All I wanted to do was give up and stay in bed.

For as long as I can remember I have been fearful of change. My father died when I was 11 and since then I have searched for security in everything I did.  This has paralyzed me and left me regretting how “safe” I’ve lived for the last 21 years!!!  Ironically, the only constants in my life have been CHANGE...and God’s unending love and grace! No matter what, I can always count on those 2 things!

It took a tremendous amount of courage for me to leave the “safest” place I knew after 8 years of marriage and start a completely new life for me and my son. Never having paid even a phone bill on my own it was a baby step process to say the least!!

In the meantime I thought (well, actually not much thought went into it at all since I was in a major “breakup” FOG) it would be a good idea to start smoking. And along with the smoking came the alcohol. Ughhhh.....it’s always bizarre to look back at your life and realize ALL you’ve been through!!  But the ugly truth is I was a smoker for a good 3 years, eventually smoking a pack a day and cracking open the wine bottle at 11 am. I knew I had to quit when I started to put my son to bed early and tell him sternly to “STAY IN BED”....in order for me to go out onto my porch and smoke my cigarette. I felt ugly, useless, lonely and depressed!  

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.  This is how character is built.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

It took a few prodigious (I definitely don’t deserve them) friends to help me up.  I needed to be honest with them and myself and I needed them to actively “get me off the couch and OUTSIDE” because I had lost myself in fear and fog.

Why is it so unbelievably hard to ask for help when you feel SO helpless and angry and depressed?

This was NOT the life I thought I would have!  But with every step that they took to help, I had to match it. I had to dig DEEP and find what it was that would get me out.  

As much as I believe in self-help, a strong network of family and friends, and a faith that supersedes human will, I also believe in THERAPY! That being said (and 4 years into therapy) it got very costly....so when I couldn’t afford to go to therapy anymore I got on my bike. Being on this magical 2 wheeled piece of heaven allowed me to breathe, smile, cruise, laugh, vent, climb mountains, push past what my mind told me I could do, get angry, break down, give up but then have to keep going (cause I was in the middle of NOWHERE and had NO way of getting home except keep riding!!)  OH, I LOVE MY BIKE!!

I tackled one day at a time...one moment at a time....one experience at a time. 

Many times all I wanted to do was give up and stay in bed. Which I did while experiencing a 6 month major dose of social anxiety after quitting smoking cold turkey.

For me, the only way I could stop smoking was to do something that was HARDER than quitting.....and that was the grueling hours on my bike!! Mentally, I find, is the toughest place to start anything.  It involves your vulnerability, your honesty, your RAW truth, your nakedness, your weakness, and your failures.  And realizing that they NEVER go away on their own....it’s only your choice to how loud you’re going to scream back!

And in some cases, it will eventually turn into a whisper.......”sssshhhhhhh.....I can do it”