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I can’t believe I’ve actually signed up to walk 100km from Brighton to London. It was only this time last year that I was umming and ahhing over whether to sign up for the Marathon or Half Moon for the MoonWalk London, so much so that I never actually got around to signing up for either. *sigh* Now, in a decision that has taken less than a week to make, I’ve decided that I am capable of doing more than double the distance that I was originally fretting about! I’m not completely stupid though – I did sign up to do it over 2 days. Although I’m not entirely sure that I’ll get the rest I need to soldier through day 2 by camping in a field overnight…
I’m proud to say that I’ll be walking alongside a wonderful bunch of awesome nerds that currently comprises of Lou, Katie, Christina, Melissa and Yvette. There are also a couple of Claires that are checking out existing commitments, but I hope they’ll be able to join us too. The more the merrier, I say! I promised them that we would laugh all the way, although I did acknowledge that at times it may be through a few tears.
We’ve all got our own reasons for completing the London 2 Brighton Challenge in aid of Mind, but this is mine. In 2011, fed up of bursting into tears several times before even leaving the house to go to work, I went along to see my doctor who told me the news that I was expecting, but dreading. I was suffering from anxiety and depression. I knew I shouldn’t feel ashamed, but I did. Why did I need pills just to be able to cope with life when everyone around me was doing just fine without them?!
In reality I probably wasn’t as alone as I thought. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem. And that number is constantly growing as the stresses and strains of modern life continue to develop. I have never used the services that Mind provides. I am very lucky to have a doctor that I have known since I was little and trust very much and family and friends that I know will always be there for me no matter how low I get and withdraw into myself. There are many people that don’t though and the work that Mind does is vital to the recovery and ongoing support of hundreds of thousands of people around the UK.
I’ve had a couple of relapses in the past six years and I have finally accepted that anxiety and depression (or as I like to call them, Boggarts and Dementors) will come and visit me from time to time. We all have mental health just as we have physical health and it’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted. Quite often I find a walk helps to clear my head, so I figured what better way to raise some money for a charity that does so much for so many people. So whether you join me and the rest of #teammindfulmisfits, come along and cheer us on at one of the checkpoints, dig deep and donate or simply share my posts to spread the word, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. I couldn’t do it without you.
And in case you were wondering about my slightly bizarre fundraising target... 2,403 is the number of days from my diagnosis to the day the challenge starts.
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