Welcome back Claire, we have been expecting you……

I know I write my blogs as CC, that will never change, it is kind of like an new extension to my personality now. However, I have always had the “real me” and the me that Depression controlled. For the first time in a long time I look in the mirror and in my eyes I see the “real me”. The smile on my face is Claire. The motivation and drive isn’t there just because I need it to be, it is now there because I want it to be. I feel happy, driven and you know what, bloody proud of myself!

Quite a lot has happened since my last blog, which sounds mad as it was only last week. Firstly, I did my 10km….. AND I LOVED IT!!!!! Official time was 1 hour 3 minutes and 15 seconds. I was surprised how easy I found it. I was actually skipping along at certain points, quite literally. It was my first time doing an organised race but I have most definitely got the buzz. So much so that I am seeing how many more I can squeeze in around my holidays before my Half Marathon. I want to do loads around the country. What a way to see new places! Meet new people! Have new adventures! My Half Marathon doesn’t seem so scary and impossible any more either! I know with training, the continued amazing coaching advice I have been getting and faith in myself, it will be an amazing achievement! Considering this time last year I never would have considered myself a runner, now I feel like a fully fledged member of the gang. That feeling when I crossed over the Finish line was just unbelievable. I felt like I could have just kept going. It made me realise one thing, nothing and no one will take away my love for this. My belief and love faltered for a while because of the negative side of my personality. Now I know for sure that that little voice has been booted right to the back of the line!

Alongside that I am also starting a Gateway Certificate in Skills for Sport & Active Leisure (Level 3) through a course Mind has introduced me to. I went along yesterday to see what it was all about, and considering what I had done the day before I bloody loved it! We did circuit training and although I do think my legs are seriously pissed off with me, especially after Bring Sally Up squats (ouch!) I managed remarkably well. Getting praised for excellent squat technique and perfect planking really made my day! I was nervous to be honest when I went in as I put a lot of pressure on myself with me training to be a PT but they were great. I think I will learn a lot from them in way of how it works and new techniques, routines etc. I am very excited. As well as this I have a meeting with a peer support networking group tomorrow. They are interested in my ideas about using exercise and fitness alongside mental health! I cant believe it! I know it’s a tiny step and I have a hell of a long way to go, but slowly and surely little pieces of the jigsaw are starting to slot in. Instead of telling myself to get a grip and calm down and think of all the bad things, I am just enjoying all the positive things that seem to be coming my way. I feel like the foundations of my empire have finally started. Digging out to lay the cement that keeps it all in place.

For once I walked into my counsellor with my head held high and a genuine smile on my face. I feel strong, I feel capable, I feel like I can do whatever I need to do. I questioned the fact that really this has all happened quite quickly considering, but as she made me see, everyone is different. I wanted to get better so I have been doing everything in my power to make sure I do. I have engaged in my own recovery since that very first day, I didn’t want to be a sufferer or a victim of my own mind. I wanted to kick it’s arse and come out fighting and that is exactly what I am doing! What is has done is unlocked a passion deep within me and I have grabbed that with both hands and ran (no pun intended but hey, if it works!). For all the bad shit Depression has given me, I have to look at all the good it has encouraged me to achieve. Raising money for Mind, doing something I do everyday any way in a sense, getting involved in volunteering which is starting to open up other doors which is absolutely amazing! Then there is my blog, which I love doing. My Mental Health awareness course as it became obvious to me that this is an area I 100% want to be part of. My motivation to make sure I complete my PT course. I have grown closer to people I thought I had drifted away from, I have seen others for what they really are, I have made new friends who are just as important to me as some of my oldest. My children are seeing their Mam with life in her eyes again. With a smile that reaches those eyes. A spring in her step and a reason for living that goes beyond them. They are my world but I am also reaching out and grabbing things for myself. I don’t use the word selfish anymore as it is so negative, I am doing and going for what I deserve!

My next counselling session will be my last I think, for the foreseeable future any way. How do I feel? Nervous, scared even. I really value her, she has been remarkable and helped me more than I could ever describe. I also feel strong and capable. I have learnt things about myself and how I can deal with certain things. I am aware of things I wasn’t before so this means I can read between the lines. I am learning to value myself as an individual with my own needs not just there for everyone else or a scapegoat when needed. I wont back down from what I want, what I believe in, what I want to do. I will support anyone, I will hold your hand and hug you when it is needed. I wont ever not be there for the people who want me, but it wont ever be to my own detriment anymore. I know I deserve the same in return. Guilt may try to take over but I can put her back in her box when I need to. She wont drag me back with her. Any one is welcome on my journey, but please don’t expect me to change direction to suit you. I wont do that any more.

I have said it before and I do believe it, this is something I will have to battle with all my life. I am aware and ready for the fight. Having dumped a hell of a lot of baggage over the last 14 weeks I am lighter on my feet and I can stand tall. I also throw a mean right hook! If I have a bad day then I will explore why, what has started this? I know the ways in which to approach it to feel better. If that is whole hog and keep busy all day then so be it, but if that is just simply to sleep or sit and watch shite films or tv then so be it. I know a lazy day, no matter how hard it is for me to do, wont set me back. In fact sometimes it is very much needed.

I feel happy, I feel positive and I feel back in control. I will be going back to work soon which is great in one way but also a bit daunting. I wont lie, because of the situation there and knowing its not what I want it’s going to be hard. I am looking forward to being back with my team though. Even if I no doubt will have drove them batty by the end of week 1. However at the same time if it wasn’t for what has happened I wouldn’t be on this path now. So in a weird way I should thank them. Although I think I’ll say under my breath.

I am off to get these foundations started any way. I’m in for a long, busy few months and for once, I cant fucking wait!!

Much Love

CC xx

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