Why I'm getting on my bike for Mind
Wyatt blogs about why he's cycling for Mind, and to encourage people not to suffer alone.
Radio presenter Wyatt, who suffers from anxiety is cycling to raise money for Mind.
I guess by now I could be called experienced at it. It's not the first time I've represented a mental health charity or fought my own battles. But this time I'm doing an event like never before – cycling 2,000 miles in two weeks, visiting various music themed landmarks and venues along the way; places such as Glastonbury farm, Stonehenge, Black Sabbath Bridge, Blackpool Winter Gardens and Glasgow Barrowlands.
"I intend to suffer during this time so hopefully others don't have to in the future."
I'll have to average 135 miles a day for two weeks with no rest days in the winter elements. England, Scotland and Wales will all be visited on this brutal cycling tour. There will be rain, snow and wind guaranteed.
The overriding feeling for me is that I intend to suffer during this time so hopefully others don't have to in the future. I'm trying to inspire hope, but also trying to show that someone is always out there trying to fight for you and alongside you.
To tie in with this event I got together with some musician friends to record a charity single, which is released on December 6. We've called ourselves The Planet Rock Allstars and have reworked John Farnham's 'You're The Voice' – for me, the song is so applicable to all our mental health challenges. The words "We're not gonna sit in silence, we''e not going to live with fear" resonate with me so much as a positive motto to carry forward.
"I fell into a dark hole due to bad lifestyle choices. I eventually came through it using positive mental steps."
A few years ago I fell into a dark hole due to bad lifestyle choices. I eventually came through it using positive mental steps, speaking to a doctor and forcing myself to make some changes.
Today I still suffer from often overwhelming anxiety. I used to think that meant you were left shaking in a room, afraid to leave the house or face anything. I've learnt that it can be more subtle than that but equally devastating... a feeling of not being good enough, anxious about what people do or don't think of you. It makes me restless and uneasy, I can struggle to sleep and can feel guilty if I relax too much.
There are times it is so over powering I just want to sleep until it passes. Unfortunately I never know how long it will take to pass and the darkness can be around for not just several hours but a couple of days at a time.
But I do know that a positive mental attitude is helping me live with it better. I also thought it might be a positive step for me if I could be a marker or warning to others who were feeling the same; the warning in the road for them that says "I know what it's like, I've been there and it doesn't have to end so badly after all".
"For so long I stayed quiet. I did it out of fear of ridicule or being rejected."
It wasn't about being pompous, thinking I was better than anyone, just that I knew I could come out of this darkness with knowledge of what got me there, and with the understanding of what it would take to make me a better person going forward. So maybe, just maybe, that experience might be able to help steer someone back from their darkness.
I survived because I believed and taught myself that things would be OK. I showed myself that it could be better and I made myself believe it.
For so long I stayed quiet. I did it out of fear of ridicule or being rejected rather than looking for the help I needed if I did speak up.
I was wrong to think like that.
No one is ever alone, no matter how much they feel it or believe it. There is always someone there, often more than one person. You just need to be brave enough to look for them or to ask for them.
What I do know for sure, is that there is no shame in admitting you're scared or that you've made mistakes and you'd like some help. No harm can come from sharing your story or experiences with the right people.
You just have to take a leap of faith and see that first step even if you can't see the whole staircase and where it might actually lead.
"You don't need to be alone so, put simply…don't be. Don't sit in silence, don't live in or with fear."
I guess what I'm trying to say is you don't need to be alone so, put simply…don't be. Don't sit in silence, don't live in or with fear.
At the very least, be scared around others who have been there, maybe still are there and aren't afraid to help you along, or help you back up to a strong upright position.
When you feel you have nothing more to lose... then you really have nothing more to lose, so talking to someone about how you really feel and what you have experienced can't make you any worse off.
If you feel too afraid to talk to a complete stranger, you can always come and find me.
Maybe we can figure it out together…
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Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.