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gardener
Posts: 1243
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A lot of permies are high achievers with big goals and a lot of work.

Aspiring homesteaders might be feeling overwhelmed by the realities of trying to get out of the 9-5.

Maybe you've got other stresses, I know I do.

Check in here. Maybe you don't want to burden your family and friends with your grief. You can share with someone though.

I've lost a lot of friends to early deaths and more than a few of those were suicides. I'm going through a wave of grief right now. One of those friends reached out to me but I didn't know how to help.

I hope you can get the help you need, because we all deserve a chance for happiness, and I feel a huge gap in my life where all my friends used to be.

Even if it doesn't seem that way sometimes,
You are loved. You are wanted. You are needed.
 
pollinator
Posts: 482
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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First question:  Are you doing okay, L.?  

Losing loved ones is tough.  This is a big community and we have collective broad shoulders.  How are you coping with gap?
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Thanks for your concern. I am - okay.

Grief comes in waves.

They're usually smaller as time passes, just as ripples in a pond.

I'm learning to be still and watch the water. There will always be more ripples, from rain and hail, but also from kids swimming and skipping stones.

Life is full of all shades of experiences. The bad ones give us more room to understand others and the compassion to do what we must to help.
 
master pollinator
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Hi L.
I think this is a great idea. I hope and pray things will get better for you.

I lost my dad in December and a few months later my wife filed for divorce, took the kids, and won't let me see them. For a long time I was not doing ok. Today, I'm doing mostly ok.

For me, knowing that God is bigger than individual events helps. Knowing that He might have a reason for me to be where I am (like helping my mom cope with her loss) helps. And focusing on Him, rather than my problems helps. Getting back to an area where I have family and friends to support me helps.

For those who are not religious, and depending on why you might not feel "OK" right now. Reach out to friends if you can. It is way too common to shut yourself off from the world and people. While there is a time to grieve alone, cutting yourself off will make it worse. Allow people to grieve with you. And ask yourself what you can do right now to make a difference around you, even if it is not where you wanted to be or with who you wanted it to be with.

Sometimes it helps to have someone listen. If you are reading this and don't have someone to listen, send me a purple moosage and I will give you my email. I might pray for you, and I might have fight the urge to try to suggest solutions instead of just listening :), but I'm seriously willing to listen to stuff that you might want to get out, but don't want to put here. I know how much it helped me to just get it out.
 
gardener
Posts: 473
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
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I took a walk this morning by the river. Picked up the biggest boulder I could carry and walked it about 1/4 mile back to the car. Brought it home and wedged the marker in the garden for this difficult moment. I’m waiting for news about a person I cherish, hoping the worst is over. Enough said. Thanks for this thread L.
 
gardener
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I have had two physical maladies that struck me in the last 2 weeks.  About 2 weeks ago I exacerbated an old back injury.  I just got into my van an I heard/felt a “pop.”  I needed to get a steroid shot to bring the swelling down.  It feels better now but for about 3 days it was really painful.  

Today was my 1st day back at school—students come tomorrow.  Near the end of the day I hit my head—hard!!  I have a mild concussion and a little goose egg on my head.  I still have some things to get done but looking at a screen is a little difficult right now.

Eric
 
pollinator
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Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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I am making a commitment to myself to return missed phone calls promptly. A dear friend of mine, a total inspiration in her ability to grow food and engage her local community, and who's 84 and in declining health, rang me a few weeks ago and left a message. It was a couple of days before I got back to her and discovered what she was doing was checking in with all of her friends and colleagues to have a "maybe goodbye" talk with them. We had a great conversation, shared our regard for one another, and agreed that even if she wasn't going to be "falling off her perch" right away it was cool that she was doing this.

Then about a week later she got covid, and has been having a real struggle. She's getting better, but only slowly, and we can tell it's taking a toll. She buzzed me earlier this week as I was on another call and you can bet I turned around and got straight back to her. Didn't want to have regrets later.

 
pollinator
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It's devastating to learn that someone who had such a positive impact in the world has taken their own life.
Do not beat yourself up about not knowing how to help them.
If I came to you and said I've been having dizzy spells and chest pains, you'd urge me to seek professional help ASAP.
Mental health should be no different.
Just like a friend with a heart problem, there are ways we can support those needing to seek the professional care they need.
Can I recommend a therapist? Do you me to make an appointment for you? Do you need a lift? I'll babysit your kids while you are at your appointments. I'll do X chore for you so you can have time to go to your session.  Do you need help paying for services?
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master pollinator
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I've had a few hard, sad events. They remind me of the importance of a legacy of rich, black soil. In human relations. And in the land entrusted to me.

