I feel I’ve been a victim of such a thing for a while now. Abuse of ourselves by others is an insidious thing. The frog and the slowly boiled water comes to mind. I’ve had a lot of eye opening realizations lately. I don’t care to delve further but the kicker is that I’m a few hundred miles down a really shitty path and I’ve only finally gotten off the pickup truck and asked exactly where the fuck we are headed. Because frankly the destination doesn’t look too appealing. The destination isn’t something I signed up for and I feel my heels digging in and my cheek beginning to turn. When someone asks how you are, you state how you are feeling and there’s a certain generosity that is felt and reciprocated when we open up. Lately, well, for a bit now, I’ve found myself falling victim to inquiries into how I am, but in a tone of ‘just making sure you’re still here’. Given the nature of the connection, it’s an appalling realization. Even more irritating is that it’s true, that’s the nature of the correspondence. A reply on my behalf stating I’m not good, and this persons help is needed, is met with a text that mirrors a field of crickets. You can shout all you want about needs to the crickets in the field, they don’t care, they have their own song to sing. It’s a sad realization, a crushing one if I am being honest. The bright side is that I only really started realizing it when I started paying attention to those in my life whose care and concern for my wellbeing was met with a sense of ‘you’re not alone, how can I help?’. Offering themselves with no expectation of a return. Only a mutual understanding that this is how friendships and really any relationship works. That one day they can trust that if they need me, I am there as well, and I always have been and always will. I can’t imagine another standard of which to hold myself.
I’ve decided to meet this feigned concern with silence. Answering makes me feel less than myself and it’s a roll of the dice as to whether a genuine reply will be given, but then again a genuine reply should never be wondered or worried about. Hence the necessity to remain silent.
The day of rest is seldom that for me. As a cyclist it’s one of the coveted days during the seven that we can exert ourselves for longer than normal, given our hectic work and life schedules during the week. The time for group rides or a long solo trek. I took a long solo ride. The ritual of a ride prep is something I’ve begun to enjoy. Breakfast and coffee to fuel you up, filling bottles, checking tire pressure, picking out and donning outlandishly colored kit, and looking forward to the sensations on the road. As I’ve alluded to lately, the day to day fight through the days is tough. But I’ve struggled mentally on the bike as well. After all the ritualistic stuff was taken care of I got on the bike. I got a rather early start today, and was able to leave the negative voices in the garage, what a relief! At the urging of the counselor a few weeks ago I was told verbatim to say to the voices, ‘I’m gonna leave you guys here for a while, I need a break, I’ll get back to you when I return’. He said even if that means saying it out loud, to just tell them that’s what I was going to do. It sounded a little off the wall at the time but as I am diving all in on the depression counseling I figured what the hell why not start. I started that practice last week, and the voices hang with me for about a mile of the ride but lately they’ve disappeared during my rides. I rode for half the day today, and the stream of thoughts and things going through my head were surprisingly positive. As the sun sets here and I take in the last rays of the day, I feel the creep of that black cloud but it’s a much slower approach tonight. Closing my eyes and feeling the breeze on my face and the sound of the wind in my ears, I feel more calm today. Perhaps it’s due to the intensity of my ride, perhaps it’s leaving the voices in the garage when I left. It’s a bit of everything I suppose. I am tired but the ache in the pit of my stomach and my heart is not there at the moment and I do hope that it doesn’t set in this evening. I am so happy to be able to sit down and write about a small ‘win’ in terms of my mental and emotional states.
It’s a nourishing morsel to my inner hope. Wait wait, wasn’t I just half-griping about hope? 🙂