Author Topic: Change of Plans Today  (Read 253 times)

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Offline mr_diver

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Change of Plans Today
« on: February 22, 2019, 21:25:52 »
Had my day off today planned out. Sorting the Garage and cutting the grass.
SWMBO was also off, but out doing woman things...
but her friend cancelled the shopping trip and the night out was shelved due to illness of half the attendees.
With the weather being so mild and the sun shining, I suggested we go for a ride.
"Yes" SWMBO replied, "but I WANT MY BIKE!"

Seeing as she's owned a bike for 7 years this shouldn't come as a suprise, but she doesn't normally choose to ride in the winter.
And -- this is a big AND --  she hasn't ridden her bike since the ride home from Fat Rat's August Bank Holiday Meet 2017.  :shock:

For the past 8 years Jen has been suffering with anxiety.
This slippery little bastard gets into your head slowly but surely and makes you doubt the things that are your strengths. It makes you feel incapable of dealing with new things and the mere thought of doing something you had previously found simple, straightforward and fun, completely impossible.
For no rational reason it became focussed on her riding, not just riding what is a lump of a bike, but we had discussed getting something smaller, or even a 125cc. These options were still at odds with the inner demon telling her she's not going to be able to do that. It makes you doubt yourself that much.
You stop doing the things yesterday you found easy just incase this or that happens.
We've planned days out on the bike, visiting the seaside (OK we live in a seaside town but Port Talbot is crap), and days of general out and about. When the question of one bike, two bikes or the car comes up the reply is always " I CAN'T RIDE MY BIKE!" because that's what the anxiety is telling her.
Now we're not talking of hearing voices, it's more a feeling, an irrational phobia. You know there is no reason why you can't, but all that flashes through your mind is the worst case scenario (dropping the bike/crashing/death and on and on) and you have no choice but to believe it. The same way someone who's afraid of heights would never stand on a perfectly safe secure balcony 5 floors up.

Even asking her if she want's to go for a ride in a weeks time and did she want to ride her own bike would make her feel panicky and anxious and the nerves would build up ad by the time the day of the ride came she knew that even if she did manage to get on a bike she'd most likely drop it out of sheer nerves.

It didn't all start with the feeling she couldn't ride the bike, I started as other irrational fears like heights. One day she couldn't walk down the lifeboat ramp in St Davids to get on a boat trip around the nearby island.
She had to walk over metal grates, the ones you can see through down to the water 20-30ft below.
I'm no fan of heights and I don't like mountain passes for that reason, but looking at the beads of sweat on the brow, the fear in her eyes and the clammy skin on her hands I knew this wasn't like the normal "oh that's a bit high, stop looking down and just move" that both of us would have thought before.

She's fine with heights now, doesn't exactly like them, but that total fear for your life isn't there- because the pissing anxiety found another fun target - her riding.

Those of you who have met Jen at a West Wales meet would find what I've just said odd, as Jen is quite definitely an outgoing, chatty, fun person. So how can she have been battling this for so long and hide it so well? That's the thing, it's not hidden, it's underlying and there all the time, made worse when the "trigger" or task she can't do is expected of her or even discussed. If you're not talking about or intending to do the thing that triggers it you're normally fine. There are times when the anxiety is set off by nothing at all. But when you're relaxed with friends the likelihood of it being triggered is diminished.

It's taken so much effort, so much time (and finally 6 months ago some simple anxiety medication) to get herself to the stage where she could discuss the possibility of riding a bike, then to getting the bike out of the garage, sitting on it and starting it. It's been a while since she did that. Before Christmas she took my XJ600n around the block a few times, but came back crying and shaking. Half crying from the anxiety effect half from excitement of riding a bike again, even if it wasn't her GSX.
A few weeks ago we were going to ride to one of the local bike shops to pick up a few supplies and we went through the usual questions of 1 or 2 bikes ect, but she did get on the XJ and ride 50miles, much of it in the rain which was persistent at times.  :lala:

Today was a big shock to me, I thought it'll take a fair few more rides on a bike she knows no-one cares if it gets dropped.
Within 2 mins of riding away from the house she was nattering away over the intercom, just like she would have 3+ years ago.
I never could fault her riding, she's a capable rider and 18 months of not riding hasn't had a detrimental effect.
She said riding her bike today has shown her there was is nothing to worry about riding bikes, that the fear was not just 'controlled' but completely gone.
She's so happy to be back on her bike that her cheeks were hurting from all the grinning.

