Groundhog Day: To wake from a deep sleep?

There’s been a bit of a break in the posts of late. But I’m still here, I’ve not disappeared.

In a lot of ways there’s been a large helping of Groundhog Day here with a general lack of structure to my time. This is perhaps not a great surprise having gone through the last few months. Concentration has been on a permanent vacation and for someone from an academic background, that has been both strange and unsettling in equal amounts.

About four weeks ago, for a couple of days only, there was a change. My psychologist noted it whilst we were talking through recent events, commenting that I was more ‘spontaneous’. To me it felt like I was actually in the room, participating in what was going on, rather than observing it from behind glass. I felt as if I’d been asleep but was beginning to stir.

At this point perhaps I got a bit giddy, and started trying to use my brain again. I took out an online course and started making plans.

The adage, walk before you run, became very much apparent, and within a day my head was spinning and I felt dreadful. That awakening feeling felt like it had hit the snooze button and rolled back over.

I’ve been working very hard on the physical training and since that time I’ve really focussed my efforts, with plans for competitive races at the end of this and the start of the next month.

The ability to focus hard on something specific has been a great help, certainly as it has been something which has been working positively for me. My 6-month plan of increasing mileage by 10+ miles per month comes to its conclusion this month as well, with a total of 139 miles to be covered between 1-30 September. As well as providing a focus, it also helps tire me out. Not being in the workplace, the normal stresses and strains (plus whatever else I seem to attract!) are not there, wearing me down. Thus getting sleep in this limbo land has been a challenge at many times over the past few months.

So after that false dawn, I feel that now progress is actually being made. For much of the last two weeks I’ve felt lucid and present, a participant and not a spectator. It’s a strange thing to try to explain about how things were. It was almost being in a dream-state the whole time, hence my feeling of waking up from it.

I was told early on that the sign of recovery was when the good days began to outnumber the bad ones, and so to start getting days which I can genuinely consider as ‘good days’ is a big deal for me.

I actually managed to finish my online course, and passed the exam which was very pleasing. I took the opportunity to meet with people to discuss some plans within work and outside of it. And that felt like a positive move.

There are still hurdles. I’m good at telling myself about the things that I need to get done in order to move some of the plans along, but less good at actually sitting down and doing them. Hence the website which I’d planned of having written by tomorrow remains in its embryonic state.

I feel a little paralysed by the fear of moving forwards from here. Whilst living Groundhog Day is not a nice thing to do, the predictability of it was a comfort. When nothing is expected to happen, and nothing happens, it’s all rather cosy, even if it is mind-bendingly uninteresting.

But to finish on a positive note, it’s 15 September and I have run 118 of the 139 proposed miles for the month and have entered (and been accepted!) into Chester Marathon. And to make that even sweeter, a couple of friends have said they’ll come and see me finish.

It’s something which means a lot to me, as I see it time and time again, athletes running through the finish into the arms of family; something I’ve never experienced.  So that’s even more incentive to get to the end 🙂

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