I’m back. I think. Back from the brink of losing myself.

Suicide. Overdose. Both were in the cards for me. I guess you could say I seized the opportunity to change, and got my life in order. When you’re dealt a bad hand you can either fold or bluff. So, I bluffed my way back to good health. Fake it ‘til you make it, they say.

I wasn’t oblivious to my steady deterioration over the past six months. But, unaware of my potential for change, I felt helpless to take control of my life. My mind was clouded. I had become short-sighted and reckless, and lacked confidence in my ability to get well again. I was ill, and in the thick of it.

Eventually, I decided enough was enough. After a moment of contemplation, I decided fighting the current was better than doing nothing. Going against what I believed to be true, I made a conscious decision that my life was worth something. A step towards wellness, if you will. The next step, realizing change, was much harder.

At first, I faked it. I acted like everything was okay, pretending I wasn’t consumed with anxieties and nagging doubts. In reality, I was teetering on the edge. So, I sought out safety nets. I sought out therapy, medication adjustments, and support groups, all of which have proven indispensable following a significant setback. But above all, exercise has helped me most.

Exercise has allowed me to reclaim my life.

I’ve been swimming regularly in the mornings. My rigorous exercise routine has made all the difference, easing my anxieties and doubts, and freeing me from the muck of self-reproach. I’ve found a good swim puts me in a more positive frame of mind.

My swimming has only further motivated me to get out on my bike. This week, I’ve been going for frequent bike rides, as I prepare for Ride Don’t Hide. I’ll admit, my Ride Don’t Hide training was on hold for a couple weeks, as I struggled to overcome the obstacles that stood in my way of achieving good mental health. However, I’m back on track, and am looking forward to accomplishing my goal of riding twenty kilometers next month.

It’s been a few days since I’ve had symptoms. A couple weeks since I’ve used. I’m still early into my recovery, but for the first time in a long time, I’m hopeful. The future looks a shade brighter.

If this latest relapse has taught me anything it’s that recovery is a journey that needs to be shared, in good times and in bad. The road through recovery can, at times, be perilous. So, let’s ride this road together.

Yes… I’m back. I think.