Kissing an old companion goodbye!

Spike, Bridget and I are  here at Slab City for one more day.

I’ll pack everything up before dark and first thing in the morning (Monday) I’ll hitch up, say goodbye to our friend, Ken, and drive over to Solar Mike’s.  Once the work is done, the crew and I will move to a new camp.

I hope to leave an old companion behind.

Ever since I sold my house in Georgia and set out on this new life of full-time vagabonding, every day has been a joyful one. Even when something unwanted occurred during a day, such as when Spike didn’t feel well and worried me half to death or when Bridget tore the ligament in her leg and needed pain pills, a spirit of joyfulness supported every moment.  Why?  Because I’m living the life of my dreams, each day surrounded by beauty.

Maybe coming to the Slabs was a mistake.

Some of the things I’ve seen here allowed my old companion, depression, to creep back into my life.  He’s been gone for over a year now, after hanging on to me since my childhood days.  Now I realize he will always stalk me.  Only now I have a weapon that keeps him far from me and the crew, and renders him powerless over my life. It’s a simple but powerful weapon: If I surround myself in beauty, I will keep a grateful heart and a joyful spirit!

I absorb the sadness and despair of others like a sponge.

As you read in the last post, I found this area of Niland and Slab City depressing.  I don’t even feel like taking a photograph. While in this depressed state of mind I let critical remarks get the best of me.  I reacted with carelessly written remarks of my own.  In so doing I offended a friend by giving the impression that I don’t think people should give to others, to strangers in particular.  If I offended a friend, surely I have offended some readers.

I apologize and hope to clarify my remarks.

I tried to make the point that sometimes — sometimes — it is best not to enter into a stranger’s life with an unsolicited hand-out.  Most of the time it’s okay.  I’m sorry I didn’t do a better job of expressing my thoughts on the subject.

Today I’ll work to keep my old companion at bay.

Tomorrow Bridget, Spike, and I will get back on the road and leave him far behind choking in our dust!

rvsue

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About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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90 Responses to Kissing an old companion goodbye!

  1. Sherry Hall says:

    You have the best antidote for your “old companion,” 8 wheels & 8 little feet. Not to mention an intellect that reminds you to high-tail it for places that feed your soul. We all have to deal with unpleasant things or surroundings, but unlike most people, you have the autonomy, the guts & the resources to live the way you choose.
    Carry on! Off to the next destination.

  2. Barb says:

    Hey there Sue,
    As someone who has dealt with depression as well as a traumatic brain injury… I understand. My thought processes are not always ‘spot on’ and I get confused easily… I get tired and lost and frustrated, and that all makes me tired and lost and frustrated! AGH!
    My opinion is this… we all need to take one another with a grain or two of salt. And, maybe a pinch or two of forgiveness! And, by talkin’ about it, we get further down the path than tryin’ to dodge it!!!
    I am so grateful for the energy and time you put in to your blog… it brightens my day, and reminds me that there is a big world out there… sometimes this world of mine has gotten real small in the last few years… Thanks for all you do. HUGS!

  3. Donna P says:

    Sue, you seem to know what to do to take care of yourself. Your old companion haunts many of us. But fur babies, the beauty of nature, and the ability to take control of your life have served you well. Leave that old enemy in the rear view mirror.

  4. Pat says:

    Sue, your next spot will be wonderful and you take a few days off to regroup. Stay healthy…. We need you and your wonderful adventures.

  5. Old Fat Man says:

    Sue, As far as I am concerned going to the slabs was great for you. You now know what it is like and can better comprehend what folks are saying when they talk of the slabs. Also you now know that defending against depression is a never ending job but you also know what it takes to stay; on top of it. I fight the same battle nearly daily but I do fight.
    To me it sounds like a very successful few days of great and valuable education and no blood was spilt.. Have fun.

  6. Eleanor Brennan says:

    I read with interest your Niland laundromat adventure and later that day I talked with a young man (35 years young) who is about to have his first child in just a couple of weeks. I asked him what he would do differently and what would he do the same as his father did in raising him. This lead to a conversation of how he has matured in the past several years after a painful divorce and a nearly life taking motorcycle accident. He spoke of how he took a couple of years to reflect on his life and his choices and told of some changes he made in his approach to life and how he now feels better prepared for fatherhood. He’s learned alot about not sweating the small stuff and redirecting thoughts and conversations and told how he feels this will help him to be a better father to his children. I shared with him what I had read that morning about your experience at the laundromat and your ability to say “no”. I was impressed with your ability to think out the challenges that might have arisen should you have done the easy thing and said yes to the strangers request. This led to a conversation about learning to say no to requests whether from our children, spouse, family member, friend, or stranger and the importance of taking time to think before we go along with what is being asked of us. It was a very empowering positive conversation in which we of course acknowledged our responsibility to help someone truly in need. I think that is the challenge to figure out when someone is truly needy and when are they just looking for a quick fix to their needs and putting their responsibilities on others.
    Thank you for the honesty of your sharing your Niland experiences. Yes, there was a different voice that came through in your writing of that experience. Thank you for sharing today on how the environment has impacted your emotions. It is good to be aware of the things that lift us up or drag us down so that we are better able to make choices that keep us at peace with self and our surroundings.

