Cycling out of depression

Posted: April 12, 2011 in Cycling, Depression
Tags: , ,

“Pull yourself together, man”. “Leave your problems at home. I look forward to leaving mine and getting into work”. “Tablets only change people, I didn’t recognize my friend when he took them”.

And so on. It’s amazing how many people become experts when they learn that you are suffering from clinical depression.

I suffer. Badly.

Tablets help but don’t cure. Some days are better than others. Some days I don’t want to get up for fear of how low my mood is. Other days I berate myself for being so self-indulgent and how it’s always about ‘me’. I hate myself most of the time. My psychiatrist cancelled my third appointment due to illness and hasn’t arranged another one.

But, there just might be a smidgeon of hope at the end of the tunnel that just maybe, just maybe isn’t an express train.

Cycling.

Cycling’s easy. You just jump on, keep the bars true and push one crank down and sure enough, the other foot will push the other crank down and you’re off. And that’s it, by and large.

Cycling’s hard. That hill seems to get steeper the further you climb. And all you have to rely on to fight gravity and a lifetime of destructive comfort eating is your two legs, and lungs that never seem to grab enough of a share of the atmosphere to keep your legs oxygenated. But you make it. And as you coast the hill, the view floods into your renewed senses, your heartbeat slows and then…the descent.

Woo-hoo! Is it really safe to go this fast with only an inch and a bit of contact with the road from each tyre? Ah sod it. Wheeee!

It’s called cycling presumably as it describes the cycle of the cranks from 12 o’clock back to 12 o’clock. That simple, effective method of self-propulsion actually demands that both sides of your brain are in perfect harmony, each hemisphere controlling the opposite side of the body. You zone out as your mind settles into this calming, rhythmic state. For once no damaging thoughts, the only baggage with you is physical not mental. No one can hurt me out here yet I’m not in a car which always goes and comes back as quickly as possible. I can go..anywhere. Faster than walking..slow enough to enjoy the scenery. One day I might not go home and just keep cycling and see where I end up.

“It’s a dangerous business going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to”.

Cycling helps.

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