Today Tiffany shares how she was in a dark place and discovered freedom by being outdoors and also taking care of herself. I got emotional reading Tiff’s story. The power of the soul and the longing it has to be at peace is amazing. Thank you for sharing Tiff!
I suffer from chronic depression, anxiety, and as a very good friend told me, a very bad habit of stressing myself out (mostly thanks to the anxiety). I’m a mother of 4 very active children, ranging in age from 7–14, that play a lot of sports and are involved in a lot of activities. My husband works full-time, I work full-time outside of the home, and up until I graduated last year I was also in school full-time. I’ve always known how important it was to take time to care of myself, this is where my own athletic desires came in to play. But, the more active my kids became, the less time I had for my own things. I started to feel guilty for taking time away from my kids and my husband, I felt like I was letting everyone down. I continued trying to be involved with my friends and athletic teams, but there just weren’t enough hours in the day.
A little more than a year ago, I found myself in a really dark place, I had no desire to really do anything. My relationships at work were strained, my home life and marriage were taking a beating, I was the most miserable I’ve ever been in my life. I would literally come home from work or school and go to bed. I thought graduation would pull me out of my funk, life would slow down a little bit. Boy did I have myself fooled. I found myself even more miserable, and the person I saw in the mirror wasn’t someone I recognized. A very dear friend kept inviting me to these hikes and adventures, at the time I had no clue that this would change my life. My work schedule doesn’t always lend itself to easy time off, but I finally managed to go on a hike with this group of women. That one hike with Get Out There Girl changed my outlook on everything, I realized that I couldn’t be a good wife or mother without taking care of myself. I realized how much I loved being out in nature and exploring; I’m not sure how, but it set me free. The ideology and mission behind GOTG is a game changer.
I’ve now been able to not only get out and take care of myself, but involve my family in the process. Some of the best times I’ve spent with my husband and children have been going out on hikes and adventures. From exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, to small hikes around home, I’ve energized myself, learned amazing things about my kids, and really freed myself from feelings of guilt. I am more happy and healthy than I have been in years. While the depression and anxiety haven’t gone away, I’ve found a healthy outlet to manage them.