    • Ed says:

      Even when Sue clarifies her remarks some people do not ‘get it’.
      Sue said: I tried to make the point that sometimes — sometimes — it is best not to enter into a stranger’s life with an UNSOLICITED hand-out. (I added the Caps for further clarification)
      You say: I was impressed with your ability to think out the challenges that might have arisen should you have done the easy thing and said yes to the strangers REQUEST. (I added the Caps for clarification)

  7. Susie says:

    I’m sorry, too, for my words. Let the good times roll!!

  8. Mick says:

    Your visit to the Slabs was enlightening and the discussion on your last blog entry was healthy. It is part of life and not to be ignored … depressing for sure. Love your Blog; carry on!

  9. Shawna says:

    You recognized the need to move on (goodbye Niland!!!) and not let present surroundings/situations get the better of you; that’s half the battle. May your new camp site be beautiful and soothing and may you and the crew get back to adventuring with light and happy hearts.

  10. sierrasue123 says:

    Adios slab city !! I can see how slab city may affect someone that way. Have been thru it a long time ago. Well, on to brighter places Sue . May you feel much better soon.

  11. R says:

    You know Sue, I gained even more respect for you after reading your post today. Charity towards others is a responsibility we have as Brothers and Sisters of an Almighty Creator, but when those who ask begin to expect our charity, then the purpose of which is to help them, until they can help themselves, becomes forgotten by a expectation of entitlement. Pride and respect for oneself is never found behind the shadow of entitlement. Move on to more positive surroundings my friend and know that I among others will still follow.

  12. Bob says:

    They say that, once the neural pathways for depression have been established, it’s easy to once again made that slow slide downwards. Changing your surroundings will make all the difference.

  13. Mick says:

    The slabs are on my bucket list, but just to pass through. It’s good you know yourself well enough to know what you need and don’t need. No apologies — it’s YOUR life. I’m scrimping and saving so that I can hit the open road. I follow several RV travel type blogs, but I always appreciate how individual yours is, so very well written with entirely personal observations. I’ve learned A LOT reading your blog since you left Georgia. Were you planning on attending RTR this year? Soon to be “Travels with Casey.”

  14. Rita says:

    As I said, your blog and comments are thought provoking and we (readers) came to our own conclusion but I hope each reader also learned a little or a lot from your experience at the slab. I certainly thought on the subject(s) and had many opinions and answers (not just one). What it boiled down to was that everyone perceived the event or situation in a different way and commented accordingly….some in a nice way and some in a not so nice way. Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and sharing your travels with us. I love your blogs….they are straight forward and have grit to them.

  15. Kentster says:

    Sue, I hear you. My personal experience says emvironment is often stronger than will. Your choice to stay in beauty and joy-filled surroundings.

    Also better to use the Namaste greeting. This way it shows greetings and respect but without physical contact and the resultant transfer of energy.

  16. Deb from Orlando says:

    Sue, please continue to report what you see and experience. Do not let one comment change your blog in any way. We all have our opinions and as you can see the majority of your readers support you. Please know that we are here listening, caring and wishing you the best in your travels. And by the way sometimes our old companion comes for a visit, but then moves on.

  17. Sra. Julia says:

    Ah yes, that old, old shadow that follows me everywhere. He springs out at the oddest moments and engulfs me in his soggy, musty, cloak of despair ! I too have fought with this devil and will to the day I die-I guess. Most of the time I can keep him at bay or if he should hound me to much I work myself out of his clutches sometimes just barely. DO What you have to, to keep this monster from dragging you down! If moving somewhere new and prettier then that is what you have to do! The slabs is not for everybody, that’s for sure, now you have done it move on to something you do like.
    Happy Trails 🙂

  18. cinandjules says:

    I believe you write from the heart, it’s always unbiased and never judgemental.
    Your travels thru Niland and Slab City was truly an eye opener/learning experience for me…as I never heard of them…and I lived in Calee for 48 yrs.
    Sometimes others are the ones having a bad day…..and their reading comprehension is affected.
    I can honestly say that you are always sincere whether it comes to people you’ve come across or your readers. Once in a blue moon, someone gets offended..but that is the nature of a “blog”.
    We are all humans and have our own opinions. Your reply to me a couple of posts back was,”I always give to panhandlers…just out of kindness or to deter a flat tire.” You’ve expressed your generosity…usually on a daily basis with your actions. It’s a character trait you possess.
    No apologies are necessary. One can easily get sucked into a funky mood.
    Your ability to write is amazing….dont change it to please others..because you can’t please all. If someone disagrees with the topic or actions, they don’t have to respond.
    For today will be gone tomorrow and tomorrow is another day…… life is too short.
    Live that dash girlfriend! 🙂

  19. Dedra says:

    Sue, there’s nothing wrong with you (us). Read the book Positive Energy by Judith Orloff. I always thought something was wrong with me, until I got in to reiki, healing touch, and energy medicine. Then i read Positive Energy, it talks about people like us. All these years I thought I was weird, because I couldn’t take distressing people or places. Now, if the place or people drain my energy and make me feel depress, I LEAVE. When you wrote in your blog about that place, my first thoughts were what a depressing place, I couldn’t take being there. You gave me the courage to travel solo. You and the crew are the greatest! Get out of there! Love you for you’re courage!

