Exercising for a better mental health

Monday 23rd May 2016 (11.57am)

5/10 – Woke up quite tired with sore eyes (all the bugs from yesterday – should wear glasses), and some muscle soreness. I did a recovery swim and had a sauna. I have received lots of kind messages on Facebook and Twitter in relation to yesterday’s achievements. Whilst I am not after praise or recognition, it is nice to know that people have acknowledged and taken the time to comment. I have also over the last couple of days had more social interaction with friends and I have made arrangements to meet with friends tomorrow.


Sunday 22nd May 2016 (8.32pm)

Not quite sure I will be able to write much tonight or even make much sense. I feel quite tired after the Velothon! When cycling around the 140k route, I did not mentally feel in the game which is not like me when I am out on my bike. My official chip time was 5 hrs 28. Out of 969 female finishers, I was 150th. Overall I was 3301 out of 8814. Chuffed with that. 5/10.

Saturday 21st May 2016 (1.44pm)

4/10 – I am sitting in Coffee #1 having not done any exercise (which I hate); however I need to rest these legs for tomorrow. I feel a little bit more enthusiastic now I have got my kit ready, put my number on my shirt and added my timing chip to the front of my bike. I start at 8.31am in ‘Pen R’.

I really did not think I would be off work this long. I know people say that these things take time, but for someone with no patience I am finding this hard. Why can’t I just find me and be happy again? What will it take? I look around me where there are couples, friends and families, yet I sit here alone with my own thoughts and reflections. There are three people on the table next to me talking about Henry VIII. I digress! A friend has messaged me this morning but I am not in the mood for conversation so I have only replied once.

Next week I have an appointment with the Force Medical Advisor (FMA). I am not sure if this is knee or mental health related or both. I also have an appointment with my counsellor and GP. After every sick certificate I have had, I have always thought that it would be the last one; now I am not so sure. I ask myself if I would be better going back to work to have a routine. I know I have to be 100% or as near as and I know I am not there yet. I am still worried about my position and I wonder if I am jeopardizing my career prospects by being off. I know that my health and wellbeing should come first but I still have ambition, as to doing what and where is another question.

I have been given special dispensation to defer my Open University Human Biology exam (on medical grounds) to September. I did really well in my assignments scoring over 90% in all three, so I can know do it, and studying if I can get my head around it will give me something to focus on. I find that my memory and concentration is rubbish at the moment so it will be difficult. It is nice to get out and do some writing. I may be writing complete rubbish but hey its therapeutic. The Henry VIII crew have just left. I wonder who will sit there next, and I wonder what their lives are like.

I have no real plans for later. The FA Cup final is on where my team Manchester United take on Crystal Palace. It is now 2.31pm and nobody has sat on the Henry VIII table.


6/10 – Not a bad day in the end. My mood has lifted and I am quite excited about the Velothon tomorrow. I have had a number of messages wishing me well. Alarm set for 5.30am so I best get my butt to bed. Oh and Manchester United beat Crystal Place 2-1.

Friday 20th May 2016 (10.28am)

6/10 – Not feeling too bad this morning, maybe it is because I have a plan for today which gives me a sense of purpose and direction. I woke up at 4.45am with my brain spinning things around (about divorce of all things). I got up early and went for my 1 mile swim. I feel happy that I am getting faster and stronger in the water. Perhaps I wont drown at Tenby Long Course after all!! I need to go into Cardiff to pick up my Velothon Wales pack. I am not too enthusiastic about the ride the moment.

Thursday 19th May 2016 (11.18am)

5/10 – Went to David Lloyd, had a mile swim and then a relax in the lounge. Work is still playing on my mind, and I am worried about what will happen when I return and where I will be based. It is the last thing I need to be worrying about when my mind is where it is. I do not think I will be returning to work when my sick certificate expires next Wednesday.

