(Thru) Hiking to Heal – The Inception

Hello there!

It feels so good to be blogging again. Kathryn is doing fantastic healing from surgery and she can’t wait to share how she has been getting back out into nature as she is recovering. Look for more on that in 2018. But I personally cannot wait till next year because my husband and I recently got back from Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles, where we completed our first thru-hike backpacking trip, the Trans-Catalina Trail. This trip was more than a bucket-list experience for us, it was a healing experience.

Losing my Grandpa in August and my dog in November has been the toughest experience in my life so far. It’s driven me to depression in a way I had never known.

Everyday tasks, like getting out of bed, required monumental effort. I felt immense sadness that just, kinda, lingered for weeks at a time. I would forget to eat
while my mind played a mixtape of memories on repeat. I’d get lost, dwelling on what Ishould have said or what I could have done differently. During those late-summer and fall months, the moments of happiness felt fleeting and were quickly replaced with that deep sadness that was becoming so familiar that it almost comforted me.

Sadness that *almost* felt comforting.

Was this my new normal?

There’s a saying, “The only way out is through”. For the first time in my life I allowed myself to feel grief instead of burying it. In the process, I lost my creative voice. I lost interest in everything. The mixtape in my mind got longer, and now repeated every mistake I’d ever made. Leaning into the grief process consumed me and left me empty. But empty isn’t so bad. It’s a place to begin again. So I began the process of rebuilding myself.

We all have our tribe. Mine include my loving, supportive husband and zero-fucks-given best friend. More often than not, my tribe reached out to me. But, I’m learning the importance of reaching out to them when I need to. When things got too much for me to bare alone, they were there with open arms and zero judgement. They reminded me of my worth, that I am more than my grief, that I am not alone, and they gave me that gentle kick in the ass I needed to fill my cup.

I’ve learned over the years that I do best with a mission at hand, and nothing heals my soul more than being in nature. My husband and I, with all this free time on our hands since Roscoe’s passing, decided we needed an adventure. We needed an opportunity to move beyond our grief – together. I took on the task of planning a backpacking trip and thus began my healing.

In the upcoming weeks I’ll be sharing more about our journey through Catalina Island, stay tuned! But first, tell me – Have you ever been to Catalina Island?