  20. klbexplores says:

    One of the things I treasure about your writing is the honestly. You write from your observations so it is seen through your eyes and experiences. I expect that and find it enlightening. I also value your ability to explore difficult moments and include them in your blog. I would be disappointed if you only shared the happy mountain top moments. Your blog prepared me every day for the real life adventures that are ahead. Thank-you so much for keeping your reporting honest!

  21. Hazel says:

    Sue, as a blog reader, I appreciate when you share your emotions and your reactions to situations and people. Otherwise, a blog is just a travelogue. The human element, good and bad, is what makes our journeys unique.

    The Black Dog (depression) chases many of us. The more depressive episodes one has, the more likely it is to return. Highly sensitive people react more strongly to emotional situations. You’ve settled on a lifestyle that seems to work for you to keep the Black Dog at bay. I think you find, as I do, that nature is a joy and solace. As well, a controlled dose of humanity and society is the best course of action for a peaceful life.

    Sue, this has helped me understand you and your life choices better. Thanks so much for giving us a little window into your soul. Many of us can relate.

    (By the way, kindness is often best accomplished anonymously with no need for embarrassment on either side.)

  22. mockturtle says:

    Good post, Sue! As one who is also depression-prone, I fully understand. BTW, I honestly think that if you have tried to help the elderly Hispanic gentleman, he may have felt ashamed. He probably valued his independence. I help people whenever I can but one must choose the situations with some wisdom.

  23. Lisa says:

    Sue, you have incredible courage to open your life to others by way of your blog. I tried it briefly and I couldn’t bear the burden of the openness to judgement and criticism. Thank you for sharing – I often gain courage from you.

    I can certainly relate to the constant haunt of Mr. Depression. He seems to stick right behind me, waiting for the slightest invitation from me to join my little life again. But I know he’s no friend. He’s a trickster and a thief – steals my joy and my time on this earth. I chant to myself, “I choose life. I choose happiness.” And then I do whatever the heck I need to do to keep him at bay. I know that whatever I do, it’ll be worth it. Nothing’s worse than hanging out with that guy, lol!

    Life is good, Sue!!! 🙂

    Lisa and Trotters (on Jekyll Island, falling in love with it!)

  24. harrietann12 says:

    Dang, I miss a couple of days reading and I come back to a full blown riot. I’m caught-up now, wow.
    Such nonsense, Sue, no one can walk in your shoes. I appreciate the factual reporting about your life’s adventures. That’s right, just the facts ma’am that is what we like. Yes, it is nice to have your view point, as well but your descriptions of the people and places let us come to our own conclusions.
    Okay, here is me 2 pence worth, I have always giving freely to those less fortunate than I, as far back as I can remember. My family was one of the ones who received the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets from the church. After I was divorced and trying to raise 3 daughters on my own there was a time I needed help and it was given to me. No matter what point in my life, dirt poor or middle class and self-sustaining there was always someone worse off than me or better off than me.
    My rule is my conscience and my intuition. A body has to be careful because of the cutbacks on mental health this government has seen to do in the past few years. There are many people walking around with serious problems, a 70 year old Navy seal in 2005, a man washing his clothes without the benefit of soap, a man asking and older woman with little dogs to guard his clothes, just saying… We were not there Sue made her decision on the reality of the situation. She and only she can judge the right thing to do. Let us not forget her timidness before she got to know Rusty and Timber. Some people you get a good feel about and others you must stay clear of for you sake.
    Sue, keep on telling us of you adventures, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I for one have learned much from reading them.
    Currently, I have a small elder ministry where I try to serve and help a few octogenarians stay in the homes by picking up mail, groceries, Rx’s, changing light bulbs, and programing the remote controls, whatever I can do to help. It serves them and me at the same time, most of all it serves God. One day I will be in their shoes and I hope there will be someone to help me.

  25. Alison says:

    I applaud you for speaking about your old friend depression. It is my most dangerous demon too. I believe exposing one’s dark side as you have always helps one gain power over it. Trying to stuff it back just drains your energy and gives it more power.
    And I love that you practice gratitude to counteract it. Patanjali’s Sutras (800 year old text of eastern psychology) names depression as an obstacle to the path and recomends contentment (which could be interpreted as gratitude) as one of the practices that helps.

  26. Beth says:

    If you decide to venture towards Anza Borrego- I believe you will feel the sunshine on your mood again! It is a beautifully uplifting place- travel safely 🙂

  27. Glenda Cornwill says:

    I feel what you are feeling Sue, I really do. One could not help being affected by the area you have been staying, the people and their plight. You know what to do, what is best for you, so just do it, move on to a happier place…………leave it behind!! Good times are ahead just waiting for you and the crew!!

