The New Year

rn0sm1sIt’s last year since I wrote a blog. September. Very last year.

January 2nd seems as good as any to stop in time. To look back. And to look ahead.

I started this as a weekly posting in June 2013 to highlight my 50 marathon challenge for the dementia research charity BRACE. And raise awareness about mental health issues, having suffered from depression for many years and just then been diagnosed with OCD.

It’s still a source of massive daily relief that my OCD was finally identified, followed up with 16 weeks of individual therapy and a group course on mindfulness, all thanks to the Devon Depression and Anxiety Service.

Some people think such things are hooey, get-over-it nonsense – I know that’s the case, because it’s been said to me many times.

When you live with constant anxiety, when you think you’re weird, when you suffer agonising guilt, critical voices and self-judgement, when you want to destroy yourself because you loathe who you are – that’s not hooey, that’s fighting a battle for survival.

Whether it happens for minutes, months or years, when you’re in that dark place, it feels like nothing in your world will ever be light again, that the black tunnel is endless.

I’ve been very lucky, to mostly get on OK with my life despite my underlying crippling fears, to find things I enjoy, things that help me and to want to share and promote the benefits to others. Running and writing, strongly coupled with being outdoors and nature, are two of my strongest torchlights, shining a beam in my darkest despair.

When I saw that the mental health charity Mind had a Run Every Day in January challenge I thought what a great idea to start the new year.

So it seemed a good time today to post that I’ve signed up for that challenge – Freddie my lurcher dog is delighted.

As for other projects, lots to do and write about, which I’ve been saying or mentally thinking for weeks, I’ll do in the new year.

Now it’s here. Better add, weekly blog to the list then.



3 thoughts on “The New Year

  1. Connie Boysen

    Saw your blog and it spoke truth. I’m where you are. Thank you for the inspiration, information and initiative to start today. Blessings!

  2. Olivia

    Hi Jo ,

    My sister and I stumbled across your blog as I have been battling ongoing obsessive thoughts and this is making me very depressed: I’m only 25 so it’s very disruptive and has caused a lot of problems. I particularly identified with the letter to your younger self and would love to hear more from you ! Thanks, Liv

    1. Jo Earlam Post author

      Hi Liv, my obsessive thoughts started in my mid 20s, but I was 48 before it was diagnosed as OCD. It’s a very disabling, distracting and also isolating condition. I do cope a lot better now I understand it more, and know that it’s not only me that has a mind that works this way. I did a group Mindfulness course led by anxiety therapists. Everyone was very open and it helped a lot. I realised it’s OK just to be who you are. Below is a link to an earlier blog I wrote, and I still use the mental delete button often. Hope you find ways to help you. Take care. Jo


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