General

Running On

I didn’t run for four weeks and dropped out of two running events during July –  the Run or Dye Colour Run on 2nd and then the British 10K on 9th. That was probably the longest I’ve gone without running since I started back in March 2013, and the first time I’ve dropped out of running events. I didn’t have the energy or motivation following a string of personal issues which left me feeling anxious and physically sick.

Where to begin?

This time last year I found out that my boyfriend of three years had been lying to me – about having a job (he’d been getting up, showering, ironing a shirt and sitting in a car park all day every day, pretending to go to work), about drug use and being chased by drug dealers, about a secret child he abandoned and couldn’t afford child maintenance for, about debt/bailiffs/various County Court Judgements, about a secret drinking problem (getting fired for drinking before work, hiding bottles of vodka in the bin)… and a whole bunch of other stuff. Literally lying to my face for three years and hiding all sorts of issues.

I felt so stupid – stupid for not noticing, stupid for trusting, stupid for thinking nothing was wrong, stupid for believing lies, stupid for thinking we had a normal relationship. Eventually, on what was most definitely the lowest point of my life to date, the Police had to separate us following an incident where my ex was so drunk that he became uncontrollable and abusive.

I was later informed that he was telling people that I had cheated and that was the reason for the split. Couldn’t be further from the truth; just more lies.

Shortly afterwards I was made redundant (again) with immediate effect, from a company I’d been at for five years. I’d always been the first person to volunteer, join a committee and educate myself in spare time, so was hurt, and again felt a bit stupid. I wasn’t entitled to any redundancy pay because the same company had made me redundant just 18 months prior (and then invited me back), so it was a rush and very stressful to secure another role. Job interviews nowadays are brutal and soul-destroying, so my self-confidence took another bruising.

Then during February time, I received call after call after call from an Unknown number in the evenings. I don’t answer Unknown numbers so let it ring out each time, but there were so many that I ended up turning my phone off. The same happened a few nights in a row until I finally answered and heard heavy breathing. This happened a few times and was quite frightening. Eventually I worked out who it was (the only person who would ever do something like that), said my ex’s name and he spoke up. I made my feelings clear and luckily it stopped there, but the harassment was unprovoked, out of the blue, and frustrating.

Then during June, my car was randomly vandalised six times. Coffee, ice-cream and drink were thrown over my car on three separate occasions, the bumper was kicked to the point of nearly falling off, and the whole length of my car (across three panels) was keyed with force on two occasions.

The police were informed every step of the way and it was an endless few weeks of logging reports and evidence, and writing an official statement. I didn’t want to increase insurance premiums by claiming for the damage, and Mercedes quoted just under two thousand to repair. I cried, I was physically sick, I was unable to eat for days at a time, and had to have a CCTV camera in my car at all times.  The thought of someone targeting me, being outside the house while I slept, following me around and vandalising my property was horrid. If I just wanted to pop to Sainsbury’s I had to let someone know and make sure the CCTV in my car was fully charged and turned on, just in case.

keyed Smart car

 

I can’t abide people who mope and feel sorry for themselves, and I’ve always managed to plough through whatever sh*t has been thrown my way. This time though, it was a struggle and my enthusiasm for life was definitely challenged. Sometimes it was an effort to get up and to smile. Running – or any sort of exercise – was out of the question.

I’m not posting this for attention or for sympathy – far from it. This endless drama has encouraged me, gradually, to seize various opportunities. Firstly, I’m in the process of selling pretty much everything I own (furniture, books, clothes, shoes…you name it!) and having a huge life clear-out, which is strangely therapeutic and exciting. The goal is to reinvent, have a fresh start and get rid of all reminders from the past few years. I don’t want to be in possession of anything that reminds me of exes, old jobs or bad decisions! I’m being brutal and have already cleared a whole storage unit. 

Secondly, I purchased some white car-friendly paste and filled in the scratches on my car to highlight them and turn the vandalism into a piece of art. The result is awesome and I actually quite like it! Sadly the police couldn’t obtain enough evidence to secure an arrest, but my car now has more character with her ‘war wounds’ and I won’t be getting rid of them. I’m sure karma will work its magic in due course !

Thirdly, I’ve never run a marathon before and it’s on my ’30 Things To Do Before I’m 30′ list. I’ve got one booked and paid for, along with a half marathon in September, so there are targets to meet and events to work towards. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t solve anything and there is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel – goals, dreams, things to look forward to. My running shoes are firmly back on my feet and the future looks bright!

Big smiles 🙂 x

 

 

2 thoughts on “Running On

  1. Laura,
    Man, I’m sorry you’ve had such a tough time of late. It sure sounds like things have been awful.
    That said, there’s positivity in your writing and it’s fantastic that you’re finding your way through it all.
    Don’t underestimate yourself, you inspire people and may not even be aware of it.
    Keep searching for the light in the darkness, you’ll be just fine.
    Stay awesome!!

    Like

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