100 miles gone (or thereabouts) several to go

Blown away. Not in your quentin tarrantino stylie – oh no – the kindness of others seems to be boundless.

1 degree of separation – the two lou’s invited me along to see lou sing in a bar in Dundee. It didn’t come as a shock – but she sings beautifully – not unlike adele.

Lou introduced me to the pub owner, telling him briefly about my little caper, and he instantly donated £20 to the cause and gave me a free bar tab.

A friend of a friend – this is infectious. Needless to say I went mental and had 3 pints.

I stayed with lou’s parents last night – they fed, watered and sheltered me. And washed my kilt – and lou ironed it – there is nothing more boring than ironing a kilt…

As I sat pondering the day – showing young Nathan my rolling eyes trick, my William tell overture on my teeth with a pen trick and my dripping tap trick , singing lou came down – ignored my request for a sausage sandwich and furnished me with the full Scottish and the mother and father of all packed lunches.

I could go on about this welcoming attitude into their community – but I’ll stop now – fantastic. Lou said, “at the end of the day it’s just food and shelter…”

Yeah, right.

As I walked out of Dundee with a skip in my step, safe in the knowledge that I have somewhere to stay tonight – lou’s brothers – I got a text from jan to say my story was in the Dundee chronicle – she’d sent my tale of happy wandering to them.

Sun shining, I walk into a small town called monifeith to be met by 3 guys on bikes – they’re getting away from it all by cycling from Aberdeen to southwest Scotland. I briefly tell my tale – they dip into their pockets to give me donations – I say ‘whoa – I only need a bit of cash for juice and the like – any donations should go to my virgin donation website.”

“buy yourself something” “get yourself a beer” said Paul, Lee and mark as they thrust cash into my hands.

Life is good. The people of the uk – as I thought – are amazing and kind and generous.

I know this blog’s beginning to go on a bit – but I need to talk about the whole mental health thing. – just a bit.

Even though it’s my aim to highlight the experiences of people with mental health problems I still find it all a bit tricky .

The other night, when we were all at jans we were all talking a bit about our maladies. Jan spoke a little about her ME and kitties MS – lou talked about her experience and fears around her own MS.

My turn – go on chris, tell them about your borderline personality disorder. I did – to an extent – give a list of symptoms – from unwelcome imagery of self harm flows through my mind, to dissociation where I can zone out for minutes, hours, days, weeks occasionally.

Whereas I could hear about their problems, even smiling at the thought of lou’s disobedient legs, a quiet voice of judgement was sounding at the back of my mind,

“They’ve got real problems – if you could just pull yourself together….”

Which is the very message I’m fighting to combat. It’s just a little hard at times to swim upstream.

With the help of these people, with the help of you guys, that swim’s becoming easier.

100 miles in? Bring it on.

Walk a mile in my shoes

Chris

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