TEXAS!!! (March 4th - 11th, 2019)
A super smooth ride gets us from Oklahoma to Texas...smooth as in no big problems! Probably because #thedrivingartistwannabe was at the wheel this time (yours truly). Driving a 60' rig is very empowering and requires a lot of concentration. I salute all big-rig drivers out there. Our first stop in Texas is Witchita Falls where we do an overnight #boondocking in the #walmart parking lot so we can take Azlan to see #pawpatrollive. Eagle's Nest RV Park in #mineralwells is our next stop. Set on top of a hill, this place is fairly secluded and quiet, but most of all, the weather is a blessing. After the frozen tundra of Oklahoma (with no running water due to frozen pipes), Texas is a nice change for #theglamper.
March 7th provided us the opportunity to visit with some friends that were stationed with us in Germany. Ted got to do his first police ride-along and I got to catch up with a fabulous woman. I end up falling asleep on her couch with Azlan on top of me as we waited for Ted to get back. Friday was a nice chill day for us to catch up on laundry and prep for our Saturday party. Ted had a boys night out, here's his bit:
So the police ride along was cool, and I totally get the appeal of being a police officer...never knowing what you will get into next. We ran the gamut of car accidents to traffic stops to a guy with a possible gun and even a dead guy, all of which was cool, but I spent a lot of time in the police car looking at FB and IG. In the end, after 20 years in the Army, being a cop is not for me, I'll take something a little safer. It all ended for me at 1am and by the time we were home in bed it was 3am...and the next night I was back at it with another buddy in a huge country line dancing bar called #CowboysRedRiver. Those that know me, know I am not into Country, but this place certainly had its charm and the cost of the booze just couldn't be beat! We went out to eat at a restaurant called #humperdinks, which made me think of The Princess Bride and Daisa and then we went to the bar. I got to meet his lovely wife who was bartending there and then we drank, did shots and hung out until after midnight, had some hot dogs and again got home around 2am. All in all it was great, thanks for the ride guys!
Saturday - Jambalaya take 2 - much less crunchy this time, but crunchy none the less. Don't worry, we will get it right eventually. This Saturday's party was pretty epic. Ted had buddies that were with him from the beginning - yes, first unit....over 20 years ago and almost every step among the way. Despite work schedules and life, everyone showed up #poundwinning! I reminisced with my friend from my UF college days, we played flip cups, and had a true Condit Blast full of laughs! From 2pm to midnight, we rocked the glamper... well the guys did anyways - I passed out (twice) a little earlier with Azlan on top of me again.
Sunday was recovery, we stayed in bed 75% of the day being lazy and watching movies with punch. At the end of the day, with all the extra light, we went for another little hike on the Blue Waterfront Trail at Mineral Wells State Park which was exactly what we needed to perk up. State Parks are fantastic and we look forward to a hike in every place we go from now on. We wrapped up the week with multiple episodes of Amazon Prime's The Widow - I'm hooked!
Today, Monday, March 11th, I got a call from a friend that had a good day. This means so much more than just a 'good day' and it inspired me to share my issues with mental health, depression and suicide. In 2011 I went through my first bout of depression after multiple fistula surgeries, a spinal surgery, poor surgical recovery and a difficult re-integration from Ted's deployment. Depression encompasses feelings of severe despondency and dejection. What I felt was self loathing, anger, sadness, hopelessness, hatred and just about any other negative feeling or thought you can think of. I went to therapy but in the back of my mind, I thought it was not for real - I did not know how to communicate what I was feeling, nor did I really care to. Medication seemed to work and I managed to keep the depression at bay. Fast-forward to 2014, post-partum depression crept in. These horrible thoughts and feelings re-surfaced, however this time we knew what to look for. I went back into therapy on a weekly basis and was able to express what I felt more clearly but I still thought I was all alone in feeling this way. After all, mental health wasn't something you just shouted out about. There can be some serious social implications when you tell someone you are depressed or that you want to end your life because you feel there is no solution for you or that no-one understands or can help. I drank wine to cope. A lot of wine on a daily basis. This just snuffed out the fire, but the embers remained. Fast forward again to 2018. I was working really long hours, and when I wasn't working I was thinking about work. I had isolated myself working from home, I was not exercising consistently, I wasn't taking pleasure in most things...I wasn't myself anymore. I had a short temper and would lash out on those I loved, those closest to me that wanted to help me. Mixing medication and alcohol exacerbated the problem. Finally, I made a change. It was the hardest decision of my life so far. I resigned from my job so I could take care of me and spend time with my family - which we all desperately needed. Terrified, I walked into Behavioral Health and agreed to go into outpatient therapy. Sitting in a room with 8 strangers, all there because we were suicidal, miserable and lonely, felt awkward. Within an hour, we all realized that we felt the same way, all for different reasons. Regardless, we were there - together, broken, and angry. Over the course of 6 weeks, we started to rebuild all the bits and pieces of our lives through group therapy. We looked at values, goals, self-care, communication, achievements and so much more. I re-discovered my passions, things I loved that made me feel better. Slowly, I crawled out of 'the hole' (this is what I call those times in my life I was suffering from depression - unbeknownst to most). That's the sneaky thing about depression...even though you feel and think all this negative goop inside your head, you can still put on a fake face for the world and pretend everything is fine. The point of me sharing a bit of my experience is to bring awareness to those that don't know, and hope to those that know. There is a way out of depression. It may be hard work, it requires change, there is a hell of a lot of trying, falling, crying and getting back up - but it can be done. Don't give up, get help, talk about it. I believe there is a purpose to my life, I have no idea what it is yet and I may never know...but I made a decision to keep trying and be the best I can be....and of course, have a ton of fun while doing it. We are here on Earth but a short time - let's make the most of it while we can. If you want to know more or need to talk, please reach out.
Daisa, Ted and Azlan