First, apologies for the long(ish) post - this has been a long running problem.
I've been mountain biking for nearly 25 years and up till last year had never hurt myself, and was happy riding all kinds of crazy stuff without even thinking about how I was doing it, or whether it was sensible. I just seemed to have this aura of invincibility and kid-like ability to just ride anything.
Then I had a big OTB crash when I screwed up a 3 foot drop off. Landed on the front wheel and got spat over the bars and cracked a rib, which really really hurt. It was a massively dumb thing to do on a solo night ride and dragging my broken ar5e back home in agony and covered in vomit was a deeply unpleasant experience.
Anyway, after a few weeks of recovery and a huge bollocking from the missus, I was riding again and (as expected) was a bit nervous and lost loads of confidence.
Problem is, nearly a year later I've recovered *none* of my confidence. If anything, I'm getting more not less nervous. To the point where it's taking a lot of the fun out of riding. Anything remotely technical has me staring at all the sharp rocks and bottling out, instead of looking where I want to go and just riding. Simply can't help it. As for drop offs - anything bigger than a kerb has me off walking. Steep descents are the same. I'm just hopeless at it all now.
When I do force myself to MTFU (even a bit) I invariably frighten myself. It seems that all my rides end with me either being scared, or cursing myself for being a mincer.
I'm a bit stuck really. It's like I'm starting mountain biking from scratch. I look at stuff that a year ago I was happy to blast down with a huge grin, and this year I simply have no idea how I'm going to get down it safely and just can't bloody do it. It's really really p!ssing me off.
Any pearls of wisdom? Feels like I need bloody therapy or something