Riding to beat the black dog of depression?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by B1, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It's not your mind, it's your seratonin levels, and of course you can't always control them, any more than you can always control a dozen other chemical processes in your body. If I had one wish for you, it's that you could depersonalize this. It's not you, it's a thing that's happening to you. When I went through my deal many years ago, I did the classic meds-to-stop-the-train and talk therapy thing. The enduring benefit of that, almost 25 years later, is that because I see it as disease rather than weakness, I know the triggers, I can see it coming, I can self-manage and - should it ever get that bad again, which it has not - know when to intervene. Believe me, brother, this is a war that can be won. Just remember the enemy isn't in the mirror.
    #61
  2. Jproaster

    Jproaster I work too much Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    Dayton, Tennessee
    The key for me is to do what is good/right to do...not what I feel. Most times my experiences end up much happier as a result.
    #62
  3. KTee

    KTee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    Saint Johns, FL
    The black dog found me this weekend, funny how he shows up when you wouldn't think it - I was on a road trip with two best riding friends, we hit 3 Tracks and four sets of trails in three days, hopping around South FL - who wouldn't have a fun time?!

    Only the hard rides left him behind. But it was like the moment we got back in the truck, that loneliness started creeping back in.

    Anyways, I thought of this thread and the people here who have jumped much higher hurdles in their lives and still keep on keeping on. Thanks to all, and I think I've finally made the decision to seek professional help. It feels like weakness, and it feels like failure; but it's the right thing to do.

    Crazy how this thread got started and how it's grown. I hope it's meant this much to someone else out there, too.
    #63
  4. BvilleBud

    BvilleBud Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    679
    Location:
    Berryville
    Thanks for your post KTee; the dog doesn't stray very far does it? If it is any help at all know a bunch of keyboard warriors and a nefarious motorcycle rider or two care about you and are happy to help throw rocks at that no good pooch. Hope all's better soon.
    #64
    KTee likes this.
  5. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,727
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    Nope, just learning from my group therapist :-)
    #65
    ColoradoDavid and Mayomoto like this.
  6. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    Stephenville, TX
    Man, if it were only that easy. No one else to blame. My wreck, my head, my failures, my fears, everyone around me suffers because of it. I can't blame something abstract without feeling like I'm copping out. I am the only man piloting this ship, and ultimate responsibility belongs to the captian. I am trying to educate myself, am trying to understand what I can have some control over and what I gotta let go. Yall who have experienced these feelings know how deep they run.
    I know also that yall are right. I'm not going to get better fighting this by myself, and I need to lighten up on the blame game a bit. I said I was seeking treatment, but found immediately I can't afford even the ante. Private pay amounts are astronomical. UT wanted $600 to walk thru the door every time. Another TBI institute finally gave me an all in private pay amount for a weeks treatment that exceeded $5,000. The resulting moral wrestling match between treatment costs and my wife and children being able to do what makes them happy was one sided. So everyone suffers either way. Yes, I understand the paradoxical nature of thus. They will never be happy until I'm better. And until I am willing to make the sacrifices in our standard of living I won't get better. Fuck. The man in the mirror knows the right thing to do, but doesn't want to do it. Being a grown up is hard.
    KTee, you are definately not alone, know that your words have provided strength and comfort to someone because you had the courage to put your feelings on display.
    You too Sue. Thanks.
    #66
    Estjuniper, Little Bike and KTee like this.
  7. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,727
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    @Mayomoto

    Do you know any one who sees a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist you can get referrals from for somebody good? I know someone who paid $400 to be initially seen by a psychiatrist then each visit after was $100 (no insurance), she also sees a psychocologist but that cost is covered by her Medicare. I don't know what a psychologist or therapist would charge per session. She sees her doctor once a month and her psychologist once a week.

    This year is my first time participating in an actual program, I used to have just a psychiatrist. However, I have learned over the last 5 months that you really do need a therapist or psychologist too (extremely helpful for learning how to deal with your illness, I've picked up a lot of good tips and tricks which I really, really appreciate since I have bipolar 2 which is a permanent illness :bluduh and I never would have gotten an understanding of without therapy. When I did the doctor only route I got pills and that was it - I never understood what was going on and how to deal).