  28. Pat says:

    I had to go back and read the comments that came in after I’d read the previous blog. I am glad you are moving on to more attractive surroundings. There are many places to visit and depression is one to shun. While I feel sorry for the folks in that place I would not choose to stay among them. I enjoy your travels and the people you meet, but I have learned to believe and to listen to my inner voice. Listen to yours, Sue, and travel safely. Pat

  29. rvwayoflife by Lindadeeza says:

    Sue, I didn’t read all of the comments, I am just commenting on depression and your last several posts. I have to admit, I have not ever had long time depression but there are days or weeks where depression sets in. I feel I just have to let it take it’s course.

    I will someday do what you are doing. I will be living my dream, not your dream or the dream of any of your followers. I won’t be out there changing the world or saving it. I will spend my time making me happy. I have learned in my lifetime that you can’t make everyone happy. There are people out there that are not happy and they want everyone to be unhappy. It’s funny. I had this aunt that never had a nice word to say. She would always ask why I gained so much weight. I think I weighted 128 lbs back then. She should see me now. We didn’t see her often but every time we did, be assured, she would have something negative to say. This Aunt of mine had an only son. She passed away years ago and so did her husband a year ago. We are the only family her son has left. We invite him to every family event and even though thoughts of Aunt Lucy make us cringe, we include him and make him feel like family. I often wonder if she would have been so nasty if she knew we would be the only family her son had left after she passed. What I am getting at is you are living your dream, not mine and not that of your blog followers. If you were out to save the world and everyone in it, you would have joined some kind of missionary. You are not responsible for every lost dog or poor person. Be assured that someone will always have something negative to say because it is their nature. There are a bunch of Aunt Lucy’s in the world. Write your blog for us who really love it and ignore the negative comments. Too bad you can’t block them. I want to make sure your followers know this is my opinion and not yours.

  30. gingerda says:

    Sue, you said you thought you offended a friend and maybe some other readers with your comments on the last post. I can honestly say I don’t think anything you said was offensive.
    As far as your old companion, depression, paying you a visit, I know exactly what you are talking about. It seems as though a lot of us have that companion in our lives at some point. I know I have. The past two years I have been going through a not so nice divorce. He got the gold mine, I got the shaft. lol. But life goes on and I am happy that I am free now.
    Hang in there and don’t give up saying what you really think on “YOUR “blog.

  31. Terrie (Happee Kamper) says:

    When depression raises its ugly, old head, I just start counting all my blessings. Sure helps to shake that feeling of darkness that comes over me. I can see, hear, walk, and talk. That gives me great joy. There are so many that can’t. The sunrise, the moon, rippling water, a flower, or a tree, that gives me great joy. The warmth of a friendly smile = great joy. A kind word = great joy. So many blessings to be thankful for even in the facr of adversity. So you and the crew just keep rolling along and let dpression eat the dust from your tires when you leave it behind!

  32. Carla says:

    Sometimes, you have to make a change for you. I can take short doses from family and old friends who are always critical or condescending (like Lindadeeza’s aunt) because it isn’t good for me. I’m positive by choice, sometimes it is a hard choice too. But I’m not going to let someone drag me down. I learned that I could survive without staying in a job with horrid bosses – the nightmares finally went away. Your comments of giving and knowing when to help others has been very meaningful and helpful to me.

    Your blog is so good because you write of so many different things and feelings. I can’t wait to read of your next adventure!

  33. PamP says:

    Well – hang in there girl!! I’ve dragged depression behind me much of my life and I certainly know how debilitating it can be. But, as I age, I have finally discovered I am the only one in control of my feelings. Happiness can be a choice. Thankfulness is a powerful weapon against depression. When we give thanks for each sunrise and give thanks for any beauty as we experience it, we beat back depression. We’re rooting for you! PamP

  34. Llanos says:

    I can add nothing to this discussion. I seldom fight your old friend. Here’s one to cheer you up tho. When you are heading out tomorrow, I’ll be heading to work. Keep smiling Sue. It’s all good!

  35. Neita says:

    WWRVSD?
    Dear Sue, I’d like to share an example of how you have inspired me. I just came home from a week’s vacation of tent-camping at a state park a few hours away. I’ve been looking forward to it for months. But due to Hurricane Sandy, the campground had been closed but re-opened just for the Thanksgiving holiday. Anyhow, when I arrived, no one else was there. No one. No camp host. No other campers. For three nights. (Other campers arrived on my 4th day there.) I was quite a bit apprehensive about staying at a campground alone. I’m not sure if I made the right decision by staying, but it all worked out well and it was a wonderful week.
    Those three nights alone, I thought about you and your travels a lot. I thought about all the times you are alone, in a much vaster, wilder spot than I was. I wondered how you deal with the fear, the uncertainty, the unknown, the noises in the night …. And I thought – If RVSue can do it, so can I!
    Thank you for sharing your stories, allowing others a tiny glimpse into your life. Just wanted you to know how your blog inspires courage – “What Would RVSue Do?” (WWRVSD?)

    • Garri Ann says:

      You’re wonderful. Look at all of the readers who are reaching out to show you their support! Keep being you, please. Like someone said, it would otherwise be just a travelogue … Dull and generic.

