The Things that Linger

The shock of any trauma, I think changes your life.

It’s more acute in the beginning and after a little time you settle back to what you were.

However it leaves an indelible mark on your psyche.
-Alex Lifeson 

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When I wrote in my blog how I am finally in a good great place and actually thriving, I completely meant it.  I love the life I have built.  I love the place I’m in… but that doesn’t mean that there are no effects of the abuse that still linger.  Now I am not saying that I am still plagued by the horrible symptoms of PTSD.  I am relieved and thrilled to say that my anxiety has dramatically lessened (basically to pre-trauma levels… let’s face it, I’ll always be high strung).

However, the one hurdle I can’t seem to get over is that nagging fear of losing control.  I don’t mean in the OCD control freak sort of way (although I have that too!), but rather in a I’m too terrified to let go and have fun when snow boarding kind of way.  

Ever since my trauma, I haven’t enjoyed snow boarding.  Prior, I had LOVED it! It makes me a little sad that I just can’t get myself back to that place again. I’m always too terrified to let go and just be in the moment.  The second I start to pick up speed I panic because I’m so afraid of going fast and getting hurt.  It’s as if I have lost trust in my ability to control my board.

Snow boarding was the first time I noticed this, then I tried taking up biking with Adam.  He bought me my first mountain bike, and it spent a year in the garage because I was terrified of being so high off the ground.  I had never ridden on a real bike and was not accustomed to the seat being up so high.  I also had never used a bike with gears as a child, so I was a bit overwhelmed by all the technology.

ImageThen a month or so ago I decided I didn’t want to be confined by my fear (or for Adam to have wasted his money).  I took that bike out on a trail and scared the daylights out of myself.  lol  Adam was there with me, coaching me the whole way.  I don’t think we even covered 4 miles in the course of an hour because I insisted on walking every downhill.  However, I made a commitment to myself that by the end of the summer, I would have the hang of riding that bike.

Our next ride, we picked a flat, paved bike path and cranked out over 18 miles.  I was practically in tears the first half trying to get through the turnstiles (or whatever you call those ridiculous things!) at the intersections and avoid all the other obstacles people on the path.  By the time we turned around to head back toward the car, however, I was pedaling as fast as my little legs could carry me.  The best part is that I wasn’t even tired.  I think it was the high for truly looking my fear in the face. 🙂

Since then, Adam and I have made it out on another 24+ mile bike ride.  I am definitely getting more comfortably with operating the gears, and more excitingly, with riding fast.  I think I even clocked over 20 miles an hour on part of our ride!   I have even made a new deal with myself that if I can cover 100 miles of riding by the end of the summer, that I will invest in a road bike in the fall when they go on sale… with clip in pedals and the whole nine yards! (clip-ins… YIKES!!!)

In the meantime, I still have some hurdles left to get over… like holding the handle bars with a death grip and being afraid to let go or stand up and pedal. I did finally give up on clutching the brakes the whole time at least! lol  

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And here is the bike I have already fallen in love with… I can’t explain it; I just feel drawn to it.

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