loneliness


I was away for a few days. For a couple of  years, I  have been planning a backpacking trip by myself. I grew up backpacking, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. Then I married a man that told me that he liked those things but then as soon as we were married, I found out that it was a lie to get me interested in him. He didn’t want to do anything like that. Anything that we did took a lot or convincing and he acted like it was a chore. After the divorce, I met BFF and  started doing these things again but then we broke up. For a while, we still did things together but I realized that I needed to do these things alone. I started accumulating gear. I bought a few things, my ex-bf/bff bought me some, my mother bought me some, my sister bought me some. I realized a few months ago that I would be able to do it this year. I started planning my first trip and then in June, we had a fire in the area and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do the trip. We were on fire restrictions and the forest closed for a while. The time came for the trip and things were back to normal and my trip was on.

I spent early last week gathering up gear and packing. I was getting more and more nervous and excited. Wednesday, I took off. I worked my trip around my son visiting his girlfriend. I took him up, spent time in the wilderness, then picked him up.

img_0445

I decided to start with just a day hike on the perimeter trail in Ouray. I am so glad that I decided to do that. I had two products to filter my water. One was a Life Straw water bottle that I bought for day hikes a few years ago. I had only needed to use it a couple of times and when I went to use it on this hike, it would not pull water. I ended up cutting that  hike quite short as I had no source of hydration. I am so glad that I bought my Water filter bag. I bought it knowing that I needed a source for water cooking. This bag became my trip saver.

img_0458

 

I headed back over Red Mountain Pass towards my destination. I decided to camp near  the trailhead so I drove toward it and found a nice place on the side of the road to pitch my tent for the first time. It img_0459was so peaceful out in the middle of nowhere by a river. There was another camper about 1/4 mile down from me but I couldn’t see or hear them. I spent the evening journaling, reading, and just enjoying being out in nature. I had my little poodle out there with me. He was having a blast exploring out there. The only bad thing is the bugs were awful so I decided to climb into the tent early and read in there. It was quite funny when I tried to get my pup in the tent. He would  NOT  get in. I had to go physically bring him in the tent and zip it up. He spent at least twenty minutes staring out the window or at the zipper. Eventually, he settled down, climbed in the bag with me and we were in bed quite early.

Thursday morning I woke up, packed up the gear and headed to the trailhead. My goal was Ice Lakes. I had only been up there one other time and loved it.  It is only a short hike one way but it is considered a hard hike due to elevation gain. I had a pack that weighed about 26 pounds. I was excited and very nervous. Some young man had just come down and we talked for a few minutes and he was so encouraging. I was having a hard time gathering up the courage to start the trek but I put on the pack, locked the car and started up the mountain.

img_0457I  was only hiking to the lower basin with the pack. There were a few times that I did consider turning back. At one point, my calf that I injured in February started hurting pretty badly. That was the one moment that I thought that I might not make it.I took a long break and then started back up. I was sweating like crazy, panting, sore but I made the three miles to the lower basin. I had camped up there once before and knew of a great place to pitch the tent. I was so happy that I found the spot and it was available. I pitched the tent, filled my water bag and chilled the rest of the day. I did a lot of thinking about my life, past and future. At one point, I was sitting on this rock watching hikers, listening to nature, taking pictures, and thinking. I just started crying. I sat there and realized where I was previously. Ten years ago, I was planning my suicide. Five years ago,  I was going through a divorce and had horrible chronic pain. I thought I would never be happy again. I never thought I would be able to do what I just did.

I went to bed early again that night and actually slept twelve hours. I don’t remember the last time I slept that long. It was cool and quiet. My house is quiet but not near like it is on top of the world with no one around. Friday morning, I hiked the last 1 1/2 mile to the upper basin. Puck and I sat by the lake for a while and just enjoyed it. There were quite a few people up there and everyone was so happy and kind. I took a quick dip in the alpine water. it felt good to wash off all the sweat from the previous days. I decided to head down when the storm clouds started coming in and I heard thunder. I did not want to be above timberline during a storm so I chose to not to hike to  any of the other lakes and hiked back to my campground. I packed up my gear and went down the mountain. I did have one little incident on the way down the mountain. I slipped on some gravel and rolled off the trail. I am glad it wasn’t a real steep area and I wasn’t hurt.

The rest of that day was pretty uneventful. I drove back to Ouray and ended up at a KOA that night as I couldn’t find a place to back country camp. I won’t do that again. Saturday morning, I went up to Ridgeway for a coffee while waiting for Orvis Hot Springs to open up. I had heard of it for years but had never been before. I decided to splurge money wise and got a massage and soaked for hours while I waited for my son to get there so we could drive home back over the three beautiful passes.

So that was my big adventure. At almost fifty-one, I took off by myself into the mountains of Colorado with a backpack on my back and was never lonely once. I am so proud of myself and excited to plan another adventure. I have more to share from this week but I feel that this has been long enough for today. It would have been real easy to just not come back to civilization.

