I feel like there has been an influx of women standing up saying, “I’m bat shit crazy today! How are you?” Of course they say it more eloquently. And it always ends in, “It’s okay to not be happy all the time.” I know you know what I am talking about, it’s everywhere! And I fucking love it.
This sudden awareness everyone is talking about is amazing. I would have killed for this sort of sisterhood when I had my son. Ten years ago, when I had Maddox, we didn’t talk about postpartum depression. I knew what it was but I was always a bit moody, so what’s new? And when I wore yoga pants (were they even called that back then?) I was told to get dressed because it would make me feel better. It was always a show. Then I would go home and sob into my pillow, I was 19 with no friends in a marriage that was barely surviving. But now! Hell we have made yoga pants a fashion statement, social media has a billion “mom groups” and now it’s okay to say “I’m not alright.”
With how far we have come in the last few years, it should have made motherhood easier… right? Then why do we still see her- that mom in the grocery store, the one that looks so fragile, has that slightly crazy look in her eye, stands in the aisle looking lost. You don’t dare ask her what’s wrong; you know it would undo all the effort it took for her to step into that store in the first place.
Rewind 12 months: that woman was me.
Last year, I broke. The seams of my life had been slowly fraying and finally the pressure became too much. I just couldn’t do ‘ME’ anymore. And that’s a lot left undone. ‘ME’ is mom, wife, friend, family, and more… Falling apart was not an option, and yet I couldn’t change the fact that getting out of bed or holding a conversation felt damn near impossible at that point in my life. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror anymore because I felt like somehow I had dropped the ball and let this happen to myself.
So that’s where I’ve been. Am? Was? I’m not always sure actually.
We all have our tricks that get us out of our funks, but even this was too much for a bubble bath and a glass of wine. I needed something stronger to heal the tiny bits and pieces of my broken spirit.
When you get hurt what do you do? You rub some dirt on it.
Over the past year, I’ve realized that I feel most alive outdoors—in the dirt and wind and sun. I found strength in my body when my mind and heart weren’t whole. I found I was able to quiet the toxic voices in my head, the ones that whispered, “you’re worthless; you’re not good enough…” I found respite from the shake that hid just under my skin. I found peace, healing, and stillness by spending time in wild places.
I’ve realized that there are few things more exhilarating than sneaking out of a tent at dawn and getting a glimpse of a brilliant, glowing sunrise… I can’t even contain myself. It makes me want to run back to that tent and wake up the people I love so that we can share those epic moments together. Nothing silences those voices like making it to the to the top of a peak and seeing all that I was able to overcome.
During those hard times, nature didn’t heal ‘ME’, but it was the bandage that allowed me to make it through each day. As a family, we’ve always spent time outside but this last year was different. It became an integral part of our lifestyle, a total necessity. It’s like I experience sudden clarity once all the distractions are gone. My family could see me becoming a whole person again. There was confidence and there was pride, I was becoming someone they could again rely on.
But the outdoors only gets part of the credit. My vibe attracted my tribe. I found a community of women that took me as I was, and loved me for me. The more I let this lifestyle engulf me, the more I immerse myself in this community of renegade mothers, the more I’ve found a different, stronger ME on the other side.
Many of these women I don’t even “know” in “real life”, but regardless, they are my biggest supporters. We’ve found ways to transcend virtual borders and develop relationships that are authentic and fulfilling. They bring me up when I am down, they give me perspective and they give me joy. This tribe of women has also entered my life through the Adventure Mamas collab. I’ve been able to connect and adventure with so many strong women here in my own community. There are groups across the United States. You can find me in the Southwest collab and you can find your local collab here.
Life continues to throw curveballs, that’s apparently an unavoidable hazard of being human. But as hard as those unexpected situations can be, they strengthen the lessons I’m learning. Over Christmas I was in a car accident. It’s embarrassing to admit, but one of my biggest fears when this happened was I thought I would lose my community… my tribe… because I couldn’t be an ‘Adventure Mama’ anymore. I couldn’t be an Adventure Mama without adventures–it’s in the name, damn it! But again, through challenge, old lessons are being solidified for me. What I’ve found is that I actually don’t feel abandoned or left behind. This tribe may not always know exactly what I am going through but they are here for me and accept me precisely as I am.
This is my year, I sense it in every part of my being. I’m the first to admit, it’s obnoxious as hell when people put a superficial, positive twist on everything… that’s like rubbing a cat backwards (*shudders*) but I do believe good things are coming. I know I’ve had setbacks, I know there will be more—regardless of obstacles, I’m ready to take care of my body, the body that has pulled me through so much. I have wild dreams I plan to chase and I need to be strong to do all the things I’ve got my sights set on. It won’t be easy, but finally, I wholly realize that I don’t need it to be: I can do hard fucking things.
And the next time someone tells you that they are a basket case… take them on a hike.
Mama of two attempting adventure and maybe some personal growth. Kauai native but a Utah local. You can find me on the trails with the family, either bribing the little one or explaining to the bigger one where acceptable places to pee are. Find her on IG: @ThorneeeSachi