A couple of weeks ago I got a message from my friend Emma asking me to Skype. As much as I miss her since we both left university and could meet up for a coffee whenever the whim took us, I had to make myself do it. Talking face to face, on the phone or Skype can be really difficult when I’ve been struggling. Depression can make me tired so conversations are a real effort and my anxiety means I am then constantly worrying about whether my tiredness is coming across as rudeness. Even when I am feeling a bit better, I am out of the habit of socialising with people which makes it seem scary and I have to force myself back into it.
I am really glad I forced myself to go and talk to Emma. The two of us have been providing moral support through each other’s darker periods for a few years now and even though the last time I had spoken with her she had been going through just such a period, she was as always very funny.
Emma has a gift and strength I’m not always sure she sees. In the last couple of years, which haven’t always been easy for her, this strength has been focused on Cross Training. When Emma sets her sights on something, it better beware! That girl has grit. It wasn’t long before Emma was competing and placing in regional competitions. When I am depressed I feel proud of myself for getting out of the flat and walking to the shops to buy milk (as well I should be!) Somehow though, Emma managed to use her determination to succeed to get out every day and train. As she talked about it I had to tell her how amazing that is!
I am a hopeless athlete. I have weak arms, I can’t run more than eighty metres without puffing and I have such a short attention span I couldn’t focus on training for more than five minutes. However Emma did inspire me. She inspired me to get back into doing something that meant enough to me that I might just be able to drag myself out of the house on the awful days. So last night I auditioned to become part of a musical theatre company. I have always found an escape in performing but just like being out of practice at talking on the phone, it took a lot of cajoling myself to go to somewhere I have never been before and interact with people. Emma helped me to take a really important step just by being her wonderful self.