I’ve taken on a big challenge recently – to run a marathon next year. After the thrill of making the decision and getting a place died down I was left with questions
- Can I do it?
- Do I have time to train?
- What happens if I can’t make it?
- What was I thinking?
The reality is that it will be hard work and take a lot of effort, but I have support and time to prepare. Not everyone is so lucky, particularly those for whom challenge is a huge part of everyday life.
If you suffer from depression, getting out of bed can be a challenge in itself, everyday tasks of living take huge effort and self-care is often the biggest challenge of all. Similarly, navigating the day ahead when you suffer from anxiety means being in a constant state of alert and heightened tension. It’s exhausting and often something that remains hidden from friends and family – so added to the burden is the pretence of looking like everything is just fine.
You know that confident happy person you see every day? Maybe on the train, in the playground, getting coffee – the person who looks like they are sailing through life, nary a care in the world? Trust me, they’re not. They’ve just got the pretence thing down pat; what it really means is that you just don’t know what their challenges are – but they do have them.
I’m very fortunate, my day to day challenges are generally first world stuff and I got to choose my big challenge. I opted to run. But I remain in awe of anyone attacking challenges that are not of their making. Anyone for whom the business of life is made harder by anxiety, depression or any other mental dis-ease. You are truly amazing.