I feel better when I ride – Battling Depression

I hope this experience will find and benefit others possibly struggling with the same thing – seasonal depression.

For the past one and a half weeks I chose to take a car into work. It’s early in the morning, its December, and it’s Colorado. I estimate the average commuting temperature at around 30F. OK, not that cold, but still below freezing. I got lazy, and I became depressed.

It’s not the thrill, because I commute like a regular civilized human being. Besides, it’s cold. Tires are cold, I’m cold, and my reactions are chilled. And no need to try and beat traffic, I’ll just get stopped at the next traffic light anyway.

It’s not the open air, because it’s freezing, and I’m as allergic to cold as I am cops!

So, it must be the challenge; accomplishing something 30 minutes after getting up. Spending 10 minutes suiting up, and then spending 30 minutes in sub-freezing temps to arriving alive is an accomplishment for me, albeit a small one. Call me a wimp if you want. It makes me smile. I have energy for the duration of the day, and it’s a lot brighter, irrespective of the circumstance, emotionally, and visually. More often than not, during this time of the year, I ride under clouds threatening to snow overhead, but that doesn’t seem to dampen the spirits either. Maybe that’s part of the upper, because that definitely is a thrill!

Maybe it’s the freedom. The freedom to freeze and the fact that I made the choice to do so. A silly choice no doubt, but still, my silly choice. But then, why do I have such an issue with being free? Is it my upbringing, my schooling, my life experiences?

I guess all of the above. Life is binding in nature, and I think we’re all looking for a way to free ourselves from the bonds, over and over again. The financial bonds, the legal requirements, the emotional strains. It’s just rubbish, really, in the end. It would be so much easier just to end it now and not have to deal with it. But that would be cowardly.

Life is what you make of it. Even if it deals you a death to the family, on top of a bankruptcy, while you’re significant other is cheating on you. (No, none of these things are currently happening to me, and even if they were, I want no pity!)

At some point, you have to stop moping, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, get over it, or not, and move on. At least beat the depression first, and if you’re still tempted to suicide after that, go for a ride. No need to turn coward and quit. Enough force can build or break anything. With enough perseverance any depth of depression can be beat, broken and busted.

On the online forums I post on regularly, my signature reads: “My therapist has two wheels and a seat”. I must remember this. I can not afford to forget this. It provides me with the single thought I need when I’m down in the dumps. Riding makes me happy, and I smile at the innuendo in the statement. A solid ride home is also the perfect break, between jobs, or book-end to the work day.

Find your own upper, I’m alive because I found mine.


About Dandooligan

Dandooligan CO, United States Every ride spurs the yearning for another and as such, has pushed me to adopt the riding lifestyle and all of it's challenges. This blog concerns those challenges from bikes to gear, media about bikes, and maybe even some psychology/sociology on the subject as well. Dandooligan, a mash-up of Dandy and Hooligan, both very important parts of me and my outlook on life. I'm also known as Spooph

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