My mind roars. Like a never ending waterfall. An incessant noise, rushing and thundering.
It is 1am, 2am, 3am. I can feel sleep in my limbs but each time it drifts nearer the roar intensifies, my body tenses, it is gone.
I go to bed tired, perhaps I read for a while to ensure I really am exhausted. The light goes out and for ten minutes there is the optimistic hope of sleep. Then the roar starts. Negative thoughts add themselves, each one increasing the deluge.
Outside noises (and there are many where I live) are magnified and make their way past the best earplugs. Light pollution is turned, by my anxious brain, into glaring sunlight.
A knot of anxiety settles on my chest, much like the weight of a sleeping cat but with none of the comfort.
Night after night of this insomnia has crept up from nowhere and taken me by a weary surprise. One night I cry and tell my partner I want to feel normal again.
Something has knocked my mind out of kilter and I can’t make sense of it. I can only put it down to the ultra run. Since I ran that, less than three weeks ago, I have never settled back down.
The race was tough and drained my body for a week afterwards. Now I see it took a toll on my mind also. 37 miles of running, through rain and hail, in the hills of the Lake District.
My knee, an old injury weakened by a fall some weeks before, went on me at mile 8. A great support team, codeine and positive mental imagery of the finish line got me round. It hurt but I was so happy and proud to have completed it.
Why, then, is my mind so unhappy? Is it just the physical toll? Is it the loss of something I had aimed and trained for for 8 months of my life? Has it allowed previously buried worries and insecurities to creep past barriers I had carefully erected?
Was it my trip to my beloved Lymington days after the run which did this? Having not been back since Bob died I was concerned about my solo day trip. But I found it lovely; peaceful and filled with happiness.
I cannot let this beat me and take over my life. Friends have given advice and reading to help and I grasp each helping hand.
I have learnt breathing exercises and am using a Yoga Nidra app which relaxes me but not to the point of sleep. A technique of bringing in negative thoughts and then controlling them through the concentration techniques of Yoga Nidra.
My partner tells me to write, that it will help. I tell him that people don’t want to hear. He reminds me why I started my blog; for me. That I write for me.
And so this morning, after another bad night, I write.
I know that life is good. I am looking forward to walking in the sunshine today. I am saving hard for another big adventure next year and have two months to train for cycling London 2 Paris in 24 hrs this September.
Physically I am healthy but my mental health is not 100%. I must treat it like a cold. Look after myself, give myself recovery time. Be kind to myself.
I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.