Thank you

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who responded when i reached out to you. Your response was overwhelming. I don’t know how to adequately thank you but you give me more motivation and the means to continue. This walk is our walk!
My money situation became a bit embarrassing on the weekend and i needed to ask for help.
I imagine myself being able to survive without money but in reality i feel like i have failed at life when it looks like my next meal will come from a bin, i start sizing up public parks for camping near public toilets and spotting taps that still have their handles so i can have a quick little splash bath and wash some clothes under the cover of darkness. I was also scared i had become a category 1 homeless person, struggling to hold onto my dignity while walking around Australia for Lifeline and mental health awareness. It doesn’t make sense.
It is hard to imagine in 2012 i was wealthy thanks to a gift from my parents. I never hesitated to help others and support good causes because saving lives, helping friends and protecting Earth was/is more important than my own money or possessions. How things have changed. My values have not changed but my ability to act on them has.
It is an humiliating desperation born of my reluctance to keep reminding people of what i’m doing, why i’m doing it and hoping some will deem it worthy of their financial support. If you have been following since the walk began it might feel like i’m nagging after a few requests each year. I don’t want you to feel like that so i try not to ask.
On Sunday and Monday i had the added stresses of an injury needing professional help before it created too many other problems and a miscommunication that lead to this weeks food supply box still sitting on the shelf back at basecamp when i went to collect from the post office.
I had $3.53 to my name and no idea how i was going to get through the week. It takes me a lot of courage to ask for help but i reached out to supporters through Instagram and the previous blog update explaining my predicament and hoping for kindness, compassion and deep hearted generosity. The crowdfund is at The Happy Walk GoFundMe.
Thank you to Mum and Dad, Steve and Sil, Phil, Lisa and Tony, Melinda and Family, Kimmi, Sarah, Mel and Bethany, Q, Fran, Barry, Louise, Katz, Dr Kate, The Brooks, Jayson, Sharyn, Kate, Jason, Lauren and Justin, Karen, Nathan and Sandra for your donations!!!
Thank you for the phone calls and messages of encouragement and love!!!
Thank you for sharing The Happy Walk in conversation and the links with your social media networks!!!
Today i could afford to visit the podiatrist, eat salad, use data on my phone and do laundry because of you. The podiatrist, Jason at Stepping Out Landsborough, also donated a custom fit mould for my toe when he found out what i am doing!

Since completing the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk i have received even more generous support through accommodation sponsorships and food.
On Sunday night The Spotted Chook Ferme Auberge, a beautiful French style BnB in Montville donated a night in one of their rooms with a big bathtub which i soaked in for 2 hours. I have never enjoyed a bath so much in my life. Thank you Jane and Leeroy for your generous spirit of giving.

Last night after 8, arriving in Landsborough 3hrs late, lost and in a fragile emotional state i found the Pines Caravan Park. When the manager, Lisa, came down to help me i fell apart from pain, exhaustion and relief. Then Lisa donated the Birdsong cabin for the night so i could fully rest and recover. Thank you for your empathy and care for my wellbeing.

This morning Lisa organised for Henry & Co Organic Cafe to donate breakfast and coffee. I couldn’t believe how much i was craving mushrooms, avocado and spinach until it was placed on the table and i devoured it!

Tomorrow night Glasshouse Mountains Ecolodge have donated a room after i spend the day wandering through some of the most picturesque and culturally significant pinnacles in Australia.
On the weekend i am taking a 2 day break with old friends, Greg and Cyndy, on the Gold Coast before returning to resume the walk near Brisbane next week. I will not be walking through the city because of mental health reasons and i get terribly lost in towns and cities but i am still looking for somewhere quiet to stay in Brisbane on Friday night so i can meet any friends, family and supporters who have time and transport.
I still haven’t written about or shared photos from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk but i’ll get onto it soon. The photos are slowly being sorted, about 80% get deleted then some need filtering. I realised a lot of my old phone’s limitations last week in dark forest with bright sun or cloud glare slicing through or washing it out around midday and low res in low light between dusk and dawn. When beauty is everywhere all day i must take photos. At least it is a Samsung Galaxy S, the best mobile phone cameras, even if it is 4 generations old. I can’t and don’t need to buy a new phone camera but am open for Samsung sponsorship.
This update has been written tonight on a note app but i will post it tomorrow morning with free wifi, i hope it doesn’t confuse you.

