My inner turmoil and demons made a reappearance just over 8 weeks ago. Twiddling of my fingers; continued touching of my hair, loss of concentration and extremely unpleasant feelings. All triggered by an anticipation of future events. My world consumed by feelings of abject failure. Why? All because my old bicycle had had its day.

Since taking up cycling in 2012, this is the first time I can honestly remember depression managing to interfere in my life since my teenage days.

“You have a broken derailleur”, said the bicycle technician. Amongst other things…

He estimated £150 to fix it. To purchase a brand new one was £260. It made no sense to fix the old bike for such a cost.

My journey from that moment remains palpable. I’ve tried to keep calm from week one until now. I’ve avoided asking for medication to get me through. Deep down I knew the only fix I needed was a new bike. I consider myself a person who tries on all levels to deal with life.

My bike is the glue between me and a great life. I have been the shadow of my former self for the past 8 weeks. Riding gives me independence and an opportunity to connect with the outside world. Walking does not have the same appeal; I struggle with sciatica and spinal stenosis.

I had seriously underestimated the benefits exercise gives me, but never will again. The slow release of endorphins gradually helps me to settle down to normality. Aspects of my life do not seem so daunting or difficult to deal with when I’m able to cycle.

So low was my mood, I contemplated quitting college and other opportunities that have come my way. If sharing my experience helps one other person, then it was worth sharing. After feeling awkward and uncomfortable for some time, I eventually swallowed my pride and asked for help.  Thanks to the kindness of the public, I now have a lovely new bike, and a lovely new mind-set to go with it.

Always take care of your mind and body. Hopefully, they will then look after you.

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