I'm not so sure where to start with my story, Im equally pretty sure I could not tell you where or when it started but he's had a number of names over the years and terms used to describe him.. terms such as 'demanding' 'trouble' 'problematic' 'highly strung' 'emotional' and so many more..
It was during this period I learnt that I was different to others, that positive words were not used to describe me, or him. I loathed him and I loathed myself for many many years. At time's I have tried to deny him, hide from him and run from him and the thing that saved and changed my life was having nowhere else to hide, he knew me, ..... I had nothing left, I had to face him.
By this time I was older and first the first time In my life I confronted what I would come to know as Generalised Anxiety Disorder and OCD which to be fair I refused to recognise for a reasonable amount of time.
I mean who seeks out a mental health issue, I felt ashamed, still do to some degree...
Why me? Ultimately it explains so much about the challenges I face in life and day to day existence. I struggle more than I let people know, If you ask I will Lie and say im doing OK why would I say anything else as I don't want to know the truth. This is what Anxiety does to me, It kills my sprit from the inside out..
But I am brave for I get up every morning to fight the demons that left me so tired the night before. As time passed I achieved a greater understanding of my life companion and accepted that we were one and the same.
I wanted a life differently to the one he wanted and found the simple joy of riding a bike again by accident, it was pure and the cold mornings made me feel alive and those days of self loathing hatred could eventually be left behind in my dust if I rode fast and far enough. I could lose him and find myself.
I quickly learnt that In my dark days at the time I needed cycling the most
I gave up on myself and tried to hide away from the world and him.
To address this I hired a fabulous British Cycling Certified coach by the name of Holly Seear who continues to support and encourage my cycling to this day. On of the first things Holly did was to make me join a cycle club whom have been equally as supportive and after 46 years I got on my very first flight to a cycle camp in Spain.
Holly has also encouraged me to become stage four Velodrome certified at the Lee Valley Olympic Velodrome and undertake my first fixed gear criterium.
I'm still a struggler, I'm still a fighter, I'm still an anxiety sufferer and i'm still in therapy but most of all I am still me and I refuse to be ashamed of what that means.
The shame of societies expectation trapped me for far too long.