For me, the glass is half full. Probably more. That's good enough. I'll work on it.
 
pollinator
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As many here know, I lost my grandson a few years ago to SIDS. Now, my oldest and youngest are both pregnant and while I am thrilled, I'm also terrified as are they. I find myself crying more and more. If we lose another baby, I doubt that many of us will survive it. So, somedays I'm okay, and some I'm not. All I can do is hope. I'm not religious and haven't found comfort in many of the things that religious people say to me although I know that most of them mean well.
 
L. Johnson
gardener
Posts: 1243
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
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Stacy Witscher wrote:As many here know, I lost my grandson a few years ago to SIDS. Now, my oldest and youngest are both pregnant and while I am thrilled, I'm also terrified as are they. I find myself crying more and more. If we lose another baby, I doubt that many of us will survive it. So, somedays I'm okay, and some I'm not. All I can do is hope. I'm not religious and haven't found comfort in many of the things that religious people say to me although I know that most of them mean well.



Colored by my own experiences I'm always anxious about just about everything involving people I care about... so I do what I can do with what's under my control and try to do my best and not live in fear, and I try to let go of what's not in my control, because worrying about that is pointless.

I can only imagine losing a child. My anxiety makes me imagine losing my children sometimes, but all we can do is cherish the time we have together.

Comfort may be hard to come by, but learning to accept and live with loss is something most of us can do.

I hope you have more okay days than not!
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Eric Hanson wrote:I have had two physical maladies that struck me in the last 2 weeks.  About 2 weeks ago I exacerbated an old back injury.  I just got into my van an I heard/felt a “pop.”  I needed to get a steroid shot to bring the swelling down.  It feels better now but for about 3 days it was really painful.  

Today was my 1st day back at school—students come tomorrow.  Near the end of the day I hit my head—hard!!  I have a mild concussion and a little goose egg on my head.  I still have some things to get done but looking at a screen is a little difficult right now.

Eric



I wish you swift and thorough healing Eric.
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Amy Gardener wrote:I took a walk this morning by the river. Picked up the biggest boulder I could carry and walked it about 1/4 mile back to the car. Brought it home and wedged the marker in the garden for this difficult moment. I’m waiting for news about a person I cherish, hoping the worst is over. Enough said. Thanks for this thread L.



I'm here hoping with you.
 
Stacy Witscher
pollinator
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I have to say, one of my favorite things about permies, is the incredibly kind people. People that I know may not agree with me on so many things are just empathic. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
 
pollinator
Posts: 480
Location: South West France
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Oh Stacey, I know those feelings so well "thrilled and terrified". I too lost a child then had numerous miscarriages and there's very little that people can say to end the hurt.

I totally agree that you should try not to live in fear of what could happen. That was one of the things that really helped me a long time ago and I'm trying to re-create the same state of mind to help me now.

I've had more than a year of exhaustion and pain and a host of other weird symptoms. Tests, hospital, doctors, more tests then, in December. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Mesothelioma. That's a cancer caused by asbestos which has lain latent in my body for 50 years - when I was a trainee designer in the textile industry. What bloody bad luck eh?

Anyway, although I always said that if I ever got cancer I wouldn't do chemotherapy, the temptation to live a bit longer was too much for me and I'm still here after 6 months. I'm managing the pain and accepting the tiredness and adapting my way of living to what I can and can't do. Like many of you, I have good days and bad days and on the good days, I read posts in Permies....
 
pollinator
Posts: 1844
Location: Massachusetts, 5a, flat 4 acres; 40" year-round fairly even
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I’m ok, but definitely having a rough patch. I appreciate your asking.  We’re declared a level 3 drought here in Massachusetts, not an area that makes the news for drought, and I just keep seeing wasted opportunities for preventing deaths and suffering in the world.  But I was reminded today that we can still turn it around, we have had setbacks and made mistakes but we can wake up and make a legal U-turn any minute now.  

I’ve also been low on motivation and have to accept myself as I am and start from here, not from comparison with others.

Thanks again for asking, anyone else?
 
pollinator
Posts: 152
Location: Ontario
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I'm okay! Been a rough patch had a couple things sorted out last week that have been ongoing for what seems like years at this point. I now have a lot of freedom and have to find my way again.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2454
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Thank you for asking. I am feeling okay. But it is like 2022 is the year of death. First in January my mother (aged 91, was in a nursing home since August last year), then my aunt (aged 90), then my doggie (aged about 15), then a dear friend (about 80 y.o., was diagnosed leukemia and died within a few weeks). And now probably the old cat of my daughter-in-law is dead, but we don't know for sure, it has just disappeared.

