An introductory post! Welcome to the Happiness Diaries. I'm going to be riding my lovely motorcycle, make and model TBD, on a circumnavigation of this beautiful planet starting in February 2017. On my way, I'm going to be trying to spread awareness for mental health through this account and my website, while meeting as many people and getting as many stories and testaments from them on what truly makes them happy in life.
Mental health is frequently considered a hush hush topic. As a man, I was always a firm believer in the suck it up and push through and things will get better philosophy... and unfortunately that isn’t how it works... That’s how things compound and slowly you find yourself feeling like a passenger in your own life. I made countless self-destructive decisions, pushing away people I care for, relying on weed and alcohol to sleep at night, and I realize now that there’s an endless stream of days and months where I was tightly wound in a heavy blanket of grey. No matter what was happening I could never seem to break out from the blanket for more than a moment, or a day, only to be dragged back underneath. Then I got "lucky".... the nadir of my life occurred which pulled me back from the ledge (not entirely metaphorical) and forced me down the path of getting help.
After bottoming out, with help I started to put myself back together. It’s impossible to list every piece of the puzzle to recovery, but friends and family, a caring family physician, countless hours analyzing and relating to all the online resources and the occasional dial in to help lines... there was a lot that went into trying to build a solid mental foundation. People say sometimes things happen for a reason, and for once in my life I tend to believe that. I picked up Motorcycling while I was near my lowest. Chosen due to its inherent danger and the lack of concern about my own safety, I thought it could very well end up being a way to stop feeling my pain without causing too much trauma to the people I love. Well, tricks on me because it has turned out to be one of the biggest joys of my life. Getting out on two wheels and feeling the freedom and the wind, reveling in the camaraderie of fellow riders reminding me “rubber side down, shiny side up”, and being able to put mind and body together in one intoxicating pursuit... it’s given me not only an escape, but some inspiration. What gives you yours?