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Can you please help?

Can you please help?
I’m needing a bit of help at the moment to cover the costs of the walk like sports therapy, food, shelter, camp fees, cooking gas, phone data…
I ran out of money 2 years ago after putting in $70,000 of my own, including selling everything of value, and in the last 10 months i have been donated $3,500 through crowd funding, gifts and the Australian Geographic Society  sponsorship.
Last night i was generously donated a room at @the_spotted_chook This is a rare luxury, donations in kind and sponsorships don’t happen often and i never take them for granted.
This morning  i have $3.53 to my name. Yesterday morning i had $8 after someone left $5 beside the road for me but i needed to recharge my phone so i bought a coffee and waited an hour before walking the last 12kms. In the afternoon i unsuccessfully tried finding the bins at another cafe on Baroon Pocket Dam to look for scraps because i was hungry.
It causes me some stress and embarrassment especially not having money for laundry or replace my torn and stained clothes and broken gear.
This walk for Lifeline has required many personal sacrifices and money has been the biggest.
No Lifeline donations have been used for walk expenses.
If you can help please visit https://www.gofundme.com/thehappywalk 
A temporary link is also in my thehappywalk Instagram bio if you go to my page. 
If you prefer to make a direct bank deposit my Westpac account details are: BSB: 732-720 Account: 557812 and it is still in my old name.


Thank you to everyone who has already helped out🤗

Cooloola Great Walk

Another incredible week of The Happy Walk has passed. 

Only last week i said goodbye to the caring and supportive women i met in Rainbow Beach. It would have been easy to stay longer in the company of such strong and resilient women. Thank you Brooke, Kirstie, Pearl, Jacqui, Glenys, Kay, Delila and Xavier. Thank you also to Cafe Jilarty for keeping me caffeinated and donating breakfast, Rainbow Tropics Hideaway BnB for donating 2 nights accommodation, Rainbow Hair and Beauty for braiding my hair for the walk and the massage i was too embarrassed to accept and Rainbow Beach Surf Club for donating dinner. Pearl and Kirstie ran me around town and Pearl even loaned me her car for the day. A fundraiser was run by Pearl while i was in town to raise $100 for the online Lifeline fundraiser and her grandchildren wrote messages for me to carry on the walk.

There were a couple of parcels to collect from the post office including a care package full of yummy food and a special handmade card from Iris (and George and Nikki) in Canberra. I ate everything during the next 5 days on the Cooloola Great Walk!

I struggled to integrate back into society after K’gari but also a whole bunch of things were heavy on my mind including an humiliating lack of funds, poor sleep, misunderstandings, being judged for my size by strangers, carrying the wrong gear for the unusually cold nights and some personal heart/mind conflicts. I tried going with the flow and breathing through the stress but kept catching myself doing the old anxiety tics. For a few hours i relaxed when i joined Pearl and the family on dusk for a walk down Rainbow Beach but the next day i woke more tired than i arrived. 

The result of this was a series of 7 anxiety or panic attacks before and during the first day on the Cooloola Great Walk. After 4 attacks i called Lifeline who tried helping by encouraging me to talk through how i was feeling and why. Unfortunately it didn’t help because i was on the edge of another attack throughout the entire call which hit when i hung up. Thankfully my sister in law, Silvana Nossiter of New Leaf Counselling, broke a counselling rule and took a couple of hours out of her morning to help me, even had me laughing and taught me about the 4 realms of self that need attention to maintain balance and holistic health – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Talking to Sil/family helped greatly and i had only 2 more anxiety attacks that afternoon while walking. It was a rough start but everything smoothed out later that afternoon.

 

In Rainbow i met Brooke, one of the wonderful people who has been following The Happy Walk through Instagram. For me these moments are special, an opportunity to say thank you personally, not just words and emoticons on a screen. Several times Brooke suggested i visit Poona Lake on the first day of the Cooloola Great Walk but i was set on visiting the lighthouse which meant missing the lake track. As it turned out i found myself sitting in one of the most peaceful places in Australia. Thank you Brooke!

The Cooloola Great Walk stretches approximately 90kms across the tops of the high vegetated dunes between Rainbow Beach and Noosa North Shore. 

It is a relatively easy and safe 5 day walk with 4 walkers camps, toilets, rainwater tanks and communal cooking/gathering areas perfectly spaced apart for comfortable days. Be sure to book online and plan to avoid holidays and peak season.

