TIM Guy was a 19-year-old on a bike with the world literally beneath his wheels, when he decided to give it all away.
He'd been cycling as a Junior for Australia for a year when his depression and anxiety built up to a point where he just had to give it up.
For four years, he stayed in that dark place - there was no end in sight.
Beneath his inner battle, there was always this 'want' to ride again, he just didn't know how to access it.
"I came back," Guy said.
"Not because I loved the sport, it was more that I left it thinking all the anxiety was coming from the sport.
"Over time I realised that wasn't the case at all.
"There was something inside me which said that wasn't a fair enough reason to stop.
"I didn't want to look back and think I never even tried to fight it."
Guy, originally from Orange, had always used his bike as a way of avoiding everything else when he was growing up.
It wasn't until he left home, was cycling intensively and had a relationship breakdown that his mental battle intensified.
He blamed it on cycling, or thought maybe it was that he didn't know what he wanted to do with his life.
But when he felt negative towards every aspect of his life he knew the cause of the problems was something bigger.
In 2013, Guy began talking with his coach, Mark Windsor, who convinced him to join the Australian based team Search2Retain.
Since then, each day has been like a chapter in a bigger book.
The bad days are just a part of that story.
He said he never came back to the sport to be good, he just wanted to ride again.
"Beneath everything, I still had this want to do it, but something fogged over that and didn't let me access what I wanted to do, I was just frozen," Guy said.
"I came back to fight that, or to not let it win.
"I'd get on a bike and ride like five kilometres and stress out, it's hard to explain.
"For the first year, I'd ring up and I couldn't even go to races.
"It was just this overwhelming fear I couldn't escape from.
"With a psychologist and the coach, I slowly started to show up at some races, the win was just to rock up to the damn thing.
"And then the next thing was just to finish.
"I'm still not passed it, but I can manage it better now."
Cycling was always one aspect of Guy's life where he received overwhelming support.
So much so, the Albury man recently claimed a win in the international riding scene.
He said if he could learn to manage his anxiety while riding in stage races, he could hopefully take those skills and use them elsewhere.
"It was never about trying to get good again, the whole thing was about managing anxiety," Guy said.
"We always relate it to writing a book.
"It's about the story and what could be good for others … If you have a bad patch, you write it off as part of the book."
From one chapter to the next, the story led him to an international tour in the Philippines from February 18 to 21.
He raced as part of Search2Retain and won the fourth stage of Le Tour de Filipinas
Returning to a continental team got him back to the same point in his career where Guy had quit aged 19.
"Somehow I got back to where I was when I stopped," he said.
"In between, I never thought I'd go anywhere near doing that again.
"The first day was 160km, the second was 210km, then 190km, then 160km.
“They are big days and dragging yourself out gets harder as it goes on.
"On the last day I got the opportunity and took it, I didn't think it'd work, but it did.
"With five kilometres to go, we had all come back together and there was a stretch of road with five corners, four speed bumps and a railway track
"If you attacked, it was a bit easier to go through that section by yourself and a bit slower with the bunch.
"I got away solo and I just managed to stay out of sight … I was hoping and hoping.
“I looked back and they came around the corner to start their sprint, then I realised, I had enough time.
"I could sit up and zip up the jersey - the sponsors like it when the jersey is zipped up - and celebrate as I went across the line."
Guy struggled to find the words to explain just how he felt during and after the race.
A wave of emotion hit once he crossed the line before the numbness came on.
He was swept away by cameramen and said the win still hadn't hit him today.
"It's a pretty big event over there and you don’t have too much time to think about what has happened really,” he said.
"Even now at the lowest level of international races, to get a win on international scene at all is big, not too many people manage to get one.
"I was pretty happy, I didn't think it was going to happen."
Guy now trains about 12 to 18 hours per week which is tailored to suit his needs.
He said when his medication changed so would his training.
“Whenever it changes we do things with the coach to alter training because it makes you feel tired,” Guy said.
“If I did 10km, that was equivalent to 30km to try and manage my training and adjust it to the medication.”
His next goal is to take on Asian tours and spend a month in Europe this year.
He said despite his success, he still doesn’t have the answer.
For him, there is no quick fix – it's all about learning to live with mental illness.
“I haven’t sorted it out, it’s not gone, but it’s about the management,” he said.
“In reality, it definitely still gets in the way all the time.
“But I still try to move forward anyway, by accepting it is there and just keep moving.”