Friday, August 14, 2009

To Moncton and beyond

August 13

After riding on quiet country roads yesterday from Saint John to Peticodiac that went up and down and up and down, our riders decided maybe the TransCanada might offer a somewhat less hilly route. They were partly right. There were fewer hills alright, but what there was were pretty big. However our riders made better time despite all the heavy traffic too. In the morning we rode to Moncton where met Ro and Dinger and Loretta and Sarah at the Magnetic Hill. They got there early and had good seats to watch us drive around a bit til we figured out where to park. We had a nice lunch (thanks guys), a few laughs, and we were off to the beach - feeling good to know we have friends to hang out with.

I got to thinking that all too frequently it seems people with serious mental illnesses have lost those social ties. Stigma alone probably accounts for this. Too often, the onset of a mental illness keeps an individual from continuing with their normal life. In our experience , Lindsay struggled at school and university and infact wasn't able to finish. Mood disturbences and an inability to concentrate because of racing thoughts and disorganized thinking plus medication side effects such as agitation, drowziness, weight gain, and sleep disturbences made it difficult for her to feel good about herself around others. Naturally self esteem suffers.

When I talk to Lindsay about this she says that some days are not so good and the last thing she wants to do or is able to do , is to be with people so she hides. There are good days though and on those days she is ok with people. Not perfectly at ease but better than usual and can even enjoy herself. Our experiences are not uncommon, a phone call, an invitation to meet for coffee, an understanding ear can go a long way to let someone know they are not alone.

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