. The one who had been missing for 2 years. Two very very dark years.
Tonight, whilst sitting in a hotel room in Munich, I made the decision to start up the blog again. Made the decision to commit to completing a 100 mile ultra marathon. Made the decision to push my body again. Probably further than I have ever done so before. At the ripe old age of 40, it is time to make a comeback. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Snooky will be reborn.
This is going to be a hard journey. I know it is. But I need to feel it. Feel the pain of getting fit again. Feel the burn of 1000’s of miles of running. It is hard to describe, but it is like a calling. Any of you who regularly run may well know this feeling. For me it was lost for a very long time. Now it is back.
I invite you all to follow me on this journey. I will be blogging about running. But I am also going to blog about my depression. Blog about the things that I did and the things that I have learnt that hopefully will help others suffering from this horrible disease. Cause it is a disease. You can’t see it, but my God you can feel it.
So welcome to the new blog. The new me. Better, wiser and hopefully one day fitter than the old me.
It feels good to be back!
PS – I am in no way advocating that anybody out there who is taking anti-depressants should do what I did and quit without consulting with their GP. What I did was dangerous. Please, if you are taking anti-depressants and want to stop speak to your GP. Don’t be stupid like I was. It could have easily gone the other way for me and been a disaster. In fact, I quit once before and it was a disaster, so please be careful.