How to beat "silly" everyday panic ?

For me, the easiest way to recover from a bad feeling or cherish a good feeling, is by writing it down. And hence this post.

Last Thursday, when we were riding back from work, it started drizzling. Traffic was heavy as well. We were riding slow, but I saw the bike ahead of us in the next lane trying to switch, and then skidding and hitting a divider pole. Luckily, the skid wasn't that bad and he wasn't hurt. But, I was terrified and re-lived the feeling of helplessness when a bike goes out of control. 
In 2012, somewhere in September, we had a bad evening. As always with the Singapore skies, it started raining suddenly while we were on the roads. Manu is a very careful rider and I have never felt any fear to be his pillion. Those days, the bike rides in the rain were charming and romantic. But, since he had just upgraded to a 400CC bike, he realized that it might be risky to ride in the rain. So, we cancelled our plans for the evening and headed home. As the rain was getting steadily stronger, we decided that it would be safer to ride home(in the opposite direction of the rain) rather than wait it out with a kopi-c. We were relieved to see that the rain towards our home had subsided. We relaxed a bit and continued our chit-chat ride. Alas, the evening took an unexpected turn when the tires slipped away in the wet roads. Luckily we were on a small bridge and the traffic was sparse(I assume it was because we were going in the opposite direction of the city).
After what felt like an eternity, we were safely on the tarmac in one piece. I had been pushed out of the bike, the moment it lost balance. While I was skidding through the roads I had precisely two thoughts in my mind - 1. Hold on to the helmet as tightly as possible, so that even if a vehicle ran over me, I wouldn't have a squished brain. 2. Praying - yes, praying and hoping Manu was OK. I couldn't see him. All I could see was the grey horizon becoming brighter, for some reason.
Once the movement stopped, I sat upright and to be honest, I have never been more happier to see Manu walking towards me!
I realized the adrenaline power that day. I had big angry bruises on my knees and I could see the blood slowly gushing out. Despite my extremely low pain tolerance, I did not feel a thing. I saw an SUV coming towards us and parking horizontally to protect us from following traffic. The kind driver ran to our spot to help us with the bike and offered to send us to the hospital. We were not in a real bad situation, so we thanked him and declined his offer to drive to the hospital. I took a cab home while Manu rode beside us. Luckily he had only minor scratches in the arms. Later, when we went to the clinic to dress up the wounds, I realized that it was super painful. After a few days spent in the bed, I was physically all right.

But, from that day I am terribly afraid of riding in the rains and changing lanes. Even after a year, I am still nervous at the slight angle at which the bike tilts when changing lanes and entering expressways.  But, I do not want to stop riding with Manu, as it is something special we have been having for so many years. Now a days, he chooses long traffic hogged roads to express-ways. It is a joking point for my friends when I get restless until Manu messages me "I reached" every time, when riding without me. I try to talk myself down from being anxious and tell myself that he is just held up in traffic. But, somehow my fear overcomes my confidence and the demon wins. 

I hope someone out there has better, stronger solutions to help me and would reach back with suggestions. 

1 comment:

Dragonfly said...

I remember sliding in the road for a long time and all the while talking to you "no problems, its ok" only to find you were not behind me when we stopped.