Crashing down to Earth -
So, yes, I’ve crashed in more than one way over the last few weeks since Perfs. I’ve blogged before about trying to live with depression and its effect on my cycling and I’m more than happy to be completely open about my health. I’m not blogging about it for sympathy, or as an excuse, but hope that by talking about it, others in the same situation, with the same troubles, know that they are not alone in their fight. 1 in 4 people will meet depression head first at some point in their life. That’s a hell of a lot of people that don’t talk about it…
Back in October I got restarted on anti-depressants. I had a pretty bad time of it in November and December, but once the medication was subsequently changed and upped, I was coping well. I was loving life as such. Medicine was going well. I smashed some exams (if I do say so myself) and life was pretty hunky-dory. Unfortunately in the past few weeks, things have taken a bit of a nose dive. Rarely do I have a good day, where my thoughts aren’t ina dark cloud, or I have a real motivation and can-do attitude. For the most part, I get away with it, the state of affairs hidden to only me, and my lifesaver, who takes the brunt of the frustration and tears, Yasmin. But as the dark cloud grows, it starts to be harder to hide and spills over into my ‘outside’ life. A big thing that it stops is my ability to train. The lack of energy and motivation really make things hard. Couple that with the fact that training requires a certain desire to hurt yourself… And when you’re struggling enough as it is without adding that pain in your lungs and legs, its extremely hard to do. It’s meant my training has been less than ideal, and I’ve put on a little weight comfort eating. The result is I’m not quite where I want to be when the w/kg comes into play.
Tonight I had a bit of a new low. I was on the rollers, and I just felt drained. I hadn’t done much all day and had had 2 rest days at the start of the week, so should have been pretty fresh. But I couldn’t motivate myself, and all of a sudden I just felt a wave of sadness hit me and started to cry. Not ideal when the next interval is a VO2 effort. Needless to say it was a fruitless task and I climbed off. The feeling of failure just adding to the numb, deep feeling of sadness.
So here I am, at my laptop, writing it all down. Because thats what makes it better for me. Blogging about it means that I can open up, talk about all my feelings, but to a faceless crowd. It’s not a one on one counselling session, but an open book to try and put into words how I feel. And writing about it is liberating. Talking means I’m beating it and it won’t define me. I can beat it and will beat it. So there.
As if a metaphor for my current state of affairs, I haven’t had much luck recently in racing either. I travelled to Wales last weekend, only to get caught up in a crash on a completely straight piece of road. I went down hard, but actually got off pretty lightly. Unfortunately I crashed at just the wrong place on the course, and after chasing on a descent, I turned into a block headwind. I slowly watched the bunch ahead slowly pulling away from me as the attacks flew. It wasn’t just me either, Matt and Ed on the team both punctured, ending their races. When it rains it pours, surely the luck of the team will turn soon!
So onto the next race I go, with Hillingdon this Saturday and the Sotonia sporting TT on Sunday. I’m hoping for a decent result in both, but I’d rather come last than crash again to be honest, I’m not sure my body will forgive me a 3rd crash in a month!
I won’t apologise for the grim read. If you made it this far you probably don’t mind reading it anyway, and if you’re reading and suffering with depression too, stay strong and make sure you don’t let it define what you can do.
Thanks for reading
I’ll be posting hopefully a somewhat nicer and happier read at the end of the weekend, reporting back on potentially a couple of decent results!