The good side of things: when we met again after many years, because of the funerals, my sister and my cousins and me decided it was time for a nice day together. And so we did! Maybe more family reunions to come in the future ...
 
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My nephew was murdered last Saturday (13 August 2022). I still can't believe it.
 
gardener
Posts: 847
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia (Cold Zone 9B, Hot Zone 6) UTC +10
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Bee-Pie Phillips wrote:My nephew was murdered last Saturday (13 August 2022). I still can't believe it.


My thoughts and prayers are very much with you and you family at such a dreadful time and knowing the loss was so horrific.

You are very much welcome to the Permies Family.  We are all here for each other, to listen, help, and learn with and from each other.
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Bee-Pie Phillips wrote:My nephew was murdered last Saturday (13 August 2022). I still can't believe it.



I'm so sorry for your loss. Please take time for grieving and know that there are people to help you through this.

If you'd like to share how you're feeling or what's going through your head, you're welcome to.
 
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I've been living in a van or trailer the last 6 years.  I was excited about it at first but when reality hit, I really hate it.  I miss having a bathroom, I miss having a wood stove and most importantly I miss having a kitchen. A real kitchen.  Maybe I'm spoiled now but having those amenities really is important to me. So is a huge garden. I desperately want to grow my food, save seeds, eat healthier, etc.

I have a silver lining at the end of the tunnel.  I got in contact with my boyfriend from high school.  One of the first things he told me was that he always felt we should have been together.  I agreed.  My last boyfriend told me as he walked out the door that he always felt like there was a 3rd person there.  I decided then not to have another relationship.  Well, I lied but at least it's now with the one I never let go. 😉

Good thing too.  I was diagnosed with cancer and he's been with me every step of the way.  There's no way I could've handled this alone.  I won't say that I'm cancer free now, but I'm as close to it as I can get for the moment.  Endometrial cancer is weird.

Here's hoping we can get to our permie dreams soon.  It will be easier with both of us doing it rather than alone.  That's another good thing, we're not alone anymore.  He's been in the van with me since early April.  It's tight, but the 4 of us(cat and dog too) are together.

Take care all.
 
Robbie Asay
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Bee-Pie Phillips wrote:My nephew was murdered last Saturday (13 August 2022). I still can't believe it.



That's awful!  I wish the best for you and your family.  There really are no words.  😭
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Robbie Asay wrote:Good thing too.  I was diagnosed with cancer and he's been with me every step of the way.  There's no way I could've handled this alone.  I won't say that I'm cancer free now, but I'm as close to it as I can get for the moment.  Endometrial cancer is weird.

Here's hoping we can get to our permie dreams soon.  It will be easier with both of us doing it rather than alone.  



I've sat on the sidelines with several family members and friends with cancer... I'm so glad you had someone to help you through so far and that you're nearer to cancer free than before!

Keep focused on forward! You have a wonderful dream and it sounds like three good team members to help you get there! Plus you've got us here playing support if you need it.
 
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I’m at a low point. I decided to remove my small amount of crops for the summer so I didn’t have to water them every day from a hose filled with chemical fluoride water. I stuck some Florida loving non-watering crops in the ground, yams, purple sweet potato, etc. My aunt got mad at me about where I needed to put my rain barrel so I’m just done at this point.

It’s too draining to buy 99% of my food and bother growing the 1%, that it began making me more upset to tend to the garden, something I used to enjoy. I don’t find meaning anymore in growing the 1%. All day long I think about farming and earthen buildings and natural cooking, I literally can’t think about anything else and those things generally don’t make money in society unless you’re a mad genius like Paul, and a people person. Growing the 1% was like someone feeding you a most delicious bite of food, having to chew it for a few seconds and then spit it out.

I despise having to drive everywhere and that I’m only alive because of a grocery store. It’s embarrassing honestly, I don’t understand how most people think this is fine.

Besides not being able to have chickens here in the suburbs, having to remove honeybees was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Everyday I browse for some cheap land but it feels like I’m too poor to even bother at this point since I then would need to buy a pickup truck, then this and that for septic and water and…. I wish I was back in Lincoln’s homestead age where I could just go claim a vast amount of land… I’m not good at societal things because of my severe anxiety, I’m only good at homesteading in my head.

