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Camino not for me?

Camino(s) past & future
June/July 2018
#1
So, I don’t really know where else to go to for advice on this but I feel like the Camino is not for me. I’m not enjoying the walking, my feet hurt, I feel anxious all of the time, and I just want to take the bus every day.
I know there is a part of me that needs to push through it but i just don’t know if I can, or better yet want to.
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard and my friend that I’m with is a lot faster and told me at one point she never wants to leave. I just kind of feel like I’m alone in this feeling because so many people say the Camino changes their lives.
I hate to be so negative too but with anxiety and depression it just feels like I’m sinking further and further with no way out or no way to make myself feel better. Anyone ever experience these feelings?
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#2
Yep, felt like that a few times on my first Camino.
How many days have you been walking so far?
That may determine my thoughts and advice ;)

Also....
Are you enjoying ‘any’ aspect of it?
Scenery.
Meeting people?
Old buildings?
Anything?

Also, what type of accommodation are you using?
And do you like it?

Sorry for all the questions, but advice will differ depending on the answers.
And be prepared.......

You are going to get lots of advice from lots of members here !

Hopefully it will help :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
June/July 2018
#3
Yep, felt like that a few times on my first Camino.
How many days have you been walking so far?
That may determine my thoughts and advice ;)

Also....
Are you enjoying ‘any’ aspect of it?
Scenery.
Meeting people?
Old buildings?
Anything?

Also, what type of accommodation are you using?
And do you like it?

Sorry for all the questions, but advice will differ depending on the answers.
And be prepared.......

You are going to get lots of advice from lots of members here !

Hopefully it will help :)
I am on day 13, but I decided to bus today because I was feeling so meh. We have been in mostly albergues which I don’t mind too much. It’s not my favorite but I don’t hate it. I met some really good people in the beginning but they are ahead of us now and I just haven’t really connected with anyone else. I loved the scenery in the beginning but we are on the meseta now so I’m getting super bored with it. The towns are beautiful and I love being in them I just hate the walking miles and miles being bored out of my mind to get there. I think that answered your questions? Thanks so much
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#4
Ok. Thanks.
It might just be, that this is not for you ;)
But all is not lost.

Would you be ok, to let your friend go on ahead without you?
That way you could slow down to your own pace.

It sounds like you have not quite broken through to stage three yet.
You know the stages people often talk about.
1. Dealing with the physical.
2. Coping with the emotional aspect (maybe where you are now)
3. The really cool bit where it all just clicks. The spiritual.

Are you spiritual at all? If you are not, then maybe this is just a long walk, rather than a Camino?

Not related to a Camino, but a lesson nonetheless.

I was on a really ‘out there’ residential course for a week.
A friend bullied me to go.

Song writing and singing!!

I was sooooo out of my comfort zone, with all the yoga and chanting stuff each morning. Yea.....it was out there ... big time.
Searching each day for our different energy sources (archetypes). Meditating...

Me and a lady on the course thought they were all nuts.

But we agreed, that we should not waste our time, but try to ‘get it’

In fact we agreed to fake it! Just so we could participate....

Within 24 hours we ‘got it’. Big time.....

So what does that all mean here?

Maybe, just maybe, you need to relax, and just fake it for a bit :eek:

Wonder at the skies.
Pick wild flowers.
Sit under a tree gazing at the clouds.
Watch how the wind makes waves on the fields of barley.
Say hi to some people you would never ever normally say Hi too.
Stop and talk to the animals!

Stop at those road side crosses and offer up a prayer.

Visit every open church, and just sit quietly. And talk to God, even if you don’t really believe there is one...... ask for his help on the journey.

Listen to some really cool music (on ear phones)

Put yourself ‘out there’ for a few days.......
And maybe, just maybe......things will click for you ;)

If not. You can always take a bus to a beach resort :eek::eek::eek:

Let us know how you are going.....