The track is clear but often slow and sandy, much more sandy than the Fraser Island Great Walk. It is in the Great Sandy National Park after all. 
The landscapes are spectacular and ecosystems keep changing throughout the day. Birdlife and wildflowers are delightfully prolific.

There were not many walkers on the track. Infact, I had ever section of the walk entirely to myself meeting other walkers at night in camp on the 2nd and 3rd nights. During the day it really felt like i was the only human out there.

The first walkers i met were a Steiner school group learning to appreciate Nature and some useful bush skills. My first reaction on seeing them in camp was to keep walking but one of the teachers invited me back and i had a chat with them all about walking around Australia and Lifeline. These young adults have not been squashed my institutionalised learning. Their minds are open and inquisitive. This was a refreshing experience after the high schools i visited around Australia.

On the very last night i shared the camp with 2 other walkers but we didn’t meet. They arrived after midnight, chatting away while climbing the hill. They scoped my tent site and exclaimed their surprise finding another walker. Then they were quieter than the mice.

With each day my body is regaining its old strength and stamina. Core strength is speeding up back recovery and my general physical health is great. I am back to walking 15kms before lunch and setting a good pace so i have plenty of time for lazy morning meditation and relaxing late afternoon reflection (but this will change again when i go across to the mountains).

Noosa has been fantastic! The day i arrived i saw a post from an inspiring Melbourne woman whose Instagram tag is erica_walks_a_lot who was visiting Noosa for a Fred Hollows charity walk. So we found each other on Noosa Main Beach, Erica found me, and had dinner together with Ingrid and Mark who bought me a giant salad! Another special moment meeting a mutual follower and walkers.

Noosa holds one very special childhood memory for me. In 1977 Mum and Dad and 3 small kids came here. I was 5 Linda 2 and Steve wasn’t even walking. Early one morning on sunrise Dad took me down to Roses Cove on Noosa Head, took me behind the wave break and taught me how to still my fear and let the swell gently lift me up and over. I learnt to float in the ocean here 40 years ago. It is one of my most cherished memories.

I wanted to share a lot more with you but i think you need to come an experience it first hand.

Take every opportunity to get outdoors and explore Nature, go on a backpacking adventure, lace up your boots and go bushwalking. 

Humans are part of Nature yet we have lost our connection with the natural world. Reconnect. Love and respect Nature. The more time you spend surrounded by beauty the more you will want to protect it.

This week i cross over the highway to the Great Dividing Range and start walking through the mountains towards Brisbane. A whole new world of wonder and distracting beauty awaits me.

How Can You Help?

When you help The Happy Walk you also help me carry a message of hope, health and happiness while raising awareness about Lifeline and suicide prevention.

Listed below are ways you can help. If you can please contact me in the comments below, DM me on Instagram, email thehappywalker@gmail.com or call 0487264508 (phone is often out of range or off so please leave a message or text)

The basic needs are always top on the list;

Shelter – simply a clean, dry, quiet and safe place to rest, wash and recharge for 1 or 2 nights. A donated room in an hotel or motel, donated powered tent site or cabin in a tourist park, a spare room with a supporter, a patch of floor for my sleeping bag or patch of grass in the backyard for the tent.

Food – simple again, as a vegan I’m perfectly happy with a fresh colourful salad and fruit. Easy! I won’t eat meat, dairy or eggs for reasons I will explain in another post. 

Water – tap water is fine. Rain water, sweet bore or filtered creek water is always a treat. I hope not to need purifying too much more during this walk. But I am trying to avoid using store bought plastic bottled water. We all need to stop buying single use plastic bottles, more about this later too.

Last year my body suffered badly from lack of attention so this year I am seeking regular assistance with sports therapy. Massage, physio, acupuncture, basically I won’t say no if someone donates their healing therapy to help ease pain, manage stress, alignment and speed recovery during the rest days. I’m open minded and willing to try out anything that might be beneficial to my physical and psychological wellbeing. (How do I embed a subliminal message for a spa resort full pamper package 😆 )

IGA, Woolies and Coles gift cards go a long way and allow me the flexibility to buy food as well as other necessities like batteries for the headlamp, tea tree oil, tissues, baby wipes and maybe a small treat. With a gift card I don’t need to go dumpster diving.