  36. Sherry says:

    Seems pretty clear from the comments that the discussion was quite beneficial and that your followers are totally in support of you and your view of your life. It’s yours and we all benefit from it.

  37. John and Kona says:

    Sue: You and the crew are remarkably adventurous and strong!! I fully understand your feelings; just reading your post(s) when at the Slabs depressed me too!!! I even think Kona picked up on my depressed feelings also, and he’s a dog! I loved all your thoughts, expressions and pictures. Now I know I don’t want to visit the Slabs, not for me. I’d rather spend time in Anza-Borrego State Park. Now living in Northern California and it’s a long drive to So. Calif, so Borrego might not be in my near future adventures. You really need to spend a few days in Borrego, and this is the time of the year to enjoy it. My parents started taking me camping there in 1953; we would spend every Thanksgiving and Easter there ~ wonderful memories and times. So, before you head further southeast, go west to Borrego Sprgs and enjoy. Love your writings and pictures. You’ll feel fresh and rejuvenated once you’re back on the road with the Slabs in the rearview mirror:)!!! Enjoy!! J&K

  38. geogypsy2u says:

    Always follow your heart.
    When the “black dog” grabs at me I try to listen and learn, then hopefully walk away wiser.

  39. Carrie says:

    Dear Ms. RVSue,
    I love, love, love your blog! I can’t tell you how much I love all of it, whether it makes me laugh or cry. I’ve been following you for a few months and you’re a big part of the reason I’m still mostly sane while waiting to hit the road full time too. Sorry it took me so long to comment. My lame excuse is I’m working full time and trying to start a little business that’ll keep me financed after we get out.
    I just had to tell you that you’re the greatest writer, sooo kind hearted, generous, empathetic, beautiful, and amazingly inspirational, just to mention a few of your qualities. I know and can tell your other readers know too you’ll always be a fantastic teacher.
    For all you do and all you are I thank you with my whole heart! You are absolutely fabulous! Always!
    Oh yeah, I can’t look at Bridge and/or Spikey without smiling. It’s like trying to sneeze with your eyes open! Thank you for the wonderful photos too for us dreamers and all to get lost in. 🙂
    Hey, Bridge and Spike, if you’re reading this 😉 be extra nice for a couple of days, K?
    Shout out to your other very nice friends here too. Hey ya’ll!
    RVSue, take care and feel better soon, K? Please know you have prayers and happy vibes coming your way!

  40. Oh, Sue, I can’t even begin to add any more to what has already been said. Forty bloggers so far have told you how much your blog means to them. I too have seen so many places through your eyes, through your blogs. I’m so happy you can identify what causes this depression and move away from it. Safe and happy travels to you

  41. I think the followers of this blog are so very grateful at your honesty. You are not a super woman, you have problems like all of us. What you do to overcome them is what makes you amazing. I also fight depression but I like some have mentioned, remember how far I have come and how blessed I really am. AND MY BIG NEWS: The kids all got together and gave me a 2 month old black miniature Dachshund!!! Spike and Bridget have a cousin!!!! Will send you pictures. I love you….find some sunshine to sit in and know that you are loved.

  42. Maggie in Vermont says:

    Hey, Sue … a bit of Vivaldi might help chase the damnable mulley grubs away … or maybe a bit of banjo wailin’ … or even a bit that good ol’ ’60s rock & roll! Keep on truckin’, girl! Strong hugs from Vermont.

  43. Dianne Safford says:

    Sue, you have made my life better with your wonderful blogs. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy and appreciate them from day to day. I, too, am a single woman in my 60s, RVing with two dogs. I don’t fight depression, but I do fight loneliness. Every time an E-mail appears in my in-box with news of your last escapade, I read it with relish. I’m learning a lot about RVing from you, and getting some great tips on where to stay. You are touching lives, and hearts. God bless you!

    Dianne, Beemer and Capri

  44. guy cobham says:

    Sue,
    I have a masters degree in depression. We can’t fix people with handouts. If that worked, all would be ok by now.You help my depression by your regular postings. Take care of yourself. It is very healthy to have noticed so quickly what was happening to you.

  45. TXBX says:

    When you write a blog, it’s like opening a window in your rig! Whatever smells bad comes in with the ‘fresh’ air, too. So when you hit ”post”, and put your message ”out there” for others, it’s like opening the window / your life to the world, …….. which is pretty brave, in my opinion! LOL
    ………… so DON’T WORRY about what your readers write! They are reading your blog, not walking in your shoes! (LOL) It’s not like they don’t have choices about what they read, ……, and no one tells them to ‘please come here and be obnoxious’,
    so if they say unkind things, it’s just because they ‘are who they are’, and not because you actively solicited their opinion. I think you were very open-minded and I know you did your best to write from your honest personal perspective, which is why people should be reading your blog! i, for one, feel like you gave your visit to the slabs your best shot, and I appreciate it very much, ESPECIALLY since I encouraged you to go there!! I could tell when you were trying hard to write a ‘personal’ blog, and not a newspaper article! <>

