This weekend I had to confront one of my fears and as race day approached I could feel my tummy tightening and myself getting worked up, so I had to do alot of talking to myself, a lot of positive thinking and relaxation.
I was very lucky to be surrounded by so many friends, whom also had their own anxieties about taking on such a big event as The Great North Run and by having each other and being together made such a difference to the whole experience.
The weekend up until the morning of race day, I was worried about standing in my selected zone on my own surrounded by crowds of people I didn’t know, and not feeling I had the space to move.
I hadn’t done this event before and the fear was taking over, turning into anxiety and then one of the ladies in our running group, offered to move back her running zone, so we could be together, suddenly I felt a sense of relief, and we hugged each other.
It’s ok to ask for help, there is no shame in it, when you feel scared often a problem shared really is a problem halved. Also, you will find that how you are feeling, many more people are feeling the same way and by talking about it really gives you a sense of security that everything will be ok.
I entered The Great North Run at the beginning of the year and for me it wasn’t just because I wanted to run it, but mainly because I wanted to face up to my fear.
I had thought about The London Marathon previously, but been too hesitant, because of the crowds and it being such a huge event.
I had been unsuccessful to get a place at London, and so thought let’s try GNR only to find out after I had entered it, there is double the amount of people running it then London!
Anyway, I was accepted for a place through Mind and I was delighted about this because I wanted to continue my fundraising for mental health.
Ive always feared large crowds and confined spaces, for as long as I can remember….. I don’t like lifts, and will always take the stairs if they are there, but often there isn’t an option and so I start to feel so anxious if I have to take the lift. It’s during these times just like when I was at The Great North Run I have to take deep breaths, relax and have mental conversations in my head, that its going to be ok.
I also feel anxious about closing a toilet door for fear of getting stuck in there, especially on trains and planes.
It’s hard to deal with anxiety, because the more you think about the fear, the more scared and worried you become and at it’s worse it affects your breathing and suddenly you are in a panic.
I’ve learn’t over time to deal with my anxiety, having been in uncomfortable situations beyond my control, especially during the times I needed MRI scans. I’ve had 3 MRI scans over the years and I would often avoid things that caused me stress and anxiety.
Even though I completed The Great North Run and I was in the crowds it wasn’t a quick fix cure for me, it’s just about doing something out of your comfort zone and saying to yourself it’s ok and that little steps, however big or small, it will make you feel good and proud of yourself.
I told myself why I’m doing this, why I’m here, hoping it will be helping people to talk about their worries, fears and anxieties, we should never feel ashamed of them 👫👫