All donations to the GoFundMe crowdfund campaign help with the above basic expenses where on-ground support is missing. Any funds I don’t use before the end will be donated into the Lifeline fundraiser.

Many people i meet are surprised they haven’t heard about The Happy Walk. It is an epic undertaking for an important cause but with limited resources it has flown too low to be seen. If you ask your local radio, newspaper and TV to share the story we can change this. Share links to this blog and Instagram through social media so your friends, family and community can be part of the walk too. If you know what I’m doing and where I am you can contact me as I get closer to your town.

Moral support is as important as all the above so please don’t be shy. Your words of encouragement, sharing your empowering stories of strength and survival, your parallel adventures and journeys are wonderful and give me strength. I often screenshot messages and on the harder days, when I’m tired, hurting or sad reread them to help me smile and keep walking.

And please remember this is still a Lifeline fundraiser and donations can be made to help them save lives through my Making a Difference – GoFundraise account.

For what ever reason you support The Happy Walk, whether it be the cause, following the journey, you’re a friend or relative, supporting women’s achievement or have an interest in plant powered adventure and pursuits you can be involved.

If you can help please contact me in the comments below, DM me on Instagram, email thehappywalker@gmail.com or call 0487264508 (phone is often out of range or off so please leave a message or text).

Abundantly Supported Solo Unaccompanied

When I started planning this back in 2010 I imagined walking solo with a support vehicle and behind-the-scenes team but it didn’t turn out that way. 

When I started trying to explain walking around Australia alone without a support vehicle it immediately felt wrong saying “solo unsupported“. Even though all other charity walkers, runners and riders without vehicles use this term I knew it was not true. 


When I started the first leg, 1,250kms around Tasmania, I called this a solo self-assisted walk. During the first 2 continental crossings I also called it self-funded until I ran out of money and started crowd funding to cover walking expenses. Before the 3rd year of walking someone in Lifeline HQ called it solo unaccompanied and I have been using this term since. 

There isn’t a vehicle following or a team helping with logistics, my wellbeing, media, fundraising and admin but there has been support in many other ways. 

If I have the right grattitude to recognise and acknowledge support, it has been abundant. 

Support comes in a myriad of actions. Thoughts too because I understand when people send strength, good energy, hugs and prayers it is because they wish they could do more to help but can’t. 

I appreciate everyone’s support without comparison or measure. A piece of fruit from one person can hold the same value as $1000 from another, I have no way of knowing therefore I am equally grateful for each gift. 

In many ways, I have a giant support team and it changes everywhere I go. 

My support team is the community I walk through, families, businesses, individuals and groups who offer shelter, food, water, wellbeing and warm welcoming companionship. 

My support team is online through Instagram and here on the blog, supporters and followers who walk with me vicariously, write words of encouragement and share the experience. 

My support team is each and every person who has made a donation or regular gift to help my Lifeline fundraiser and the ongoing costs of the walk

My support team includes those who believe in me and my cause, the thousands of people with lived experience who understand the importance of my message and story of survival, the thousands of people inspired to live, dream, be strong, free and vulnerable. 

My support team are the adventurous wild women empowering and empowered by this walk. 

My support team is the rapidly growing community of compassionate plant strong, cruelty free, vegan friends, athletes and followers. 

The biggest support of all is knowing you are there, watching, willing me on, sharing my progress with friends, family and community and starting those important conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

Lifeline 13 11 14

thehappywalk.com website is broken!

With the preparations to the next section of the walk there is one more change to introduce to you, the need for this change has only recently come to my attention and is not voluntary. Hopefully this will be the last significant change for a while.

 

The website, thehappywalk.com, which I have been using since 2011 isn’t working anymore and the host won’t give me access to it. It is broken.

 

This blog is now the place for all the news and Instagram is the place for all the photos.

 

I’m not worried about the website going down permanently. In fact, it is a relief of sorts. Without any professional assistance it was a hack job and was there only because people needed links for donations. To get around this I will regularly remind anyone who reads the blog and visits Instagram where they can make online donations to help Lifeline and the crowdfund campaign to help the walk.