Advertisements

This week, I made the decision to delete my dating profiles. Recently, I had  deleted a few of them but this week, POF, Tinder, and Bumble all went away. Previously, I have hidden them but this time, I completely deleted them. I haven’t met anyone even remotely decent on any of them in over a year. I have had some pretty boring dates. I do not know how many of them couldn’t even hold a conversation. I have had a couple of dates that talked about their ex-wives endlessly. One that was holding so much anger and another that obviously  was still in love with his ex. I have talked to men that within two messages were talking about being part of my family and others that wanted to commit to a hook up without meeting. I can imagine how that would have gone. I wasn’t looking for just a hookup but did tell one that it wasn’t completely off the table but we had to meet first. His last message to me was wanna get naked? I had men that expected me to be available to text 24/7 and if I didn’t respond immediately, they would get upset with me. I have noticed that few of them actually have been wanting to meet in person quickly. I was looking to date, not have pen-pals that would eventually meet. I have been ghosted, stood up,  and treated like I didn’t matter. If that is what dating is about nowadays, I do not need it. I am happy with my life without a man so why was I putting so much time and energy to date. I have decided that it is not worth it. I have a job that I love, lots of great friends, a great family and my dogs. For now, that is going to have to do

I have been accused a number of times, mainly by family, of being way too open on Facebook. I decided years ago to be my authentic self. I am no longer going to hide my feelings or be who I am not. I did that for many years when I was married. By the time I was divorced, I had been depressed severely for years, suicidal and definitely not myself. Before he filed for divorce, I started the journey of healing. I started blogging. I started meds. I was seeing my doc regularly about my depression. During the divorce, I remember telling him that I was NOT going to go backwards.

I have shared so many details here and on Facebook. I know it is not always pleasant but I feel that when we share the unpleasantness also, we can possibly be helping others. I know how it feels to feel alone. I want my friends to know that they are not alone. Over the years, I have had many friends tell me how my openness has helped them with their divorces or other times of stress but last night, I truly felt that it has paid off. I had an ex-coworker contact me. She and I were not overly close but I always liked her a lot. She is a bit of a loner and introvert and does not make friends easily but there is something about her that drew me to her at work. Except for an occasional message now and then, we haven’t had any contact in many years. Last night, I got a message from her saying she needed to talk to someone. My son and I were having an evening together and were about to start a show but I told him it would have to wait, someone needed me. She called and we talked and cried and I was there for my friend. She told me that she felt alone and was so glad that I was there for her. I was told that the reason that she felt she could reach out to me is my openness on Facebook.

Being alone is sometimes hard but we all need it from time to time but being LONELY is another thing and there is nothing lonelier than being alone when you are in crisis. I wish I could do more for my friend than listen but I will stand by her during her time of crisis and be a friend that is needed. I will always be there for someone in need and I will continue to be an open book, good and bad. I truly believe that it saves lives.

My first Comic Con. I went because Stan Lee was supposed to be there and I knew that my kids would want to meet him. At his age, I wasn’t sure if they would ever get the chance again. I was going through my divorce and really had no desire to attend but the things we do for our kids. Stan ended up cancelling but we had already gotten tickets. The kids all got into costume and I went to sit in the lobby with a book, expecting to be bored all day. It didn’t take long for me to realize that was not going to be the case. Some of the costumes were amazing. People watching was amazing at Con. I had no idea what to expect. Costumes, people, laughter, panels, etc. I ended up going to a few panels and meeting a few celebrities but the best moment of that event follows.

I was a fan of Wil Wheaton before con. I figured his panel would be interesting as the others were. This was at the end of the panel. He had said he only wanted yes/no questions so he could get everyone in that was already at a microphone. He was keeping the answers short until this little girl asked her question about being a nerd and bullying.

When he was speaking to her, it was amazingly quiet and when he was done, I looked around. I saw people of all ages and genders with tears streaming down their faces. At that moment, I became a HUGE fan. I ran upstairs to pay the extra to meet him but he was on the way to the airport already. I hope I get to meet him someday and tell him in person what he means to me. I feel so lucky that I was there that day and I got to witness this in person. It was a moment that I hope I never forget.

This is a follow-up to the story.

Wil Wheaton stands up for nerds everywhere

 

Suicide rates on the rise

I almost was one of these statistics. The last time that I was suicidal, my husband (at the time) would yell at me about being depressed. He never once said, honey, I am worried about you, let’s go get help. I was working on a plan. I was crying for hours every night. I was drinking to stop the pain. I even said regularly how I wanted to die. I was just wanting to hide from the world. I didn’t necessarily want to die but I didn’t want to live anymore. Living was too painful and I felt that my being around made my family unhappy. I felt like a burden due to my physical health issues (that got worse with stress) I was so close to acting on my plan and all he did was get angry at me and yell at me. I remember thinking how much better his life and my kids would be without me as I was so worthless. I felt that I wasn’t even worth helping when I was so down.

Please, reach out to people. Don’t get angry at them for being ill. Too many suicides. They are on the rise nationally. Too many people feel alone and worthless. It is a horribly dark place and, at the time, death seems to be the only way out.

