One of the things I love about cycling is the infinite variety of my fellow wheelers. There are the seasonal cyclists who only come out in the good weather, their bikes having spent the cold months locked up outside somewhere. They ride despite the fact that their tyres are deflated, their chains are dry, and their brake pads are too thin. There are folks confidently riding the cycle paths on ‘sit up and beg’ bikes with items as diverse as little dogs, flowers and computers in their baskets. Let’s doff our caps (they won’t be wearing helmets) to students weaving in and out of the traffic not troubling car drivers and pedestrians with hand signals. I give a friendly nod to racing cyclists on expensive carbon fibre bikes, dressed in lycra outfits in the colours of the teams in the peleton, as they pass me on my tourer laden with full panniers out in the countryside for a leisurely ride as I muse about topics for this blog. And let’s not forget the adrenalin junkies on their mountain bikes careering along off – road trails trying out ever more daring manoeuvres.

While there are clearly cycling tribes, it’s impossible to pin down who is a typical cyclist.

Likewise, I want to suggest, with pill poppers like me. Even the type of medication some of us take highlights this.  Along with fellow mood – swingers on the bi – polar spectrum, and delusionists of the schizophrenia clan, I take the atypical antipsychotic Quetiapine before bedtime every night.  It’s atypical, a bit like me, I hope.

Regarding my mental health, I like to think of myself as an individual, not lumped together with a whole group of celebrities, and others who have the same diagnosis.

I am a big fan of peer – led support groups, as regular readers will know. Such groups help to reduce isolation, promote acceptance and allow people to talk about their experiences, however painful they may be, without fear of judgement or rejection.  One of the most striking things about such groups is the wide range of backgrounds that people in these groups come from.

There’s nothing typical about who you’ll meet.

I Am Completely Different

I am completely different.

Though I am wearing the same tie as yesterday,

am as poor as yesterday,

as good for nothing as yesterday,


I am completely different.

Though I am wearing the same clothes,

am as drunk as yesterday,

living as clumsily as yesterday, nevertheless


I am completely different.

Ah …

I patiently close my eyes

on all the grins and smirks

on all the twisted smiles and horse laughs—

and glimpse then, inside me

one beautiful white butterfly

fluttering towards tomorrow.

Kuroda Saburo (Dates Unknown)

This entry was posted in Bi Polar Disorder, Cycling, Depression, Mental Health, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

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