    On a personal note, I’ve had ongoing depression for most of my adult years, and every doctor has wanted to give me all kinds of medicines, and some even didn’t want to treat me. Finally, in August, 2012, a doctor actually HEARD me, did some tests, and found out my thyroid was horribly out of whack!
    I found out that when your thyroid is out of kilter, it can literally ruin your life, ……and wreak havoc with your health in dozens of ways, including depression! I got the thyroid medicine, and after some ‘tweaks’ to the brand and dosage, my life has changed beyond belief. I can’t believe I suffered through all those years of doctors, opinions, and misery, to find out that it was EVERY BIT (including illnesses you can’t identify) …….. ALL DUE TO Hypo-Thyroid!! ……and now it’s under control. I’m writing about the possibility of a ‘thyroid problem’ because so many of your readers have expressed the same problems with depression. Many may have had their thyroid counts checked already, but if just one person who hasn’t been tested reads this, posting it will not be in vain. No one in my family has ever had a thyroid problem, so I had NEVER THOUGHT it could be me!! Not me!! ……. and it took days of staring at the lab report to believe it.

    Keep blogging!! I enjoyed my personal blog, and the opportunity to share my experiences, but I stayed keenly aware that I was opening myself up to comments!! But responding to a blog is another form of socialization, and when you are ”traveling solo”, it’s a great way to ‘stay connected’!! Be HAPPY & SAFE!!

  46. libertatemamo says:

    That old companion is a well-known one for me too. I suffered for many, many years and found that I too need to surround myself with people and places that bring me joy. When I feel joy it works like a self-fullfilling circle and builds on itself. Go find that joy-boy back!
    Nina

  47. LuAnn says:

    I think we all have to protect ourselves from those situations that threaten to suck away at our life force. I have a friend who spends so many days in a depressed state and I have to be careful at times to distance myself so I don’t find myself struggling as well. I agree Slab City should be seen now in your rear-view mirror.

  48. Donna D. says:

    Sue,
    I read some of the comments on your last post and here. There are so many! Please don’t feel you have to answer them all.

    As a fellow depressive I also tend to be a sponge when surrounded by negativity. If it’s really bad I not only get depressed but I also get physically ill. (This past election did a job on me with all the nastiness that was going on!) The best thing is to do as you’re doing, get away from it!

    Do NOT apologize to anyone about what you write on your blog, or when you are expressing your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to anything. It is YOUR blog and you have a right to write anything you want! If someone does not like what you write, they have the option to stop reading it. You do not have an obligation to anyone.

    People act and react from their own history (how they were raised, what their past experiences were, how they were treated as a child, etc.) If they are being critical of what you wrote, they were probably criticized for something similar sometime in their past. It’s not your job to make everyone happy. There is a catch phrase: “If you spot it, you got it.” If we complain about some quality in another person, we would not recognize it unless we also had that quality to some degree.

    If people are being rude or critical of you, use that delete button! No one needs to put up with negativity of any kind.

  49. jean says:

    I did not realize all the comments that had been posted on your last blog. I wrote a comment after that blog that I would not have offered the elderly man detergent because it would have offended him. That he still had his pride even if he did not have money, but I deleted the comment and decided to ask about you crew. I knew you had to have been upset about the events of the day. Move on and maybe you will meet up with other friends or maybe Ken will cross your path somewhere more peaceful and beautiful. just go somewhere Spike can do his water spaniel inpersonation and you will feel better. You have many pen pals out here that love hearing from you and the crew. we do not want you to be perfect, we want you to be you.wort and all. Just like us.

  50. Tawnya says:

    Aunt Susan, you are doing a great job with your blog! There are folks out there that have miserable lives and are miserable people. For some unknown reason the only joy they get out of life is trying to make others as miserable as themselves. You could have walked up to that man and gave him a million dollars and some ninny would have found fault with that! I know you care about folks that follow you but sometimes you just have to tell folks to go jump off a bridge. If someone finds fault in what my Aunt writes let me help you with this advice. DONT READ IT! I’m pretty sure no one is holding you at gun point forcing you to do so! Quit nit picking every word written just looking for something to complain about. Either sit back and enjoy her stories or go find something else to do! Aunt Susan I am your biggest fan. Do not let anyone or anything get you down. God tells us “Do not worry about your life”. You are doing a great job. I am very proud of you! I love you!

  51. Carol says:

    sue, don’t get caught up in that other Guilt you have done nothing to offend anyone, you brighten our lives, each of us, thanks!
    you mentioned paints, get themm out and paint the beauty

  52. Carol says:

    let me correct last comment;I mention to say, that other Black Dog, guilt.

