I’ve always felt guilty that I’m not a social runner – but at least going solo is perfect for escaping Covid-19
FUCK SELF-ISOLATION: that was the unspoken message in the air around London’s open spaces yesterday.
I ran through three parks as I knocked out my Sunday 10-miler, and it looked like everyone in the city was outside with me, despite the Coronavirus.
Given some half decent weather for once, Londoners were seizing the chance to stretch their legs, and for some space and fresh air.
Kids, Mums, Dads, old folks, lovers and dogs – they were all out – along with runners. Dozens and dozens of runners.
It even felt a bit Blitz-Spirit-y, being out there mingling in the face of Covid-19.
‘Bring it on!’ said the dog walker, bending to bag a turd”
Bring it on! Said the business-as-usual body language of the dog walker bending to bag a freshly minted turd. London Can Take It! said every Dad standing his ground quietly against a toddler baying for ice cream.
But in the midst of all these heroes was a coward – and that coward was me.
Because, as I dodged and weaved through the throng – woolly gloves on despite the sunshine and maintaining a safe two metres at all times – I wasn’t being brave.
Depression can make you think that you’re not ill at all – just an arsehole.
THE MISSUS was away at Glastonbury over the weekend, and I was delighted about that.
I’m not saying that I’m glad she wasn’t here with me and the kids.
Rather, I was excited that she and her sisters were able to go to one of her favourite places in the world.
Ever since the children were little and therefore a handful, Glasto has been her (almost) once-a-year chance to be utterly free from all her responsibilities, get a bit pissed and chill out in the sunshine.
But her going is also freeing for me, because I’m confident that she’s going to be happy.
And if I know that she’s happy, I can let go for a while of one of my big anxieties: that being married to a depressive like me is ruining her life.
Far too many mornings, I wake up feeling anxious and have to stage an in-depth mood intervention before I can face the day.
I KNOW I’m going to have a bad day if I wake up feeling Fizzy.
‘Fizzy’ is my catch-all term for the anxious, sometimes mildly suicidal, feelings that I often begin the day with, but that can crop up at any time, given the right/wrong stimuli.
Feeling Fizzy usually announces itself as a combination of a very slightly raised heart rate and marginally faster breathing – leading to a low-level, fidgety type of trembling within me and a nasty premonition that something is going to go wrong.
It can also present itself as unpleasantly intense brain activity very soon after waking – usually as an argument between two parts of my brain, over something quite irrelevant to my life.
But whatever the subject, one brain part generally flings an accusation that is unfair or unpleasant at me even before I am properly awake, and that sense of danger and defensiveness sets the tone for the day ahead.