Do what you fear and fear disappears.

David Joseph Schwartz

Do I get nervous a lot?

Oh yeah, I am prone to that.

Outright fear?

Not so much.

Until now.

Before I go on, fear, properly controlled is a good thing. It keeps you healthy and alive. Improperly controlled fear is a detriment to a safe, exciting, and happy life. This is about the latter type.

By now, I should have been riding enough that I would be around 70 miles a week. Where am I?

Maybe 10.

It is not because that is so physically demanding.

It is because of fear.

I have anxiety attacks just by riding in the neighborhood.

Of course, there are nightmares about going off the bike path in the areas where the edge is a cliff leading to a river and large rocks.

Oddly enough, because the weather has been mostly okay, riding indoors is too depressing.

Outside of yard work - there has been a fair amount of that - and taking walks, there has been little exercise, and I can feel it. It seems that some weight has been gained, but that doesn’t really matter. Whether that is permanent or temporary, it is simply irrelevant to my life now. What is very bothersome is the fear. That is shameful and senseless.

“Oh, boo hoo, you got seven fractures. That is not that many!”

I tell myself that a lot. It hasn’t helped. I have always been confident and competent on a bike, never had an accident of any severity until last fall. Now, all of a sudden, the confidence is gone?

Does that make sense to you?

I guess it might make sense since I lack confidence in everything else.

I do not have a bike rack for my car, so I have to ride it to the shop to get it checked out. It really seems like it is okay, but the check is free. It makes sense to get it done. The bike shop is maybe three miles away, on paved roads that aren’t too busy, which is frightening to me. So the bike hasn’t gotten checked out.

Hopefully, by the time this is posted, it will be in the shop.

There is hope that when it gets okayed by a professional instead of me checking it out, some fear will vanish.

Edit: The bike checked out fine and went on my first real ride. Only 10 miles. On the plus side, only minor anxiety. I did purposefully go way faster down a winding hill than is proper just to try to get over it. It didn’t seem to help. Minor curves really are nerve-wracking. I will continue to ride and hope I get over it. I am seriously thinking of getting new pedals, so I can clip into them. Those pedals will cause more anxiety because I will be clipped in, and it is another thing to think about when stopping the bike. It also will make the rides better since my feet won’t leave the pedal - both for safety and performance.

It is affecting my sleep.

Sleep is simply bipolar. One night, I fall asleep at 7AM and wake at 10AM, and other nights I am out before midnight. The current regime of lavender pills and doxylamine is not consistently working. Taking Klonopin a few hours before bedtime does help a lot, but I am slowly running out. Since it actually works, getting refills from the VA is probably impossible. What I am taking is a few years old. I got enough to take 2 a day for about 4 years, and at the end of it, I had 500 pills left. Tell me, do I abuse it?

That doesn’t matter to the VA anymore.

I have kind of reverted back to my military mentality of getting sleep whenever I can. This time, I am trying to hide it from the VA. They won’t help me but they will be more than happy to yell at me if my CPAP usage drops under 4 hours a night. It is around 6 hours a night and 22/30 days over 4 hours. A lot of those 22 days are not 4 hours or more of actual sleep. I wear it while reading or watching a movie. The good news is that I have slept for more than the 160 hours in the past 30 days that it claims.

You know when you have nothing to do at work but can’t leave for an hour, so you pretend to be busy? Well, I pretend to be asleep. What I do is watch TV or read in bed with that cursed thing on my ugly face. I have noticed odd things, especially if I am only semi-asleep, which happens a lot. After an hour or so with it on, I will check it to make sure it is marking time, and it claims that I stopped breathing 10 or 12 times in the past hour, but I was awake! What is that about?

I can just stop using it and tell the sleep clinic to buzz off, but that will probably trigger harassment from the psych department. Apparently, they have an issue with people giving up or something. It is weird.

Another curious thing is that I have a lot of nightmares about my stupid bike and other things. I wake in a panic, and I can feel my heart racing and other strange sensations that I can not describe. Stopping my heart racing is one of the things that the CPAP is supposed to stop. That is a lot of the point, that sort of thing is bad for the ticker, but it still happens.

Whether it is anxiety-related or due to lack of sleep or whatever reason, I am often at the edge of complex partial seizures but do not fall over. That is kind of good - kind of bad - as it leads to grand mal seizures which leads to my heart-stopping, and taking days to get normal. I live alone and would have no help. That is not so bad, but I really do not want to be found by my children.

There is more fear than all of that.

For some reason, there exists a great fear of leaving the house. It is not an overt thing where the thought of it sends me into a panic. It is much more subtle than that.

This has been ongoing for a few months. It is not the fear of being laughed at or mocked because I am ugly. My mask helps out with that, and I might continue to wear it even when I do not strictly need it.

Around 11 in the morning, I will remember that I need groceries or landscaping stuff and try to leave. Usually, by 7 in the evening, I get out of the house. If I have work outside, I make sure that none of my neighbors are outside. I do pretty much everything I can - and still exist at some level - to avoid people. Except for my kids and grandkids, they had a short spring break visit.

The second covid shot is coming up in a few days.

The first covid shot is making - still, after a month! - me feel a bit lethargic, and those bad headaches come and go. They are so strange. The headaches feel hollow, and my headache medication can not touch these. That doesn’t help. The second shot is due in a few days, and supposedly, the side effects are worse with the second one. Joy.

It’s early April, and my exercise goals are already behind, so I need to just get out of my head and move forward. Or not, does it really matter?

I really, really dislike feeling like this. Hopefully, just doing what I fear will overcome my irrational fear of bikes. Perhaps that will help with the rest?

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