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Really anxious about taking a mini vacation next weekend

Myname posted 8/9/2019 04:33 AM

My best friend is a girl that works for me (lesbian, absolutely no romantic anything there). I'll call her Tammy. I work stupid long hours and never take time off. Ever. I work 120-140 hours every week. The last mini vacation I took was over 5 years ago.

Tammy obviously knows I work too much and finally convinced me to go on a backpacking trip next week. Here's the anxiety stuff.

Taking a vacation. I know it sounds stupid, but how do you even do that?! I'll be in the woods. No cell phone reception. No chance of working at all. I have a hard time "allowing" myself to take time off. I feel I don't deserve it.

I am in recovery from years of self harm. I am badly scarred on both arms from my wrists to my shoulders. My shoulders are the worst part. I wear long sleeves 100% of the time, even around the house. My SO is not a "safe person" that I feel comfortable showing my scars to. She's seen them before but I don't feel comfortable walking around the house in short sleeves around her. Why I'm not comfortable around SO is a whole other post for another day. But yes. I know that's a major problem.

Tammy knows about my self harm but has never seen my scars. She knows I hate wearing long sleeves every day and that it is hot and uncomfortable. We are landscapers and work in the heat everyday. Tammy brought it up one day and asked if I was planning on wearing long sleeves on our backpacking trip. She said I really shouldn't wear long sleeves on this hike because I will get way too hot. I told her I would probably not but would definitely be brining a long sleeve shirt in case. I know part of her reasoning for encouraging me to go with short sleeves is so that I can try and be less ashamed of my scars.

I'm really anxious about wearing short sleeves more than anything. It's embarrassing. VERY SHAMEFUL. I hate myself for it. Thinking about my scars makes me want to self harm, ironically. It's been probably 4 years or more since I last walked out the door in short sleeves.

At the same time I know I need to feel comfortable enough to be able to wear short sleeves once in a while. Any advise? It's so weird that I'm struggling taking vacation.

WhoTheBleep posted 8/9/2019 05:45 AM

I don't have magic advice, but it seems like a backpack trip would be the perfect opportunity to try out short sleeves. You aren't going to constantly be around numerous people. there will probably be more alone time with you and your friend only than anyone else. Also, short sleeves will still cover your shoulders.

This might be one of those situations where it's like jumping into a cold swimming pool. You just have to hold your breath and do it.

I don't know why I'm thinking of tattoos. I'm not sure you are into tattoos. And I know they can be expensive. But perhaps you could consider getting one not to cover up your scars, but to celebrate how far you've come in your life journey, So that one day maybe you could even be proud of your scars. I have friends who have semicolon tattoos, to represent their surviving mental health issues. As in their story isn't over yet. Something like that, small and simple amidst your scars might be pretty badass.

Either way, your scars are part of you now. You've been through hell, and you are still with us. That's something to be very proud of.

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 5:47 AM, August 9th (Friday)]

EvenKeel posted 8/9/2019 06:59 AM

Yeah - a vacay!!!!!

Do you have any of those long sleeve shirts that are made for heat? IE the cool infused ones?

This is not an all or nothing situation. Take both attire so you are not locked in to either situation and play it by ear.

Try not to stress yourself over this further. This is suppose to be a 'get away'...so just get away for a bit and try to have a good time.

If you do decide to try to go sleeveless for awhile; it sounds like Tammy is a great person to try it out on. She is your BEST friend and sounds like she only has your best interest and comfort at heart.

Have a great time!

JanaGreen posted 8/9/2019 10:19 AM

I'm not sure about the scars but I'm so very glad you are taking some time off. Those hours sound beyond exhausting. I hope you have a wonderful time.

AnnieOakley posted 8/9/2019 18:30 PM

**multiple skins cancers including melanoma**

I ALWAYS hike in long sleeves, pants or leggings, a wide brimmed hat, and gloves. All are good sweat wicking sportswear.

If you want to wear short sleeves, do it, but do not do it supposedly to be cooler. Do it bcuz you want to.

And wear SPF, sounds like your arms have not seen much sunlight!!

Congrats on the mini vaca. Enjoy yourself.

If you feel you want to keep them covered tattoos are a great idea. Iíve seen several that are to cover scars, especially breast removal, and you really have to look to see anything.

Myname posted 8/12/2019 05:22 AM

I'm not really a tattoo guy. Ironically I don't want to permanently mark my body. I have looked into it though and seen some really good work to cover tattoos.

Do you have any of those long sleeve shirts that are made for heat? IE the cool infused ones?

