bikes, depression, and dropping out.

I’ve been battling with the big “D” for most of my life. From a time before I understood what that terrible blob of darkness was, to this very moment. I’ve cried my eyes out helplessly, I’ve drunk myself stupid, I’ve spent perfect sunny days in bed unable to get my feet on the ground and moving forward. I’ve felt sorry for myself, I’ve hated myself and doubted every thing I ever did and ever dreamed of doing.

One thing that has lifted me up has been the bicycle. That simple machine gave me wings. Being outside has always improved my attitude, given me hope, and a glimpse of light. The bike gave me vehicle to get out there and keep going and seeing, breathing, looking for what is around the next corner, over the next hill.

Funny thing is the bike became everything and I eventually got pretty good at riding bikes long distances. Then I got on a bike team and got a bike sponsor, hot damn, pretty rad eh? It is rad to get recognition and support for what you love to do. Only thing is you don’t get that support and recognition for just being you and riding your bike. There comes a list of requests to go along with riding, racing and smiling. Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, Strava all become a part of your life. All of a sudden an introvert like myself is puking themselves up all over the place trying to get more likes, more press, more interest in whatever it is we are promoting.

Lately it has weighed heavy on me. I struggle everyday to find the self confidence needed to get out of bed, to get dressed and be the adult I have to be. I am not the always super positive, ultra energized bunny I put forth on social media. I don’t always get out there and ride as I am saddled with internal battles that leave me pacing around the house or laying in bed staring at the ceiling.  All the while there is pressure to get “content” out there.

Well I am caving in. I am withdrawing from the social media limelight.

I need to focus on being me. That is difficult enough most days and it gets very much confused by the whole public image thing. I need to ride my bike for fun, not for a workout or for the pictures to post up later. I need to inspire myself to ride and spend some quiet time when not on the bike.

I might be done racing, and I might race my brains out. Right now I have to make being happy a priority and that means letting all that go, so I can settle on what is important and that is living the best I can.




3 thoughts on “bikes, depression, and dropping out.

  1. We all know you can ride, Jefe, but you seem like a nice guy, a real caring human being. I hope you get this figured out. I’ve dealt with mild, sporadic depression my whole life, so I have a sense of what you might be going through. Its eased now that I’m entering my 60s. One of the best things about getting older, imo. Hang in there, and keep your loved ones close.

  2. I hope you’ll keep this blog going on some level just so we can see some cool rides. Mike said it all pretty well above so I don’t have too much to add other than than that I gave up Facebook a couple years ago and that was a positive for my life. I do keep a fake profile and use it as a news aggregator for the sites I like to follow, but no friends and none of the social stuff. I like it way better.

    Blogs are a little different though; and you are a good writer, so I hope you’ll continue to do it when you feel like it.

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