I guess the moment you announce a journey, it begins. Even though I’m not hiking yet, I’ve already learned something important and it possibly saved me from making a fool out of myself and embarrassing a friend.
My decision to hike 531 miles to Lawrence, Kansas had good intentions but it also would have created a potentially hurtful situation for my ex-girlfriend. It doesn’t respect her set boundaries would violate any trust she has left in me. I have my friend Maranda to thank for helping me see the mistake I was about to make.
So, I think instead of going to Lawrence, I’m going to change things up a bit and ensure this is about my mental health. If I’m going to have any impact at all on myself or others, I have to do things right. I’m not sure where I’ll hike yet. Currently I’m in my way to Maryland to visit an old friend I served with in the Army.
I have been anxious about this trip considering how far away is, but things are not as bad as I had envisioned. It’s easy for me to create scenarios worthy of a Hollywood movie. Worst case scenarios are not useful in everyday life. That line of thinking will keep me locked inside my house for days and weeks.
One more thing I should mention; I’m not doing all of this on my own. Once I started with the self harm I made an appointment at the VA for counseling. It’s important for others in my situation to understand that hurting yourself and others or suicidal thoughts is not something that you should ignore. Chances are it will not resolve itself before real damage is done.
I don’t have all the answers, i make a lot mistakes, but I hope my openness about PTSD and depression helps others in one way or another.