When I first started to talk my girlfriend about planning my walk I was trying to find my feet after two suicide attempts, a loss of a very important relationship, ongoing joblessness and a feeling of extreme worthlessness.
I had also had the unfortunate experience of our psychiatric system which really is a horror to behold. I know I am not the only one who has experienced that system as the ultimate degrading, dehumanizing experience.
My first thought was that I wanted to make the walk about how we treat the mentally ill people in this country. It was a scary prospect though. I was, and still am, very raw from the experiences of the last year and it is so damn easy to dehumanize the mentally ill people out there. I don’t really consider myself “mentally ill”. But I am without a doubt weakened from trauma, depression and anxiety. I was worried that it would be harder for me to fund raise, to secure hosting opportunities. And, I was scared that I would make myself cannon fodder for a lot of negative attention – all reactions that would make my walk more difficult. Tonight I decided to become completely honest about my struggles. Sometimes I cry, I grieve difficult loses and I still struggle. I am not actively suicidal at this time, but life is a struggle.
It also hasn’t been easy to secure the support that will make this walk a success, so protecting myself from that practical stand point doesn’t really seem to work. I don’t know if this will work better, but in the struggles to regain my strength, I know it will help me, and that really is what this walk is about.
The last two weeks the grief hit me hard again, and I have been crying – crying hard. While I might become a day or two delayed I remain completely dedicated to do this walk, and tonight I decided that the full scope of my struggles should be made public. I really do this to help myself find my strength, please don’t beat me up over it.
This walk is about losing weight – sure, I am one fat chick. It is about so much more than that. It is about my relationship with God, with the world I live in, with myself. It is about reclaiming my strength as a human being – I had it once. It is about self love, and the ability to love others – even those who hurt me. It is about regaining my sense of worth. I have not always been this much of a mess. It is about trust, not stupid trust. But trust in God, in myself, and a basic trust in goodness. It is about empowerment – my own and others. It is about awareness of how much hurt there is in the discrimination against obese people. It is about how we dehumanize the “mentally ill”, and how easy it is to dismiss people who are less strong. I will be talking about all of it as I walk, as I struggle to regain myself and as I hopefully gain some strength.
And, there are two people who hurt me to the core, hurt me in the most destructive way possible. Truely, they traumatized me. If they read this, they know who they are. This walk is about finding a way to attain some peace with those two people. I am not quite ready to put those stories on the net at this time. But, I will probably refer to those hurts sometimes. Sometimes I grieve, a violent, overpowering, complex grief that hits hard. That has been my struggle the last two weeks. I can’t wait to get deep into some wilderness areas, if anything can help me, that can.
I have been through a lot in the last year or two. I hope you will join me as I fight to regain my self.