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Any off gridders who suffered mentally from the living?

 
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We often hear and read alot about off grid lifestyle being many things. But there doesn't seem to much said about how it can affect your health. People often assume that your health improves because you're more in control of your life. And it does in the obvious ways. But I am here to say that there are those aspects of our lives that we aren't automatically in control of. That would be our minds.

My wife and I spent a few years researching alternative ways of life before deciding to finally go off grid five years ago. My dad was a house builder and I am pretty much a jack of all trades. So I was hardly intimidated by giving up all our possessions to clean the slate. And we have 3 kids. We hated constantly being hammered by bills and having companies drain our pockets. Conventional life is rigged to make slaves out of us all. And because it places money on a pedestal, it affects the family unity. We struggled.

We bought a 32ft travel trailer with cash. Then parked ourselves at my parents for one year to settle and decide what to do next. We constantly reorganized and made improvements to accommodate us and our kids. It's amazing how much needs to change. That is, if you put your kids first. And we always do. We also homeschool them and that made things easier.

After one year we found a property in the mountains. 20 acres of timber and a full time creek with the clearest water. We ultimately ended up with high powered solar panels tied into the camper. And a generator backup. Future plans were to eliminate the generator. Although we only used it during winter when sun was scarce. I washed clothes using the creek water and wash tubs. Line dry. I built a building that had a wood stove. So we washed and hung clothes there during winter. The building was really a porch on the side of the camper. Designed where the heat would rise up and through the camper doorway. Spreading throughout the place. Propane heat is wet and creates mold in the winter. Campers were not made for this. Wood heat is dry and efficient. Although its hard on paneled ceilings and they warp after awhile due to crappy insulation in the ceiling.

Our camper pad was up the hill from our main yard. So we used a large water tank to gravity feed a huge garden.

This is just giving you and idea of what we were doing and how it might have evolved if we had not stopped. All in all we spent four years there. The one thing I was not prepared for was a nervous breakdown. I was in the best physical health ever. I am naturally fast paced. I exercised and ran every day. I cut down trees and carried 8ft logs 400ft and across a creek. At some point i felt a knot on the back of my upper neck. Like kinked muscle. My daughter would massage it often. Which felt great. I chalked it up as stress related. I began having headaches, which I figured was coffee related. So I stopped drinking it cold turkey. That sent me to the ER having what turned out to be jitters. A first for me. My mood began swinging more often. I felt edgy and too in tune with nature. Super hearing. Some tinnitus on and off. I am naturally anxious which is what has helped me be such an attentive person. But I did not realize the implications at the time. My new lifestyle was actually pushing me closer to an edge I was already not far from. I began feeling tingles 24/7 in various parts of the body. And one day in town I got hit with vertigo for the first time. To make a long story short, I spent nearly a year in and out of ERs, dr offices, getting MRIs, blood tests, scans, ultrasounds, etc. They couldnt find anything. But my neck was failing me. I kept wanting to bend forward. So I took physical therapy and it helped. But when I stopped it would come right back. So I went again. My therapist said he thought I was stuck in "something" I couldnt get out of. That was the clue I needed. No doctor was clueing me in. So I found a psychologist. And that began to help. But I later found some info online about how anxious people end up trapped in fight or flight mode. In a hyper state. Where the body does all kinds of weird stuff. It was destroying me little by little until I learned to get rid of it. Just 4 months ago I thought I was gonna die. But after time, effort, and a wife and kids who love me, I have gotten myself back 85% so far. It's not a piece of cake. And it has made me realize that we spend so much time and energy running from things. Not realizing that most of our troubles are already inside. Hidden. Dig deep and fix your self. Then decide how you wanna live. You might have a change of mind.

We plan to go back into the off grid life. But partially. While it was nice having so much control over my life. It was also too much for my mind. Others might be different. But unless we can all share the burden and learn to not be overwhelmed, it'll get us one way or another. Thanks.

 
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I am sorry to hear about your problems.

We have been on our homestead for 13 years. We know a lot of fellow homesteaders. Everyone of them [us] as we age, we get older and we all develop problems.

In my case, I have cancer. I have had surgery to remove it, then 4 years later it came back on me. Last summer I spent going through radiation and hormone shots. This year I am still on the hormone shots.

For other people, it might be back problems, or heart issues, etc.

As we grow old all of us develop health problems.

 
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Location: Kitsap Penninsula, WA
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Hi. I'm so glad you posted this. What a brave person to put your personal account on here for the edification of everyone else. Thank you!

