Anxiety was the real catalyst for my interest in running after the birth of my daughter in 2010 – when I was told I was pre-diabetic – and decided to run the Marathon! I set myself that goal partly to get rid of the baby weight, but mainly for the mental benefits.
I was taking mild antidepressants pretty much continuously for the previous 10 years and I was terrified of the mental effects of being a mum. I felt I had to set myself a huge challenge on the other side of motherhood to have something to work towards and to prove to myself I could cope with the changing world.
I’d never run a marathon before, although I’d toyed with running over the previous 10 years, mainly for my anxiety, health and weight-management. Training for and completing a marathon as a new mum was an enormous goal, but I did it and I’ve never looked back.
Running has become a bigger and bigger part of who I am. Now I run most days and have entered more events, including other marathons. It has given me the ability to know I can set challenges for myself and overcome them.
It’s enabled me to create a ‘me’ I never imagined. I’m a better mum than I ever believed I could be — I can be responsible and manage the minutiae and day-to-day stresses of motherhood that previously I’d been too self-absorbed to believe I could cope with. I’d come off antidepressants during pregnancy and I haven’t been back on them since.
I’m not suggesting running is a magical cure for any mental health issue or diabetes, but there is some link in my ability to manage the demons that had plagued me. It wasn’t my goal to be medication-free, it was to be a happy, healthy mum.
People often assume that running comes naturally to me, but it doesn’t. I worked hard to get here and started by doing a lot of walking and jogging. Running gives me fitness, a sense of freedom and prevents me from being diabetic. I’m out in the fresh air an hour free from motherly duties and the office. I run and I feel free.
E255 – Running Helps Anxiety and Pre-Diabetes – www.diabetic.today