Book Reviews

Melancholy Mind

Hi everyone and thank you again for visiting my post.

Just want to warn you guys again this post does contain some sensitive material so giving you a trigger warning.

For today’s post I would like to post a review of the book Melancholy Mind written by the talented Charlene Mcelhinney.

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This is a book that describes Charlenes personal struggles with mental health through her poetry. One thing that stands out is that mental health is such an increidbly difficult sunject to talk about because it is so personal so I think Charlene and anyone else who talks about mental health deserve credit for being so open and honest. I know from my own personal experiences of mental health that it can be hard talking to those you trust never mind those who you have never heard of.

A lot of the poems in here are hard to read because of the nature of them but at the same time they are beautiful because they are something we can take a lesson from, use for our own education and I believe they will bring hope and comfort to those who are experiencing similar situations and show that they are not alone. I know Charlenes poems are a true and accurate description as someone who was previously diagnosed with a mental health illness myself a lot of her poems also describe how I felt too and it felt relatable to me.

I really like Charlenes poems because not only are they descriptive and powerful, they also make you stop to think and contemplate about the situation and that in itself can teach us empathy and comfort.

One other thing that I really like is how Charlene has structured the into 9 separate chapters (Reality, Symptoms and causes, Love, Insomnia, Medication, Recovery and Coping, Help and Contacts, Blog Snippet and Twitter Reaction). I feel this helps the reader to understand mental illness more and breaks it down into sections rather then just giving a general overview.

I just want to share some of the poems and feedback that Charlene has already received from each up for her chapters

1. Reality

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2. Symtoms and Causes

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3. Love

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4. Insomnia

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5. Medication

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6. Recovery

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7. Help and Contacts

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8. Blog Snippet 

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9. Twitter Feedback 

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If you wish to purchase Charlenes book, follow her blog or Twitter account, please see the links below:

Click here for her blog.

Click here for her Twitter account

Charlene also runs a Twitter chat #beechat and click here for a link to their profile.

Click here for the Amazon link to purchase her book.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

Faisal

Poetry

Mothers Beauty

Hi everyone,

As mentioned in my bio I also love writing poetry and have decided to share this on my blog so below is one of my poems.

I should probably give this poem a trigger warning as it does involve grief. Thankfully I haven’t been through this experience yet but when writing poetry I like to imagine myself in the other persons situation and think about how I would feel and I hope you all like it.

 

Mothers beauty

Here I am playing with my toys

Trying to block out a devastating noise

All I heard was a loudness, a commotion

Devastated to know it was my mothers final motion

Still was still, she was gone

From this world she had departed from

A hole had developed in my soul, in my heart

A pain that was clearly tearing me and my family apart

I had never felt such pain such emotion

Only too late I had realised a mothers pure devotion

I long for her comfort, I long for a hug

In a shallow  grave she is preparing to be dug

Here I am trapped in grief

Knowing this pain is not likely to be brief

Witnessing her body is quite hard to see

On one hand wishing that it was me

I miss her, I miss my mum

Her face always shining as brightly as the sun.

I miss her, I miss my mum

The calling for dinner she had made wanting me to come.

I miss her, I miss my mum

I miss her looking after me as she had always done.

I miss her, I miss my mum

I miss talking about my problems to her which she didn’t shun

I miss her, I miss my mum

My immediate future looks so bleak, so blearily glum.

I miss her, I miss my mum

Wishing this heartbreaking damage could be undone.

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Blackpool 10k

IMG_0532.JPGHi again and thanks again for visiting my blog.

A few months ago, I decided to take part in the Blackpool 10k. Blackpool is fairly local to me and in some ways I tend to enjoy the runs there so was fairly looking forward to it.

After arriving in Blackpool, I met up with all my fellow Red Rosers and all the pre requiremements prior to the races began (toilet queues, getting the race numbers etc)

I decided that this would be the race that I wanted a PB. I really believed in myself and I believed that I could achieve the PB. My head was screwed on and I was really determined and strong minded.

The route was basically a 6.2 miles run along the sea-front which looped back on it self. I really wanted the PB so I started at a really fast pace and I was worried that perhaps I had started a bit too fast and each mile felt very long.

On this race in particular I found my breathing was really difficult. Normally on runs I can run and talk at the same time even when running fast but on this race I just couldn’t and I was fully focussed that I had my game face on.

As we approached the 3rd mile I felt relief that I was nearly half way through! As we turned back on ourselves, it always feels amazing to know that you are on the way back as it feels closer to the finish. I also knew that I was on course to get the PB but it’s always in the 2nd half of the race where it feels the toughest.

As I ran along the sea-front the wind really hit and it is always harder running against the mind and more of a challenge. I was so pleased that I managed to get through that hurdle. Mile 4 was possibly the hardest as my legs began to tire possibly as a result of all the previous hard work.