There's a lot going on in your post, but I had a thought as I read it.

I'm a farmer and also a therapist. I'm at my practice 3 days a week and on our farm the other 4. It's a very nice balance.

I was thinking as I read your account that you are right - we spend a lot of our time distracting away from personal issues. Using food, technology*, shopping, sex, drugs, work and whatever else we can find to avoid and distract from issues or things that have been piling up, for most of us, since the day we are born.

One thing I explore with my amazing clients is the experience that past issues, feelings, trauma, etc just wait for us to slow down enough and stop distracting and then they rear up again. Usually manifesting in physical pain, panic attacks, substance abuse, etc. And, conversely, if we are not slowing down in our lives, our bodies will sometimes just stop us (such as things are going well for someone and then BAM - panic attacks. VERY upsetting.) When we don't stop to assess and heal ourselves, our bodies will just do it for us. They will make us pay attention.

Of course there are other factors to having mental health issues - food, overall health, our DNA and how our genes express, gender, age, nationality, religious beliefs, etc.

Brene Brown says we are hardwired for connectivity, and I have noticed that isolation is NEVER a good thing for people. Isolation can also occur when we are with the same family members day after day. Even when we love them. Because novelty and variety seem to be good things when it comes to good mental health. I've noticed with a couple of my homesteader friends who live out in the bush that they get anxiety and feel "out of it" after too much time around the same things, doing the same things, seeing the same things. We jokingly and lovingly call it "gettin a bit shack wacky" and that's when they know they need to get off the mountain and go visit an old college buddy or meet up with distant family.

I have often thought about how we, as humans, have spent more time on the planet as hunter gatherers than we have in industrialized agriculture and semi-permanent living. Our bodies (including our fatty brains) thrive on ritual and newness. Supportive family, and new faces. Safety and reliability with novelty and risk. It's that balance thing again. We are hardwired for connectivity - to things, to nature, and to people - of all stripes and shapes. True self-reliance might not be attainable, as our ancestors really thrived in groups of 50-75 people,  and then how does that impact our feelings of wanting to be self-sufficient?

Anyhow - mental health is an emerging discipline in which we know barely anything. 90 years ago we thought depression resided in a woman's uterus and subjected thousands of women to forced hysterectomies. (Ever wonder where the word "hysterical" comes from?) so everything I've written will probably be BS in 10 years. I often think it's the most high brow game of whack-a-mole I've ever seen. Every client is a big chess board of pieces that we collaboratively move around to gain the best outcome for each person. You did quite a bit of chess playing in your quest to feel better. Very normal. Very human. I'd imagine pretty humbling!  You have this wonderful supportive family. You should write more about your experience. It would be priceless for someone else going through a similar thing.

Okay, I gotta stop. When the hell did this office chair turn into a soap box?!?

Be well.





*Said the therapist typing on her laptop.
 
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Hi Jake.

I know exactly what you're saying.  I've been there myself.  It's harder than anyone can imaging, leaping into the unknown, in what ever form it should take.  It takes strength to come to terms with it.

We are indeed driven to distraction, in a synthetic world, that over looks the importance of the "coming of age" experiences we need as human beings.  In that synthetic world, we are the eternal children dependent on the system to provide, yet at such an enormous cost.

Nature is the Great Doctor who brings our emotional boil to a head, and then lances it.  The painful invisible fester drains.   We aren't who we thought we were, it is humbling, and in that it is healing.  Only the brave can face these inner demons and come out the other side, back into the warmth of sunlight.  

Personally, I think your plan to go about returning to the Land slowly is a good one.  Take things in stride, go slowly and with confidence.  You will continue to gain strength this way.
 
All the very best to you, your family.  

Cheers!  K
 
pollinator
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Loneliness is a big problem in all of society. Scientists are working at a pill to solve it.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26365247/
What could go wrong?

 
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Like they say, no matter where you go, there you are!  When I was in the Army, I found that if I was unhappy at my current duty station, I would probably be unhappy when I got to my new duty station.  If we had embarked on our journey of building a homestead a couple years ago when I was problem drinking, it wouldn't have gone well.  I was wanting to get away from everything that I thought was causing me problems.  After a crisis landed me in AA, I found tools to deal with the anger and frantic state I felt myself in all the time.  My wife followed a month or so later.  Once I was no longer consumed by the alcohol and the need to GET AWAY, I was able to find contentment and peace where I am right now.  Then I could think clearly and make good choices.  We are clearing land and building a house with the goal of moving out to our place in the woods soon, but it is no longer out of a need to escape from things.  Our motivation now is because it is what we want to do, not out of a feeling that we need to GET AWAY and the doing so will fix all our problems.

