It’s 10:15am on an overcast Tuesday morning. I didn’t sleep well last night. I spent most of it tossing and turning and thinking about anything and everything and coming up with some great stories. My head aches as always and I feel down and deflated compared to yesterday. Today is about getting through the day and nothing more.
Things don’t feel right today. Everything feels out of sync and not right, everything is out of place as if someone has come in during the night and moved everything around so I can’t find anything. Everything that was normal yesterday is not today. I have a sixth sense for these things and I know something is wrong and not right today. Whether I get to find out what it is, is another matter but something is not right today and I can feel it.
It’s 4:29pm. I had planned to go for a short run to the Giants Tooth at Ogden Water but I had another anxiety attack and all I could think of was Alcomden Stones. Even though it would be longer than I had planned and I am running again tomorrow I knew I had to run to the stones. I can only describe it as a compulsion to run to the stones, I felt that I had no choice and I was being guided by another force. Autistic people like myself often have compulsive thoughts and they are horrible. They take over your life and you can’t do anything else until you have done what you feel compelled to do. It’s as if your mind has a blockage and giving in to the compulsion is the only way to clear it. Sometimes it can be something like buying some chocolate biscuits. It’s the buying that is the compulsion not the eating. Once you have bought them all the anxiety drains from your body and you can carry on with your life. Until you buy them you can’t do anything as you turn into a nervous wreck until you buy them. Sometimes it can be far more serious such as going for a run in dangerous conditions where you know you might die. That is living with compulsive thoughts. A very unpleasant experience and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
So I set off to Penistone Country Park and a run up to the stones hoping it would help me feel better and take away the bad feelings I was experiencing. At Penistone there was a few cars parked up so I guessed I’d encounter some people on my run. I put my pack on and set off on a familiar route but one I always enjoy. Although it was overcast it was warm and this made it perfect running conditions for me. I didn’t have the energy sapping sun to contend with and it was warm enough to wear a short sleeve top so I wouldn’t sweat too much.
The run to the stones was pleasant. There was quite a few people on the route but they were all happy to step aside and let me run past them. I felt good too, better than yesterday. I felt comfortable running and I was able to pick up the pace and maintain it. At Top Withens there was a few groups so I didn’t stop to take photos and carried on up to the stones. I saw two people coming down from the moor but on a different path and I wondered if they’d been to Withens Height a place that is on my list to visit and one that I’m sure I can find a path for. On the way up it was perfect running conditions and I was enjoying running again. I wasn’t as fast as I’ve been but I was a lot faster than I have run recently. To my surprise at the trig point there was a hiker sat down having a sarnie. It’s rare to see anyone up here as in my experience people get to Top Withens and don’t go up to the stones. He said well done cheerily to me and I continued on my way.
As you go on the path to the stones it dips out of sight and I sometimes stop here and look around as it is one of the few places I know of that you can’t see anything manmade, not one single thing, not even a fence post. To me this is getting away from it all seeing nature as natural as possible without the hand of man changing it. I was getting a bit anxious again now as I wondered if there would be anyone else at the stones which would spoil my visit. I consider these to be my stones and no-one else is allowed near them when I’m there. It’s an experience that I don’t want to share and I kept scanning the stones to see if I could see anyone there. I couldn’t and this made me happy again.
I got to the stones and there was definitely no-one else there. I had them all to myself. Immediately I felt a sense of calm and peacefulness sweep over me as if the stones knew why I was there and they wanted to help me. I felt home here. I could imagine living here and being known as ‘the wild man of the stones’. You’re surrounded by open moorland with stunning views and so far away from all the stress of modern life you feel that nothing can harm you or get to you. I spent a few minutes at the stones before heading back to the car before I got too cold.
I felt better for going to the stones, calmer and more relaxed. For the run to the car I took a different path as I wanted to avoid people as much as possible and it was the right choice. The path going down to Stanbury is wider and today had less people on. I was able to pick up the pace again and push myself which I haven’t bene able to do for a while. This felt good. I could open up my legs and run at speed and feel like a runner even if I didn’t look like one. I went over a stile and down into a clough before climbing the other side and back onto the main path to the car. My legs felt good too. They didn’t feel heavy or tired and I was able to keep pushing all the way back to my car.
Home and I feel so much better as if I have got rid of the bad feelings I had woken up to. I don’t know if I have got rid of them, time will tell, but I feel so much better for going up to the stones and doing my thing there. It was a lot different run to yesterday, more focused and purposeful. I felt good running too like I was getting back to my old self again where I could pick the pace up if I felt able to. The stones were as magical as they always are to me and I hope my prayers are answered and things improve and I can continue to move on in life even if it is only small steps at the moment.
It’s 8:51pm and a final thought. It’s been an ok day. It started off bad but a run to one of my favourite places where I can reflect and contemplate on things helped me a lot, and a good quiz with friends had ended the day nicely. I’m hoping for a good nights sleep and a good run tomorrow and then I can relax for a bit and look at what I want to do in my life and what’s important to me. I might be making a few lists tomorrow.
As usual I don’t feel right and I have my headache and other health stuff to deal with but I’ll do my best and carry on fighting till I can’t fight anymore.