Oh, most of the people I meet go on ahead. Because I walk so slowly.
I just say Hi to the next bunch coming along...

I know this might all sound a bit weird.
But IMHO ‘getting’ the Camino is about letting go.....and just engaging with everything around you.....
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#5
Just a thought on walking alone.

It is way better!! Though it can be lonely and a bit scary for some at first.
Get over it....
You can do just what the heck you want....with who you want...

Walking with a friend/partner, for me at least is sooooo hard.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#6
Did you bring headphones with you? Download some audio books or podcasts to listen to.

It's okay if the Camino is not your thing. Are you comfortable traveling alone? Maybe you should just find a beach or a couple of cities in Spain that you'd like to explore and go off on your own rather than walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#7
Hello Kellbell,

I am glad that you have reached out for advice and there is a wealth of knowledge from forum members much more experienced than myself that I hope will be forthcoming. You mention that there is a part of you that needs to push through it and so coupled with reaching out to the forum I do think you want to be on the Camino at some level. The issue now is how to make the Camino work for you.

Physically the Camino can be very challenging and unless you are set on pushing yourself through some type of pain threshold, I think it is ok to consider what will make it not only easier for you but more enjoyable. And that might begin by defining what the Camino means to you. I don't know where you currently are but it does become more manageable as you walk but I think there are days when many of us wonder what on earth we are doing. I remember crying in exhaustion in Carrion de Los Condes wondering why I was doing this to myself. I was 135 kilos and very unfit. But I had some brilliant days and am glad I continued.

If you are intent on gaining the Compostela for example then you need to remember it is vital to walk the entirety of the last 100 kms. But how important is it to you to walk every step? Perhaps you might want to consider a mixture of walking, biking, taking a bus. This is your Camino and you are responsible for walking it in a manner suitable to you. Don't punish yourself by trying to meet the expectations of others, or what you think those are. If you are going to hate every step then you really should consider a way to enjoy the steps you can take and use an alternative when necessary. In 2016 I walked with a wonderful person for a time and she ended up renting a bike for the stretch between Burgos to Leon and used the buses occasionally. It was her Camino and impacted on her life as much as anyone else.

Anxiety is awful and it can be very hard to overcome. I wonder if it is possible to isolate reasons for your anxiety. I know it can sometimes be generalised but if you can identify causes you might be able to alleviate them. For example, if it is the dread of walking long distances, then you might want to consider the distances you walk each day. If you were walking alone you might have walked shorter stages each day but if you need to keep up with your friend, then consider what I mentioned earlier about busing ahead or biking. The day I walked from Leon to Hospital De Orbigo, a companion bused halfway ahead and walked the rest. It is very important that you are enjoying yourself so don't force anything on yourself that you don't need to.

It is also important to make sure that you are physically ok as this will impact on your mental health also. A body in pain or fatigue can often lead to depressed mood. So please look at your feet pain and see if it can be improved. Are your shoes suitable? Do you need to rest for a few days? It might be worth seeing if insoles might help but I don't know much about footwear so cannot help, unfortunately.

I guess what I am trying to say is try to identify your problems and then attempt to solve them. Too long distance walked each day? Shorten them. Sore feet? Look at footwear or foot care if you have blisters or tendonitis. If you can manage to sort out the physical problems it could impact very positively on your mental health.

And your mental health is very important. If you need the timeout, then take it. As I said, unless it is personally important for you to walk every step, there is no harm in busing ahead of your friend or treating yourself to a hotel sometimes. Self-care is really important. Look after yourself and indulge yourself when you need too. Dont put unrealistic pressure on yourself. I would much rather you arrived in Santiago having walked 400 kms instead of 800 if it meant you arrived smiling. Assuming you are going to Santiago of course lol. Walking without pressure or pain will allow you to meditate on the good things and enjoy moments instead of wishing it all way.