Best of luck on your recovery.  Having a great support system is incredible.  Hopefully when you go back at it again you will find satisfaction.
 
master steward
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Jake Milner wrote: The one thing I was not prepared for was a nervous breakdown

...

My mood began swinging more often. I felt edgy and too in tune with nature. Super hearing. Some tinnitus on and off. I am naturally anxious which is what has helped me be such an attentive person. But I did not realize the implications at the time. My new lifestyle was actually pushing me closer to an edge I was already not far from. I began feeling tingles 24/7 in various parts of the body. And one day in town I got hit with vertigo for the first time. To make a long story short, I spent nearly a year in and out of ERs, dr offices, getting MRIs, blood tests, scans, ultrasounds, etc. They couldnt find anything

....

But I later found some info online about how anxious people end up trapped in fight or flight mode. In a hyper state. Where the body does all kinds of weird stuff. It was destroying me little by little until I learned to get rid of it.



I've been battling with this, too. THough, not from homesteading (my husband works and we have a home, so while I do consider it vital to grow my own food and bring in firewood, etc, it's not actually vital to our survival. So, my homesteading has kept what little sanity I have left). My extreme flight/fight reflex was due to a colicky son, who was very needy. We went through 3 months of him nearly non-stop crying, followed by 2 years of him needing to be held and interacted with constantly. There was no break. There was no support...and just when things started getting better, we made the hard decision to get pregnant. Which then reversed all the progress we'd had with our son, as I could do very little for him due to a very difficult pregnancy. Then my husband got Crohns (largely due to the stress of the chronic screaming and then intense neediness of my son). Anyway, it was 4 straight years of non-stop insanity.

Now I find my flight or fight reflex takes over without me even realizing it. My daughter cries, and next thing I know I'm literally dropping what's in my hand and shoving everything out of the way to pick her up....and I don't even realize what I did until I have her. When we're driving, and a car slams on it's breaks ahead of me, I gasp and clench my hands to my chest. When I did it yesterday, my husband told me to stop, that it's not helpful. I had to tell him that I didn't have control--it happened before I'd even realized what I was doing. I notice that my son struggles with the same over-active fight/flight reflex.

I have hypermobility, and so does everyone else in my family. Did you know that anxiety and increased fight/flight reflexes are linked with hypermobility? Basically, it's not just the joints that are loose, but their blood vessels are often loose, too. Their body compensates by increasing the emotional response to things, which then usually leads, eventually, to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as one ages.

THis document (https://www.dynainc.org/docs/hypermobility.pdf) written by a doctor for and about his hypermobil patients was eye-opening for me. There are so many, many things that I have, that I had NO IDEA was linked to hypermobility. Here's a bit about the increased adrenalin of many who are hypermobile:

The autonomic nervous system regulates all body processes that occur automatically, such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. To compensate for stretchy blood vessels and increased venous pooling (too much blood collecting in over-stretched veins) most people with hypermobility appear to make extra adrenaline, which may account for the high-energy, always-on-the-go lifestyles of many hypermobile people. Unfortunately, if you get too tired, your body responds by making more adrenaline, so you keep going, not realizing how tired you really are. It appears that as you get more and more run down, your body gets more sensitive to adrenaline, so the small amount you have left can produce the same response a larger amount used to, so you still don’t feel tired even when you are. Even when you do feel tired, you may continue to “push through” the fatigue, collapsing when the adrenaline wears off. Years of not feeling, ignoring, or pushing through fatigue may be one factor in the development of illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome.



In reading through the document, I discovered something about neck pain, too. Perhaps you have hypermobility like me, and it is causing some of your neck strain?

Because of their role in stabilizing the trunk and the head, the neck and lower back are almost always affected. Chronic neck strain affects nearly every patient with JHS for two main reasons. First, the ligaments that are supposed to support the head are too loose and therefore cannot do their job well. The muscles of the neck are forced to do more of the work of supporting the head than they are meant to do, so they become strained. Second, most JHS patients have shoulders that are too loose, that is the “ball” of the upper arm is not held tightly in the “socket” of the shoulder. Because of the weakness of the shoulders, almost any activity that uses the arm, including reaching, pushing, pulling, and carrying, pulls not only on the shoulder but also on the neck. For these two reasons, neck muscles are constantly being strained, and what little healing may occur overnight is promptly undone the next day. Remarkably, this process occurs so gradually that many people with JHS do not even notice it, and when asked they may say, “My neck is fine,” when in fact their necks are a mass of knotted soft tissue, soft tissue that does not feel soft at all!



