So first off, let me explain why I gave this blog the above title. For the past few years, I have got into cycling in a big way-triathlons, 2-3hr weekend rides, sportives and I’ve loved every minute of it. Except last year, when marathon training, I started getting panic attacks. These panic attacks then seeped into other areas of my life; my cycling, my work, the gym, blah, blah, blah!
So as to avoid these stressful situations which incur the panic attacks, I haven’t been on my bike for almost a year now. My training buddies keep inviting me out to ride with them, but I keep declining. The thing is, I don’t want to burden them with my issues. They shouldn’t have to put up with me like this! They need people to support and encourage their training, not hold them back.
Last weekend, I decided to be honest with them about my anxiety and depression issues and they encouraged me to join them anyway. So I decided I was going to pull up my big girl pants and just go for a ride… even if it was slow… and to not worry about what others think of me.
Unfortunately, the anxiety overtook me and I didn’t even get out the door to ride.So I decided to not even attempt riding for a bit until I was in a better place mentally.
However this weekend, my buddies invited me out again. I felt a bit pathetic, but I was totally honest with them about all my worries including not wanting to hinder their training etc, and I was so surprised and overwhelmed at their responses.
They encouraged me to come along anyway as I would be with them and they would not leave me behind. I know this to be true, but my irrational brain forgets this. My irrational brain tells me that they are there to focus on their training and I’m not worthy of joining them and that I’d only embarrass myself, or them, if I panicked whilst riding with them.
They’ve even offered to ride solo with me during the week to help me gain my confidence back on the bike before joining them on a group ride.
I was so touched and overwhelmed by their support, that, of course, I burst into tears whilst reading their texts. I have never felt good enough or worthy enough to be training with these guys, even though I’ve trained with some of them for 4 years now.
So to hear that they care for me and want to help me through this rough patch, has made me rethink my thinking.
I didn’t want to admit to them how pathetic I am right now, but to them, that’s not how they see me. They just see me having a rough time and want to do what they can to help me. I’m still me, just a rather sad me at the moment.
I was worried about being judged or ditched completely, yet they did nothing of the sort. They offered their support and advice to help me and encourage me to get back out on the bike with them.
So this week, I will be taking them up on their offers of solo rides with the possibility of joining them at weekends soon.
This anxiety and depression will not rule my life.
I am in control of my life.
I just have to create space for the anxiety and depression to have a space in my life right now… But, be warned Anxiety and Depression, every day the space that you hog, will get smaller and smaller.
I reached out to my training buddies, was totally honest with them and in return I was rewarded with their support and friendship.
I’m learning that it is ok to ask for help!
I can do this alone as I am strong, however it will be much easier and quicker with friends and family by my side…. Which in turn proves to me… That I am worthy!