Out of the frying pan, into the fire…
March was a miserable month.
Injury and depression, I’m not sure which came first, are a bad combination. I spent most of the month being unable to run or cycle. Even walking was painful. I had to stop going to my Boxercise classes and spent most days having to force myself out of bed, and then the rest of the day trying to avoid speaking to people or attempting to go about a normal daily life.
In 31 days I managed to run 19.64, painful miles. I didn’t attend a single Boxercise class, which meant missing the people there, as well as the exercise itself.
The positive, and it’s a huge one, is that I had another sober month. I’ve no idea how I managed it in the circumstances, but I did, despite temptation always being just around the corner*** Well done, me!
*** A slight digression: My spectrum of friends and acquaintances goes from one extreme to the other, with everything else in between. I could be out shopping, for example, and bump into a ‘running friend’, then, five minutes later, come across an ‘addict friend’, and it’s when I come across the addict friend that temptation rears its ugly head.
Photo: Me, vaping and, therefore, looking irresistible to the opposite sex.
I was at the Pharmacy counter in Tesco a couple of weeks ago, stocking-up on my vaping refills, when a woman’s foot connected with my backside. It was an ‘addict friend’ of mine, who goes there most days for her methadone.
“Come and sit down”, she said.
As I did, I couldn’t help but notice the 1.5l bottle of vodka in her carrier bag. “Fancy some of this?”, she said, showing me the Red Bull can in her hand. “It’s half-full of voddy”.
Here comes the temptation. After a very long pause, during which I thought of snatching it out of her hand, having that first mouthful and then spending the rest of the day blissfully drunk, I managed to say “No, thanks”.
She’s an alcoholic and a heroin addict, so she knows how incredibly difficult abstinence can be, and that’s why she didn’t try to encourage me to take the drink. It’s not so straightforward with a ‘non-addict’, as they will usually say something like “go on, just have one, you’ll be fine”.
“I said no. Fuck off!”
And here comes April…
Boom! Mania! Manic, racing thoughts, a potentially critical increase in heart rate, absolute insomnia, a sudden enthusiasm for even the most mundane of daily tasks, all over social media, on the phone to family and friends, Bootcamp on the first Saturday of the month and back on the roads, running, albeit for very short periods and despite injury.
Calm down, Dan, just try to calm down…
I can never see this mood change coming, although I have learnt to try and manage it. There doesn’t seem to be a trigger, and no signs that my mood is going to change. It just does!
Experience has taught me that periods of ultra-high mood can be dangerous, and possibly harmful to others. Not in a physical sense, but (buzz-phrase alert) ‘my ‘filter’ tends to disappear, and I verbalise or write whatever comes into my head, usually without considering the consequences. I can, at times, become the stereotype of an arrogant Yorkshireman that we all (outside of the county) like to mock.
Photo: An opinionated, flat-capped, ridiculously moustachioed Yorkshireman, with a head full of outrageously pompous, irrational opinions…and his dog.
“‘Ah ser what ah larke, and ah larke what I ser”!
(Translation, Yorkshire to English: I say what I like, and I like what I say).
That’s why I used the phrase ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’, earlier, because I’m not sure if the depression or the high mood is worse. I am certainly much more likely to upset people when I’m manic. Not that it is ever my intention to do so, but I just can’t help it.
One thing is for sure. I am currently, zealously, re-evaluating my running goals. I’m not going to consider running a 10k, HM or above for the foreseeable future. I think I will concentrate on my 5k PB, which is currently 21’03, and look to beat that within three months. This should be achievable, presuming that I stay injury-free.
That, along with Boxercise and Bootcamp are my new priorities. If I can stick to that, injury-free, then the moods, low or high, should at least be controllable, if not curable.
Okay, my head is about to explode. I apologise if you’ve taken the time to read this, only to find that it makes NO sense!
I’m mentally exhausted for the time being, so I won’t go back and proofread it!