This is one of the most inspirational and positive but painfully raw programmes about the range of mental health issues people face, how it affects them and how we can all learn to live with it in a more positive way.
I am very open about my own issues with mental health and, after watching this, I feel less alone – I could identify with a few of the programme’s participants but Rhian’s story really resonates with me. As a mother who has lost a child I understand going throw the motions, putting everything into looking after your kids but leaving nothing for you. She described how she has to keep busy because it occupies her brain – this has been me, although this is getting better – but for 10 years I have kept busy and occupied whether with the kids or with work. I’m not very good at relaxing for me, I’m not very good at switching off. I think of Jamie every day but he usually stays in a comfortable place in my head – every now and then I allow my grief and my longing to have him back to take over and the tears and emotions overflow.
The message in Mind Over Marathon is really positive – overwhelmingly it’s about living with our own mental health issue in a more positive way, taking control of the things we can control – diet, exercise, positive thinking, therapy, coping mechanisms – and always trying to move forward. We haven’t failed, we are not failing. And it’s about accepting and dealing with our heads, our depression, anxiety, emptiness, panic…which is painful, which is why it’s also about having good support, which is the tricky part for a lot of people.
It’s a shame it’s only 2 programmes, I would happily watch more – it is so important to raise awareness but also to help anyone who is struggling to feel less alone. But this has been an inspiration, it’s made me think and it’s made me see how far I have come but also how far I can still go, haw far we can all go.