Wednesday 18th May 2016 (10am)

4/10 – I arrived at David Lloyd at 6am and spent the whole morning there. I did a mini triathlon with some yoga chucked in after the swim! I have never done yoga before but a few people have said how beneficial it is for you both mentally and physically so I thought I would give it a go. The session lasted an hour, and whilst I think I enjoyed it I found it hard for my brain to with off. My brain kept drifting and I found myself thinking about random rubbish. I am sure it will get easier if I stick with it so may go again tomorrow.

Tuesday 17th May 2016 (12.25pm)

3/10 – Phone call received from work seeking my views on a possible developmental move. Whilst I do not want to move to be a Sergeant anywhere, if the opportunity for an Acting Inspector role came up somewhere then I would move, but otherwise I would like to stay put. It is difficult for me to think about work at the moment and whilst work need to know what I want to do, I do not believe that I am in the right place to make any important or informed decisions. Undoubtedly there will be conversations going on determining moves. I would like to go back to my role as it will offer consistency and continuity what with knowing the role and the people. I am interested in career development but I need to be involved in decisions. I am afraid that a wrong move somewhere could be detrimental to my wellbeing. This is something that I don’t want to worry or think about for now, but it is hard not to.


2/10 – struggling, lost mojo (whatever that is) and completely fed up. What more is there to say? I am still going over the earlier conversation with work and now feel in no hurry to go back. Today has highlighted to me that normal rational conversations which would have previously not bothered me, have today spun my head around and done me in. #mentalhealth

Monday 16th May 2016 (6.46pm)

3/10 – Not sure what is going on today, but feeling quite fed up. This is a bit of a contrast from yesterday when I felt I was not doing too bad. So this is what is meant by the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ or ‘ups’ and ‘downs’? I have been to the gym but not done much else.

Saturday 14th May 2016 (10.44am)

I was at David Lloyd before it even opened this morning. I did a 2 mile swim and a 5K run. I am physically feeling good, and mentally, I am ticking along at about 6/10. I am now just relaxing with a hot chocolate to bring me back to life. I am not quite sure of todays plans; I guess I will see where my mood takes me. Once again, I got chatting in the changing rooms and the conversation naturally drifted to me being off work and the reasons why. I was honest, and once again this led to someone opening up to me. It felt good to chat to someone with an understanding. Even though we do not see each other all of the time, knowing about each other will hopefully mutually increase the support we can provide. I am learning how incredibly important it is to open out to people as if you don’t, you may never know who else may suffering around you.

Friday 13th May 2016 (12.12pm)

5/10 – If I had written my mood score earlier then it would have been lower. I am in a cant be bothered mood and haven’t been to the gym. I have had some text messages from friends which I have replied to and I have even made plans to meet up with them next week. Again, lacking inspiration so no point bumbling on.


I thought I would try and give this writing another go. This afternoon, I went to local coffee shop and finished the book which I started yesterday “Adventures in Human Being”. It is so nice to have the time and opportunity to read. I really need to make more of an effort to do it when I go back to my busy routine. Ideally I need to spend less time on the internet looking at mindless crap!

I had a lovely text from an Inspector who I have recently met and done some work with from another department. I have also been made aware of many people sending me their regards from work. I have received so much support over the last few months from unexpected people. By this I mean from people on Facebook who I have not seen for years; and also from people in work who I have not been close to over the years and just know them through the the job. It is strange how circles of friends change and I am extremely thankful and grateful of the people who I have around me. I have also made friends at David Lloyd; people who I have randomly got chatting to in the changing room or in the gym. I have opened up to some and it is surprising how many have been in a similar situation. I know that I will never have to go through this alone. It is just up to me to let people in to my life, as difficult and uncomfortable as that may be.

I received a lovely photo earlier of my mum and nephew in the park. Part of me wished I had gone but the other part shouts out for quiet time. You may argue that I have had 6 weeks of quiet time, but I have now acknowledged that this is going to be a lengthy process.

Whilst I continue to find myself on this journey, I am learning more and more about myself and depression. I know in time that I will turn this around; in the meantime it is all about finding me and becoming a stronger and better person.