Every time I hear of someone dying from suicide, I also hear people state how selfish the person was. To me, that is so offensive. A person that dies by suicide feels that they have no choice. Suicide and depression is something that we need to talk about regularly People need to educate themselves about depression and learn how to support people. One way is to take the QPR class. This is a class to learn to be a gatekeeper for depressed people. Question. Persuade. Refer. I took this class a few months ago with a bunch of friends. I hope I can save lives. I ask my followers too not judge the people with depression and educate yourselves. Maybe you can save a life or two but also remember that if someone you know dies by suicide, it is not your fault either.

 

Last weekend, I went on a short ice cream date when I went to visit my son. My son was at an event so I figured I would do something. The guy talked about how much he hated various things and ended up making a very racist remark to me and then told me how he is not racist. I left that “date” once again wondering why I even bother anymore. I love my life. Most of the time I am not lonely. Do I really want to bring someone into my life that is going to take my time away from the things that are important to me? From what I have seen since I started dating it most men want to change us into who they want us to be. I am not “good enough” for them for whatever reason OR they are not right for me. I keep meeting men that are religious (even though I am very clear that I won’t date a religious man), crude,  or needy. Is it so much to ask to find a man that is non-religious. We are now a large part of the community. Is it so much to ask to find a man that can speak in proper English (most of the time), reads books, listens to music, is athletic and takes care of himself and cares for humanity? He doesn’t have to match me 100% but there are some things that are very important to me. I want him to have teeth. I want him to be well kept. I don’t want to be with a fat man that does not take care of himself. I walk almost ten miles a day for work. I also do karate 2 times a week. I hike on weekends. I kayak, I love football. I do drink but can have fun without it. I ski. I don’t want a partner that wants to sit on his ass and watch TV all the time, though I do love to watch television and movies. I read a lot. I would love to have someone to share books and discuss books with. I am very liberal so a Trump supporter does not fit in my life but many of them ask me out because I am cute. I am fifty years old but don’t look it. I am about 120 pounds trying to gain muscle mass but I want more than a physical relationship. I want to be physically attracted to my partner. It would be great to find someone to go to Comic Con with, as well as brew fests, film festivals, and wine festivals. I have gotten so I am comfortable going by myself. Is that a good or bad thing. I am finding that the longer that I am single and alone, the less tolerant I am of partner issues. Last weekend, my mom and daughter also came to visit my son. We had four of us trying to decide where to eat. I am so used to making decisions without anyone’s input anymore. I was really having a hard time with the indecision. Finally I just said that I didn’t care where I went. I would have a beer at one place and a margarita at the other. That was when my mom finally put in an opinion. For breakfast the next day, I just made a decision. Will I ever be able to let someone completely into my life again? One of my concerns with men I meet are ones that have never been in a long relationship because I am afraid that they will not be able to handle the changes of one. Am I becoming that person? Am I doomed to be my mother and single the rest of my life? I love who I am and how I am growing in independence daily but it scares me, also. There are days or moments that I am lonely sometimes lonely as hell. Days that I just want someone to love me. Today is one of them. Here is it Mother’s Day and I am all alone. I have three great kids but they are grown. I am no longer the focus of their lives, as it should be. The oldest had the morning with her boyfriend and is at home 300 miles away right now. The middle one that lives with me had to work today. The youngest hasn’t come home for the summer from college yet.  I have spent the day doing chores in my house but not as much as I should have. Most of the day has been spent paying bills and watching Shanarrah Chronicles. I started drinking margarita’s a drink ago. It would have been nice to not be alone today. Tomorrow is a quiet day but then Tuesday through Thursday, I go non-stop. I get up, go to work, and eat all day. After work, I either have my karate class or my atheist meeting. By Friday, I am usually exhausted so if I have no plans that night, I am actually usually relieved but going out for an hour or two after work is not a terrible thing. Saturday is my errand day if I stay in town. I also take an hour or two to sit at Starbucks with a coffee, a book, and my pup (outside patio). I really enjoy my Saturdays. Sometimes, I go on a hike or something like that instead.

I think I am just needing to accept being alone.It is so much easier and there are so many frogs out there. I haven’t found anyone worth my time in almost a year and he ghosted me after four weeks of telling me how much he liked me. I am not sure it is worth the risk and pain anymore. I can take care of myself. Financially is a struggle but it is getting better.  I refuse to let loneliness take over my life so I will stay busy and active. If someone decent enters my life, I hope I can accept him in.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did very much enjoy this book. After reading many of the reviews, I can see where the negative comments came from but I do disagree with them in many ways. After her mother died, it appears that she got depressed. That is how I can see why she threw away a good marriage and lost. She was lost. Yes, her deciding to hike the PCT alone with no experience was not a smart thing to do. She was very lucky that she ran into so many kind hearted people. To me, that shows how most people are good after all. She made many mistakes and was very lucky. Yes, she got off the trail many times but only bypassed in a few areas. She stuck with it though she was unprepared. I respect that she kept going with an overweight backpack, lack of supplies, and lots of pain. The critics need to remember that she was so young when this happened. We aren’t the smartest at that age. She learned a lot about herself and grew a lot on her journey. I don’t know what has happened to her since but I hope that she has found happiness and continued to grow in strength and confidence.

View all my reviews

« Previous PageNext Page »