As we I got around half way through mile 5 I saw that my fellow Red Roser John was just behind and I knew I was having a good run then because John is a really fast runner and he was behind me but I was struggling and was looking forward to the finishing line now. As we got to the finishing line, I sprinted as fast as I could and even though I wasn’t sure at the time if I got under 50 mins, I knew I got the PB and it felt fantastic. The official time was 51:09. John finished a few seconds ahead of me.

After that, we had to go out to enjoy fish and chips. A great end to a great race!

Thanks for reading!

Faisal

About me · Poetry · Religion · Running · Uncategorized

Ramadan

Hi guys and girls. Thank you again for visiting my blog.

Some of you may know that it is currently Ramadan which is the 9th month of the islamic calendar.

Ramadan is a month where muslims around the world fast from dawn until dusk which currently in the UK stands at around 18 hours approximately. Throughout this period muslims abstain from food, drink and sexual relations. I personally find fasting isn’t as hard as some people think and quite a refreshing thing to do. A lot of it is about will-power because we are still getting 2 meals a day. The Islamic calendar also rotates on a yearly basis as it only has approximately 355 days rather than the Gregorian calendar of 365 so Ramadan rotates each year and fasting has been done throughout all the seasons.

The whole purpose of fasting however isn’t just to stay away from food, drink and sexual relations but rather to abstain from everything that God has prohibited in order for us to gain closeness to God and fasting is a perfect way of achieving this as it does help one to become God conscious. Fasting also has a lot of health benefits such as low cholesterol and it can help someone lose weight if done correctly.

Ramadan is also a time where muslims tend to increase their time in worship and devotions to God and try to become better people. Throughout the month you see a lot of people offering more prayers then they normally would, give in charity more often and struggle and strive to become closer to God.

Ramadan is a time to fully cleanse the soul, seek forgiveness from those who we have wronged and forgive those who have wronged us. The atmosphere amongst the muslim community during Ramadan is fantastic and tends to be quite special and I wish it could remain the same all year round.

Thank you for reading and hope you all learnt something!

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London Marathon weekend

Hi guys and girls and thank you once again for visiting my blog.

On the 21st April me and my dad travelled down to London to watch the London marathon which was scheduled to take place the following day. After arriving at the train station, I was really excited to see what the weekend had in store for us.

I first went to Hyde Park and it was a nice day so ended up being there for absolutely ages.

Later on in the evening I went to one of the restaurants near Gloucester Road where I got to meet with my fellow Red Rosers for some food and to have a nice evening in good company. It was also a good chance to wish everyone well for the race the following day.

The following day I got up bright and early as I wanted to get there at a reasonable time and I had arranged to meet everyone at Bermondsey which was about 10 miles into the London marathon if I remember correctly. As soon as I exited the underground station I could hear the rapturous noise that engulfed the streets. Lots of people were chanting and cheering for their loved ones and it was magical.

As there was so many people I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my fellow Red Rosers but after a few phone calls eventually I found them. We waited for our fellow Red Rosers to come past and it was nice to give them all a big cheer.

One thing I got really excited about is that we saw Ben Smith on the route. Ben Smith is the guy who raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity by running 401 marathons in 401 days. An astonishing achievement but it just goes to show what people can do if they put their mind to it.

After we cheering on our fellow Red Rosers we decided that we wanted to it again so headed down to Embankment which is towards the end of the race. As we left the underground station I was totally shocked to see Claire (who I met in Brighton). It was a total surprise. Who would have expected us to see each other out of hundreds and thousands of others. We then carried onto Embankment whilst Claire was with her friend.

On the Embankment it was streaming with supporters as this was near the end of the race where everyone needed the cheers just to help them pull through and finish the race. I saw the pain on their faces and I still felt like I wanted to run with them. They were all doing superb though. As the crowds were so big it was difficult to spot them. However when the all came past, it was apparent they were all doing amazing and by now they were not far from the finish.

We didn’t get to see them cross the finishing line but everyone was glued to their phones to find out if everyone had finished. They all did superbly and it was a pleasure to go down and support for the weekend.

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Running Motivation

Hi guys,

Thank you again for visiting my blog.

As most of you may know through all my blog posts/Facebook status’s/tweets/Instagram pics etc that I have fallen in love with running. What first started as a training setting for running a marathon has now turned into a full blown hobby and if I don’t run a couple of times a week it begins to feel like there is something missing.

