Broken

The holidays are two-sided affair for many people. It has promise of family, and the love they bring. But it also has the promise of family, and the stress they bring.

Usually I fall into the second category. Stress. When I’m with primary family – mom, step-dad, brother, dad and his girlfriend… its stressful for me.
It’s only gotten worse since I’ve hiked.

It’s only really gone off the deep end since I came back and been living with my mom and step-dad.

My mom has been supportive of me during this time, my recovery and reintegration. But she never really has understood what I’m talking about, or the obstacles I’ve been dealing with. Its not to say she hasn’t been empathetic, she just doesn’t actually listen to what I’m saying. Not really.

So she suggested we go to a family counselor.

“Your son is broken” was the second thing the counselor said when mom came into the room.
I think it finally hit her – having someone else tell her.

Because since I’ve been back, I have been broken. I’ve been mired in a funk. Brought down by post-trail depression, heatbreak and physical pain.

Post-trail depression is a real thing. It happens to every long distance hiker. It’s easy to see why – you spend everyday living with people, sharing everything with them. At the end, you are ripped from your family and shoved back into a world where at best people don’t understand what you just did. At worst, they look at you with disdain.

So how do you deal with post-trail depression? There are lots of people who have ideas and theories about it.

I’ll let you know when I’m finally over it myself. Because it’s a long long road back from it.

And I’m not sure where I’m going from here.

Somewhere not here

Where am I going?

I’m not sure. But it’s my journey. And I’ll keep walking the whole time.

Solvitur Ambulando

Walking solves all my problems

 

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About Doc Spice

I walked around 4,000 miles between 2012 and 2013 on the Appalachian Trail. A time of discovery, life, joy and pain. Now I'm a hometown adventurer, explorer of the alley around the corner, the national park up the road, the next long hike and the beautiful, intelligent woman I talk to a lot. I'm a little crazy. But I think that's ok.

Posted on 12/21/2013, in Post AT '13 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. singlegirlhiking

    Where are we going? Hah! We have no idea. But it will be good. I promise you it will be good.

  2. I found a journal today, and these are the first lines in it: “so, the post-trail blues are a thing. A very real, hard, sad, and scary thing. I miss the trail every day. I miss the people every moment of every day.”
    I wrote that on October 21st. Two months later, it’s still true. Still just as real.

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