Give yourself permission to walk your Camino, your way. And enjoy it. It might get easier very quickly and once your body adjusts, you might even find yourself walking every step and loving it. Keep going if you can because you have gone there for a reason and if you really had reached your tither then I dont think you would be seeking solutions. Walking can be fantastic for depression, you just need to find your feet. Pardon the pun. Good luck and Buen Camino.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#8
You are the person that can really know if the Camino is for you or not. And if it isn´t, that's ok!

Or maybe, as others raised in previous comments, you have to let other people go and do your own camino? Personally, I think this is one of the most important things. We spend so much of our lifes trying to conform and accomodate other people's needs and opinions... If the camino can be YOURS, then you will be able to really feel it and be sure if it's your thing or not.

Maybe bus accross the meseta until León and go on from there, when the scenary will vary more? And you can stop and sleep wherever you want, instead of having to agree with walking partners?

Whatever you decide, as long as it's the best for you, it's perfectly fine :)

EDIT: @bhavagrahidasa, what a BEAUTIFUL post. Thank you :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#9
@Kellbell408 it sounds to me that the main problem is lack of walking companions - a group of people with whom to have some fun! You met "some really good people" and your feelings would probably be a whole lot different if you were still with them. In their absence, if you continue to see the same people they are obviously walking at the same pace as you - try starting a conversation with them. People are interesting and everyone has a story to tell. Take time to help anyone who looks as if they are doing it tough. Always check that people are "OK". After a few days you will find yourself with another group of friends.

When I have found the going tough for too long, I give myself permission to go "off-piste" for a weekend - its a bit like playing hooky at school - and then I come back refreshed.

But if that does not work for you, let me assure you that you are not alone. Some people do not like the camino. They tend not to be on the camino or this forum, for obvious reasons. They leave and they do not miss it. My husband says it is boring, and he hates walking for hours on end.

Remember - it is voluntary! You don't have to be there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#10
Ok. Thanks.
It might just be, that this is not for you ;)
But all is not lost.

Would you be ok, to let your friend go on ahead without you?
That way you could slow down to your own pace.

It sounds like you have not quite broken through to stage three yet.
You know the stages people often talk about.
1. Dealing with the physical.
2. Coping with the emotional aspect (maybe where you are now)
3. The really cool bit where it all just clicks. The spiritual.

Are you spiritual at all? If you are not, then maybe this is just a long walk, rather than a Camino?

Not related to a Camino, but a lesson nonetheless.

I was on a really ‘out there’ residential course for a week.
A friend bullied me to go.

Song writing and singing!!

I was sooooo out of my comfort zone, with all the yoga and chanting stuff each morning. Yea.....it was out there ... big time.
Searching each day for our different energy sources (archetypes). Meditating...

Me and a lady on the course thought they were all nuts.

But we agreed, that we should not waste our time, but try to ‘get it’

In fact we agreed to fake it! Just so we could participate....

Within 24 hours we ‘got it’. Big time.....

So what does that all mean here?

Maybe, just maybe, you need to relax, and just fake it for a bit :eek:

Wonder at the skies.
Pick wild flowers.
Sit under a tree gazing at the clouds.
Watch how the wind makes waves on the fields of barley.
Say hi to some people you would never ever normally say Hi too.
Stop and talk to the animals!

Stop at those road side crosses and offer up a prayer.

Visit every open church, and just sit quietly. And talk to God, even if you don’t really believe there is one...... ask for his help on the journey.

Listen to some really cool music (on ear phones)

Put yourself ‘out there’ for a few days.......
And maybe, just maybe......things will click for you ;)

If not. You can always take a bus to a beach resort :eek::eek::eek:

Let us know how you are going.....

Oh, most of the people I meet go on ahead. Because I walk so slowly.
I just say Hi to the next bunch coming along...

I know this might all sound a bit weird.
But IMHO ‘getting’ the Camino is about letting go.....and just engaging with everything around you.....

