The Healing Through The Hunt
I want to start off by saying, I am no longer ashamed. I no longer hang my head when I think about having to explain why I struggle at times. There have been times that I have missed concerts, football games and other events with friends simply because, I can’t. I can’t handle what some people can go their whole life and never notice. The noise, the smells, the movement, the in ability to be able to see who all is surrounding me, where an exit door is or even a wall to put my back to. These are just a few things that cause my body to want to shut down at times. Waking up and opening my eyes only to want to close them instantly because my brain is flooded with thoughts of things that haven’t even reached it’s time to be dealt with yet. Knowing that going to even a mall may result in me having to speak to people I don’t know or people I may know and then have to speak to them about how we have been. Not that I don’t want to see them or see how they are doing, it’s just my brain has been my prison for many years. Thankfully, every day is not this way and those are the days when I am hoping to run into someone, can’t wait to get to that event and I’m making the plans to handle what is up coming. So that leaves me with the other days that I am reclusive, don’t communicate and don’t want to leave my home. Do I have your head spinning now, the same lady you see on social media, is telling you she’s not social? I have said before that through hunting, I have found healing, so I want to explain what that means to me.
As of 2018 I am medically diagnosed with the top five anxiety disorders, plus one more extra. Yes, you heard me correct, I have all 5 of the top 5 in this realm of anxiety disorders. So here they are, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder),SPD( Social phobia disorder), Agoraphobia, PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder),OCD( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Panic Disorder. There I feel better getting that out now. I can’t chnage the things that caused these issues and nothing I did brought them about, that’s just how life is for some, but I survived. So, for those who have met me at a trade show, you are probably extremely confused right now I’m guessing. That is something I am happy about! Although I have these diagnoses I have spent years conditioning myself to overcome these hurdles. If you have met me, you have seen the Bianca I have literally fought for every single day of my life since becoming aware of my issues. I am proud of who I am, I am proud of what I have survived and I am proud to not be defeated. I do not like prescription medications simply because on my good days, the days I want to get out, they steal my personality, my smile, my joy. I had to find ways to beat my own mind and be able to enjoy every day, not just the days my mind gave me permission. I am happy to say that through my time as a hunter, I have truly finally found how to be the captain of my own ship for the first time in my life.
It’s not hard to understand, it’s pretty simple really once I explain how hunting brings healing to people in many ways. One of the issues when dealing with anxiety is the body, not the mind. when I start to panic, get anxious and my breaths begin to pick up…I know I am going to crash soon. You can pretty much describe this as simply not being in control. I remember the first time I was hunting, I was in the southern part of Georgia, in a stand, on my own, with the sun setting and the cold coming in. I have been hiking for many years, lived where the city lights didn’t reach and the nearest restaurant was 30 minutes away. Yet on this hunt, I experienced the most peaceful silence I had ever known. It was as if the whole world just turned off the lights and closed for the day. In these moments, it was as if my every breath was as loud as thunder in a terrible storm. At first, it was almost frightening to feel so alone. In those moments I began to feel myself panic my heart rate rise and my breathing elevate. Yet it was short lived… my mind knew I could’nt do this or I would scare away any hopes of seeing the hog I was after. That’s when then I began to realize something that has changed my life and brought me peace. I realized that I had just mentally and without knowing it, calmed down my own panic! I had just changed my own breathing pattern and slowed my heart rate. I didn’t even realize I was doing this because I was so concentrated on the forest around me and the tiny little sounds it made as I waited and watched for a wild hog to step out. I had literally for the first time in my life concentrated on something that consumed me so much that I overcame what I had been in battle with for more years than I want to remember. I had just wanted something so terribly bad that I forced my body to give me back control and calm down. I had in that moment saw that I was capable! It was possible to calm the storm inside, on my own, willingly. Little did I know that this one day would be the beginning of something that would become my healing and personal savior. I had no idea how much of an impact this one day and night would eventually be. With only the sounds of my own mind and forest around me, I took back control in my life.
I am sitting here with tears in my eyes as I type this post because I am so much happier having mental freedom. I am so happy to not have the weight of myself to drag anymore. Most of all, I am happy to say that God gives us what we need and it can be so simple. I have so much more to say about how hunting has changed my life. I have only scratched the surface here honestly. I want anyone reading this to take one thing away from what I have said. We don’t have to be ashamed of things we can’t change, but we can be in control of how we allow things to control us. I’m not saying that every day is perfect, but every day can be brighter. Hunting may not be for you if you found this post by some other means, but there is something for everyone. You are capable of being free and you are capable of living life to its fullest. Now when you see my post and pictures, you read what I say…you will know why the words and smile are so intense. My heart is full of joy and my mind is roaming free every time I step foot into the woods as a woman who hunts. I can’t fake or fabricate the intensity that I have when I speak about hunting. I can tell you one thing, if something can shut your mind down so hard that you forget to breath as you focus on it, you may have found you passion
Now remember! If I get the opportunity to meet you face to face, don’t worry, you aren’t bothering me. I look forward to every day I get the chance to come together with other people both men and women and share in conversation the passion behind the pursuit of the wild.