I try really, really, really hard to calm our life down, now that the chaos is past. I'm thinking that if we can calm things down, we will have less reason to be anxious or to need that adrenaline boost, and our nervous systems can slowly stop being on constant overdrive. It seems to be helping. I've noticed that the fight/flight reflexes are happening a lot less now, both for me as well as for the rest of my family. People may wonder why we don't do more, or take more on. But, frankly, the negative affects on our emotional and physical selves is not worth it!
 
gardener
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I rarely experience this on the ranch, but when on extended backpacking trips, sleeping out, I get super senses. I can hear everything. Beetles sound like dogs. Birds sound bear-sized. I can smell water over a mile away. I can smell other hikers’ laundry detergent sometimes multiple miles away. My dreams are insanely vivid. I actually find this to be really cool; it makes me feel really integrated into my surroundings and very alert and kind of badass, frankly. But I have known many other backpackers for whom the experience is really awful, a kind of hyper-vigilance they can’t turn off, in which all of those enhanced sensations are perceived as threats or stressors that can’t be filtered out.

I do, however, get something kind of like social anxiety when I am out for too long. I start hiding from people if I encounter them and waiting for them to pass by, my heart rate goes up while I wait for them to go away, I find myself way overstimulated by the sights/sounds/smells when I am back in civilization.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Oh, I also wanted to mention, one thing that helps me with emotional maintenance processing is that I crochet. Not fancy patterns—afghans. Big mindless rectangles. I find repetive handwork to be inherently soothing, and if something is bugging me, it will pop into my mind to be cringed at or stewed over multiple times while my hands are busy until the emotional impact is gone and I can let it go. Meandering walks also accomplish this for me. This absolutely does not work for repetive manual tasks on the homestead that are also time-sensitive or important—those just add to stress. It also helps to have a hobby that requires a bit more absorption so that it puts you in “flow” and gets your attention off whatever is bothering you, for cases where the maintenance processing is insufficient or counterproductive.  For me, drawing and painting works well. This is surely insufficient for serious anxiety issues, but I have found it to be helpful for maintaining emotional balance and not letting small issues become big issues.
 
pollinator
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Wow there is SO MUCH in this thread that speaks to me.

Indeed your body will make you listen if you have work you`ve been neglecting.
The last year before I left the US and really changed my life around (lost a kid and my father the same year, first bout with skin cancer) I was sure I was going to die. Either that or maybe I wanted to die. Maybe both. Found myself at the cardiologist one day at age 31. Turns out what, Nicole? I`ve got Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, like my whole family, it used to be fun just to make my joints do weird things but turns out that is why all of us are always feeling palpitations, tend to pass out at the oddest times, have low blood pressure, etc. (thanks for that document BTW, I am so thankful to be able to tell my kid what to keep an eye on rather than her have to find it all out on her own). Wasn`t aware of the excessive response, it all makes sense.
Fast forward and I work at a home office, in a field of many people who work alone in home offices. Next weekend I am running a professional development event about how to keep your life together. A huge part of it is community, whether virtual or in person. I prefer to keep my social life apart from my work life, but during the course of my workday I probably talk to a dozen colleagues, just from a bit farther away. We are social creatures and need the interaction. Add stress to isolation and you have serious risk, to your body and to your spirit.
@Jennifer, high-5 crocheter. I also knit and crochet, I read somewhere that you get the same hormone response when doing handwork as you do when petting a an animal. Not sure how true that is, but it relaxes me, and it is how I get through car trips driving here on crazy roads in Bananaland, otherwise I`d be clinging to the roof of the car.
 
pollinator
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I think some of the parts of my off grid life have made me suffer mentally, for sure. I think in my case, it's the constant having to build things. When you're doing everything yourself (and in my case I'm a single mother with three kids), it just drags on and on and on. I hate using a composting bucket toilet, but I've used one for five years because I didn't have money (until now) to put in a septic. That stuff takes a toll - trying to deal with emptying buckets of raw sewage onto compost piles when there's knee deep snow outside and I'm using a lot of not-nice words to tell it how much I hate it... yeah.

