This is the third time I try to write this work: I am desperate to say something after the wonderful effect of my article on mental health and last year, but every time I try, I feel forced and artificial.
I feel like a kind of fraud even writing this – I feel a lot better this year that a part of me is worried that I'm just raising this because I want the world to hear my story. Last year's article about the pain of running with ripping anxiety came out of me, a desperate trip to be told, but it also changed things for me en masse.
The worst thing was to bring it out to the world last year: the one flash of panic that ran through me when I agreed to publish, realizing that I had "discovered" it. as weak and unstable, someone I could not trust anymore because I let the mask finally escape.
But what happened – and I guess I should not be surprised, is that the messages of support and recognition came. I published the link on Twitter, Facebook and the forums of brokers that I frequent, and they were all kind, humble and wonderful with what they said. I realized that I was not weak, or unstable, in any way.
He led me to direct some mindfulness groups, to have confidence to open conversations with people about anxiety when I used to worry if it was appropriate … and the large volume of people who are warrior partners is incredible.
I had not done anything special. He had not opened the eyes of the world to something they did not know. I simply wrote down the thoughts that surrounded the minds of many around me, and engaged people in a way I could not have expected.
Not because it's brilliant with words, but because many people thought they were alone in this. People who did not consider themselves with "traditional" mental health problems, but struggling for life and not knowing why.
(One of the most beautiful moments happened in a pub a week later – a guy who was friends asked me to come to the corner to chat.) We got there and he locked me in a big hug for a few seconds, and he said he was so relieved that someone else felt the same, I really did not know what to do – I had just told the world how I felt, without waiting for anyone to really listen, but talking to him afterwards was a really wonderful experience.)  A familiar enemy
I'm not going to pretend that the marathon was easy last year; in fact, since I had been "exposed" as a patient of anxiety, I felt the pressure not to let my mind take more stringent measures, and that certainly did not help.
However, he did not walk, even when the panic began to flash at mile 22. I forced myself to promise that I would be proud of having and 100 meters conquered, I did not care about the pace, I did not worry about what would come next.
I took the demon to the shoulder and ran while it scratched me up and down with its trial of saw.
I did it. My time was too slow in my mind, the training was all lost, but I did not break even once. I forced my ill body forward, and although I still do not feel it [u19919007] happy with that or proud, I know I should and I cling to that.
But then things changed. For reasons that I will not enter here, my situation in life changed drastically, and suddenly I faced a series of new challenges that I never wanted to face.
The thing was … these challenges were real – real things happened to me that was not locked in my mind. I was forced to experiment, feel and decide about things and see how they were falling apart.
But although every day should have been a struggle, it was thriving. I continued to see my therapist (and I continue to do so, without a doubt it is the biggest investment I have made) and I only made a conscious effort to tell the truth.
When I struggled to understand the situation that fell in front of me, I forced it outdoors, instead of locking it in a corner of my mind and hoping it was something I never had to deal with.
In many ways, my life was falling apart, but I felt more mentally free than ever. Where before I used to see anxiety as something to deal with and fight (but discovering that it was the same as trying to gain strength in the air) I became passive, forcing myself to be more of a shadow than I could ever be.
To paraphrase Taylor Swift: if it were a ghost, then I would be a ghost.
And it took me a terribly a long time for it to have some change. We are talking about a single percentage point from time to time, but the address was on the right track.
This is what I found most strange, and it returned it to the point of this piece: I was faster. My 5K time was reduced to less than 18 minutes on a day that I was a bit hungover. My 10K race pace broke in 38 minutes. I hit my five miles, 10 miles better times.
Even my PB half marathon was about to fall, but the problem was that I was not training harder. In fact, I was not training hard at all. I felt a little guilty because I was relaxing, and scientifically I should have gotten worse.
But I did not, and the only reason is that I was finally resting and healing my body and my mind. I was not moving at a snail's pace due to exhaustion … I ran when I felt like it, I reduced the sessions and tried to do things socially instead of specifically for power.
This continued throughout the year, the streak of excellent results making 2017 one of my worst years emotionally but one of the best in terms of career results. It did not make sense.
A race without end
I must admit that I am still struggling with what I am writing. I'm a bit scared that it looks like a kind of guru who has all the answers & # 39; or & # 39; know the secrets to overcome anxiety & # 39;
I'm definitely not one of those things. I am someone who is lucky not only to have a forum to put my words in the world, but an incredible team of people to support me in writing about something so irrelevant in a website called TechRadar.
Taking over the editorial this year has been one of my proudest moments. This site is a passion as much as a job, and having been there from the beginning and seeing it grow has been wonderful.
So taking over the administration (along with the inimitable Marc Chacksfield) is a position I have dreamed of, and it's not something I could have done, mentally, a year ago.
There are still days when I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. But I do. There are days when my appetite decreases and I have a fiery panic that I'm going to fall & # 39; back to anxiety.
But little by little I'm starting to gain confidence that I will not … because I'm living with that every day. I stopped seeing him as a gaudy demon, just a well-meaning but overly oppressive father, and trusting that I know how to handle it, that this episode will not be the one that will bring me back. & # 39;  When I run, I know that I will not continue to accelerate forever, and in fact I have already begun to slow down. It was going to happen at some point.
When entering the marathon, the combination of a training plan with injuries and the excessive heat of London predicted means that I have no hope of emulating last year. It's no use trying, it may sound negative, but it may be the most positive thing I can do in the situation.
I'll go slow. Frustratingly slow, watching the time (and the opportunity for glory) sneak step by step, until I got to the point where I started to collapse last year.
I'm going to break the most energetic melodies, make the adrenaline flow and slowly start to accelerate the pace to prove to myself that I do not need to run all I can, all the time, to feel happiness. I waited for it to be right for me
I want goosebumps to start flowing when I start to run towards the end, riding on a wave of positivity that I believe, not because it happened accidentally. I want you to represent that this year I have fought without fighting, to become the best warrior I can be without receiving a single blow.
I know that I will never reach the finish line in this race against anxiety because … that is my life and anxiety will always have their own race number and they will run somewhere in the field.
But if you're struggling with the same, you should know this: there are more people than you can imagine feeling exactly the same way, and if you can take any step – any – to possess a little of what you prevents sleep, being able to see friends, do things that you think people are "normal" I should be able to do, you start moving forward.
If you recognize any of the feelings listed above, take a step to talk to someone about it, be it a friend, a family member or one of the numbers here  You do not need to suffer alone. Honestly.