I’m Jess Robson.
I’m 24 years old, London based, working an administrative role with an amazing supportive core group of friends and an incredibly loving boyfriend and family. My life is pretty damn good really.
Despite this, I have been dipping in and out of depression for roughly 6 years now, and have been running (more seriously) for the past three of those years. Running has been my means of escape, my means of accomplishment, and my means of proving my strength at times when I felt my most weak, psychologically.
I’m an emotional girl. I get sad a lot. I get anxious a HELL of a lot.
Concealing my emotions doesn’t come naturally to me, I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to share all of my personal daily dramas and life stressors with close friends as running commentary throughout the day (aren’t they lucky). But when I’m depressed, that changes a little.
Suddenly, the “daily stressors” aren’t what’s bothering me, what is bothering me is a darkness that is beyond my own understanding. A really heavy cloud that could drop on me at any moment and, well, it’s not that easy to share this with your mates anymore.
It was during one of these really dark periods that I was having that I decided to head “home home” back to my parents’ house in East Sussex. My mum is an avid runner, an elite speedy-thing whom at early-o’clock on the Sunday morning dragged me from bed on a long plod with her. As we ran side by side I felt the tension ease off a bit and I told her everything that was going on. I could open up about the Fluoxetine and the terrible side-effects, I could open up about the therapy… I was opening up all the doors I’d shut since the cloud appeared.
I’m creating Run Talk Run to provide that same space my mum gave me. A safe place of understanding and open ears that you can feel at ease to open up. I found that physically moving forward whilst sharing what I’d been going through was so powerful in allowing me to recognise that, well, here I am – still moving forward despite all that’s weighing me down.
Having people around who understand the depths of depression and debilitating effects of anxiety is invaluable in helping you feel less alone.
Once I’d opened up to my mum, I then felt more comfortable in seeking help from other sources too.
I want so desperately for every depressed person and every anxious human to have that same safe space that I had too. This is the reason I created Run Talk Run.
I hold the belief that whilst mental ill-health is very real, very raw, very painful and very lonely, there ARE things that we are capable of, as humans, to support each other and ease some of that pain for each other. Most of the time I think the most beneficial lifeline is a sympathetic pair of ears. That being said, even if we are “well”, maintaining good mental health needn’t be over-complicated either.
If you’d like to join one of the central London runs, pop Jess an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or if central London is unavailable to you after work, why not join in with one of the imminent virtual running challenges?! Follow @runtalkrun on Instagram to keep in touch!