I remember the sensation of riding my bike. Up and down hills with the consciousness of my insides follow suit. The abandon of the wind in my face and my hair touseling to and fro.
As a child, there were not many things that brought that joy. Sure there would be the occasional moment of happiness, BUT me alone on that two-wheeled stallion of metal I owned the road. Ever so often the path would become harder and cause the bike to shake. At these times I would grip the handlebar more tightly, and begin to be aware that speed is of the essence, and begin to pedal more quickly. Sometimes the unevenness would bounce so violently that I felt more of a prisoner of the machine than the master. It would be disastrous to let go, so I clutch the handlebars firmly. With bated breath, I bite my bottom lip and urge the toy towards the calm just ahead. The quick fix arrived as the course evened out. With relief, I pull the bike to the easement and stop. A deep cleansing breath is my first reward after my excursion. Slowly and carefully I attempt to loosen my grip on the handles. Although I have released my fingers, they remain in a tight curl. Tingling, burning pains surge through every digit. They do not seem to know that the ordeal is over.
I force them to stretch out still keenly aware that the circular motion seems to be burned in the memory of my hand. No telling how long will it take for these muscles to realize that the trauma is over.
Before long the pain is a distant memory and I climb aboard my ship of freedom. The dismay, the pain, and anxiety are history. My laissez-faire attitude rises and falls with the clear comfortable passage that lays before me. I am once again master of my domain. King of my own castle. I am in control and on top of the world!
The bicycle that I rode for so long when I was a child is a perfect symbol for life. Sometimes you are sailing along without a care in the world, and then You find yourself in a really rough spot begging things to smooth out. There are even times when we fall off and have to pick ourselves up and begin to go again.
Now those of us who deal with depression and anxiety, we fall more often than most people. We fall and we lay on the ground beside the bike and stare into space. We dread climbing back up again, we fear to fall again, and we dread having to explain the situation to anyone. Especially those who have no desire to understand.
If we could only learn that it is our personal trip. We must set our own personal goals, and learn to take care of ourselves. Every single one of us experiences depression in a slightly different way. It may overtake you more frequently than it does me, but my episodes may last longer. It really is not important. What matters is that we do our very best to care for ourselves.
There are people who love and care about you. Spend quality time with those individuals and learn what you really enjoy doing. Anything from putting together a jigsaw puzzle to skydiving. Neither of those is my thing but that is o.k. too. As my kids like to say, you do you.
So take the ride that is your life and make it exciting. Do NOT allow yourself to lay on the grass and be afraid to get up. You might miss out on the best part of life: LIVING.