Personally I believe that I am an honest person to myself, thought my COVID-fitness period of running every day I would ask “are you ok?” See at the start line of a run, you think you are better than you are, you set a goal to achieve most believe it’s reachable in that session, I too was the same. I hadn’t run in a long period prior to this movement of focus on my personal health but I thought, “Ah, I do a lot of sports, I walk a lot this will be light work,” it was not…
After only really getting to 30 minutes before almost passing out on a short circuit near my home, I wanted to improve, I was upset and disappointed with myself that I just couldn’t get there, to 5km. It doesn’t sound like much but when you’re running and struggling after 1km it begins to get annoying, especially from view that I was someone who can keep playing sports until I die, literally and figuratively. Once during my first year of university I played Basketball for 12 hours, I felt it the next day but during that period it wasn’t painful because I was enjoying it, I was happy.
So I looked for advice, which pointed me to Nike Run Club (not sponsored) there, you’ll find a beginners series Your First Run, Your Second Run, Your First Hour etc. You’re introduced to a voice recorded coach plus a playlist for that run. It wasn’t until the first hour run that I truly understood the words being told to me through my ears as I ran.
“Now I want you to ask yourself, truthfully, honestly, Are you ok? If not, that’s ok.”
How was such a simple question so hard for me to understand before? I will never understand but from that moment I would slow down at periods when it go tougher to ride out the storm to go further. Further and further I went, almost reaching a 10km run within my allotted hour run time. The average expected 10km time for beginners is 60–70 minutes, which for me 3 weeks into running was insane. I did run 10km a few times, and went for a 25km once, the 25km was not successful I must add but it was rewarding. I was becoming more in-tune with my body and heart. My mind could say no, my body would say yes and I pushed on until my mind learned to break down the mental barriers. My body would start saying no, so my mind would learn what hurt from the previous run and adjust in the following outing.
Why am I rambling about my brief running experience during our locked down summer? Because I find that it advanced myself to understand who I am in this world, to notice things about me that are just me. This is where my recent weeks come into play.
You may have noticed that I joined INVUL as the Socials & Content Manger, this came after I failed in an interview process to be a Social Media Manager for another team. I had bet on that getting me out of this job that was slowly sucking the life from my bones. It failed, I was upset but I remembered the offer from Enixxx (Co-Owner of INVUL) and took him up on it, short term yes it maybe won’t help me but in the future it will, almost like running, short term I was gaining a little but in the long term I gained so much more.
Yet a few weeks after we arrive to my current state of war. My mind has been in a dark place these past few days, I have realised somethings about myself that are honestly maybe too hard for others to understand, and that’ s ok, I will try anyway.
Before I continue, if anybody reading this or anyone you know struggles with mental health issues please reach out to necessary help services. I have used some in the past and they have helped, but for me I cannot remove it completely as it is sort of what makes me, me. Truly, I do hate talking about topics like this in the public as it feels like a beg for attention when there are larger matters that should have your focus, so this is really for me to just release my mind a little.
I am an outsider. That is who I am, how I feel about this world and existence in general. Nobody is at fault it’s just how I naturally just become. During gatherings with friends I am present enjoying the moment, but I always have this underlying feeling afterwards that I just spectated. My memories of some of the happiest moments again, I do feel like I sat spectating the whole thing, not to say I never got involved, I tried and did but my mind just moved back. In friend groups, most likely I won’t go to an event unless I ask about it, maybe yeah my friends could extend a hand directly but most of them probably understand that I won’t reply, maybe would prefer to stay at home or they just forgot.
After my most recent outing with my friends, I was left in a weird place mentally. I existed in those memories but my mind was at war with contradictions. Following this I couldn’t breathe. It felt as if a hand was being placed on my neck making it hard to breathe, at points my chest felt like it was being crushed by the entire world. I sat there just in a state of what is wrong? So I asked myself, I am ok? Am I ok with being the outsider or the spectator? It was a weird feeling, I had gone from being at one of my highest peaks of happiness to one of my lowest points in recent memory. Even now writing this I am struggling with this pain in my chest, finding it sort of hard to breathe, hard to focus or just exist.
It’s not that I don’t wish to exist, I just find it hard. I would love to be active in those groups, I would love to have those invitations but would I really accept them? Would I really attend and be active? Wanting something better than what you have, taking that chance could it leave me in ruin or happier? I don’t know. I won’t know.
I sort of began to accept that my reality is to be this. I just turned 22, I am approaching who I might be for the rest of my life. Yes I can make steps to improve myself, and I will in my own way but the underlying factor is that this spectator typing right now will always exist inside me.
This entire piece of writing maybe just words to some, but this is a brief visit inside my mind. I have a lot more that I have written from my mind during these periods from since I started writing. Shorter form, more emotional and erratic, reading them back I began to see that I have come further than what I was back then maybe not whole but some of those wounds have healed somewhat. I made a promise that I would release them to the world one day, I just need to set the date for when I meet the ferryman and pay my fare.
For now, I’ll continue to try and exist.
Again, please if you are struggling with your mental health or know those are, seek the relevant help. They can and do work.