Hiding it all

First I want to apologize. It seems I alarmed a lot of people with my post yesterday. I received a lot of messages both from PM’s here and on my personal phone. It’s very nice to know that there is a genuine concern out there for me. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to get back to everyone.

I’m doing ok right now. I stopped for something to eat in Barryville New York, along the Delaware river. I’ll be camping just up the road (I hope) and there isn’t cell service anywhere so I’m doing this update while I have wifi. My fingers are crossed that I’ll still be doing ok in another hour.

Today I woke up and headed straight into Philadelphia so that I could check that block. Yes, I said I wasn’t going to but I’m glad I did. Independence Hall was so much better than anticipated and the liberty bell was so much worse.

I left by 10:30 and went over to Valley Forge. I took the bus tour and while it was interesting, it was really boring and they didn’t do a good job. It didn’t help that it was near 100 degrees and I hadn’t eaten. My mind was probably elsewhere. I did enjoy walking through the house where General Washington had his headquarters. It’s still mostly original.

From there, I ate and then got back on the road.

I can’t begin to describe the relief I felt at being on the road again. Actually moving towards home, although through a circuitous route. For so long I have had these segments of my trip planned out in my head. For some reason just getting past Philly seemed like it was a brick wall. That could very well be why I had added stress the last few days.

For the first 50 miles or so there were a lot of back roads with traffic lights, stop and go traffic and lots of cars. Sitting on the bike, baking in the heat, I was starting to go crazy again. But then the roads opened up (still low speed limits) and they began winding through trees and hills. It was exactly what I needed to start feeling right with everything. Plus, it was interesting to go into New Jersey, a place I had no desire to go to and it wasn’t originally part of the plan. I’m glad I did and I was pleasantly surprised. I need to stop judging places based of a lifetimes worth of preconceived notions.

Now I’m in New York. I’ve been following the Delaware River for a long time now and it’s beautiful. I have seen a lot of boaters and swimmers in it today.

As to the title of this post?

Yesterday was bad. Unfortunately that is a regular occurrence for me. I have those feelings the majority of the time.

I’m really good at hiding it. I will slip. I will yell at my kids or say something under my breath or flip off a motorist. People notice that stuff. Mostly though I am able to interact with all of my friends and people in general. You’ll never know I’m having a bad day.

This has become the story of my life.

The more I hide it, the more it gets internalized and the downward spiral continues.

Talking with my therapist or my wife has been my only external outlet. Now I have this blog. When the blog ends, when this trip ends…then what? I doubt I’m going to be better. I’m trying, and I’m hopeful. I’m just not going to blow smoke up my own skirt. I’d like to say I’m a realist. People with PTSD are not realists. We’re defeatists.

I feel like things should be getting better. Hell, tomorrow I’ll ride through Woodstock. How can that be bad?

2 thoughts on “Hiding it all”

  1. Jake, I’m so sorry that you are dealing with PTSD. It is heartbreaking to me to see so many of our soldiers struggling, but many of them I only knew as soldiers. It makes me cry when I think of that kid from high school that was always so kind and funny and considerate of others going through this. Please don’t forget to turn to others. So many people care about you.

    Liked by 1 person

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