A Walk With Mental Health Challenges
First off, I have to decide to go for a walk. I often feel like a walk but am filled with trepidation about what the outcome might be. I like the fresh air and the beautiful flowers in people’s gardens. I like seeing people out and about. I like the feeling I have after a walk when I feel like I’ve done something important and good for me.
So what stops me from walking?
I am fearful of that feeling of being overwhelmed by sounds and sights. It actually hurts to see and hear so much of what is really there. It’s worse in Spring but in Summer it’s there too and when the first snow falls in Winter I actually sigh with relief and feel peaceful. The falling snow seems to quiet the noise and activity and it is so relaxing and nurturing.
Also, I have a feeling of being an energy and don’t have a clear picture of where I start and stop. This means I could feel like part of me is too close to the cars or is going onto people’s lawns. This feeling goes away when I walk with someone I trust and I feel more naturally embodied in the right way.
Another problem is that it is so different to be outside than inside. I notice this difference and it makes me feel like I am changing who I am. Inside feels cozy and outside feels exposed. With my things around me I feel somewhat taken care of. Outside at times the trees are my anchor and I feel taken care of by these wise creatures.
What happens once on the walk
I start out very slow. I encourage myself. I tell myself to move along and just put one foot in front of the other. I notice some of the nice things outside and start to feel the warm air on my soft skin. I start to speed up a bit and get into a sort or rhythm of first concentrating on walking and then concentrating on the colours of the flowers I see and then back to walking etc.
The cars scare me at times. They seem big and careless. I try to pay attention to their whereabouts. They are part of the overwhelming noise I mentioned before.
After I get to about half-way then it is easy walking after that. I know I’ve gone most of the way and that I can finish up quite easily. I’m in the swing of things and think about extending the walk to go a bit further. It is, however, more important that I continue with daily walks than that I go as far as I can. On the weekend I may go a little further to make it a special walk.
If I go with someone else I sort of have to get into rhythm with them. Sometimes I can do this easily at other times it is more difficult.
Some highlights of my walks
I like walking at Harrison Park in Owen Sound, Ont. There are big Pine and Spruce trees and it is wonderful to walk with these gentle giants. They are a luscious green and they seem to be care-takers of the Park. It is really quite an experience to walk amongst these huge trees.
When I see a Willow on one of my walks I am thrilled. They are so poetic. They are magical and mystical. Their branches sway in the winds. They seem to like people and especially me. I’m so thankful for the weeping willows.
Rocks are nice to see on walks. I like to pick up one or two. They are so pretty with their colours and fossils and I often save one to mark a special occasion. I’d like to do this more often.
Returning from a walk
When I return from my walk I will have usually had a conversation with a big tree here or there and with some flowers as well as a building. Often this symptom will be subtle at first and then more powerful. I will talk a bit and often give some news about my life then I will ask for quiet. Which happens more often now than it used to and I am thankful for this.
I will have gotten some good exercise and had a good chance to be out in the sun and rain. I secretly hope I’m a little prettier from the natural attention of the elements. I like to think of my artistic natural self having wind blown hair and rosy cheeks with a huge smile and a knowing look.
Well that is a bit about a walk with me. It can be a little complicated when I just can’t face a walk and the person I’m with wants to walk. It’s a little harder when I’m in a different city. Sometimes it helps to have a destination like a Star Bucks or something. Going back and forth can then feel more normal than just wandering or looping around.
Even for those of us that find it difficult to get outside I hope we keep trying. It’s such an interesting world to look at. It’s so nice to feel the natural weather on our faces. May the sun shine on you gently and may the wind keep blowing softly on your back. Are you excited to take your next walk?
Posted on August 6, 2013, in Balance, Depression, anger and negativity, Emotions, goal setting, mental health, mental illness, New Age Psychology, schizophrenia and tagged acceptance, alternatives to medication, empowerment, mental health, mental illness, positive thinking, self help. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.