Tag Archives: running away

When You Stop Running…

There are many reasons why people run away.
It’s important to have someone to come back to.

when-you-stop-running-the-last-krystallos-titleThe UK police receive more than 100,000 missing adults reports a year. Up to 80 per cent of these adults have mental health issues, and a significant number have experience of domestic violence, financial problems, family conflict, or alcohol problems. It is difficult to find statistics of those who return, but missingpeople.org.uk say few of them receive support to tackle the problems that caused them to go missing in the first place. The police are responsible for undertaking a “Safe and Well Check” soon after a missing person returns to find out where they have been, if they suffered harm, and to provide an opportunity to disclose any offending by or against them. However, following a Safe and Well Check, most adults do not get offered a proper assessment of their health and support needs, or help to get their life back on track, and consequently many go missing again.

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

It’s important to have someone to come back to, someone who will offer support and any help that is necessary. I’ve written about Running Away and how important it is to have someone to come back to…so maybe I should illuminate how I discovered this during a major depressive episode:

I woke empty. My tears were dry though my heart drowned and I moved through the early hours in automaton. I dropped the children at school then returned home. I pulled clothes from my cupboards and zipped up my bag. My heart thumped within the restrictive bounds of my chest, but I refused to allow emotions to surface. My hands shook as I drove. My eyes flicked to and fro like a frightened rabbit and blood pounded through my veins.

I drove. I drove miles and miles…and then kept driving. My hands gripped the wheel and my mind, still empty, focussed on nothing but the road.

I had no idea how far I drove, I just hit the motorway and kept going. Almost two hours later, about to cross the Severn Bridge and a single thought invaded, I had no money and if I crossed the bridge I wouldn’t be able to pay the toll to return.

For a few wild moments I toyed with continuing to drive, but my hands ignored me and pulled into the services. There, in a far corner of the car park, I let the tears fall and they fell until there was nothing left and emptiness filled my heart again.

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

I sat in my car for hours unable and unwilling to allow rational thought inside my head, until an alarm sounded. I automatically checked my phone but it was quiet. I tended to get caught up in writing at home and had an alarm that gave me fifteen minutes grace before leaving to collect the children from school.

No alarm had gone off, except the natural alarm within my head. Now thoughts of my children waiting for me at school, waiting for a mother who failed to return filled my mind. Those thoughts swarmed and turned to my husband and I imagined the school trying to contact him when I didn’t turn up. He would find calls queueing on his phone and worry. He would hurry to collect the children with thoughts of his errant wife in the back of his head…or maybe the fore front of his mind.

He’d return with the children to an empty home.

My mind played out the entire week and finally a flicker in my heart lit and fear ignited. The fear of leaving, the fear of being permanently lost overwhelmed me. Now the only thought in my head was home.

I drove those one hundred miles with a hammering heart and a depth I didn’t know I had.

My fifteen minute alarm went off half an hour from home. I was late picking up my children. Reality kicked back in as I got home. My children never noticed the extra bag I carried as they took their own school bags inside and they didn’t see my red eyes, and my empty heart kept well hidden.

Nobody knew about my bid for escape. Nobody knew for a long time.

try not to run away from those you nee let them be there for you, try not to run away, those who care, running away, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

I ran more than once. I ran in different directions. Sometimes I walked out of an empty home, sometimes I left people behind. But, and it’s an important but, when I walked away from family, they kept calling, they left messages, they texted…and when I was ready I returned.

There was always someone there who cared. There was always someone to go home to.

It doesn’t always work out, I know sometimes people run and they don’t come back, but sometimes they do.

And sometimes they don’t run too far or too long. I’m lucky that there is always someone to return to, and that they care enough to support and offer help when I need it.

In Beneath the Old Oak Meg’s mother goes missing due to mental health issues. Meg and her father go through the process of reporting a missing person and the stress, strain and heartbreak that goes with it. The important thing is, no matter what happens to Meg’s mother, her family remain hopeful.

missing persons, missing people, runaways, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

I cannot imagine the heartbreak of having someone you love go missing. If you run, please consider letting your family know you’re okay. The police have a duty of care and will be able to pass on a message and allow you to stay missing if that’s what you want. If you want to return home, again the police and charities they work with can help facilitate and get you home again.

116 000 is the number to call or text for a free and confidential 24 hour service from missingpeople.org.uk or contact your local police station. These links can help to report a missing person: missingpeople.org.uk and gov.uk.

Try not to run, but if you do, always remember those you can trust,
those who love you, those who need you.

