After leaving my beautiful, blue dreamboat in a cold garage, with a few of her rough and tumble friends for most of the month of December into part of January, several weeks passed and as most of us experience around the holidays, a gapping void followed. All I knew is that nothing was going right and on top of all of that, I couldn’t ride it out. The stress level grew, those around me dealing with their own array of stresses and hurt. Nothing seemed to be a solace to me minus a few good meals and drives with some close family. Part of this sadness was natural, winter blues as they call it or more directly “seasonal depression” which I prefer much less. There is a term I’ve recently heard that I really liked for depression in general and it came from an unexpected realm, my nephew’s mouth. He called it “The Glump” and personally I’ve never heard a term I cared for more.
The Glump trapped me deep this season and still does a bit, pulling on my boots with force and certainty like a pit of quicksand, bones and mud. It was the end of my first riding season and nothing was going right, compiled all at once and without my stead, I was trapped. The feelings are real that riding give you, but I don’t have to tell you that if you’ve already caught the fever. Even if I was able to sneak away and walk the several blocks to the rented garage, I’d just sit on her and stare; this feeling was better than anything I’d tried to get myself free. Depression, as we all know, isn’t obviously just seasonal, but for us Buffalonians, we feel the realness often once the new year settles.
I had a old friend in Boulder, CO point out the realness of the end of a riding season, let alone your first one. The longing I had to reconnect with myself, which I’d completely lost. The feeling of accomplishment wrenching on it for hours, then riding in it’s warm disposition after. The freedom of the ride, stripped by cold walks and the lack of rumbling beneath my body. A simple form of transportation. My head full of dreams was leaking slowly into the frosted and clouded atmosphere. All of these feelings were real, how they affected me was a beast all it’s own and could be described as a layer cake at best.
There comes a moment when you have to face it. Question what is right, question yourself, your behavior, check that you are continuously growing mentally, enforce what you believe, question those around you, reexamined how your are treated, how you live, what you want, how you want to be, look, feel. Every time I wanted to make something, I started making it. Then I looked at those in my life or the lack there of. Attempting to make it more inward to better examine the issues happening outward. Asking myself truthful question like “when is the last time someone really had asked me how I am” without being delivered in bar style passing. Who treats me with respect? Who’s life did I better and who bettered mine? Who always accepted me for me, just the way I am and was willing to wait around for the upkeep? How did I hate myself so deeply, yet love myself profoundly simultaneously? These questions kept me going.
Examining yourself is a very important part of experiencing life in general. Expressing those emotions to those around you, putting out your feelers so to speak and feeling on the world. The Glump is the great destroyer. It’s the bat to your knees as you run the marathon and will leave you with no way back on your feet. The paths are long. Lately I’ve had some of my old reoccurring dreams where I am zooming in a shopping cart, surrounded by fast cars speeding around slick turns and climbing massive hills of a thruway, knotted together like a matchbox car launch ramp. There is no way for me to pull over or stop and as I slow at the top of the hills that I cannot possibly conquer, the only option is to slip backward towards the speeding bullets. Pretty direct. Dreams like these at least remind me that I am feeling it and aware of my own self.
Knowing I am not alone in this has helped me talk it through and talk other’s through theirs, which helps more. All of this weight had a bit of hope, I started having multiple days off again and my brain regained a bit of strength. I started getting at least one or to nights of decent sleep when I could. Last week we had a day of unseasonable warmth and I had the day off, so I walked to visit my love and get her going. With several issues addressed, I attempted a start and she wouldn’t budge. My heart was pounding all of its broken pieces. I needed this. Walking home with my helmet in my hand, defeated and freezing. I contemplated the fixes over some coffee and another cold walk home. Officially as of yesterday, she runs and with a few tricks fired up like a running hug in an airport terminal. A separate article will appear in the motorcycle repair section that will go through the “oops I didn’t winterize” checklist.
The Glump won’t win if you fight it, but half the fun is figuring out how you tick in the process. I cannot tell you how to get out of it yourself, but I can tell you that I started to make sure that those in my life bettered me and I better them, made an attempted to get on an earlier schedule (which is difficult for a partial third shifter), questioned absolutely everything and wrench when I can. Plan a trip if it’s within your means, join a gym, read something outside of your realm, take a class, create art, do anything that releases the toxins in you and the Glump will stay at bay. Most importantly always keep a little sunshine hidden in your heart.