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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder


If one possesses gumption, one can accomplish
just about anything. That's what I don't have.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

June 19, 2008

Copyright © 2008 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

So in my previous diary it was argued that I should give up my car and ride my bike everywhere instead. And this is my intention.

I am out of shape, overweight and my cholesterol is too high: my doctor says I'm well on my way to a heart attack. My maternal grandfather died of one when my mother and aunt were just little girls, so I'm very aware of the need to get on my bike.

But when the time comes to leave for work, more often than not I just don't feel like it. Today what kept me from riding was not knowing what to bring for lunch. I decided that I'd drive, so I could come home for lunch.

Yes, I know that's really lame. You may taunt me.

If one possesses gumption, one can accomplish just about anything. That's what I don't have.

What's especially embarrassing is that I have a coworker who is an avid cyclist. He rode up Mount Diablo one day.

There have been several periods in my life when I have been an avid cyclist. So I know that if I could just get over the hurdle I face, I will come to enjoy it.

I once had a Summer job at UC Santa Cruz. I decided to get there on my bike - it's up on a hill overlooking Monterey Bay. It was really hard at first; it was a time of deep depression for me, and again I was out of shape. Yet I persisted despite what was at first abject misery.

By the end of the Summer I had lost a lot of weight, and would zip right up to my job each day. Sometimes I'd ride back up again, in the evening after work, or ride to Watsonville (40 miles round trip) or Davenport (20 miles). My depression also lifted; in the end I was quite cheerful.

Back in Truro I used to ride twelve miles a day. Every other day I would ride up the large hill that overlooks the town. People walking on the street would stop and stare at me as I huffed and puffed my way up. One day a construction worker said I was insane. Heh.

I have a friend who used to live in the Berkeley Hills north of the UC campus. I brought my bike for one of my visits and rode it downtown. While pedaling up a particularly steep section on the way back, a car with four attractive young women in it drove past me, then stopped at the intersection.

When I got to the intersection, they all applauded. Geeks like me don't get that kind of reaction from women very often.

I stopped cycling when I got the job in Vancouver. Because Bonita was staying behind for school, the company gave me several round-trip tickets in lieu of relocation, and I couldn't afford to ship my bike myself.

I got out of shape quite quickly. Not just because I wasn't riding but because of my diet: I didn't have a kitchen, so I ate mostly fast food. Weight gain is a common side effect of the Zyprexa I started taking for my schizoaffective disorder.

I finally did ship my bike on my last visit to Bonita. It cost a lot but it's a really good bike, so I felt it was worth it. I've been riding this same bike for twenty years now.

I have ridden it some since I've had it. Just not consistently.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll ride to work - and I'll bring my lunch.

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