This used to be the future

I’m not crippled with anxiety any more. I have my moments, but I know how to manage it.

It’s Sunday. I’m walking over a shopping precinct in Swinton trying to remember where I’ve parked my car.

I’ve just finished recording the audio to a radio show in which I’ve been interviewed about running, mental health, happiness and, well, life. It’s sunny. It wasn’t when I arrived, but now, some ninety minutes later, the sun is warm enough to feel on my face and bright enough to illuminate the shady corners of this 1960s vision of what the future might be.

I find a Greggs and buy a coffee. I buy some water too as I’m thirsty after a morning of talking, thinking, and nervously worrying about what I’m going to say. Do I admit that I’m really a bundle of nervous anxiety? Do I give voice to the fear that I still succumb to of dying? And then I remember how far I’ve come since I laced up my running shoes and replaced nights on the booze with nights on the road, on the trails, the tracks and the treadmills. I’m not crippled with anxiety any more. I have my moments, but I know how to manage it. I’m not full of fear of the unknown anymore. I sometimes forget this.

I sip my coffee and take a photo. The sun is peeking through the February cloud cover. For the briefest of moments I realise that my anxiety is a relic: I’m not anxious without reason anymore. I’m happy. I’ve no idea what I used to be so fearful of. Many was the Sunday that I simply couldn’t face the world.

This used to be the future.

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