Hello, Friends.

Hello, Friends.

For a few weeks now, I’ve thought about how I would reintroduce myself to my own blog. Nothing seemed right. And until today, this very day, I didn’t feel like opening myself up.

To be honest, I didn’t think that anyone would notice that I wasn’t around. Part of that can be attributed to me initially not thinking about writing or doing anything. But then as a few probing “where are yous” found their way to me, I felt surprised. How would anyone even know that I wasn’t on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or here? How could one little person ever be missed? Seemed impossible.

It has been months since I’ve been around here. And as some people who have reached out to me wondered – was it because I was off exploring and having a great time? I wish I could say, yes. But… it was quite the opposite. (If you aren’t interested in non-motorcycle stuff you can stop reading now.)

My struggles with depression haven’t been a secret. Since the end of April, I have been in the fight of my life. It is only in the last few days that I have started to really re-enter the world where the clouds are parting. It is just now that I am being reminded that life is indeed worth living.

I don’t say that lightly or to be dramatic. That’s where I’ve been. It has taken a toll on me and my family. They’ve suffered greatly. An irrational tornado is destructive to everything in it’s path. I’ve scared them with my behavior, my dark ideas, my forgetfulness, my insomnia, my crying, my arguing, my repetitive questions, my seemingly being someone completely different.

Unfortunately, I’m filled with regret for things said, actions taken, things not done, and I couple that with a heaping dose of shame for being mentally defective. I have done irreparable damage to other people’s feelings. This is a burden I can hardly stand and the worst part of it is that I have no one to blame but myself.

During these last few months, I have completely isolated myself and cut off communication with everyone. Somehow I still managed to go to work, though I wasn’t able to function there without anti-anxiety medication. Things got… messy. I couldn’t concentrate enough to read a book, doodle in my sketchbook or write a post, I didn’t leave the house when I didn’t have to work, and I’ve watched more TV in the last few months than I have in my entire life. So no, I haven’t been out gallivanting. I’ve simmered in a state of crippling anxiety and depression.

I have never been so overwhelmingly sad in my life. I have and to a smaller degree still feel utterly hopeless, worthless and unloveable. There have been many moments when the pain was just too much to bear and I wanted to quit. The despair has been overwhelming. It’s felt like I would never be able to escape the prison of my own mind in any other way. I was sure that I would never get better. It’s a strange thing to be rational enough to know that you’re being victimized by your own mind but to not be able to pull enough mental resources together to hang on to hope and know that everything could be okay.

Since July I have been taking meds, going to therapy and am working with a psychiatrist. I am trying to get better. I want to get better. This has been hell.

Rest assured that I love each and every person who reached out to me through email, text, cards, tweets, messages – all of it. Though I am the world’s shittiest friend to everyone else, so many of you have been so beautiful to me. You don’t know what a light in the dark you’ve been. Thank you.

See you soon.

35 Replies to “Hello, Friends.”

  1. I’m sad to read this but to be honest not surprised. Does that sound harsh? I hope by now you are allowing your hubby and daughter in and sounds as though you have reached out just enough to start seeing some light. You;re not alone but that means nothing to the person going through what you are at this time. As long as you have an ounce of hope then healing can occur. Self forgiveness is difficult, shame and/or guilt. Finding pleasures even harder. I can only look forward to the day you do write about the freedom of the bike, one i have lost and live through others now.

    I know you have been told many times, you;re a beautiful person but unless you feel and see it yourself you are unable to absorb the truth. Get going and moving straight ahead. It’s worth it to you and all that love you. Powerful post and BTW I noticed.

  2. Hang on. Please be more kind to youself- take the time to respect the beautiful heart you hold —-thank you for the pleasure you have already given me , and for the many yet to enjoy….

  3. Rachael, You have touched so many peoples lives in a positive, and if I may say, entertaining way with your blog. We share your pain and will support you unconditionally. You are not alone. Bob

  4. Take the time you need. I was excited to see your most recent post after so long… and yes – I did wonder if you were OK and still out there. Wishing you all healing thoughts. We miss you, come back to us soon.

  5. You are a true inspiration and your willingness to share is overwhelming. You are so special…keep going forward…we will wait for you..❤️

  6. Thanks for this post. More in common than you will ever know … just for different reasons. I’m proud and envious that you’re taking steps. I’m still trying to “fake it until I make it” which obviously isn’t working. But this isn’t about me – it’s about you – and I’m glad you checked-in. Do whatever you need to do. We’ll still be here for you.

  7. Hi Rachel. Remember the big pink elephant along the old Route 66 in Illinois. I finally stopped by there a while back. And it was you that I was reminded of as I remember seeing that you visited there in the past. I wondered where you were. I hope you can get through these dark times and get back to a more normal way of life. And maybe get out on the road again and take anoce long ride. And if you’re ever in Illinois again, let me know. It would be good to meet you in person.

  8. You ventured “out” today at the same time I went for a ride for the first time in a couple years due to an injury and the subsequent surgery. And because I’ve been concerned about you the last few months, I took a photo of the “Big Hammer” in Eureka, northern California that you missed on your trip some years ago.
    As others have said, you are cared for, you are important to us, and we offer you an ear to listen, or a cross country electronic hug.
    I would like to get the photo to you, but I couldn’t figure out how. Please take care.