    For meds: Costco, you can check their prices for specific prescriptions, I used to get all my meds there because it was cheaper to pay out of pocket than my Kaiser copays with refills. They really do have good prices, as soon as my doc and I get mine figured out I'll use them again.
    #67
    Mayomoto likes this.
  8. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,597
    Location:
    Arse-trailer
    good one KTee, that step takes a lot more courage than just trying to battle along by yourself. i've only had a few bouts of the common garden variety depression brought on by up and downs in life, but did start seeing a psych once when it dragged on for a year. like you, it felt like weakness but i remember feeling the fog lift a fair bit in the first session because:
    - like a typical guy i hadn't talked about it with anyone
    - she pointed out obvious things my addled brain had missed (exercise, diet, get some structure into my life etc)
    - we connected.

    i think the third point is important. i often hear that someone just doesn't click with the therapist so assumes therapy will be useless. but it can be powerful stuff when you meet someone who genuinely cares, you feel comfortable with, and they know their shit!
    #68
  9. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    Stephenville, TX
    Thanks again for posting helpful advise, the inside referral is one I had not considered. Trying to figure out who around me is in therapy will be a fun game, like trying to figure out who is wearing a hairpiece.

    I'm just beginning this, trying to get some help I mean, so I don't even know whats really going on with me, clinically speaking. I have some family and friend medical contacts that have been invaluable, but not local. They led me to the places I found I have to save some cash for. Appointments were made then postponed, not cancled. Making the decision to really do something about it was an order of magnitude harder than I thought. I have since been doing what I felt logical in regards to diet, exercise, quit tobacco, sauna, meditation, cold water immersion, basically every thing (kooky or not) I can control. When I pay for therapy, soon, I will walk in there with my shit together as much as possible. I feel good about this, natural, and the exercise is one of the few things consistantly motivating for me now. Only made the mental shift a few months ago, but already gym sessions are longer and easier, I'm in better shape than in my twenties, the diet and exercise has infected my wife and just turned teenager daughter, all super positive, feels good to feel good again.
    I understand I am probably struggling way harder than I would be than with more guidance. More than likely would benefit from being medicated in some manor. Having done more than a little deep thinking, especially while riding, the epiphany of solitude and all that this thread started by talking about, I have just in the past few days come to be comfortable with my path, feeling the frustration and struggle are normal and probably good for you in the long run.
    Its raining, they canceled the race, and the river is up enough to have blown out the gap. My track is flooded, but bovid free for the first time in weeks. I was smart enough to send the boy down early this morning and shut the cows out of the river trap before the gap was washed away, which i conveniently can't fix till the river drops. I'm gonna go mix some gas and get my dirt scooter muddy. Therapeutically.
    #69
  10. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,727
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    @Mayomoto, don't wait, get in there to see a doctor and therapist. Exercise, eating right and spending time with family and friends are all things that are crucial to battling this thing, keep up the good work!
    #70
  11. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,727
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    @KTee, how are you doing? Did you find some help? Trust me, it takes waaaay more energy and courage to walk into a doctor's office than to not. Depression is not a weakness, it's a physical illness.

    WTF of the week: I was looking over my private disability insurance papers and saw that my policy had changed since I'd used it for a broken leg. Used to be they paid for 3 months and that was it. Now the policy covers longer and much longer term - 2+ years EXCEPT it's a limit of 6 months for alcoholism, substance abuse and MENTAL ILLNESS. Really?! You're going to put mental illness in with substance abuse? Geez. Keep talking about mental illness everybody, my disability company needs an education. Yes, some mental illness is temporary, but some isn't.
    #71
  12. DSquared

    DSquared Dilly Dilly! Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,778
    Location:
    UTC + 4:30
    This vid combined with the PMS one is hitting hard right now. I crashed a few weeks ago and am fighting the side effects of pain killers, family saying I'm insane for wanting another bike, and I'm just tired of being cooped up healing inside while it is gorgeous. I think I am going to hang out at a riding gathering this weekend a ways away just to be with some like minds.
    #72
    Little Bike likes this.
  13. KTee

    KTee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    Saint Johns, FL
    The struggle has been there --mostly it's just a lack of confidence and esteem--but luckily lots and lots of riding involved and good people around to chase the dog away (I'm sad to be missing the next two CADS meetings!). Haven't spoken with anyone officially yet, and would you believe the last two offices I called never called back??

