people running a marathon, text that says marathons of life and when to stop running
Recently I have been running several marathons all at once. I'm not talking about actual 26.2 miles of pavement-pounding but Marathons of Life. I mean those long, painful times of our lives when we must keep pushing, no matter what. I've had a lot going on and in the last month, I finally managed to get on top and/or finish them all. Finally. 
One of my marathons included a hernia operation. I'd had the hernia for about 18 years. He was called Ernie and we'd grown quite attached to each other. In 2020, after my marathon with The Vid, Ernie decided he was going to come out, stay out and he would not be returning for love nor money. He also became painful, angry, and caused all sorts of havoc in my day-to-day life. 
So, we started the long and painful process of arranging an operation. It would take 46 weeks from time they confirmed I’d need surgery to finally getting it done. We had major problems along the way and at one point the NHS PALS even recommended I start legal action because of numerous cases of negligence and neglect. I decline to sue the NHS because, let’s be honest, they do a great job looking after me usually, and they can’t really afford more people suing them. 
Now, usually when I’ve had surgery, I like to be awake. I have a fear of being put to sleep. So, when I was told it wouldn’t be possible to keep me awake, Death-Con 5 anxiety stated to kick in. It started with chest pains, then mentally, then messed with my work and then ultimately, leaving me panic stricken to the extent I would sit in fear unable to move, and writing ‘goodbye’ letters to those close to me. I was in a BAD way, and I was alone. Of course, I had friends and family I could have turned to but how I felt was always played down. “It was going to be ok”, “No need to be silly”, or I’d see the sadness or pity in people’s eyes and would tell THEM it was going to be ok and then hide what I was really feeling and how damn terrified I was. People were busy so I FELT like they wouldn’t have time to talk, where in fact, me and my inner child and chimp were running around screaming “We’re going to f*cking DIIIIIEEEEEE!”. 
Marathons are lonely, even when you’re talking about the pavement-pounding ones. You’ll spend a lot of time in your own head, and no-one can really help you along. It’s something you need to do alone. The Marathons of Life are pretty much the same. We can feel like there is no one else out there. 
‘Luckily’ for me, at the same time as the hernia marathon, I was also doing another marathon with Long-Covid and because of the effects I was dealing with – physical and mental - I’d been assigned to a consultant for overall health, physio for learning to breath properly again and resetting my diaphragm, and a psychologist and therapy team I could talk to whenever I needed to, either in sessions or via an app. 
This helped immensely as I had someone to talk to, who I didn’t know, who wouldn’t try to offer solutions (unless they medically needed to), who would just listen, and because there were no personal connections, I didn’t feel like a burden. Because that’s how I was feeling everywhere else in my life and business. 
I had that hernia operation a little over a week ago, and as I sit here, wrapped in a fluffy dressing gown, with unwashed hair, and getting messages from people to see how I’m going, I’m proud of how far I come. I’m glad I’ve taken a break, I’m glad that marathon is over and in 12 weeks, I’ll be back to a new and improved me, albeit with 4 new scars to show off. 
Now that marathon is over (for the main part), It’s given me serious headspace to reflect and re-evaluate my life and the other marathons I have going on and I’ve decided to stop running a few, because they just didn’t serve me, my health, or my purpose. I’m sure there will be people in my life that will say “you’ve come so far!” but in my place of calm, I can say, “I’m done” with certain things, tasks, people, and things in general - and that makes me happy. 
So, the moral of my story, is, you WILL need to run the Marathons of Life but it’s ok to pull out halfway through if you think you can and should. It’s ok not to talk, but it’s usually better if you do (just find the right people), we’re all in this race together, even if you feel alone, you’re not a burden and you deserve support, happiness, love and to give yourself a break. 
Until next time, 
Dee x 
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