  9. You are so much more than what you think of yourself, and have inspired and entertained more than you realize. I was wondering where you’d been and what you were up to. Your struggles are very familiar to me and, as many of your friends might’ve said as much, you are not alone in this fight. We love you and hope you remember that you are not alone, that we care, and it’s okay to feel. Reach out if and when you can.

  10. Be gentle and kind to yourself. We all have our demons and no one is perfect. Your friends and readers are all here to support you through you storm. Write a blog about life as well as motorcycle adventure. I have heard writing is very therapeutic. Welcome back.

  11. We don’t know each other, but a friend of mine commented on your Facebook post. I followed the link and read your blog post. I have a nephew going through a tough time now, too. He’s lucky to have a wife and kids and friends and family who love him and want to help, but as you know, he fights this battle on his own. I can see that you have people who love you, too. I have no words of wisdom or inspiration, but I do hope you can find your way back to those who very much want you in their lives. I am just a stranger to you, but I care, too.

  12. Sorry to hear all that Rachel, I kinda thought it was something like that. I’ve been seeing a therapist and shrink for depression since January. Been on all the meds and endless combos over the years except I decided to try Prozac again. Last month she added Rexulti which had side effects enough to scare the walking dead and now Lithium which requires regular blood tests. When I see my therapist tomorrow and she asks I will tell her the truth-I’m no better than when I met her 8 months ago.

    In my mind therapy is a waste but for many it can be a lifesaver if you’re honest. Medication is a total crap shoot but if you get lucky it can make a difference. I hope you feel better soon, don’t beat yourself up for not being the perfect person you might imagine everyone else to be. If you have any med question feel free to contact me.

  13. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

    Rach, if you wanna chat bikes, life, help each other stick to our goals like a support buddy, whatever you want, let’s talk.

  14. Wow, was I ever happy to see a Fuzzygalore post in my inbox! Have wondered many times why you had checked out and had hoped you hadn’t been bounced off your bike by a texting cager.

    Takes a heluva lot to come out to your public with your issues, and we salute you! And a lot of us can relate to your challenges, too. I went through it; drugs, doctors, yada yada. It helped, but sort of magically one day it was pretty much gone. The anxiety, the depression and most of the insomnia had run its course. Maybe it was the chemicals, maybe not. But I mention this to confirm that this shit can and will improve. Just give it time, don’t beat yourself up and don’t do anything that will leave lasting marks. Just do the best you can until such a time as it lifts, and know that a whole butt-load of people care about you. And keep riding, too. It’s a soothing salve. XOXO

  15. I’m soo happy you posted!!
    Over the years your blog has helped me in so many ways including mentally. Maybe re-reading some of your old posts will remind you that there’s still a lot of good stuff about life. I know meeting you was definitely a highlight in my life.

  16. Welcome back…or welcome to your first steps back. You’ve always been my inspiration…the kick in my pants I needed to get moving on the bike…or to just write. And, you continue to be so…whether you write daily or weekly or monthly…you ARE perfect. You are enough. You are wonderful. We have your back. And your honesty is refreshing and beautiful. Write when you can…and we’ll still be here reading.

  17. Battling any illness is really tough. Battling depression is truly a huge challenge. I’ve been so wrapped up with stuff that I haven’t kept up with bloggers as I did in the past. To check in and see how you’ve been suffering is a shock. Rachael you are so smart, so brave, so inspiring, you must recover. Whatever it takes, you must do.

  18. Rachael, Hello to you! My fears from you not posting were confirmed, I prayed that nothing had happened bike related, but also knew it was more than that, tougher than that. You have the strength to battle these demons, the mind is a bitch. Just know we are all here for you, you have taken the first steps to getting better and that’s the biggest step. I have often thought about you these last few months, especially riding. My one wish right now was that I could give you the biggest hug and let you know how much we all care for you, life isn’t easy and sometimes heartache and doubt outweigh all the joy we can experience. I am probably babbling here, but if I could take all your pain away I would in an instant. I send hugs to your family, as I know it’s been hard for them. They love you, as do all of us. Rachael was my favorite Grandmother’s name, she had the biggest heart as do you. I still plan to meet you one day, we can swap stories and have a lot of laughs. Hang tough sweetie, take the time to get yourself healed, don’t ever believe in your mind that you are worthless, unlovable or unneeded. We all battle those demons, but some of our demons are meaner than others. I am here if you want to talk, but I am so happy you are talking to someone. One step at a time sweetie, I am just so glad you reached out to us and let us know what’s been going on. Most of us are only an email, text or call away. HUGS!!

  19. So happy to see you have checked in — so sad to see what has kept you away. Many of us have and do struggle with depression and I am among them. Thank you for sharing. I have always known you are a beautiful person with great courage. You have been my “imaginary friend” for many years now. We’ve never met, but I’ve traveled many miles and shared many life experiences with you through your blog. I cannot improve upon what others have said, but I wanted to you know that I, too, am thinking of you, missing you, and sending you warm, healing thoughts.

