Day One of my small, tiny, miniscule June 2015 motorcycle trip. Its been impossible for me to sleep for days. I’m not even sure if its my constant companion anxiety or if it is the fact that there is a full moon. I would like to just be able to blend in with the woodwork for a while, be normal for a bit. Some people like to tell me that normal is just a setting on the dryer. Hell, I don’t even have anything close to a dryer and couldn’t afford to run a dryer if I had one right now. Other people have dryers. I don’t even have a spot for a dryer. Dryers don’t fit well on a motorcycle.
When I was first diagnosed I was asked what my dreams and hopes looked like. What did success look like to me? Where did I want to end up? What was I supposed to say to that? Most of my treatment teams had no idea what I meant or even began to understand what I wanted or needed. I can tell you my treatment teams had dryers and I didn’t have one. Most didn’t own motorcycles. Could most of them understand what i needed and wanted? Only a couple were maybe able to.
The rest could only understand my dreams and hopes through what they felt they knew. And what they knew about best was judgement. Its hard to make a plan that works when people make your plans while viewing them through what they might want if they were you. That’s how we end up with people saying that what I really wanted was a job and a home and a date. Right. That’s why I’m sitting in a campground with my motorcycle parked outside my tent, tapping out words on a tablet for others to read.
But if we don’t start at the beginning, we can’t ever end up where we want to end up at. Lots of people want to wait. They want to wait for things to be perfect. They want to get better before they start on their journey to their hopes and dreams. I waited. That’s why I’m here now and have done what others wanted and needed before now. I waited to start. I waited for:
Things to get better
Me to get into a better recovery
Me to get a better motorcycle
Too long. I waited for too long.
I do have a plan now. The routes are marked on the map. I want to be in Galveston before dark. Its definitely doable. But between my scrambled full moon brains and my anxiety running rampant I idly wonder if I can make it happen. It’s easy to get twisted around on a motorcycle.
There’s no quick glances down while driving to check out a map. I’m not the best with a GPS unit ever. I can follow a map if I can glance down to check it occasionally. Friends say-get some ear buds and listen to it. For some reason that doesn’t work well with my anxiety. I start out.
My head is screaming at me that a million things are going to go wrong. I’m going to get lost. I’m going to run out of money and have to panhandle my way to the end of my trip. Should I have packed an old tin cup? Trying to panhandle with the new Bubba Mug I have is probably going to give people the wrong impression. Someone will follow me at the end of my day of panhandling screaming at me as I get on my motorcycle…you have a motorcycle? You bitch!!! Give me back my 50 cents.
Usually riding clears my brains. I shake my head hoping the random thoughts will budge. I clear Raymondville planning to pick up gas in the next town. At the speed I’ve been traveling I should have 45 miles left in this tank. In a couple of miles I hop onto Route 77, glance up and see the sign, next services 50 miles. My mind chatters some more. I find a place to do a u-turn and go back.
For some reason that bobble has stripped my can-do attitude. I take a break in Robstown to rehydrate and double check my route so I can remember it. I repeat the directions to myself, position the mapping system I am using and promptly get lost in Corpus Christi. Trying to follow a map is so much easier on a motorcycle if there are two. Even if each person is riding their own bike there are two sets of eyes to find turns but I was really surprised they didn’t want to let me through those gates. Don’t I look sweet and innocent?
After being lost an hour in downtown Corpus Christi I find my way out of town and as a bonus I was on route 35, the road I wanted to be on.
The break I had taken in Robstown doesn’t seem to have done much good. I am unable to keep a steady pace. First My speed would be fast then slow, fast, then slow. Not my dream of a divine ride.
I stop in Tivoli. There’s no place to sit at the Dairy Queen which is being remodeled, but there is a gas station. Feeling wonky I grab 2 pieces of chicken and a Gatorade hoping it will help the wonky feeling.
After people left Texas I stopped doing so many sweets and don’t often crave them now. I don’t want to get those cravings restarted again. In both robstown and Corpus Christi; I had poured water onto my shirt. It was lightweight with long sleeves and a light color. My shirts were staying damp, meant it was either a combination of things or I was just plain out of shape .
Tivoli was hit pretty hard by the flood waters. Lots of guys stopped by to chat and joke around. One guy stepped up to me and said something about new 2 iPhone that ATT had. He pulled out an old flip phone with 2 fuzzy eyes glued on it.
Another guy asked which direction I had come from and talked about the number of trailers that had been taken to Joe’s place due to the park they had been in having flooded. He said Joe’s place was the only place big enough and dry enough for all those trailers. He said it had never flooded at that park before.
When I left town headed north there were a couple of flatboats and about ten cars as people tried to recover more of their stuff. After leaving Tivoli I realized I once again couldn’t maintain a steady speed. I had done everything right hydration wise. It could have been the no sleep, it could have been I was dehydrated to start with. Whatever it was? I needed to get off the road, get some rest and inhale a ton of fluids. Its not unusual for me to ride in hundred degree heat but something still wasn’t right.
I stopped at a hotel and the man said he didn’t have a non-smoking, ground floor room available. I mumbled fin, give me a smoking room then. The hotel man gave me and my tiny Honda a room right next to a Harley. He’s not acting like he wants to trade. I drag my stuff inside and take a nap after turning on the air.
Marty is an avid motorcyclist who advocates for recovery from a psychiatric diagnosis, peer support and recovery coaching. She's been writing online for a little over ten years and is now trying to figure out who she wants her target audience to be.