 

The Happy Walk fundraising link for Lifeline is https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/thehappywalk

 

The crowdfund campaign for the walk is https://www.gofundme.com/thehappywalk

 

I would like to say a special thank you to Swedish photographer and minimalist adventurer Mats Andren for the use of his photo on the website and blog. Many journalists and photographers have taken photos of my solo walk around Australia but this is the only one taken by a professional photographer who has also allowed me to use it. I didn’t need to pay for a photo shoot because we met on the Stuart Hwy while Mats walked from Stockholm, Sweden to Sydney and I was on my way to Darwin from Perth. Before we set off in different directions the next morning we posed for each other’s cameras. You can read about his 20,000km trek at the-walk.se

thanks3

A New Sponsor

From February to June I will be unplugged and offline, mental preparation for the final leg, so blog posts will be scheduled while I’m away.

During this time I will be introducing you to my sponsors, the businesses who believe in what I’m doing and have generously donated in kind.

Tonight I will start with the most recent sponsor who came on board this week.

Barefoot Inc Australia!

I expected finding a good footwear sponsor to be easy. The brand exposure for an outdoor adventure footwear company sponsoring someone walking around Australia would have been exceptional but nobody responded to my sponsorship requests for years and then I ran out of money and could only afford thongs. It was hard and disappointing. Also very embarrassing not being able to name the brand I wore the hundreds of times people asked.

Thankfully I have been supported by a couple of good outdoor adventure companies, who were often mentioned over the years, Wilderness Sports Jindabyne and Columbia who helped with organising wholesale prices for shoes while I could still afford them. I have been through all kinds of footwear including heavy boots, ultralight runners, adventure sandals, sturdy trail runners and even walked nearly 3,000kms in sponsored orthotic thongs from Slappas. Not everything has worked, some caused injury and some were impractical. Being vegan I care that my shoes are ethical and animal cruelty free and I have specific foot shape/health requirements so this limited my options.

The next section of the walk takes me off the highway and into the bush and rainforests where I need a reliable and light weight boot which provides protection and foot support. I have also had severe foot pain for about 6 months, 3 months requiring rest and therapy and my physio has given me a list of specific requirements in a shoe to prevent future injury. I was so close to compromising myself and settling for a trusted backcountry brand of leather boot or trail shoe when I discovered the new Inov8 Roclite 325 boots.

It is perfect and meets all my requirements!

From the website;

“The all new RocLite 325 GTX, one of the lightest GORETEX boot in the world offers a high level of comfort for a general use trail boot with high levels of protection for the adventurer. Inov-8’s Sticky rubber sole delivers ample grip and durability, while the second generation Meta-Shank™II ensures natural movement with rock protection. Choose this shoe for a protective, natural trail running experience with the worlds best waterproof solution. This boot has become a firm favourite amongst the armed forces for it’s incredible light weight matched with a neutral dark grey colouring for moving quite and fast in less than ideal conditions.

FEATURES INCLUDE:

    • Upper: The updated highly durable upper made of a new denser weave mesh that delivers ample durability and breathability.
    • Footbed: Comfortable and interchangeable, the Roclite utilises a cushioned 6mm innersole for comfort during long runs.
    • Sticky rubber: A carefully blended Sticky rubber make up the RocLite sole, medium sticky compound is used to deliver traction and Grip over mixed terrain.
    • Meta-Flex™ insert delivers a controlled but natural forefoot flex.
    • Met-Cradle™ lacing cradles the forefoot behind the metatarsal heads to provide a secure foot hold while running up or down hill.
    • GoreTex™ waterproof membrane built into the lining the shoe for total climate control in all conditions.

MEASUREMENTS:

    • Weight: 325gm (approx)
    • Stack: 22mm Heel / 16mm Forefoot
    • Drop: 8mm
    • FIT: (S) STANDARD FIT
    • Midsole: EVA
    • Shank: META-SHANK II
    • Footbed: 6mm
    • Cleat depth: 5.5mm”

How does that sound? Well, it gets better!

I phoned for a quick chat about the new boot then wrote a sponsorship request and Barefoot Inc have donate 2 pairs which will be enough to carry me all the way back to Canberra’s National Lifeline HQ, the final 2,900kms of this looong lap of Australia. I promise lots of Instagram photos of these beauties in action later this year.

Thank you Barefoot Inc for your incredible sponsorship!

Changes

This is a quick post about some changes to the walk.

In the last two weeks I have started and tinkered with a few posts but they are all still drafts. I haven’t been able to focus very well, distracted with another project and a bit of mental illness. If this sounds confusing it is because I am not well so I will keep it as simple as possible.