Or the fact that this is my sixth year here and I am STILL not finished with my house. I feel like I can't do the homesteading that I want to do because everything takes so long to build. And then in the last 6 months or so I've come to realize that here, at this pace, I won't be able to do the things I need to do. I won't be able to add on to my house so my kids have their own bedrooms until they are practically grown and out of the house, so what's the point? I always wanted to raise my kids with horses, but that would require about a $40k investment just to get pastures cleared and a second well put in here.

Ultimately, I'm not sure what I'm going to do just yet. Personally what I want to do is move to a lower-cost area real estate wise (I've decided on Missouri) but until I can get my ex on board since I won't move the kids away from him, I'm pretty much stuck here. I may end up just cracking and taking out an equity loan and hiring someone to so all of it for me if I have to stay here until the kids are grown. I love being in the woods but I am burned out, bigtime. It's hard to motivate myself to work on the house these days.

But yeah so while I'd never ever move back to the city, doing the whole "building as you go with cash" has been very difficult for my mental health. And, in some ways, my physical health. Living without a refrigerator for three years caused a big health crash that I'm still recovering from. I don't think I'll do it again - when I'm finally able to sell and leave Washington, you better believe I will be buying a home with enough bedrooms for us all, a finished barn, etc. None of this ramshackle thrown together stuff where you're constantly scrambling from one project to another, spinning plates. I just want my home to be finished so I can actually do stuff like livestock and growing food, etc. I do some of those but not nearly as much as my heart would like, because all of my extra time and money goes into the house.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Tereza Okava wrote:(thanks for that document BTW, I am so thankful to be able to tell my kid what to keep an eye on rather than her have to find it all out on her own). Wasn`t aware of the excessive response, it all makes sense.



You're welcome! It truly is eyeopening how much is linked to the hypermobility. Here's another good site on hypermobility and it's related conditions (http://www.skillsforaction.com/joint-hypermobility), such as flat feed (got those!), bad handwriting (ditto!), anxiety (yep!), low muscle tone (only now am I getting strong), acid reflux (me and my kids have it), never wanting to stand still and always slouching (yep!). The other document mentions GI issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (like Crohn's) which my husband has and my kids show signs of.

The site (which is for occupational therapists), also mentions a link between austim and hypermobility (http://www.skillsforaction.com/autism-spectrum-disorders)

Although there is no research that has looked at the prevalence of generalized joint hypermobility (GJH) in autistic children, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is a fairly common feature.



The link between autism and hypermobility is fascinating, and I honestly wonder how many here on permies have both, as I know many permies are on the spectrum (let's be hermits in the woods!), but not many know to look into hypermobility as a medical condition that causes other conditions. Like you, I thought of my hypermobility as just something that let me do fun human tricks. I didn't know it was why I was SO lightheaded and dizzy while pregnant and had heart palpitations and my hips felt like they were falling off. When pregnant, your body makes more relaxin, to loosen the joints...which is rather horrid if you're already floppy. I could barely walk because my hips kept popping out of socket! My hypermobility is also probably why my active labor was so fast (30 minutes of pushing with my son, 2 pushes with my daughter! My hips just opened wide and my cervix dilated super fast. I went from 7 to 10 with my daughter, in less than 30 minutes!)


@Jennifer, high-5 crocheter. I also knit and crochet, I read somewhere that you get the same hormone response when doing handwork as you do when petting a an animal. Not sure how true that is, but it relaxes me, and it is how I get through car trips driving here on crazy roads in Bananaland, otherwise I`d be clinging to the roof of the car.



I didn't know there was such a link, though it makes sense. A few months back I realized that the yarn twined around my fingers was relaxing because it felt like a hand holding mine. I releases oxytocin like a hand holding does! Oxytocin has been the biggest tool in our toolbox of dealing with anxiety. We give our kids LOTS of hugs, and encourage cuteness (far better to encourage that, then to yell at bad behavior), and it seems to really help everyone in keeping the fight.flight reflexes at bay!
 