Absolutely brilliant! Best advice ever and it will be in my mind when I start off in july. Thank you for sharing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#11
You are the person that can really know if the Camino is for you or not. And if it isn´t, that's ok!

Or maybe, as others raised in previous comments, you have to let other people go and do your own camino? Personally, I think this is one of the most important things. We spend so much of our lifes trying to conform and accomodate other people's needs and opinions... If the camino can be YOURS, then you will be able to really feel it and be sure if it's your thing or not.

Maybe bus accross the meseta until León and go on from there, when the scenary will vary more? And you can stop and sleep wherever you want, instead of having to agree with walking partners?

Whatever you decide, as long as it's the best for you, it's perfectly fine :)

EDIT: @bhavagrahidasa, what a BEAUTIFUL post. Thank you :)
I echo your sentiments actually! Your post was wonderfully positive and gentle so thank you also. I do love threads that show the genuine kindness of forum members and always find something to take away for myself.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#12
I have had some great caminos where I took the bus or train a lot. Just turn it into a vacation. Walk when you want. Stop when you want. Mostly you need to stop the dissonance between what you expect and what you can do. You can't remove the expectations or you can adjust to what you can do. Most of all, have fun!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago May 2018
#13
I didn't do the long walk, I walked from Sarria. It took a few days before the gerbil wheel in my head went still: how far left to go, what did I miss, do I have enough money, how steep is the next hill, will I find a place to sleep, why am I so slow, why am I doing this . . . but suddenly, one day, I "woke up" and noticed it was gone. I was walking alone, at peace, and thinking "hmm, these flowers aren't the same shade of purple as the ones yesterday." The rest of my walk was the best time of my life. I got blisters, my knees hurt coming down hills, I was hot in the sun, my clothes didn't dry overnight, and it was fine. It was all fine. I pray that peace comes to you. Buen Camino!
 
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#14
Ok. Thanks.
It might just be, that this is not for you A
But all is not lost.

Would you be ok, to let your friend go on ahead without you?
That way you could slow down to your own pace.

It sounds like you have not quite broken through to stage three yet.
You know the stages people often talk about.
1. Dealing with the physical.
2. Coping with the emotional aspect (maybe where you are now)
3. The really cool bit where it all just clicks. The spiritual.

Are you spiritual at all? If you are not, then maybe this is just a long walk, rather than a Camino?

Not related to a Camino, but a lesson nonetheless.

I was on a really ‘out there’ residential course for a week.
A friend bullied me to go.

Song writing and singing!!

I was sooooo out of my comfort zone, with all the yoga and chanting stuff each morning. Yea.....it was out there ... big time.
Searching each day for our different energy sources (archetypes). Meditating...

Me and a lady on the course thought they were all nuts.

But we agreed, that we should not waste our time, but try to ‘get it’

In fact we agreed to fake it! Just so we could participate....

Within 24 hours we ‘got it’. Big time.....

So what does that all mean here?

Maybe, just maybe, you need to relax, and just fake it for a bit :eek:

Wonder at the skies.
Pick wild flowers.
Sit under a tree gazing at the clouds.
Watch how the wind makes waves on the fields of barley.
Say hi to some people you would never ever normally say Hi too.
Stop and talk to the animals!

Stop at those road side crosses and offer up a prayer.

Visit every open church, and just sit quietly. And talk to God, even if you don’t really believe there is one...... ask for his help on the journey.

Listen to some really cool music (on ear phones)

Put yourself ‘out there’ for a few days.......
And maybe, just maybe......things will click for you ;)

If not. You can always take a bus to a beach resort :eek::eek::eek:

Let us know how you are going.....

Oh, most of the people I meet go on ahead. Because I walk so slowly.
I just say Hi to the next bunch coming along...