I have severe social anxiety issues which are getting worse so some of these changes are to protect my mental health.

The walk will now be entirely off the highway, following alternative roads, 4WD and fire trails, official walking tracks and beaches. Where any section of the walk gives no alternative than to follow the highway I will thumb a ride through that section. I think there are only about 50-60kms of road left without options. These lost kilometres will be made up in other ways.

The barrow Dory will not return to the walk. Many of the terrains I plan to cross will not be suitable for pushing a barrow. I will go back to my preferred style of walking, with a backpack. The first leg, 1,250kms around Tasmania, was with a backpack. I quickly learnt a lot about packing light for longer. Wilderness Threadworks have very generously donated an hand crafted Luxmore D40 45Lt pack. Thank you!

From Gladstone QLD all the way to Canberra I will walk as many official multi-day bushwalking tracks between the hinterland and coast, starting with the Fraser Island Great Walk. Using the barrow for the last 12,000kms I have missed many beaut tracks through wild places as I follow the scenic roads catching only glimpses. It will feel great being fully immersed in Nature without the noise, exhaust smells and safety issues of the highway.

When the walk resumes in June I will be more assertive about asking for health, food and accommodation help from businesses. This was self-funded for 2 years, I sold everything of any value and am completely broke. I have had a 98% support and sponsorship rejection rate, this pretty much eroded the little confidence I already had to ask for help but last year I ran 2 crowdfund campaigns raising $5,600 to help with the things businesses were not willing to donate. The GoFundMe campaign will resume with the walk. Thank you to everyone who helped!

Outdoor adventure and women’s empowerment magazines, radio, newspapers and TV are always welcome to cover the story of this solo unaccompanied walk around Australia but I won’t chase them or sell myself anymore. If they are not interested on first contact they miss out. Self-promotion makes me feel dirty. I always feel angry when they are not willing to make the effort to support their community through an interesting and uplifting story of hope, suicide prevention and Lifeline. This anger eats at me so I will be minimising the energy I put into reaching out for media support. Local ABC radio has usually been the most receptive and I will continue to call them first. ABC don’t sensationalise or judge and that is probably why they are still the most listened too radio broadcaster.

There will be no more public speaking events. My social anxiety is so extreme now it cripples me, only last weekend I ended up in hospital because of it. A pattern emerged during this walk where I needed days of rest to recover after speaking to schools and interest groups. It takes a lot out of me and there is no support person to lean on or help.

No facebook! This was increasingly using up too much data and time. It was necessary to help raise $20,000 for Lifeline and awareness but it is no longer needed. It feels amazing being free from facebook since deleting my account and pages on the 1st January. My primary social media platform is this blog.

And no more comparing! I am not the Storm Trooper! I am not Sarah Marquis! I’m just a charity walker trying to walk a lap of Australia for Lifeline. Solo unaccompanied is very different to anyone who has walked with a support vehicle or sponsored entourage. Walking around Australia is not comparable to walking across. I need to stop comparing my walk with others and shut down anyone else who tries. It is not helpful for me or them.

There are other little changes in the works but these are the main ones which will make what is already a very difficult endeavour just a little easier.

Today I am not okay

For the last 2 months my mental health, specifically social anxiety, has been deteriorating and last night I was in hospital.

It was voluntary. I was scared I would do something stupid and permanent. I needed to be somewhere safe from myself.

I had to discharge myself early because my aspie hypersensory issues were starting to show the early warning signs of meltdown. Hospitals are not autism friendly places but I sincerely appreciate the nurses and drs respect for my decision not to accept drugs. I am always wary of the adverse side effects of autism and drugs.

(Disclaimer: I do not recommend refusing prescribed drugs. This is my personal choice. Natural recovery is bloody hard work and requires 110% full-time commitment and a lot of strength. However, I do suggest talking to your care professional about complimentary natural therapies and using drugs only short-term until you’re back on your feet. Schizophrenia and manic depression require ongoing assistance balancing chemicals in the brain, 100% natural recovery is NOT an option)

The psychological pain has been as debilitating as the physical pain and last night it became too much, I could no longer cope.

I don’t want to die but I’m tired of living. I don’t have the stamina to keep fighting.