  20. Rachael, I love you. And, as evidenced by the 20 people who commented above me, so do many others. I believe the worst thing about depression is how it distorts our perspective: the lovable seem unloved, the bright becomes dull, things aren’t what they appear to others. You are a bright, sparkling, colorful light on the rock of Earth. Your absence is louder than most people’s presence.

    Please listen to your friends as they tell you how wonderful you are and how much they miss you. Let that seep in.

  21. Rachael,

    So glad to see this post. I certainly noticed your absence and was sincerely worried about your well being. Wonderful that the clouds have started to part. I have some close family members that suffer through bouts of anxiety and depression, so I can somewhat relate. Check out the song “Soul Shine” by Beth Hart. Always cheers me up when I’m down.

    Best,

    Lanza

  22. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, physical activity, (not necessarily riding your motorcycle), can be helpful. Just moving your body through space under your own power, such as going to the gym and working low intensity weights, walking the treadmill, trimming hedges, doing laundry, sweeping the garage, pulling weeds. I know it all sounds like drudgery, and it is, but physical action can work positively on your mind. We all too often assume the mind controls the body, but…
    And I know that severe depression can make one feel almost catatonic, unable to move. That’s when you have to force yourself to move.
    I humbly offer the above. Perhaps you are doing this already…

  23. So glad the clouds are parting for you, Rachel. Been there, and wish I could make it go away for you, because it SUCKS. I hope you believe me that I think you’re a really cool writer and love reading what you write, and living your travels with you. Especially this one….

  24. Hi Fuzzy,
    I don’t have any words that can make things better…I wish I did. I’m so glad to see a post from you and so saddened about your struggles. I admire your courage and honesty. Please know that you are missed when you aren’t sharing. Sending you positive thoughts. xoxo

  25. I’m sorry you’re suffering. Your description of the darkness you’ve been traveling through is painful to read. Especially knowing you’re the traveler. I wish you well on your journey.

    Regarding the idea that you’re not important or no one cares about your presence here, I can only say you are far afield of the truth. Connections made through writing, images and the sharing of experiences, even online, are powerful. Your absence had me wondering if you were adventuring, bored with blogging, or something more serious. Why did I care? Because the ideas and experiences you share resonate for me. I find them stimulating because you see the world from astride a motorcycle differently than I do. And you present them in a manner that’s direct, honest and engaging. There are many people blogging about riding but most just share drivel. Not you.

    Creative people often suffer to various degrees from the darkness you outline. Perhaps our brains are wired differently. Whatever it is, it’s a struggle. And before you dismiss the notion that you’re creative, just look at what you have at FUZZYGALORE.COM. It is your creation. Aside from being long-lived, content rich and elegantly presented, you’ve stepped beyond the ordinary to create concise ideas reflective of your unique perspective on the road, life and your inner world. That takes courage, brains and no small amount of grit to keep at it for so long. Artists do this. You’re in that club despite your protestations.

    Anyways, I hope you find peace and sunshine more common than not. And that you realize that you matter — to your family and friends — whether those across the dinner table or the ones who share through bits and bytes…

  26. I was very happy to see your post and have been trying hard to find the right thing to say to encourage you. There have been so many posts before me, that I can’t find anything unique to say. So I’ll just say ditto to the sentiments shared previously and send you a great big virtual hug. Stay strong, friend. Things are so beautiful on the other side of all this, and lots of people will be waiting to greet you when you are fully ready to emerge. Hi five for being a strong fighter and getting this far! Hugs!!!

  27. When we didn’t hear from you for some time, I did not inquire. Not because I didn’t care but because I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and knew that whatever the reason, it was your business and when it was time, you would say “Ta-Da! Here I am!”.
    Do what you must, take your time, live your life and more than anything… Be.
    See you soon.

  28. Hello Rachael, I am another person who has been visiting on and off to see if there was any new posts from you. If you ever need someone to chat just buzz me anytime.

  29. Thanks for your brave post.
    I agree with most of what the guys have said above, and I know from my own experience what you are up against. Take heart from our responses, you are valuable to us, even though we mostly have never met you in person. Please don’t feel guilty, ashamed or inadequate in any way (although of course you will!) because you have hit the wall. Walls can be knocked down if necessary.
    Maybe try to save a little space once a week to do something, maybe even just a simple diner trip, where it’s just you, just being, no pressure, just observing the world in a bite size piece, and hopefully finding a little peace for yourself?

    Good luck,

    Take it easy Fuzzy xx

  30. I’m glad to see that you have resurfaced and found the strength to post your feelings. I hope each day becomes easier and you can be compassionate with yourself.

    Take care.

  31. I rode home today from Yreka to Eureka, California on highway 96 as the last leg of a five day ride around NorCal and Southern Oregon. I thought about your post when you and Mr Fuzzy were riding my corner of the world. My ride was a “gift” from my sweet wife. For my 65th birthday she handed me a pre-loaded credit card and said, “Go for a ride.”
    We all have people who care, try to take care of our needs, and look for ways to bring us joy. Through good and bad they are there with a hug or just a look that conveys that you will once again find bliss in a surprise heart sighting. It’s waiting.

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