  53. Jill says:

    I have never commented on any of your posts before but I have enjoyed each and every one of them, I felt I had to speak up on this one. I have been to Niland and also to the slabs. We didn’t stay at slabs but an rv park outside of town. I found it to be the most depressing place I have ever been in my life. Myself, I don’t understand how people can say they enjoy themselves setting in the middle of such poverty. I went to the laundramat and grocery store and could never get away from the pan handlers. One man came up to me and told me he wouldn’t lie – wanted money for beer. Being poor is not a disgrace but leaving trash everywhere is unacceptable. I am not a cruel mean person. But I can recognize that something like this can cut right through your heart and soul and there is nothing you can do about it. Many do not want to change. I know this for a fact as a close relative of mine lived in Niland for years. Sue, it is a new day. You get in your van with your beloved Bridgette and Spike and head on down the road. I love your kind heart and your deep concern for animals. In those cases there was a chance for a happy ending and you made it happen. I pray for many happy days for you and your crew.

  54. candace says:

    Lots of comments all in your support. For me, the Slabs are off my list. Ive heard all I want to. Enjoy your blog.

  55. Rob says:

    I totally get it. I feel the same way u do. Quiet often in my biz. I have to deal with homeless.
    We all get to choose who we help and when.
    I was taught god helps those who help themselves. There are some who use being down and out as way to guilt trip others on to doing all the giving . I have total respect for you. We are all free to choose. Don’t buy into their stuff. Be free to choose how u feel . Don’t allow others to choose how u feel.
    Choose to be happy. ! U are wise to move on!
    Cheers rob bryant

  56. mary jane s. says:

    I have too struggled with depression.I lived in California for many years, only to return to god forsaken Oregon, I call it that, terrible things happened to me because my mom passed from this earth and I was a child..I dislike the state immensly, live across the river from it, I make sure I get some sunshine each day, out in the wind, rain, snow or ice, heat or humidity..I get feelings about places and so does my hubbs, we get the hell out of dodge if it gets tooo us, we truly do..we don’t understand others who stay in places with horrible memories how does that help them, not I said the spy! I adore your blog, your two children bridget and spike make my day, I LOVE YOUR ATTITUDE AND YOUR BLOG, I read it before each day of work and volunteering, it always cheers the living hell out of me.. I admire your guts and your attitude, soon I will retire and I want to travel and see what we have been missing, my hubbs already retired..Nature in all it’s glory is for us humans to explore..Keep up a great attitude, when that damn depression tries to rear its head get a going along in your many travels with your children leaving it in its place the dust of your vehicles down the road, take care, happy holidays soon, we feel each day is a holiday, if one thinks about it, why wait for just one day to live really live. ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. IF you are heading toward Quartzsite, there are a group of vandwellers and RTRs there already. We are out on the east side of town for now. Let us know if you need details. (we are not a depressing lot…and helping each other install solar, build shelves and beds, etc. And watching old Homer and new Zeak tumble around play-fighting. The RTR will NOT be up on Dome Rock this year. Hope to see you again soon.

  58. Elizabeth says:

    I have to backtrack as have not been on every day here, to understand more of what is going on, but just wanted to say that I doubt I could handle being at the Slabs, just from what I have seen online from others who have gone there for awhile. We CANNOT help every needy person, no matter how much we want to do so. All of us are limited by something, be it age, income, time, etc. It is hard in this life. A couple months ago we had to tell one of our children no as to taking care of his children, even though there is nothing in the world we would have wanted to do more. HARD!! I learned years ago however that love is saying no when yes might more easily be said. Still hate being put into such situations!!
    Blessings on you…keep on trucking…hope you feel better soon. Not very easy in this sad, old world. ONE DAY however, all will be well forever!!

  59. Jim says:

    Speaking only for myself, I think of you as my friend and I do not judge you, though I haven’t seen an area that I could have judged negatively anyway. Sue, I too suffer bouts of your ole friend (though friend hardly seems fitting in this case). Millions of us do. I am the last to give advice on how to conquer it. All I can say is, hang in there when you’re in the lows ’cause the view is great from the highs. I thank you each day I open your blog for a new adventure. *Hug* 🙂

  60. Thank you for such a candid and personal post!

  61. Michael says:

    Hi Sue.
    Your Blog is the best; tells it like it is. Thanks for being there! One hundred thousand huggs.

  62. Nan says:

    Sue, it is great that you can recognize depression! Many people cannot. And your fight! You take charge and sock that D right in the nose! There are many other lovely places to enjoy as you well know….go for it!

  63. D.J. Pruitt says:

    I believe in vampires, not the blood sucking kind (well sometimes) but the energy sucking kind. You find them in both places and people. After spending time with them you are exhausted and wonder what is going on. That is what I see the area you are in as being…. a place full of dispair and little joy. I’ve been reading your blog for a while with occassiona posts and I notice you seem to be drawn to water, you might keep that in mind for future locations. Always remember that this is your life and, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, your bliss that you are living and if someone else doesn’t like what you say it’s their problem, not yours.

  64. Bev Deem says:

    Tawnya: You have a very special Aunt! I love to read this blog. My husband and I are full-timers and love our lifestyle. We understand how entering into a community can be discomforting. We are comfortable with ourselves and with each other. We enjoy meeting others but don’t need a crowd to validate “us.” My depression sets in when there is too much “noise and sight pollution” and my instincts aren’t allowed to “breathe.” We are on a quiet ranch and love to sit outside while our minds soak up the sounds and sights of nature. No need for you to apologize for how you roll…it’s your journey…. Be safe!

