I’ve been redoing, upgrading, readjusting the #jeepminicamper, and at some point in the last three days I’ve hurt my lower back. Feels muscular, so I’m doing ice, heat, my go-to HC pain salve, and my tens unit.
Usually when I hurt myself, the tens unit and Humble Collective Pain Salve knocks it out with a couple of sessions.
This is different. I can barely breath without pain. So I’m hoping I just pulled some muscles really bad.. I didn’t feel anything give, and was lifting some weird shapes and at weird angles, which is what I think caused it.
On a lighter note, I think I’m going to try a different setup in the mini camper. I watched someone’s video in which she lives in her suv, and the setup looked more space efficient.
So as soon as I’m healed up, I’m going to try it out and see if I like it better. 🤷🏻♀️.
Somehow I have hurt my back. So it’s ice/heat, my favorite HC product, and tens unit for a few days.
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I have such a small space that I need to make it the most comfortable, efficient and have a good ease of use. The thing I’ve noticed is that on my bed platform, when I’m sitting on it, I have to slouch a tiny bit, or my head hits the roof… I think the way I’m going to rearrange it, will take care of that. I also don’t go in and out if the back at this point. So I think space could be better utilized in a different arrangement.
Someone asked me what I do in my small town for socialization…
I told them nothing, it causes me anxiety.
My biggest, newest tool I’ve added to my toolbox is staying in my #jeepminicamper out in nature. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting there. It’s working the best thus far.
I do still use my other coping skills… 4-7-8 breathing, snapping a rubber band, safe place, finding five things in my present that I can either see, feel, hear that helps ground me when I’m in full out flashback or panic attack mode.
I don’t always know when symptoms are going to happen. I can’t always identify the triggers.
In worst case scenario, my therapist and I have a set protocol that I follow.
Someone asked me what I do in my small town for socialization. My response: nothing, it causes me anxiety.
I do all my coping skills, and if that doesn’t work, I call crisis, and if that doesn’t work, I check myself into the hospital. That has happened five times.
But I started this conversion of my jeep, and it’s helped to focus on a task, and it allows me to do what is the most functional for treating symptoms, at this moment. The thing that I’ve learned that is most important for me, is to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, and sometimes on second at a time.
I still have a few more things to do to finish, but I’m getting there. Like purchase this mini wood stove… love it.
Here’s a quick video of a work day… can’t get any better.
My goal with building this is to also be able to share the process, and help others. I plan to be on the road for trips later this summer. Still have a few more things to add… but I’ll get there.
This has been such a learning experience. I had no idea what I was doing when I started considering this. But I watched a lot of videos, asked a lot of questions, and have made a lot of mistakes.
As I’ve been staying in it, I tweak this or that. I still have to make the window coverings, but until then the huge amount of heat was just escaping through the windows…so, I just hung up some small throw blankets, and it’s made a huge difference. Right now I am close to electricity, until I get everything finished. I have put a little heater in the vehicle because it’s got down to the 20’s and 30’s at night. I have a good sleeping bag and Zoey has her bed, and we snuggle up under the sleeping bag and stay warm. I actually think that my sleep has been better. I’m still working on the bed….I put down some memory foam (full sized folded three times), and that has made a huge difference. I’ll keep working on it until it’s just the way I want it, but right now it’s perfect.
So this is the reason…I’m not 28 anymore, I’m not using alcohol or other unhealthy coping skills, I’m developing more coping skills, that are bringing me peace.
Life is weird, and I believe everything happens for a reason. Whatever the reason, it is time for me to do this, and other than making my back sore now and then, it’s working.
Don’t be afraid to try new things…You may surprise yourself.
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What I’ve learned. I’ve been converting my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee into a mini camper.
I took out all the seats, except for the drivers… obviously… lol… built wooden platforms to create a level working space. I built an elevated bed platform and created storage by using the space underneath. I built three cabinets for the inside, one of which I ended up taking all apart, sawing in two, and starting all over again… it wasn’t working out like I thought.
It’s been a journey for sure. I started out not having a clue what I was doing, but knowing what I wanted in the end… which is not here yet. But I’m getting closer.
I knew I wanted to be able to have power. So I researched and bought a solar generator and a solar panel…note.. pay attention to what kind of panel you are buying, I bought a polycrystalline panel, but monocrystaline is said to convert a little better. All I’ll say is that yesterday, it was completely cloud covered, and my panel still charged my generator. So 🤷🏻♀️…you can choose what you want.
Anyway, it’s been a journey of discovery, and me learning more patience. I’ve had to learn how to do everything. My cabinets will not win any awards, but they will serve their function. Will I make changes later? Probably, as I learn and move along. But right now it’s working for what I intended.
So what was that intention? To help my mental status. To help with PTSD, MDD, BPD symptoms. I struggle so much that I decided to add another tool to my toolbox.
What I’ve learned so far by turning my old Jeep into a mini camper. Highs, lows and the #1 reason I would do it all over again.
It has been amazing. I feel so much better sitting here in this little mobile home that I’ve created. I feel like I have the freedom to just pull over and stop anywhere if I want… but mainly it’s to be out in nature and with the animals. Even if it’s where I keep my horse…currently I’m parked right next to her paddock, and got morning nickers…I can’t tell you how that fills my heart and helps me. (Though I will say she probably had an alternative motive…wanting me to let her out to run around…but it rained last night, and I don’t want her to leave hoof marks in the main yard… and I can guarantee she would.)
I haven’t finished the #jeepminicamper. I still need to get the sink, faucet and fresh water installed. Build awnings, and maybe add a tent that attaches to the back end… not sure about that one yet, but we’ll see.