Anxiety is experienced differently for each person but hope if you do not understand anxiety now you will never understand it from lived experience. I don’t wish that on anybody. It is hell condensed into your cranium causing havoc with your senses, safety and space. It distorts reality and thought. It can feel like you are dying or that death is the only way to escape the pain and fear.

My social anxiety came back in June after the cattle road train driver tried killing me. It was manageable until November while I was still able to walk and escape anonymously to quiet and pretty places when the relapses were more difficult to walk and meditate through. But the further I walked south, into denser populations, the more often I needed to hide away. 

My ability to cope with anxiety was weakened by the increasing pain from injuries and the fear of failure brought with it. I had injuries pestering me for months but I could block the pain. It required a lot of energy and will power to manage the pain without drugs. The only times I resorted to using paracetamol and ibuprofen was when the pain started interfering with my eyesight and threatening blackouts.

The combination of pain and anxiety management was exhausting alone but I kept walking, never giving up until I could physically no longer put weight on my injuries without blacking out.

Since the day I was forced to stop and take a long rest I have battled against feeling like a failure and feeling trapped. I have started loathing myself and selfharming through comfort eating (I know where to find all the convenient vegan junk foods).

Unable to sit, stretch, exercise or even stand long enough to prepare a meal without severe pain I have not been able to self care so the decline in my mental and physical health has been rapid and feels uncontrollable.

There are many other factors at play here but I won’t go into detail except the one which almost pushed me too far last night.

I hate what I am. I live everyday knowing I am a burden on whoever has offered to give me shelter. I dream of love once I complete this walk but in reality that will never happen. Nobody needs this in their life, I will never let anyone close enough to become their burden, they will be pushed away for their own wellbeing. In 2016 I was confronted and almost crippled by loneliness. Not the solitude of aloneness I thrive on but the realisation that the people I love are far away and didn’t call to see if I was okay. To know you are not loved, are unlovable and a burden is not easy to live with so why bother. Why live if welcome solitude becomes an empty life.

Unfortunately, I have no solutions right now. I will continue to apply the therapies and activities I can do without pain and try not to stress about how much physiotherapy is costing (it will be more than $1,000) and focus on the beauty of Nature. 

I know from lived experience, surviving 3 suicide attempts and many relapses, these feelings will not last long. Tomorrow, next week, next month I will be stronger.

Media Release – The Happy Walk

Media Release for The Happy Walk- A Lap for Lifeline

The Last Leg

 

The Happy Walk is a 16,000km solo walk around Australia without support vehicles raising funds for Lifeline Australia’s 24/7 mental health crisis hotline, 13 11 14, and raising awareness about wellbeing, recovery and suicide prevention.

 

Ms Terra Lalirra, a 44yo Australian woman, has been walking for two years and more than 10,700kms along the most remote and scenic stretches of National Highway 1. In 2016 she will walk another 5,500kms completing a scenic lap of Australia before December. In May Terra will start walking the final 5,500km leg from Katherine to Canberra via Townsville.

 

Pushing her bright yellow and blue custom built barrow, nicknamed Dory, beside the road Terra carries an important message about hope, reaching out for help and talking about mental illness, suicide and Lifeline. In the hope it encourages others to hold onto hope in their darkest days, knowing they are not alone and things will get better, she shares her own story of discovering joy and learning to love life after trying to take her own life in 2010.

 

Terra has chosen Lifeline as her fundraising cause to thank them for helping her after she phoned 13 11 14, their 24/7 crisis hotline, when she relapsed during the first year of recovery from depression and complex post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Lifeline_Australia_Logo

The Happy Walk is an authorised Lifeline fundraiser. Every dollar donated to http://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/thehappywalk goes directly to the 24/7 hotline, each donation saves lives. Terra hopes to raise at least $100,000 for Lifeline before December 2016.

 

The Happy Walk has helped save many lives. Terra’s message has reached hundreds of thousands of people through interviews, talks and many one-on-one encounters beside the highway.

 

In the process of saving lives and helping Lifeline Terra has unintentionally become the first woman to walk from Perth to Darwin solo without a support vehicle and will soon achieve the same around Australia.

 

Terra can be contacted via email or phone.

thehappywalker@gmail.com

0487264508 (Telstra mobile)

It is not unusual for her to be out of range but she will reply when she receives your message.

For the latest updates The Happy Walk can be followed via social media

https://www.instagram.com/thehappywalk/