I think there are lots of different factors and many different reasons why people enjoy running such as the fresh air, seeing the outdoors or seeing sites within their own city which they didn’t know existed. For me although I do enjoy all those things, there are 3 other things that I enjoy more which are detailed below:

Company + Support

Throughout my journey so far I have met many people who I deem to be inspiring for so many different reasons. I’ve had people who aim to run 100 marathons by 2018 and just completed number 62 yesterday, people who have developed incredibly well as runners from the progress I have seen, people over the age of 70s and 80s who still run (and look incredible) and the people who struggle but still never give up and have a strong, determined and fierce attitude. I’ve found that with running lots of these people tend to have self-doubts but normally achieve the goals that they set out to achieve which is a massive positive which shows that they are stronger then they think they are and this is something that I as an individual take inspiration from and part of the reason why I love having company around me. Good company is also great for support because lots of people give motivation and encouragement and that can give people confidence and belief in their own abilities. I know i’ve needed it sometimes when i’ve struggled and it’s great to have the company of good people helping you along. Got to give a big shoutout to my local running club Red Rose Road Runners because I think they are amazing at this and I proper love them guys!

Supporting at the Races

This is 1 of the best things I like because it’s an opportunity to take in the race atmosphere and enjoy the day and have some fun but also rest the legs which to be honest is a nice feeling. I have been to a few races to support everyone but especially the mighty Red Rose and each time I have had lots of fun myself. It’s useful to people who are running especially as they are approaching the finishing line and it gives me the opportunity to jump up and down like i’ve heard Antonio Conte does for Chelsea (Not that i’m a Chelsea fan by the way). I do however love being so energetic in this manner. I also enjoy supporting as I still treat it as a social gathering too.

The biggest thing though is that it is an opportunity for me to give something back to others who are also good to me. Lots of people support me in lots of different ways. Some have given me lifts for free, some have left me encouraging and supportive comments, some ran with me when I was very slow to begin with and some have just offered advice in general.

The point about this is that I think its important to give something back to others who have been good to you because it shows that you value and appreciate them. I’ve found in Red Rose and the running community as a whole that kindness spreads.

Escapism

I also find that not only running but exercise in general is a form of escaping from any troubles or dilemmas a person is going through even though it may only be for a short while. Around 2012 I was going through certain difficulties in my life but I found hitting the gym and exercising in general helping me in a positive way for the simple reason that I could forget about what was happening in my life for a short while and put all my efforts into doing something positive and enjoyable. For me that was a big thing and through the running community i’ve spoken to a few people who were in similar situations to myself and they have all mentioned they have felt like running has helped them in a positive way. It’s nice to have the freedom of mind, focus on something positive and strive towards an aim and objective.

Thanks for reading!

Faisal

Uncategorized

Valients half

Hi guys and girls and thank you again for visiting my blog page.

Exactly a week after I ran the Brighton Marathon I ran Valients half marathon which took place in Lancashire, Throughout the week I was unsure whether or not to run this race as it was so soon after Brighton. Sometimes my legs felt like they were in pain, sometimes they were not so I decided to do the Thursday night run with my club Red Rose and then decide after that. In the end I decided to do it and I always look forward to races especially if there are also a lot of Red Rosers there too because I tend to treat it as socialising with running as an added bonus.

On the morning of the race, I got picked up by my pal John and we drove down to the race. As we approached the registration area we came across various parts of the route and the route felt like a maze with lots of twists and turns. After collecting my race number and doing the customary Red Rose team photo, we headed down to the start line and I just wanted to get going.

I didn’t really have a time in mind. I’ve learnt that its sometimes best not to because we can then avoid disappointments. I decided to try and keep up with my fellow Red Roser Louise as she is a great runner and I knew if I kept her in sight I could still have a good run.

I remember for the first few miles there was a long straight road which seemed to go on for a long time but I prefer flat bits rather then the dreaded hills.

As we got upto around mile 5 Louise sped up quite far ahead of but I could still see her so that was good enough for me. My legs were feeling quite heavy, quite possibly as an affect of Brighton but by mile 6 I had my game face on and I decided that I now wanted a PB. Louise was quite far ahead now and I realised that if I wanted to catch her I would have to work extremely hard. That’s it game face was on, head down and I was running with my heart and soul because I really wanted to do this. It was quite hard maintaining that speed and I had to vary the pace like interval training.

Whilst I was running fast it felt painful in one way but amazing in another. It felt amazing because I knew I was trying my hardest which meant I was having a good run.

I somehow managed to keep going at a moderately fast pace and by about mile 11 I did manage to catch up to Louise. By now I was tired and in pain but it was just about sticking it out now. It was by now I just wanted the race over and done with.

The line to mile 12 seemed enormous but the road to mile 13 seemed even longer. It’s at this time during a race you run with 2 things other then your legs. you run with your head and your heart.

Adrenaline kicked in now and combining this with a strong desire can help a person achieve a positive outcome for themselves and I was getting closer and closer to the finish line.

Louise was fantastic at this point shouting words of positivity that helped keep me motivated. As I went through the finishing line, I knew deep down that I had got the PB. It’s an amazing feeling for a runner to know that they have ran a good race. The time I got was 1 hour 55 mins and I was proper made up. My first sub 2 hours half!

It just goes to show that if you run with your head and heart anything is achievable unless you have an injury.

Thanks for reading guys and girls!