  65. Bill and Ann says:

    Carry on! Love you and your blog. You are very brave. I could not do what you do.

  66. Timber n' Me says:

    Hey Sue, There’s spots all over az to camp boonin’, and like th’ person said while bac, don’t sweat th’ small stuff,,,,,,,,,,,Timber says hi to Bridget n’ Spike,,,,,,,,,,,,,Ahhhoooooooollllll Woof Woof

  67. twoscamps says:

    Wishing you sunny days ahead! Keep up the good fight! -Maureen

  68. Joy A. says:

    You know I had heart palputations for a moment as my first thought was one of your Poochies when I read the header. Then I thought about you reconsidering your blog as you did quite sometime ago when a reader made some comments. Hey, this is what happens when you have dialup and it takes time for the blog to download. Yeah, I’m still too cheap and really don’t go online enough in a month to warrent paying more, plus I’ve got all the time in the world to let things download.

    Depression is not something I am familiar with other than those short times when you are around certain people who just can’t seem to be upbeat. I just remove myself from their company or if it’s a location I leave it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thankful for my Lily or prior dogs which I use as an out to remove myself. You know “gotta take the dog for a walk”, “gotta feed the dog”, etc. Nice to have a trailer/rv so you can move on if it’s the area that is depressing or unsettling. I previously commented about The Slabs not being on my list because I’m not like other who say “You just need to experience it once” I say “NOT” You know there is depressing and then there is Depressing. You can’t stay away from all of it but then you don’t need to place yourself in it if you know ahead of time. There are quite a few places on this earth that will never attract me. I feel sorry for them and may on occasion donate to causes but I really don’t need to see it.

    Hey Kiddo, don’ let this get you down. Hitch up that trailer, snag those dogs and move on. You are doing a get job with your blog, keep it up.

  69. rvsueandcrew says:

    I won’t be blogging tonight (Monday), but I want to leave an update. The crew and I did leave the Slabs today. We’re camped for the night a few miles outside of Salton City, heading toward Borrego Springs. First thing tomorrow we will drive about 30 miles more and find a camp in the Clark Lake area. We stopped here for lunch, met some friendly and very interesting RVers, and I lost all interest in driving any further today.

    I don’t feel I can write a proper thank you right now for the incredibly thoughtful and caring responses to my post. What powerful messages of encouragement and understanding! I’ll write more about that tomorrow. Just want you to know I’m fine now. How can I stay depressed with so many good people wishing me happiness? The change of environment and counting my blessings has helped, too. Thank you and God bless you. Sue

    • Donna D. says:

      YAY!!!!

    • Becky says:

      I am so happy that you are heading towards a happier place. i look forward to hearing about your next camp and seeing some pictures again. Hug the crew and stay safe.

    • Carrie says:

      YAY indeed! So glad to know you’re fine. Thanks so much for chiming in even though you don’t really have the time now. Keep on keepin’ on! YAY! 🙂

      (yay Donna too!)

    • Barb says:

      Morning Miss Sue!
      Personally, I think it is so wonderful, when strong people back strong people… We ALL have times when we just need to ‘up and move on’ and being HONEST about that is a triumph!
      Hope the coffee tastes wonderful this mornin’, and that the view is gorgeous!

  70. Maggie in Vermont says:

    Um, Donna D. just said it so well: YAY!!!!!
    Strong hugs, Sue, strong hugs.

  71. Rita says:

    Glad you’re outta woods 🙂

  72. Chuck says:

    see, you had your first case of ‘writers block’ and your huge following lifted you out of it. Keep writin’ and give the crew a hug from the Herd, Chuck n Geri

  73. Mary Ann says:

    So glad!

  74. Hey, tis th’ seson ta be merry n’ joyfull, ,,,,,,,,Merry Christmas ,,,Sue ,,n’ all you blogers,,,

  75. PatrickA says:

    Sue
    If any one asks how your doing…..just “Finer Than Frogs Hair!” and or “If I was any better I’d be twins!”

  76. Maureen Hill says:

    You are an inspiration to me. I can only hope to travel and live as you do someday.

  77. suburbanlife says:

    I have not read your blog for several days, and decided to visit, as any visit to your blog adds gratitude for having found it, that you keep at it so generously, that you are such a thoughtful and alive person – so it’s a privilege to be allowed a peek into your journeys and reactions.
    As witnessed by the many comments and responses now, you add much of value to many people’s lives. One facet of blogging is that what is posted reflect personal opinions, attitudes, reactions. No one has an inherent right to judge in writing someone else’s self-expression. That is called flaming. From my experience of several years of blogging, people who comment are those who might share some of my tendencies, not always in perfect alignment or agreement, but generally respectful and mindful of their and my right to express what needs to be expressed without chiding or correcting.
    The Black Beast is an life-long companion that tends to reappear whenever we or someone else judges us, or finds us coming up short of perfection. Nature is not perfect – nothing in existence is – so why just not examine all the range of possibilities, discuss them, share opinions and knowledge, and simply revel in the richness of the varieties of experience. You are doing that beautifully in life! G

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