Right now I’m browsing a $12,000 4-acre plot on a mountainside in North Carolina. Otherwise I’ll be tackling what homestead things I can do here I suppose, like pressure canning (unfortunately all purchased food) and whatever other nonsense I can fill my time up with in the suburbs. It’s remarkable that I have almost no memories of my childhood here and people that lived in the country seem to remember everything.
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Jeff Steez wrote:I’m at a low point.I stuck some Florida loving non-watering crops in the ground, yams, purple sweet potato, etc.

I’m not good at societal things because of my severe anxiety

Right now I’m browsing a $12,000 4-acre plot on a mountainside in North Carolina. Otherwise I’ll be tackling what homestead things I can do here I suppose, like pressure canning (unfortunately all purchased food) and whatever other nonsense I can fill my time up with in the suburbs.



I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time Jeff. Mental health problems like anxiety and depression can be crippling. I've had my low points this year too.

What helped me was to focus on what is under my control and accepting my mental health problems and trying to address them as best as I could. I used a lot of guided meditations from an android app called "Insight Timer". They helped me tremendously.

It looks like you are trying to do what you can. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone else. Someone else's successes and failures are theirs. You're welcome to learn from them, but you have your own path to walk.

I also think that incremental progress is OK! Perfection is a roadblock to progress. I'd love to buy a big plot of land where I can grow all my food too... but it's not available to me right now, and the truth is I'd probably not have the time to manage it in a way that meets my ideals... So I am practicing and learning on the small, overly shaded bit of land that I do have.

It can be really hard when the people around you don't share your values. Another path that *might* be worth looking into is ecovillages or intentional communities. You might be able to find a community that aligns with your values, participate without buying land, and get some personal support too.
 
Matt McSpadden
master pollinator
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Hi Jeff,
I have shared pieces of my story in different posts, but if you have anxiety (as I did), I would find a medical practitioner who is willing to help you find out the cause. There are many people who have mental health problems that really can't be helped, other than with medicine of some kind. However, there are a lot of people who's anxiety is coming from a health problem or diet problem that CAN be fixed. Even if you felt 80% better... would it be worth it? Even 50%?

I am all for being understanding about people's mental health problems, but I have a big problem with the people who get diagnosed and then just stop trying to do anything. Accepting that you need help, or that you have a problem... doesn't mean that it is forever. Try to find out the cause of the anxiety. Maybe it's source is something you cannot do anything about. Maybe it is where you are and the people you are around. Maybe it is deficiencies in various minerals and vitamins (you would be shocked to learn how many cause anxiety and depression when you are deficient). Maybe it is a diet thing. It surprises many people how certain foods (sugar I'm looking at you) can caused mental and physical problems over time. I have been working with a Naturopathic Doctor for the past 3 years. It has been a slow process, but I look back at where I was.. I fealt dead back then with absolutely no hope. Now I feel alive. Will I ever be totally free from anxiety? I don't know. But I do know, that by working with this doctor, and making changes in my life as far as diet and supplements and understanding physiology (is that the right word?) I have become a different person. I went from anxiety ruling my life... to anxiety popping in, now and again, and making things harder.

I know this is often the hardest part... but don't give up :)
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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I have good news. The cat has been found and now is back home with my son, daughter-in-law and grandson. This cat was with her already before she met my son, it is much older than my grandson (grandson is 9, cat Loki is 17 y.o.).
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
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I am glad to hear others' stories and to get to send kind thoughts your way.  I'm sorry for your losses, deaths, illnesses and blocked dreams.

I realized that although I don't have family deaths or anything to cite as reasons for feeling blah, I do have grief too.  For the people of the world.  

I reread the book that's my compass, moral and spiritual compass, and lights up the next 200 years of our history.  It's the seventh time I've read it, and each time I think I don't need to reread it again--and each time I am glad that I did.  

This time I cried.

I felt so connected after that.  I saw the beauty of the land, the butterflies, the buckwheat, I even saw a wild carrot I had sworn I didn't have any of.  I even saw the life in the yew hedge in the city that evening.  

I definitely could use more voices in my head that are affirming of what I'm attempting and more people to talk to about what I'm doing here who get what it is and what matters.  I'm a little leery of reaching out to other permaculturists in the area since I don't want advice or design suggestions, I just want to get to talk about it and be mirrored.  

If anyone wants to try out being a homesteading buddy please purple mooseage me.  Thanks.

 
L. Johnson
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Posts: 1243
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
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Checking in again with all of you!

Hoping that some or all of you are following me on my recent upswing! But I totally understand that might not be the case.

Check back in when you want to, or when you can.

We're still here for support.
 
A timing clock, fuse wire, high explosives and a tiny ad:
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