Thus far it’s serving its purpose…helping me mentally. I can park it anywhere right now and have a warm place to sleep, and hang out, without seeing another human being, if that’s what I want.
For the longest time I’ve underestimated myself. Didn’t think I could do something because I wasn’t “trained”, or because I would succumb to other peoples comments like “why would you do that? You have a house and a bed.. why would you want to go sleep in a car?”
Well, I don’t care what people think or say about what I’m doing. The number one reason?➡️My mental state is better for it. If I’m having a rough day… I can go out in the middle of the pasture, or park next to my horse, spend time with her/fresh air and my mind finds peace.
To all the naysayers…go on and keep doing you boo… and I’ll do me. To each his own, and have the day you deserve. Bless your heart.
THE LAST 2 DAYS HAVE BEEN A “WORK MYSELF INTO EXHAUSTION” EVENT. PTSD, MDD were kicking my butt.
The last 2 days have been a bit rough on the mental health side of my life. I started struggling on Saturday because it was my brothers birthday and I don’t know where or if he even “is”. He’s been gone for 12 years.
Major Depressive Disorder is described as having feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, and morbid thoughts, just to name a few. As described HERE via Mayo Clinic.
(click on any underlined word to get more details and descriptions.)
The mental health diagnoses that I have cycle. I’ll be good for a few days, then it’s like the dark cloud of doom arrives. I cry for no reason, feel like I have failed my family and friends, feel guilty for things that I haven’t done wrong, feel like I’m ugly, like my body is too fat, or that I walk funny. I understand where these feelings come from, logically, but I can’t stop them from happening.
So I cope. If the weather is nice I go outside. I go outside as much as possible to get out in nature and away from people and town anyway. These last few days, the weather has been nice and I poured myself into my Jeep mini camper project. I worked on hanging a new cattle panel gate that needed some adjustments. I got the tractor out and pulled up unnecessary t-posts to ready for new electric fence line. I moved a round bale in preparation for when Sadie finishes the current one.
I bashed my hand when the ratchet slipped off of a bolt… THAT hurt like a little whiney bitch…had to do some breathing to get through that. Whacked my ankle with the end of a log chain that I was using to pull up t-posts… that one hurt too. I’m a clutz sometimes.
The physical pain of those things oddly allows me to direct my emotional pain into something that I can deal with. I don’t hurt myself on purpose, but when I do, it’s like there’s something tangible for me to work through. A few years ago, I had picked up an unhealthy coping skill of intentionally hurting myself. I know, that’s not good, and I was able to work through that with my therapist and I do not do that anymore.
Working myself into a dither is a thing I do sometimes to get emotions out. It’s probably not the healthiest, but I am in fairly good shape for my age, so it doesn’t “hurt” me, and allows my mind to shut the fuck up, and my body to expend energy, and I get shit done.
The joy from these past few days? When I’m out at the ranch working on things, I let Sadie out for her walkabout. She’s got 180 acres she can run around on. I sometimes just sit and watch her, and she’s always watching me and what I’m doing. When she’s feeling her oats, she’ll take off and just run…. I love to watch her do that with her mane and tail flying in the air. One of these times I’ll get it on video, but most of the time I just smile and it fills my heart with joy.
Also all of our cats at the ranch… they are like little dogs, following me around, hanging out in my jeep when I’m working on it. That brings me joy as well. The birds singing, the crow I’ve befriended caw-cawing at me to bring him or her a snack. The other night I had my jeep set up enough for me to stay in it, and I opened the back hatch, watched the sunset with no interference from buildings, and after the sun went down, heard the coyotes singing the song of their people.
Even though I’m physically exhausted, I feel somewhat emotionally calmer. Or not as depressed and not having as many morbid thoughts, like I’d be better off not on this planet.
My therapist and I have worked out coping skills for when this happens, and these are a couple of them. In almost 8 years of therapy with the same trauma therapist, I know now that I will never be able to eliminate these mental health issues. (Ptsd, cptsd, mdd, bpd, gad, and tbi from head trauma). So we’ve set up a list of ways I can cope, with protocol when things get really bad and all of the tools in my toolbox aren’t working. I have crisis on speed dial.
And that is ok.
Accepting myself the way I am now, is something that I am still working on, but getting better. It does get frustrating to know that this is just the way I am, and that I will have to always have these cycles of ups and downs, morbid thoughts, anxiety, flashbacks, etc.
It just gets tiring sometimes. Some days I’m so tired of fighting it. So so tired.
But I’ve been given another day on this planet. So I’m accepting it with a grateful heart, and taking it one hour, one minute at a time.
Thanks for coming to my ted talk. Lol
If you or someone you know is struggling with crisis, or suicide, please text 988 for immediate help. 988
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A little diddy I wrote for my Daenerys. My old Jeep that I have halfway finfished turning into a mini camper… I’ve got all the seats out, a platform build for the bed, recycled a junk desk from Walmart and a spot for the Zoester. It’s enough for us to sleep out under the stars. Though it’s freezing outside at the moment… 🤣
Oh… and I’m not a carpenter… my wood work is ragtag, but it works! I’ll fix and decorate more after I get finished. Nothing has given way yet! Haha… I’ll take a video tomorrow to share.
But right now I’ve got power, and warmth, and my girls (Sadie standing by as well). Simba will come too after I get his area situated.
Also… that little solar generator? It’s still going. Five days now. I haven’t been using it non stop, just when I need my small electronics charged. I’m impressed thus far!