It’s been a while since I’ve written so I thought I’d give an update. I’ve been in what Andrew calls “Ellen Lala Land.” Sometimes I get so lost in my thoughts that the days just seem to fly by.
We spent a week in Glacier National Park. The park is soooo vast, there really is so much to take in, in just a week. It’s basically split into two parks, with two different entrances, the East and West side. And they feel like two different parks with different flora and mountains and lakes.
West Glacier is heavily forested with thick undergrowth. And East Glacier is open mountainous plains. Our activities in the parks are somewhat limited because we have Islay. Dogs are not allowed in National Parks, so we explored a lot of the surrounding National Forest with views into Glacier. We don’t like to leave Islay locked up in her house for too long.
After Glacier we’re slowly making our way back to Teton Park, with a pit stop in Yellowstone. We found some National Forest outside of West Yellowstone and set up our home off the grid. As you’ve probably seen in social media land on our way into the National Forest on a bumpy dirt road we busted off the pipes of our black and gray water tanks. Just to clarify, that’s all our poo water. So there was a little trail of poo leading into our camp, haha. Like I’ve said before I’m getting way to close for comfort with my waste. They don’t talk about this stuff at the trailer dealership.
One thing I’ve discovered about Andrew in our travels is he is the ultimate problem solver. Just give the man some space and time and he can fix ANYthing. He got underneath the trailer (so so gross) figured out the issue, went to the hardware store, cut some pipes here, added some couplers there and Voila!! It was all fixed.
These were the things that I stressed about before we got on the road. I knew issues would come up that we have no control over and can’t prepare for. And ’cause I love to stress, it occupied much of my thoughts. Well, so far, every issue, Andrew has been able to problem solve and fix. It’s the little things, you know, that grows your respect for someone.
Many people have asked how Andrew and I are doing basically living on top of each other with very little space. In all our travels and long road trips leading up to full timing, we realized that we have a crazy penchant for not needing that much space from each other. Both introverts, we’re very capable of getting our alone time even when we’re sitting right next to each other. Andrew leaves every morning and evening for three hours of alone time shooting. And I spend an hour a day doing yoga or walking Islay, which is how I rejuvenate and get my alone time. But our biggest tool yet is we make a conscious effort to “be sweet to each other.”
More than just loving, more than patient, but over the top sweet. When I’m getting a little tense and start to get a little short, Andrew will remind me, “Can we please be sweet with each other?” And I remind him of the same.
I’m a very sarcastic person by nature and I’ve learned that that simply does not fly with Andrew. Or with me either for that matter. My Grandy once told me that “sarcasm is a velvet knife,” and I couldn’t agree more. I find it starts to wear on me after a while and I take it too personally. Same with Andrew. So we’re constantly working on holding our tongue, choosing our battles and being over the top ooey gooey sweet. Many times when I’m moody and short or withdrawn, I find that if I just say the sweet words my emotions and thoughts will eventually follow, which then pulls me out of my mood.
We’ve gotten out of many arguments by pulling back and reminding each other to be sweet with our words and actions. All that to say, Andrew and I are doing awesome. We have our bad days of course, but we’re both in our happy place, doing what we love and having a great time.
A quick meds update. If you’ve read my other posts you know that I was struggling with depression for a while. I was talking to a friend and she was kinda surprised by that fact, because I seemed fine. I think we all do this to a degree, but I rarely show how I’m really doing to my friends. I’m working on it. Truly. But when I’m with people I feel like I have to be “on.” Most days it’s a lot of work to get through the day, I’m constantly balancing my moods, usually fighting off darkness, and keeping myself from cycling between mania and depression.
My friends make fun of me for always going to bed early, but by the end of the day of working to just be, I’m pretty emotionally exhaused which makes me physically exhausted. That’s just the hand I’ve been dealt and the last thing I want to do is constantly whine about it. I know that I’m probably on the other extreme here, but when asked how I’m doing it’s hard for me to give a honest answer because I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer or complain.
Andrew, of course, is the exception to all of this. He’s my absolute inner circle. He’s always asking how I’m doing, and really cares to know the true answer so, boy howdy, do I give it to him. Poor guy :)
But I AM doing much better. Since my meds have become balanced I don’t have to fight so hard to get through the day. And it also helps that I’m living my dream. See! Already in this post I feel like I might have complained too much. Oh I think it’s so important to talk about struggles and mental health. The more I talk about it, the easier it is to combat shame. In a funny twist, it’s often the shame that keeps me from talking about it.
It’s a balance, it all comes down to balance. I have good days and bad days with it. If you’re struggling, know that you are not alone. Find a friend or family member, push past the shame and discomfort and open up.