In a blog post a few weeks back I described confession as the greatest relief, which is something I truly believe, and I want to use confessions as a subject of future blog posts to help people understand better what I mean by that, starting with today.

Every time a great weight is lifted in my life, it is in the immediate aftermath of a confession of some description. Confessing that you’re not happy with a level of service you have received, confessing that you made a mistake and need another shot at something, even down to confessing that you’re struggling mentally – the latter being the greatest weight lifted in my life so far.

The Last Six Weeks

The last six weeks or so have been a really interesting and partially weird time for me. I’ve been busier than I have for a while at work, i’ve been back and forth between Essex and London a lot recently due to changes to my job and sorting out my living situation for the foreseeable future amongst other things.

All of that plus my brothers wedding and stag weekend as well as West Ham being undefeated in their last six home games gives the impression that everything was going very well for me.

Wedding Day

However – something was wrong.

In my evenings after work I would feel quite empty and unfulfilled which would create a negative atmosphere and attitude from myself that would make me feel quite low, and with that I had no drive or desire to get the best out of my day to day life.

For a week or so I had no idea why this was, I was quite puzzled by it all seeing as all of the big aspects of my life seemed to be going well. Then there was one morning where I was working from home, listening to a Tyson Fury interview where he talks about his past struggles with mental health, and everything he says in this video I can relate to, from a variety of different moments in my life.

In the video he talks about the big turning point in his comeback was when he added routine to his life again, working on it repetitively day in day out, going as far to say that routine is the answer to his mental health woes.

In my eyes Tyson Fury is proof that whatever needs to be faced can be faced with the right help.

My Realisation

Listening to this interview made me realise the drastic changes in my routine once I reached a particularly busy time in my year. Before the middle of February I had a really good diet going and I was hitting the gym 3-4 times per week. Less than a month down the line and my diet was atrocious and I hadn’t done any form of exercise.

I know that you get people who don’t exercise and don’t watch what they eat and can be perfectly happy, which is fine, but that’s not me. I’m one of those people who likes to keep his work and social life very separate. So when I finish my 9-5 job and had a whole evening where I didn’t know what I was doing, where I had no routine, that’s where I began to feel low amongst a swarm of highs in my life.

In last weeks post I talked about an evening run to Stamford Bridge which I described as my first bit of physical exercise since my brothers stag weekend, well… that’s a lie, there was one other.

Twelve days earlier I put on my running gear and set out on a 5k run, no matter how long a gap there has been between my fair weather running hobby I could always jump back in at 5k. However, on this Sunday evening run I couldn’t even make it to 5k, I hit the wall at 4k when I arrived at Waterloo station, which is 2 miles from my house.

On that day I walked home from Waterloo station feeling as if I had regressed massively, but by the time I made it home I felt like I had regained a little bit of drive in my life and from there I began to build the routine back again.

Routine

At the start of the year I said that if I were to have a resolution this year it would be to add more of a routine to my life. I’d listened to many podcasts and read many articles talking about the mental health benefits of having a routine, many describing to do lists as a game changer. I liked what I saw so I started to incorporate more of that into my life.

It didn’t take long for there to be a slip, but these things happen, I may have been lost for a few weeks but after a disappointing 5k attempt I started to work on it more. Twelve days later I set a destination of Stamford Bridge and went for an evening run, which exceeded the 5k distant by over half at 7.8k.

Evening run along Chelsea Embankment

That run was much more enjoyable for the most part, but if you thought the whole thing was a pleasurable experience you’d be wrong. There was no part of me that in the final moments where I could see Stamford Bridge in front of me above the terraced houses of the Chelsea area that I wanted to be there. I was sweating, i’d run out of water but ultimately I made it and felt great for it.

Six days later I did the exact same route again, four days after that I ran a convincing 10k and the following day I signed up for my first half marathon in eight weeks time.

And just like that, the low points of most evenings just a few weeks back aren’t there anymore, and it all started with the confession to myself that my routine had been lost.

Confessions – Loss of Routine

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