I’ve felt compelled to write this today. My journey through mental health, depression, extreme emotion and anxiety has been nearly six years so far in this one episode. This is changing though, slowly almost microscopically at times, but changing it certainly is. When I started the journey to the 2011 Round Britain Cycle for Health I was surrounded by dark thoughts and death. Each day was a struggle to wash, eat and have some sort of exercise. Socially, I was a hermit, scared of reaching out for fear of getting bitten by predators. In short, I was still a mess!
Since beginning cycling again, changing diet, settling in a real ‘home’, stopping beating myself up, and just managing things better, I’m coping and not only that that, I’m growing, like a small lavae, I will become a butterfly, sometime soon. This blog represents that new start in the same way the previous blog marked an intention to do something useful, anything at all. The up and coming ‘Round Britain-cycle for Health’ ride was so far off the radar when I first thought it up, the doctor and therapist looked at me as if I was having delusions!!!!
In my heart, I knew this was the right path to follow and I deliberatly gave myself one and a half years to plan and get fit. Nobody knows what will happen on a journey like this, but you can do a little at a time, realistic goals, and the process is engaging, fun and creative. I always have given myself the right to ‘back out’ if I needed to, it helps me to not feel pressurised by this enourmous challenge in front of me.
All of the other things have happened just because I could then sit and work on the idea as and when I felt able : sponsors, social friendships,getting out and meeting people, getting fitter and more confident. The cycling is moving forwards and I have wonderful memories of the Tours around Dartmoor, The Devon/Cornwall Coast and the stunning ride to Snowdonia and back. Those rides were off the radar too before I did them.
Right now, I still have difficult times, but I know they will pass by in time and I know I will cycle again when I can’t go out. People have been amazingly supportive and generous to me, believing this is real, that I can do it, and helping out, with often, just an encouraging word or two on Facebook etc. This in itself helps me fell part of something again. “I can do this and I will do this” are my thoughts most of the time when things look darker. I let myself rest when I need to and wont be pulled into being intense in the training or the preperation. Put simply, if I feel I can, I do, and if I feel I can’t, I don’t, and that is the answer.
So onwards time marches, with May 2nd getting closer and closer. I’m nervous, and rightly so, preperations continue to go well, and one day soon I will be on the road with my cycle, trailer and thoughts and months of cycling to enjoy. I can’t wait
You can contribute at my donation site: www.justgiving.com/Graeme-Willgress