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I have lived at my off grid homestead for 10 years, I am definitely hyper sensitive naturally and hyper vigilant due to life trauma and probably ptsd, sheesh, that's no fun to say. I don't have trouble at my property, it is my safe place, but the longer I live here the harder it is for me to handle town. The city and cars were not an issue for me before, I didn't really like them but it was no problem. Now riding in a car is probably my most common source of stress sometimes  it is so overwhelming the only thing I can do is ask to pull over so I can get out for a few minutes and calm myself or just close my eyes and try to deal. The other day everything was fine then all the sudden we were on the freeway bridge in traffic and everything was super loud because of rain and semi trucks and the double decker bridge and my old shitty car and I could feel the panic rising. It's such a weird thing to know that nothing bad is happening but your body is freaking out.  Going into the city feels like being assaulted by lights, sounds and people. I think moving to the middle of nowhere has been  the biggest blessing in my life and I would never go back but it has taken away the numbness that growing up in the city gave me which enabled me to deal with the intensity of our culture.  Like Bethany I have done this with not much money and kids building by myself as i go and it has been super overwhelming at times.  Coming to peace with lower standards and the fact that I can't accomplish as much per day as a 6 foot tall 35 year old man can has helped a lot. Accepting that even though it's not perfect but I'm doing the best I can has been absolutely necessary to my sanity. All in all I love my life but i do realize it has alleviated some troubles but added even more sensitivity than I already had which is not a bad thing just different and difficult in some ways. I think it's possible that sensitive people are more drawn to nature and then unexpectedly have their whole experience rocked by it. I embrace the wild natural world and the more I feel, hear, smell, see and notice the more town is an assaulting awful place (sorry to those who like the city).  
 
gardener
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I've definitely had the experience that moving (back) to the country after college gave me the space and time to think, feel, and process, which at times can be really overwhelming. All sorts of issues come to the surface and can't be ignored anymore. I don't regret it though. I feel like ultimately it has helped me understand my life up until now and my place in the world, and ultimately (this is where we get into the religious/spiritual woo)  it's helped me move back towards being in touch with god and seeing the divine manifest itself in nature. I feel more and more like I did when I was a child, where everything is special and unique and has its own feel. But it has been overwhelming and exhausting
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote: I start hiding from people if I encounter them and waiting for them to pass by, my heart rate goes up while I wait for them to go away, ...



I have this all the time.
 
James Landreth
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Jennifer Richardson wrote: I start hiding from people if I encounter them and waiting for them to pass by, my heart rate goes up while I wait for them to go away, ...



I have this all the time.



Sometimes I don't want to go out to eat when I'm in town because I don't want to interact with the server's or anyone else. I'm used to having control over who I'm speaking to and interacting with
 
Trace Oswald
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James Landreth wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:

Jennifer Richardson wrote: I start hiding from people if I encounter them and waiting for them to pass by, my heart rate goes up while I wait for them to go away, ...



I have this all the time.



Sometimes I don't want to go out to eat when I'm in town because I don't want to interact with the server's or anyone else. I'm used to having control over who I'm speaking to and interacting with



I don't know if this is a "thing" but when we go out to eat, my lady sometimes has to order for me, especially at fast food places.  I have to tell her what I want quietly before we get in line and she has to order.  If they have a question, I can nod but usually only to her.  I sometimes have to pretend I can't talk because I can't make myself talk to the workers.  Other times I can talk.  I don't know wtf is wrong with me.  
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:
I don't know if this is a "thing" but when we go out to eat, my lady sometimes has to order for me, especially at fast food places.  I have to tell her what I want quietly before we get in line and she has to order.  If they have a question, I can nod but usually only to her.  I sometimes have to pretend I can't talk because I can't make myself talk to the workers.  Other times I can talk.  I don't know wtf is wrong with me.  



I recently started therapy with a new therapist (I've already been in therapy before, for years, and it has been very helpful. Now I'm again at a very stressful phase in my life so I started therapy again and as my old therapist has retired I had to look for a new one, and thankfully I found a great one!).

What you said reminded me of what I'd say to my therapist, ie. what is wrong with me, when describing an odd symptom of some kind.

My new therapist encouraged me to ask instead: What is this trying to tell me? She also instructs me to take a deep breath, put my hand on my heart and ask "What do you want me to know?"

I don't know if this applies to you at all but for myself, because of my past, I'm inclined to always think I'm crazy or there's something wrong with me. But sometimes it's not a matter of anyone being crazy, it's just that something is not right and the symptoms are the clues that I need to change something in my life.
 
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I was researching forums for some answers and ran into this thread.  It convinced me this maybe the right place.  I had something similar happen to me after leaving the metroplex to the great white north and years later.  The doctors said there was nothing wrong I chalked it up as radiation from Fukushima as I was cutting up a semi load of slab wood.  Then it hit me and was always tired laying on a couch watching the blue sky.  After 6-8 months it passed.

No matter how far I go to get away, life is always fluid and dynamic for me.  At least life isn't boring.  I just sped read the thread and will read all of it in the future because it rings of truth.
 
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Intrinsic: An Agriculture of Altered Chaos
https://permies.com/t/95922/Intrinsic-Agriculture-Altered-Chaos
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