Disclaimer: Please don’t judge me. Running and writing are the two things that I use as therapy to try and stop my mind frying. I needed to write this one for me and you don’t have to read it.
Never more have I wanted to get the shorts on, the shoes on and run. But this time not for the running. Yes, I have a marathon coming up. Yes, I want to get back in decent shape. But none of that matters just now. I need to clear my head and need to try and get a bit of sanity. My head has been tormenting me today, because yesterday I held my brother’s hand as he passed away.
This is not a cry for attention. I genuinely don’t want sympathy from writing this. I’m the lucky one. I’m here, I’m healthy, with the love of an amazing family and I have so much to look forward to.
He had an illness and while the call wasn’t unexpected you hope it won’t be as soon as it is when it comes, and you even hope that circumstances can change and the call won’t ever come. But I don’t think you can ever really be prepared.
There’s 7 years between Robert and I, he the older, and I sort of felt sorry for him when we were young. A punk teenager, and I mean 1977 style punk, having to share bunk beds with a primary school altar boy isn’t exactly kicking against the establishment. The resentment got less or maybe the tolerance levels just increased as time went on, particularly when he eventually got his own room. For many years after, we bounced music off each other, I have no doubt that my love of music originally came from him and the education of SLF, the Pistols, the Damned, the Clash and the Stranglers, along with the introduction to John Peel, wasn’t a bad way to start. Mixtapes swapped. CDs made up. First questions when we saw each other? “So who you listening to?” As our lives moved on we drifted apart again, and no doubt disappointed each other with our inability to keep connected with each other, but our priorities had changed, and our paths had changed. He was always my big bro though and when our paths did cross we still bounced off each other but I genuinely didn’t realise just how ill he had become until it was too late.
It can’t be underestimated how much finding something like running can help your mental wellbeing, even if it is respite just for that 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours or whatever when you can try and get the stresses away.
I’ve just been out there.
I’ve hammered the streets and had some tears while I have done it and no one saw me.
I’ve hammered the streets and took my anger out on that big bloody hill at Muirhouse.
I’ve hammered the streets and I’ve tried to clear the mind of all those negative thoughts that I’ve had. Amongst others, could I have made things better? Could I have done more? Could things have panned out differently? Could I have been a better brother? Am I to blame? There’s “yes”s in there, “maybe”s, but I know also there are some resounding “no”s.
I’ve hammered the streets, headphones on music playing. And with this one in particular. Big bro, though we shared so much music this one has always made me think of you and I guess now it’ll always be your song. Be at peace brother and hurt no more. xxx