I know this might all sound a bit weird.
But IMHO ‘getting’ the Camino is about letting go.....and just engaging with everything around you.....
Spot on! Took me about fifteen bloody years and three caminos and fearful chunks of the vdlp BEFORE it all settled in that I was a pilgrim and whatever was out there would still be there long AFTER me! :) I kinda like the idea now and KNOW its where I like to be because home for me is movement not place and I bow to no schedules, gurus,, and walk alone, avoiding albergues, camino families etc and just let the camino sneak up on me when I am least aware which is paradoxically when I am MOST aware!

Walk soft and stay safe. And, as ever, vaya con Dios.

The Malingerer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future 2018
#15
I thought I had written your post myself! I was on the camino in May and after 13 days I left. I was not into it, I felt anxious everyday, cried everyday, didn't like the tough hills , ( I have a hip and knee problem), bored with the scenery after a while. My traveling companion was more into it, faster at walking, goal oriented, wanted to do it as quick as possible, loved the alburgues ( I did not) etc. I wanted to go straight to Sarria to do the last 100KM but my companion did not. So I left because I didn't want to go alone, wasn't my original plan to go alone . So don't feel bad. Do what you need to do. It's not a failure that you don't like it, it's not a race either. You have to do YOUR camino and if that means leaving, then it's okay.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#16
My traveling companion was more into it, faster at walking, goal oriented, wanted to do it as quick as possible, loved the alburgues ( I did not) etc. I wanted to go straight to Sarria to do the last 100KM but my companion did not. So I left because I didn't want to go alone, wasn't my original plan to go alone
Everyone taking a partner should discuss this issue before leaving, and have a plan for when you may need to "part." It is always possible for the one who has lost motivation or is injured to take buses, taxis, and trains. You can meet daily or every couple of days. Just think about it in advance so no one has hurt feelings.:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#18
Ok. Thanks.
It might just be, that this is not for you ;)
But all is not lost.

Would you be ok, to let your friend go on ahead without you?
That way you could slow down to your own pace.

It sounds like you have not quite broken through to stage three yet.
You know the stages people often talk about.
1. Dealing with the physical.
2. Coping with the emotional aspect (maybe where you are now)
3. The really cool bit where it all just clicks. The spiritual.

Are you spiritual at all? If you are not, then maybe this is just a long walk, rather than a Camino?

Not related to a Camino, but a lesson nonetheless.

I was on a really ‘out there’ residential course for a week.
A friend bullied me to go.

Song writing and singing!!

I was sooooo out of my comfort zone, with all the yoga and chanting stuff each morning. Yea.....it was out there ... big time.
Searching each day for our different energy sources (archetypes). Meditating...

Me and a lady on the course thought they were all nuts.

But we agreed, that we should not waste our time, but try to ‘get it’

In fact we agreed to fake it! Just so we could participate....

Within 24 hours we ‘got it’. Big time.....

So what does that all mean here?

Maybe, just maybe, you need to relax, and just fake it for a bit :eek:

Wonder at the skies.
Pick wild flowers.
Sit under a tree gazing at the clouds.
Watch how the wind makes waves on the fields of barley.
Say hi to some people you would never ever normally say Hi too.
Stop and talk to the animals!

Stop at those road side crosses and offer up a prayer.

Visit every open church, and just sit quietly. And talk to God, even if you don’t really believe there is one...... ask for his help on the journey.

Listen to some really cool music (on ear phones)

Put yourself ‘out there’ for a few days.......
And maybe, just maybe......things will click for you ;)

If not. You can always take a bus to a beach resort :eek::eek::eek:

Let us know how you are going.....

Oh, most of the people I meet go on ahead. Because I walk so slowly.
I just say Hi to the next bunch coming along...

I know this might all sound a bit weird.
But IMHO ‘getting’ the Camino is about letting go.....and just engaging with everything around you.....
This is some of the best advice I’ve ever read.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#19
The Camino is not a guarantee of a life changing experience.

It is often painful, you frequently question why the hell you are doing it. Personally I have never found it boring. It requires a degree of stubbornness and ability to reduce yourself the to basics to get through. It's not for everyone. There is no shame in re-examining why you are out there.

