For the past few years I have been running on empty, treading water so to speak (not that I actually knew what was happening or what was wrong at the time). I found myself in a situation with too many changes at once. I was forced to pick a new career, and that put everything I had and was into flux. I was completely overwhelmed by uncertainty. My default mode was to just stay positive. Remain optimistic and hopeful that things would inevitably get better, because they had to. If I just kept putting good things into the universe then at some point, the good would have to flow back to me.
Well, that dam finally broke and I was no longer able to hold it together. As I watched everything around me crumble, I felt despair in the realization that hope was no longer going to feed me, or keep a roof over my head. It was terrifying. After what I believe was akin to a panic attack I reached out for professional help. There was no way I could reset myself alone. I was done. What I had been doing for 3 and a half years was no longer working. I needed guidance, and a new way to approach the seemingly insurmountable stress and help me find meaning in my new direction.
At this point, I want to point out that I am not trying to give any medical or professional advice when it comes to mental health. I knew I was in trouble, but the whole, you don’t know what you don’t know was rattling in my head. And it took a highly trained professional to hone in on exactly what I was missing. And that, was to give myself permission to recharge. To take a break in my day, and do an activity that I loved, could bring me joy, and allow me to give myself a mental, physical, and emotional break. For you see, I had been treading water for so long, that I got myself into a feedback loop whereby I could only get ahead if I gave it everything I had. And if I failed, it was simply because I was not working hard enough. But I wasn’t getting ahead, so I need to push harder, and not stop until I reached the goal. In all that struggle, I lost myself. I lost the joy in life, and I couldn’t relax. Every single time I watched TV, guilt would strangle me. That nagging voice telling me I should be writing, I should be networking, I should be taking photos, and podcasting and creating and on and on and on. I was burnt out.
It took a professional for my stubborn self to let go, and accept that I needed this recharge. And not only once. I needed to work into my daily and weekly schedule a time to rest, relax, laugh, and just have some fun doing an activity outside of my normal routine. Life will always have stress, and life will always have difficult times ahead. It’s how we choose to react, and how we interpret the events that really matters. Perspective is everything. And if that perspective is based on facts, then guess what? You’re laughing. And I could only see that, once I had allowed my mind, body, and soul to stop running on empty. To take a real break. And to incorporate joy and rest into my day.
So why then did I call this post nudity and nature you may ask? Well, because for the past 2 weeks, I have been getting out into nature to write, and I am celebrating this momentous change in my perspective. Or perhaps, more of a refresh, back towards something I used to do when life was just a little bit easier or at the very least with a clear path. Once I got into nature, and found a beautiful secluded place, all I wanted to do was strip down and become one with it. Cliché or not, I just felt incredibly joy in standing with my bare breasts in the sunshine, taking all the beauty in, and knowing for the next few hours this was my sanctuary. To celebrate all the joy, to smile, and to sit down and write completely distraction and internet free. If anyone wants to share in my joy, please check out my Patreon to see the full images of me at one with nature.
And, if any of you resonated with this post please reach out. There is no shame in it. We need to ensure that we are working together to end the stigma around mental health. And that starts with talking about it. Normalizing the stresses we feel, and removing shame or guilt in not being able to do everything on your own.