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Updated: Dec 7, 2018

I couldn’t hold her hand without fear reaching from within my soul and strangling me on the spot.

Love, purpose, hope, all driven out like there were wolves at their heels.

It’s like one night my heart was ripped from my chest – and as a sick joke – buried in the back garden. It’s there, somewhere… over there… maybe there… or there… under that rock… under that thistle bush… no. It can’t be found. But I can still feel the wretched thing beat. I can feel as it pulses against the tightly packed dirt. it’s suffocating it’s desperate it’s afraid.

Suffocating, desperate and afraid. That’s how anxiety and depression have plagued me. How can you have a relationship when that’s what you’ve got to build on. Is it any wonder I couldn’t hold her hand. Is it any wonder I gave up trying.

I’ve sought out fleeting feelings. I’ve made a fool of myself on Facebook as I poorly, and at times inappropriately flirted. I’ve soaked up tinder. It’s been mutually non committal, but it runs dry.

Yea, I’m afraid. I’m afraid I won’t be able to ever manage well enough to ever have a relationship.

My commitment to life, has come with the development of a theory. The theory being, that if I can put myself in the most stressful situation; where my fear, disappointment, bitterness and shame are at their strongest, and learn to stand anyway, then overtime I can learn to manage in life.

Cycling has been that. It was an unfaltering dream through my childhood and youth. It held an unrelenting passion. A drive. A joy. It was what I wanted to do with my life. Mental illness wiped out everything and left me battling to just breathe.

After unsuccessfully seeking to escape the mess of my mind, to run, to find a place it wasn’t, with support from my coach Mark Windsor I turned to this last ditch effort at life. An attempt to accept my mental illness and to learn to let cycling be part of my life despite it. Doing so with the absence of any real drive is hard, bloody hard. But it has become a challenge that seems worth facing. To learn to live despite the suffocating, the desperateness and the fear.

And I do manage better, I have moved forward. I’m not cured, at times I feel as lost as ever. All the things I can’t manage pile on my brain and push me into the dirt. I can’t think too far ahead. Just manage today.


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