Yes I do. They don't work all that well to be honest. It may be because I buy really cheap ones though. I plan on starting the trip or at least the drive there with my long sleeves but taking it off once we get to the trail and start hiking.

We are both looking forward to this trip and I think both of us need some time away from life right now. So I think it will be good. Still weird to be taking time off though.

HappyTree posted 8/12/2019 11:14 AM

I would just say "hey, friend. I don't really want to talk about it, but yes, I used to self harm but I don't anymore."

Backpacking is a great chance to process stuff.

Myname posted 8/13/2019 18:29 PM

*Waving at HappyTree

So I am way behind in work. I've gotten all MY stuff done on time despite a lot of problems including working without help but the other crew can't get their stuff done on time or even close. They are way behind which, since I'm the owner of the company, makes me behind.

I may have to bail out on this trip if we can't get our work done on time.

Myname posted 8/13/2019 21:37 PM

The more I think about this trip the less I want to go. Thinking about it is making me really depressed.

I just don't want to do it. I'd rather go to work. I have so much to do and I'm the only one able to do any of it. Taking time off it not a stress reliever for me. All it does is pile more work onto me with now less time to do it.

I'll sleep on it tonight but will make a final decision tomorrow. I really can't picture myself changing my mind on this one though.

Carissima posted 8/14/2019 09:59 AM

I've read your threads but don't think I've responded before.

Got to say I'm not surprised by your latest update. I think you've been looking for a way out of this trip since you agreed, due to your anxiety/depression. I do wonder how much of this work is truly an emergency and how much is much is regular 'busy work'.

I feel sorry for your friend if you end up not going but Iunderstand how crippling panic attacks can be and how easy it is for other people to say 'just do it'. I've spent the last several months fighting to leave my house to meet a friend for a coffee never mind a weekend trip. It's just not as simple as other people seem to think.

I do hope you go, from what you say your friend and you deserve a break and some fun.

Amazonia posted 8/16/2019 08:56 AM

Hi old friend. I haven't been here in a while but popped in today because I guess I found the end of the internet and came back to SI to see who was still around.

What did you decide about the trip?

How long are is the trip? Is there an option to cut it short if you were to go but not be enjoying yourself? You know, walk out of the woods and call an Uber or something?

Edit: If you do go, and wear the short sleeves while hiking, maybe you could tell your friend, "I used to self harm and don't want to discuss it. I'm uncomfortable with anyone seeing the scars, so I'll stay behind you while we hike and you can set the pace, and that way I won't be in your line of vision." I know when I hike, my attention definitely isn't on the other people - it's on 1) how freaking tired I am and trying not to trip, and 2) the beautiful scenery and taking pictures at the vistas.

Maybe if you had a button up long sleeve shirt, you could slip it on over your short sleeves for stops and selfies.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 8:58 AM, August 16th (Friday)]

Myname posted 8/16/2019 09:20 AM

Hi Ama! Miss seeing you around.

I guess I found the end of the internet and came back to SI to see who was still around.

It's flat isn't it? I'm a flatwebber.

I ended up not going. We should have been leaving now. The short story of why is my other crew leader said that he couldn't work the next 2 weeks. Which means I have to do my mowing list and his. So my landscaping work that I was going to push off to next week to take the trip has to be done this weekend. This is the short version. There really was no way around this. I would be risking around $30,000 worth of work or more by going.

I would have fought through the anxiety and stress. Even the added workload next week, but if I don't have the manpower to get the work done then it won't get done and it would cost me too much.

This has really messed me up emotionally not going. I feel like I let my friend down. We both really needed to go on this trip. We needed to get away from life for a little bit. I feel like a horrible friend.

Last night as I was finishing my last lawn for the day is when the depression really hit. I hate myself. Waking up this morning with nothing but work to look forward to. I probably won't see a day off to almost Thanksgiving.

I self harmed last night. It had been almost a year.

little turtle posted 8/17/2019 09:12 AM

I'm sorry myname.

WhoTheBleep posted 8/17/2019 10:12 AM

I self harmed last night. It had been almost a year.

(((Myname)))

I'm so sorry. $30,000 is a hell of a lot of money. I know you feel like you let your friend down, but it's not your fault.

Have you done guided meditations? There are numerous apps with guided meditations. In my darkest days, they were lifesavers. When you feel the urge to cut, can you force yourself to stop close your eyes breathe and listen to a meditation? Just keep listening until the impulse is gone.

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 10:12 AM, August 17th (Saturday)]

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