Whys and wherefores

Hello lovely readers (if you’re still out there after a month of silence).

It’s that point in the evening when the sun drops low enough to sit on next door’s roof. If I’m sat on the sofa, working – which I am, and have been all bloody day – the light blinds me for about five minutes. It is very pleasant to be wilfully dazzled. Seems like the time to crack open some cider.

For the purposes of this weekend, I have renamed cider ‘Don’t Care Juice’. Continue reading

The trick is to keep breathing (sort of)

Good news, everyone! I can train again! I’ve been let off the leash of medical uncertainty and released into the wilds of ‘you can train with due care’, and I can’t wait to run round and chase some PB rabbits and refuse to come back when called. (It takes skill to belabour a metaphor like that. Admire my handiwork, please.) Continue reading

Painting over the cracks

I am really, really grateful for my friends (even those that are currently not in touch and who I miss badly). They’ve been keeping me going this week, even if they’ve not realised it. Although it’s been a great few days in terms of passing hours and spending time with people, I feel as though I’ve been snatching at ways to be happy with increasing desperation.

It’s partly my own fault. Against everything I intellectually know about health and tests and waiting times, I stupidly managed to convince myself last week that the doctor’s appointment on Friday would be IT. That that Monday’s  blood test would be the concluding result, they’d stick me on meds, I’d be fixed and life goes back to normal. And that didn’t happen, of course. Instead there’s more tests to be done; referral to a respiratory specialist with at least a three-month wait; results to wait on before I can expect some sort of workable information. It seems like an age.

This year, in which I managed to get places in so many balloted races and which I was so excited about, is a write-off in terms of physical activity, and Friday was the first time I really had to face up to that. I had a bit of a weeping break down outside the doctors, then went out to a wine and cheese evening where I smiled and chatted to people and drank and deliberately didn’t think about it. Then I cried again on the phone to my mum in the morning, and then kept busy busy busy all weekend, meeting a new friend, chatting to my sister, going to the fair. It wasn’t until I was sat in front of a computer at work on Monday that I realised how much just keeping busy and seeing people had been holding off a fairly dark depression.

And yes, I know it could be worse. I have nothing fatal (I’m assuming), I can walk around and do most things, I have my job, my life as a whole is not so disrupted – so yes, bearing all of that in mind I’m just being a brat. But the total lack of endorphins, and the lack of reason and ability to get outside and away from people and turn off my brain because I’m thinking about nothing but breathing and moving, is the equivalent of going off my antidepressants long-term and without psychiatric approval. As a friend of mine said in response to an email I sent (which may have contained the line, If one more person asks me if I’ve considered maybe going for a walk instead of running, I’m going to kick a fucking wall down): “I read somewhere that runners are people who have figured out how to self-medicate for depression.” Exactly.

Another thing: I’m losing my sense of self. I wrote to my friend –

“… Also, I realised today that the more out of shape I get, the more effort I’m making with make-up and hair, because I don’t feel good about myself any more and I’m trying to cover it up. There’s a direct fucking correlation between how good I feel and how much of an effort I make with my appearance.  I am wearing LIPSTICK and a FUCKING DRESS. This is like code red territory.”

Yes, there was a lot of swearing in that email. I’m cussing like the metaphorical sailor these days.

Ordinarily I don’t care about make-up and clothes much, but I’m spending more and more time and money on gussying myself up.  I don’t really recognise myself in the mirror at the moment, and I don’t like it, but I don’t know how else to get myself up and out of the house at the moment, either. Maybe the effort is nicer for people who have to look at me, but I was always a scruff even when I cared, and I’ve spent 2+ years not caring so much because I was happier in myself and could have gone out in pyjamas and still be happy with myself. I really, really miss that confidence. I don’t know this person who tuts because her lipstick isn’t in her bag and who applies eyeliner on the train. I don’t like her very much.

mirror

I’m a fan of the natural look.

This weekend, I should have been at Wimbleball. Tomorrow morning I would have been travelling to Devon. Plan B, after cancelling my entry in the race, was to go to Devon anyway, but that has had to be called off. So instead I was at the doctor’s again this morning (spirometry test) and now I’m stuck in London, looking at day trips I can’t afford (because I’m broke because I spent all my fecking money on red lipstick and hairspray) with no clue precisely how I’m going to avoid thinking about all the things that I would have been doing this weekend if circumstances were different.

Monster and I signed up for a jive dance night on Saturday, which should be good. I’ve organised a few bits and pieces (the dancing, go loosely swimming, meet up with a couple of friends – including another blogger who is currently dealing with the hell of finding a social group in London). I’m really tempted, though, to just bring in an awful lot of whiskey and wine and drink myself into a stupor for four days. Because that’s the mature, adult way to deal with this.

Picture this

Finally, the weekend. After spending the morning trailing from podiatrist (one day I will devote an entry to my disgusting feet, but not today) to pharmacy across most of South East London, and failing to be at bus stops at the same time as buses, and losing my patience and walking instead of waiting, I’m back home and taking a break before heading out this evening to a shindig hosted by Frozen Margaritas. Continue reading

Devon becomes her. Sort of.

It has been a long week. I went to Devon for the bank holiday weekend. I was supposed to be going for the Wimbleball preparation day, but having dropped out of that, I just went and stayed with a friend and made new friends and did the things that one ought to do in Devon, like eat oysters (for the first time) and fish and chips (for the billionth time), and dance to a band in a pub, and draw large Xs in the sand on a quiet beach and write ‘DIG!’ and ‘HERE BE TREASURE!’ next to them. Continue reading

Heartbeat

This morning I sent in the withdrawal form for 70.3UK. I am heartbroken and my heart appears to be broken.

I’ve said a few times in recent entries that training hasn’t been going well, and I mentioned why in the last one – chest pains, palpitations, trembling. I brushed over it a bit, but I had been worrying for a while. I also admitted that I’d been putting off seeing a doctor because I didn’t want them to say I couldn’t race, or couldn’t train, or couldn’t go to Paris (and honestly, there will  be a far cheerier entry about the trip as a whole, especially since I legitimately will be sitting around a lot more). Continue reading