Thank goodness for those you can come back to.

BeneathOldOak_Cover_Amazon-(1)-Low-Res-245kbTo read more of running away in ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ the book is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and Etsy.

‘Turn those dreams of escape into hope…’
Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too? Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her Mum’s erratic behaviour, she’s terrified she’ll inherit her mother’s sins. Seeking refuge and escape, she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. A storm descends, and Meg needs to survive devastating losses.

Running Away and Coming Back Again…

People deal with stress, anxiety and panic in different ways.
I’ve always been a runner
and not in the sense of pounding the streets in Nikes with a stopwatch.
I run. That’s what I do. When it all gets too much I run.

running away and coming back again, Lisa Shambrook, the last krystallos, running away, escape, coming home,

The two main responses are Fight or Flight. I fly. I don’t do confrontation – I avoid it all costs. So much so, that I barely ever answer my own telephone. My initial reaction to anything that makes my heart pound is to run. Even love caused me to run a mile, which hubby discovered after only two weeks. As soon as real emotion got involved, my poor heart fluttered and panicked and I was gone. I hid, refusing to answer the door, or the phone, remaining cowered inside my heart until I pulled myself together and accepted that I felt the same. Thankfully he hadn’t given up. Now twenty-three years later, he is, and always has been, my rock.

drapetomania running away, drapetomania, the urge to run away, the last krystallos,

Drapetomania © Lisa Shambrook

My default setting is to escape, and it’s been that way since I was young. I avoided people, lost in books, writing and drawing as a child. The necessity of school meant I had to run the gauntlet of social activities. I was the quiet one, the shy one, the one in the corner. I didn’t stand out surrounded by myriad friends, but the friends I made at school loved me for who I was.

I ran from school several times. Right out of PE – I ran. After assembly – I ran. I ran with a pounding heart and the desperate urge to flee. I ran with blind panic, with anxiety bubbling inside my chest and with no thought of consequence except escape.

From fourteen I suffered depression, and it reared its ugly head with a breakdown at eighteen. My coping mechanisms crashed and after running for so long, I simply stopped. Getting diagnosed with Post-viral Fatigue/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – CFS) masked the depression, and allowed me to stop running.

Then I met Vince, my rock. I married young and moved to Wales. If that’s not running, I don’t know what is… Three small children kept me busy and finally gave my life reason. I escaped the CFS after a decade, but my depression and anxiety remained. It took ‘til my thirties, an assault and another breakdown before I faced my demons.

And I run til the breath tears my throat The Alarm Rain in the Summertime

Rain in the Summertime – The Alarm – Meme and Photo © Lisa Shambrook

The reasons behind my running emerged and got confronted. The first time I’d confronted my demon, the person I confided in wept, and I comforted them. Then I continued running.

I’ve run from home – just upped and left. I’ve driven away, miles and miles, with no intent to return.

I’ve dreamed, and planned, and run.

I always wanted to escape.

But there was never anywhere to go – so I always came back.

Coming back taught me things. I learned that running doesn’t get you anywhere. It takes you away, it provides emotional distance, but it doesn’t fix a thing. I learned that antidepressants have their place, but they don’t offer solutions. I learned that talking was the only way to move ahead, but the NHS denied me that option. I learned that trust was earned and that the only people who offered me that were already close. I learned that I had value, that I was someone worth loving. I learned to rely on and trust my husband and my children.

They saved me. 

I learned that support is much more than a network, it’s real friends, real people who offer tangible love. I learned that one friend noticing and recognising a self-harm scar can ultimately save your life. I learned that to value yourself, you must love yourself. I learned that when you can’t trust or lean on society, then lean on those who love you. I learned to value myself enough to accept help.

dandelion clock, wishes, lisa shambrook, the last krystallos,

Wishes in Bluebell Woods © Lisa Shambrook

When you feel that life is too much, don’t suffer in silence, talk. Talk to anyone who’ll listen. If you can get professional help, do. If antidepressants help, take them. Try not to run, but if you do, always remember those you can trust, those who love you, those who need you. 

Thank goodness for those you can come back to.

For help with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression see your GP or Health Provider.

Beneath_the_Old_Oak_front_cover_finalRead more of running away in ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and Etsy.

‘Turn those dreams of escape into hope…’ Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too? Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her Mum’s erratic behaviour, she’s terrified she’ll inherit her mother’s sins. Seeking refuge and escape, she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. A storm descends, and Meg needs to survive devastating losses.