Talking about how she felt tonight she shouted "I've won this F***ing War!"
Then handed me a huge glass of Penderyn's Special Reserve Gin and lemonade.  :obscene-drinkingchug:

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Offline Dark-Strom

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 21:43:21 »
Hello Mr.Diver,

A big well done to Jen for getting out on her bike and for you for sharing.

I had / still have anxiety at times after multiple health issues in recent years and know what a bitch it is to have to live with.
Mine was centred around problems about my breathing, which then makes it harder to breathe - vicious circle.
I too struggled riding my bike last year and more recently with my car, any more than 5 minutes and I was almost having panic attacks.
I had a few sessions regarding "CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy" which has helped greatly.
The only tips I can give anyone is to reduce stress levels as this can also be a trigger, to think of another reason why you are feeling the way you are and to generally try and ignore the anxiety.

I have good days and bad - just hope I can beat it one day like Jen has.

Best wishes to you both.
Bikes owned: DT50, CD125T, RD350LC, KMX200, KR1-250, CD125T(again), GSX600F, R80ST, CBX250RSE, ST1050, DL650 AL2

Offline Graham62

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2019, 21:49:36 »
Well done Jen.  :bow-blue: :bow-blue:
My eldest son suffers with anxiety and I know how hard it can be to live with.
A drunken man's words are a sober man's thoughts.


Online MartinW

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 22:16:29 »
Well Done Jen.

I've met you several times and you always appear to be the outgoing confident type. The exact opposite of me.

Nobody knows what goes on underneath.

Tall, Dark and Handsome (In 1987) - Just tall now !!

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Online TLPower

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2019, 05:38:52 »
Well done Jen. :lala:

You can have what ever colour wheels you like.

(Though gold would be best)
When accelerating the tears of emotion have to run off horizontally to the ear. (Walter Röhrl)

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Offline Hugo Magnus

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2019, 08:56:18 »
I'm sure it must be very reassuring to others with this disability to see that they are not alone. On their behalf thanks for sharing.  I hope the evil little gremlins remain buried.
The interruptions ARE the journey  (Ted Simon)

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Offline wurzel

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2019, 09:14:34 »
What a great post! :text-goodpost:
I too am familiar will anxiety, and how it sneaks in by the back door.
You two are bloody supersonic battling it together and overcoming an area where it was rearing its head.
It is surprising how many suffer anxiety at some point in there lives, I would vote fir this being a sticky post. :lala:

Offline Asmith61

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 09:36:14 »
Well done jen :clap: and well done mr driver  :clap: fantastic post thanks for sharing my best wishes to you both  :text-goodpost:

Offline mr_diver

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2019, 10:04:31 »
 :ty: everyone.

Jen is reading this thread and appreciates everyone's comments and support.  :thumb:

She's looking forward to the next ride which is a big change from how she has been.  :lala:

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Offline SimStrom

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2019, 14:49:02 »
Best wishes to you both 👍
This message was sent from my 650's on'board computer system

Offline Fat Rat

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2019, 14:57:19 »
Jen, if you can put up with Nathan then you can defeat this. Glad to hear you are coming out on top  :clap: :clap:
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Offline Tusker

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2019, 16:28:30 »
good post Diver, very strange though for it to happen to a someone like Jen.. I would have thought she was the least likely person to suffer from anxiety.

Jen,  I like others had you firmly in the strong confident pool... I mean you once defeated hypothermia !! Hope this is the beginning of the end of your troubles....

Offline aggressivesk8r

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2019, 16:34:24 »
A victory for persistance,determination and guts. Congratulations to you both. Truly inspirational

Offline Ridaz

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Re: Change of Plans Today
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2019, 20:11:48 »
Fabulous post of which I read to Mrs Ridaz this morning to show there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

The good lady has been struggling for 19 years so far but things have recently become so bad of late she has just quit her job.

Jen - Keep strong, your progress sounds to be amazing and shows that you can beat this horrible condition.