Every morning before work, I hike. It’s a short hike, followed by a ski from the top of the little ski area that I’m currently calling home. I hike mostly as an attempt to stay in shape for this upcoming challenge. It provides a few other benefits as well. After a morning jaunt up the hill, I feel refreshed and awake – ready to start the day. The exercise puts me in a better mood and helps me iron out the stress of the previous days’ work. I’m greeted at the summit by the rising sun, marking the beginning of a new day. Another day closer to my departure.
As time creeps by and the day of my flight to New Mexico edges closer, my anxiety gradually intrudes on my consciousness. The familiar pit slowly gouges itself a home in my gut. When I think about going away and starting this hike, I’m excited and can’t wait! But when I think about the relationships I’m leaving on the east coast, the whole-body feeling of sheer dread overtakes me.
Of course, my rational brain can scream until it turns blue. The people that I should have in my life will stand by me! Does my anxiety brain listen? Nope. But what if…? it asks, continuously coming up with new conundrums that only fill me with fear. I’ve been incredibly guarded about who I consider a friend in the past. That list is still in the single digits, despite what my Facebook may say. There is a large number of people who know who I am at this tiny ski hill in southern New Hampshire, yet I feel so disconnected from them.
What I really need, contrary to the beliefs of my anxiety brain, is to start this hike. I’m tired, stressed, and most of all incredibly lonely. I work open to close almost every day as a way to avoid free time and being alone, but then this leads to the aforementioned exhaustion and stress. Fourteen days left until my flight leaves, I hope I can find a way not to dread each and every one of those sunrises.
Announcement: Fundraising for NAMI NH
During this hike, I have partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Hampshire (NAMI NH) to raise money. NAMI does a TON of really cool stuff for people with mental illness, and this is a topic I hold close to my heart. They have classes and groups for literally any demographic that you can think of (kids, families, grandparents, friends, EMS/Fire/Police, the list goes on and on), are heavily involved in policy, and send people to train healthcare workers all over the world. Please consider donating to their more than worthy cause here. I will also have this link up on my homepage for the entirety of the hike. Be sure to type “GWL Hike” in the comments on your donation so we can keep track of how much we have raised.