    Thanks for checking in, I have faith that I'll find the right therapist soon.
    #73
    Mayomoto and Little Bike like this.
  14. Karpaasi

    Karpaasi So it goes

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    Life long sufferer here. I feel like most of my life has been lived way below my potential. The black dog has pretty much wrecked the significant parts of my life - great relationships (including my marriage), promising careers, etc. My depression is ever present with breaks in the clouds here and there. I've sought help - therapy, medications, etc. I've learned to accept that it's part of me and something that I'll probably deal with for the rest of my life.

    To answer the OP's original question, I do find that riding helps. It's one of the few times I can be in the moment. Zen and all that yadda yadda yadda. Now, sometimes it's hard for me to find the desire to ride, but once I'm on my bike all is generally good in the world.
    #74
    nomad_games and KTee like this.
  15. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    Stephenville, TX
    Hey yall, taking a break this afternoon due to the heat and thought I'd check in.

    No doctors or therapists yet, but I have stumbled across several group therapy type coping mechanisms which have been very helpful keeping my emotions on keel. Most helpful was hearing others voice my same frustrations. Still working on self-improvement every day, seeing some small steps, and hearing from others that I seem a little better. So slow, and while still getting my ass kicked by this daily, I can see some positive change.

    Jiu-jitsu is better, some of what I lost is coming back as I see it again, much relief. Im able to roll much longer, and am enjoying once again the afterglow that comes from being exhausted fighting for your life (simulated at 100%). High level problem solving with intense physical exercise. Therapeutic.

    But better than that:
    I have had some truly transcendent rides in the past few weeks. The sense of disconnectedness so prevalent in my daily doings vanishes in a snap of torque and blur, focus and flow anchor my consciousness to the dirt and I am no longer weak or lost or scared. I am part of one strong loud fast thing. I can SEE, like a veil lifted. Its amazing, I feel free like a little kid for just a second, usually untill I goon out and deck it, and hope that this new thing never ceases. This can't be anything but good for you.

    Wish all yall the best, keep fighting.
    #75
  16. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,727
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    You've discovered one of the most important skills in fighting depression: don't dwell on the past, don't obssess about the future, live in the present.

    Good work!:-)
    #76
    nomad_games, Mayomoto and KTee like this.
  17. KTee

    KTee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    Saint Johns, FL
    Yessss, I love that riding has given some of you back to you, haha. Maybe could have worded that better but this is so great--check in more!
    #77
    Mayomoto likes this.
  18. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    Stephenville, TX
    Zactly. Couldnt have said it better.
    #78
  19. nomad_games

    nomad_games Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,304
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    well, I don't have an enormous amount of insight to add other than to be another voice that says, yep, me too. Have suffered from absolutely crippling depression for as long as I can remember. Like other posters in this thread, it and my inability to handle it has ruined pretty much every important part of my life. in the last couple years, I'm slowly, finally finding ways to handle it and the motivation to make the changes. Alcohol certainly didn't work, neither did being an asshole. So now it's a combo: meds (one that actually works, finally), very regular exercise, living somewhere where it's sunny almost all the time, working on things I care about, trying to help others, and having a spiritual life. And yes, doing things I love...like riding. I didnt have a bike for almost two years, and guess what? That coincided with a very dark time in my life. Which was the chicken and which was the egg isn't important to me...I'm happier when riding regularly. I still have days where the black void takes over out of nowhere despite all my best efforts, but it happens less often and with less intensity than it used to, and I can live a life. Hopefully some day I'll be healthy enough to bring other people into it again, but for now I'm growing. and spending as much time on the bike and in the mountains as possible.

    Thanks for the thread!
    #79
    Mayomoto and KTee like this.
  20. nomad_games

    nomad_games Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,304
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    also that video made me need a dirtbike in a bad way...
    #80