Come on Independence Day!
We're rocking and rolling to get things ready for our big #AppalachianTrail hike in July! To say we're nervous would be a vast understatement. From scouring different gear websites and sales to counting the ounces we'll be carrying on our backs for six months to garnering support and sponsors, it has all been a little overwhelming, but we are so incredibly excited for this adventure.
With Mason's and my last day at our jobs being June 28, the turnaround to the Fourth of July is going to be crazy! We have to be sure all of our stuff is sold, our cars are stored, and get ourselves to Maine in just 5 days... whew! We've toyed with the idea of moving our start date, but I just love the symbolism of beginning this journey for borderline personality disorder (BPD) awareness on #IndependenceDay too much.
This adventure is about gaining #independence from the things that hold us back. When you live with #mentalillness, it is so easy to feel like the things you face daily are literally chaining you to your bed, your house, the places you feel safe. As someone with #BPD, the idea of venturing into the wilderness without the things that make me feel comfortable, without my safe spaces, is pretty terrifying. I find that I keep having these conversations with myself asking, "are you sure you can do this?"
Nope. I'm not sure that I can do this. But you know what? I'm going to. You know why? Because I am at a point in my life where I am the strongest mentally I've been in a long time, something I never thought I'd say. I'm not perfect, and I still struggle on a daily basis (looking at you, unexpected late-night panic attacks), but there are so many people who are going through the same things I am that deserve to know that they can persevere and do amazing and terrifying things of their own.
I am too familiar with the feeling of facing the day like it's a death sentence. I am too familiar with the voice telling us that we're incapable, unable, unworthy of making a difference, of overcoming the obstacles we face. I know what that feels like, and it is plain awful. If I can be a mirror for others struggling to look into and think, "if she can do that, I can do this," the tired and sore body I'll have for six months will be so worth it.
For those of you living with BPD or another mental illness, I see you. You matter, your experiences and emotions are valid, and you are capable of so much more than you think you are. You can achieve independence from the things that keep you from down. Don't believe me? Here, I'll walk 2,190 miles to prove it to you.