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Another DoubleMarathon Challenge

A fabulous blog about an event I’m helping to organise. Time for me to write my own summary of this momentous and exciting event, I think!

Dr Juliet McGrattan

All of a sudden I find myself with two spring marathons in my diary this year. How did that happen? Well, I just couldn’t turn either one of them down, they’re both too good to miss. I mean, when you’re invited to run the Boston Marathon with Kathrine Switzer on her 50th anniversary race you simply don’t say no do you?! There’s quite literally a long road ahead but my training plan is well underway and is going well so far. I anticipated giving my absolute all in Boston and then not running another marathon until the autumn at the earliest….

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The turtle and the hair

This is the first time in a few weeks that I’ve sat down to write a blog.

That’s not to say that writing a blog hasn’t been in my head for ages, circling around with the myriad of other ideas for writing that I have, never mind the practical things of daily life, or the emotional.

We all have so many calls on our attention don’t we.

For me currently, my turtle story is demanding lots of mine – most of it packaged with a large dose of anxiety that goes with having OCD.

One of the stories I’ve been carrying around in my head, for over two years now, is about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or Out of Control Doubt as I refer to it.

I’ve managed to get 12,000 words down on paper – the rest, a few thousand more still to come, are like a swarm of bees in my head, buzzing at me, demanding to be set free.

They’re trapped inside with two more children’s stories, one written but demanding a mental re-edit, a full sequel to my turtle tale, and a two-act stage play. It’s a crazy old beehive in there, I can tell you.

I worry a lot whether I’ll ever get them all completed, if I do, who will read them, what will they think. I’m anticipating the critical rejection of my words before they’re even out there.

Worry, that’s another big thing that takes our attention, catches us in its grey-day trap.

For people with mental health issues worries are magnified, sometimes to overwhelming unbearable levels.

It’s good to see that the BBC is covering this hugely important topic over two weeks in its In the Mind series.

If we let our minds get clouded with grey, we sometimes fail to spot the sun.

This happened to me just now – I nearly missed this sunset by a hair’s breadth, because I was here writing, worrying about writing.

The hair that led me to the light was my dog Freddie, furry face poked in mine, demanding my attention, demanding a walk up the hill.

A red sky sunset in all its glory – that really puts my OCD beehive mind to rest.

And it shows how we can get trapped inside by worries that aren’t real or important and outside miss the spectacular.