One for the Road

In the world of alcoholism they say that that a person has to be ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’ to embark on the road to recovery; likewise with my depression.

Somehow, sleeping tablets, and now 50mgs of Trazadone, is doing nothing, nothing at all to keep me asleep.  I have been napping in the afternoons (damn, damn, damn!)  And of course, the lack of sleep affects my mood; I get ratty, irritable, and then the racing thoughts and dis-inhibited behaviour starts.

At least I’m up to 40mgs of Citalopram.  I’ve got a new sick note for a fortnight.  My Doc wanted to give me a month-long sick note, but I have started to think that I would be O.K. to go back to work one, or two days per week.

So, I’m still pedalling in the mountains, taking more pills, and my heart is throbbing in my throat.

Charly Gaul (pronounced ‘Gowl’) comes to mind.  He was the Luxembourger who was King of the Mountains at the Tour de France in 1955 and 1956, and won The Yellow Jersey (Overall Winner) in 1958.

His nickname was ‘The Angel of the Mountains’, and since my Hebrew name is Gabriel, I kinda identify with the guy.

He was also fond of taking tablets, mainly amphetamines.

Marcel Ernzer, Gaul’s domestique (support rider in stage races), recalled a conversation with him:

“Charly’s going to die.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because Charly takes too many pills.”
“But everybody takes them.”
“Yes, but Charly a lot more than the others.”

He died in 2005, having lived the life of a recluse in a cabin in the mountains during his retirement from professional cycling; I guess the tablets didn’t do him any harm in the long run, then.

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One Response to One for the Road

  1. Justine Hewson (now McLaughlin) says:

    Hi Nicolas. Do you remember me from our younger days???? Do you remember that bike ride we did from Kingswood to, I think, Alfred Deller’s house? I think one of us punctured but we got there in the end.

    Your blog is really interesting to me. I would love to drop you an email for a chat. I too have had a chronic sleep problem, now well on the way to being resolved. I have also been cycling and running for the last 20 years. I am


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