Daily Archives: March 16, 2014


This a story about a D – lock, some bike tools and a dual – head pump. It also features some psychotropic medication and a bloody – minded attitude.

As the title of my blog indicates, tools are involved. In an earlier edition I have written about the stress that getting and trying to fix punctures has caused me. Not so long ago I wrote about my surprising ability to – apparently out of nowhere –  fix punctures in a relaxed and proficient way. This inevitable part of the life of a wheelman no longer harbours the flames of frustration that it once did.

I have also mused on the fact that for a very long time I rode without a puncture repair kit, spare inner tube or bike pump. I can’t be sure, but I expect that I compared this anomaly to someone not taking their medication – or giving it abruptly -as I once did. Either I didn’t need it (how wrong I was!) Or the side effects are intolerable – recall the stress trying to fix a puncture. Regarding side effects of medication I have been remarkably fortunate in that respect, only suffering side effects akin to sea sickness when I flirted with 20 mgs of Prozac at the beginning of my chemical romance.

I have written about a common side effect of psychotropic drugs and severe mental illness – weight gain – in an earlier edition; you can read it here: http://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/fat/

In the previous edition I focused on the Cartesian aspect of mental illness and the physical.What I didn’t say there was that this relapse – that I described here: http://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/329/

I have been pedaling along this whole time. When I saw my psychiatrist last, as this was beginning of a dip in my mood, we agreed that I wouldn’t go straight to increase my medication to counter it on the basis that it levels me out and takes away the energy to look at underlying causes. So that is what I have done.

I can imagine how many of you will be urging me to’take the tablets!’ Or ‘get yourself on an even keel first, then we can talk about underlying causes’…and so on.

This is where the D – lock and bike tools come in. I weighed what I heave up a hill and along the flat: bike 16kgs, D lock 2.6kgs, tools, pump and puncture repair kit another 600g. I am reliably informed by a panel of experts that this equates to about 3 stone. Without the bike? it still makes my arm sore to lift the bike lock and tools for more than a minute. I need all those things in my panniers, don’t I? I’d get my bike nicked if I didn’t lock it up with a decent lock. As for getting a flat tyre in the middle of the countryside….the view from the top of the hill might not look so poetic.

So I carry the weight.

Increasing my dose of Quetiapine gradually by 25% to 400mgs helps tackle the depression….it just makes it that much harder to get out of bed and on to my bike.


O I am spent, I have no more strength to swim.

The blessed sun touches the bitter sea’s rim:

I cannot see the headland or the little town.

All my limbs are weary, and I must go down.


O is it sleep or love  or death I most need,

And what peace shall I find in the arms of the weed?

The gulf – weed shall take me and cradle me in brown.

Wide – waving tresses, for I must go down.


Go under the sweet,the bitter flow:

You are the blind, but the blessed spirits know

Whether in sleep, or love, or death you must drown;

Cease then your striving, sink and go down.

Ruth Pitter (1897 – 1992)

And on a lighter note…..


These sleeping tablets may cause drowsiness.

Peter Reading (1946 – 2011)


Down Cycles

I am lonely, yet I want to be left alone. I pace and pace while my mind churns, walking from room to room not ever knowing quite where to stop or what to do. I sit. I want to write but it’s as though I’m out of words and I want to hand over my brain to someone and say “here, this. This is what’s going on in here.” I’m tired. So absolutely tired.

I play a character just to get through the day, go through the motions and tell myself these down cycles pass. That it won’t last forever and I have to hang on until it clears, even if I don’t want to.

Bipolarly 2014-03-16 00:28:00

At times it may seem as though you and your past are one. Sometimes we fail to differentiate between what has happened to us and who we are today. If you have a hard time getting beyond that damaging mind-set let me encourage you right now. You are not your past Although you are changed and shaped by past experiences who you were yesterday does not control the person you have the potential to become tomorrow.” -Sue Augustine, When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present