Get lost in the woods … and find yourself


Strickly Speaking - Kasie Strickland



To say I’ve been a bit stressed out and ill tempered as of late would be a gross understatement.

Family drama, hiccups with my oldest son’s therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder combined with major, not-cheaply-replaced appliances dying at my house and a car that apparently can’t go two months without us calling AAA has set my teeth on edge.

For someone who is naturally prone to have a short fuse — let’s just say I’ve been “a little on edge.”

No, let’s be honest, I’ve been straight up nuclear to anyone who’s been unlucky enough to cross me.

I’m a red head and we’re traditionally known for our tempers. I always just kind of brushed that off as an unfair stereotype but recent events are providing evidence that there may be some truth to that logic.

You guys, I’ve been really mean lately.

In the past two weeks I’ve started fights with two of my brothers, my father and anyone who was unlucky enough to take a glance at my Facebook page.

It’s gotta stop, it’s gotta get better and I need to find my frigging “chi” or I’m going to alienate everyone I know. No one wants to hang out with Debbie Downer and I am in great, great danger of becoming her.

It all started when I received a letter from the S.C. Department of Disabilities stating the PDD Waiver was being dismantled. No, it actually started WAY before that — but that was my breaking point.

The PDD Waiver is a program provided by the state that helps to cover some of the (substantial) costs of the in-home therapy my son receives. As of July of this year, it’s going away.

And … I lost it, I really did.

I just felt like it had been one thing after another and I completely freaked out and went on this huge rant and basically told everyone off.

“The gloves are off,” I believe was said, along with several four-letter words that cannot possibly be repeated in this publication.

This all went down on Saturday, but it wasn’t just that night: For the next few days I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. My stomach was twisted with anxiety and I was basically a walking puddle.

I cried at the drop of a hat and I was vicious — vicious — to anyone who crossed me.

I was miserable.

So, come Monday, I did something I haven’t done in a long time: I went hiking, and something amazing happened.

Half a mile into the woods up at Table Rock State Park I could feel all of my anger, my anxiety, my hopelessness drifting away.

It was, for lack of a better word, cleansing.

The solitude, combined with the sounds of trickling nearby creeks and dry leaves crunching underfoot, was just what my soul had been craving and when I walked out a couple of hours later and signed off at the hiker’s check-in (so they didn’t send search parties out looking for me), I felt like a new woman.

You know, I went up to Table Rock to do a story about how the last year’s wildfires have not slowed the park down, that they’ve rebounded and on any given day, they have just as many hikers as they have in previous years.

I went up there to cover a story on resilience but in the process, I became aware of not just the park’s, but my own.

I don’t know what the future holds for us and I don’t know how any of this will work out. I am, however, confident that it will — something I could not have said just a few days ago.

I’ve found my chi — or, I think at least I’m headed in the right direction.

http://sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_044-4.jpg

Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.

comments powered by Disqus