About a week ago I left the river to return to my moms house, I learned a limit and need to prioritize my own mental health right now. I have been struggling with mental health on the river, in the last month especially. I was trying so hard to pretend like I would be okay. I had started seeing a therapist, and that was helping, and also made clear that I needed more than just that. On the river I couldn't access the tools, and resources I need to do some overdue work. Even simple things like having more stability in an inside space, not moving each day, and knowing I'll be sleeping in a warm place each night, are making existing feel a lot easier right now. I know I'll be learning the lessons from the 73 days I spent on the river with Cory for a long time.
I struggled with so much time to think on the water, and got stuck in negative and unhealthy cycles and spirals in my head during long paddle days that got colder and colder. The ghost of my father (who died in the river in 2011) and questions that I had my whole life no longer were avoidable, they lurked in the water beneath our canoe. While all around us, we were surrounded by beauty and all the life on the river. We were blessed time and time again by so much care, generosity and protection from river angels and ancestors.
Navigating this got harder and harder, until I couldn't do it anymore. Cory supported me a lot, saw me at my worst, and held me in it. It is not lost on me that my own trauma came out on, and prevented Cory and I from having the trip we thought we were going to have. I hate that my trauma so greatly impacts the rest of Cory's journey to the gulf on the river, and for her to no longer have someone to paddle with, and thats shitty. Let this be a reminder to us all how important dealing with our own trauma is before we can try to do anything bigger than ourselves.
Deciding I shouldn't keep going was hard, and very necessary. It wasn't safe to keep trying to make it work and it wasn't true to our whole mission for this trip to ignore what my body and the river is telling me right now.
Cory's back on the river and you can see what she's up to on instagram and facebook.