Don't cherry pick, the Camino, like life, is not always jam packed fun and adventure. Sometimes you need a long introspective stretch to sort out what your priorities are.
 
Camino(s) past & future
This upcoming May 31st through July 1st approximately.
#20
I am on day 13, but I decided to bus today because I was feeling so meh. We have been in mostly albergues which I don’t mind too much. It’s not my favorite but I don’t hate it. I met some really good people in the beginning but they are ahead of us now and I just haven’t really connected with anyone else. I loved the scenery in the beginning but we are on the meseta now so I’m getting super bored with it. The towns are beautiful and I love being in them I just hate the walking miles and miles being bored out of my mind to get there. I think that answered your questions? Thanks so much
I am so sorry to hear that you found the Meseta boring. We walked it (I think it was 2 weeks ago - I loose track of the days) in the pouring rain, deep mud but loved every minute of it. It was 4 days of bliss. We saw very few people - 2 old men gathering snails for “escargot” was about it apart from our planned stops.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#21
my friend that I’m with is a lot faster....
Here's the nub, and @allysophie has the same issue. A faster partner puts a lot of unreasonable expectation, competition, and emotional stress into an experience the charm of which is the (usual) absence of those qualities. As @falcon269 points out, it's best to sort out these differences prior to starting, but it is often impossible to be so farsighted. And so you're exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Can you give yourself a break? Both emotionally and physically? Bus ahead, meet up with your friend after a couple days, and see how you feel then.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
#22
Though I loved almost all my time on the CF it is not for everyone and perhaps it is not for you at this time. As much as it strength to go on it also takes strength to stop, if you wish try busing ahead through the Meesta and walk from there, or if you have looked into your heart and truly feel this is not for you speak with your friend and tell him/her you've tried and decided this is not your time for the CF and you will meet them later, wish them the very best on the Camino. Anxiety is a very real condition and should be treated with respect and only you and your Medical Professional Team know the best way to deal with it. Know that you are not alone in how you feel.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#23
You know, if you just aren't enjoying yourself on the Camino, you can always just go home.
It is not a forced death march through an undeveloped country. My guess is there is a bus, taxi or train within a very short distance of you right now that will allow you to egress off the path and find arrangements home.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#24
Kellbell, so sorry you're dealing with depression and anxiety on the Camino. It seems like you're feeling a whole bad ball of wax right now!

It also sounds like you're facing a bit of disappointment as well that might be worth exploring: what were you hoping to "get out of" the Camino? What were you anticipating every day would be like? Were you hoping for more from your relationship with your friend while walking? You can go back to where you were before the Camino and see what your mindset was and compare it to the reality of the Camino. That might help you focus on letting go of those expectations, or making tweaks or adjustments to give yourself the opportunity to realize them.

Hope things get better if you really want to keep going on the Camino! And if you decide it really isn't for you, please do take the time to do something you find life-giving and refreshing with the time you have left in Spain. Take care and Buen Camino,
Faith
 

AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
#25
Hi Kellbell,

As you're currently on Meseta and you find it boring why not bus to Leon, rest there a few days and wait on your friend if you wish and then decide whether to continue or not. Whatever you decide will be OK!
The camino is challenging, if you can find enough strength to push through this it will be worth it!
Wishing you the best whichever way you choose.
Aidan
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#26
Everyone taking a partner should discuss this issue before leaving, and have a plan for when you may need to "part." It is always possible for the one who has lost motivation or is injured to take buses, taxis, and trains. You can meet daily or every couple of days. Just think about it in advance so no one has hurt feelings.:)
As it is not possible to more than 'like' this post just wanted to say thank you for your wise words @falcon269. I am sure that the negative experience that some pilgrims have while walking the Camino arises from 'trying to keep up' and not understanding that you don't have to always be in step, or even on the same stage as your companion, partner, friend or spouse.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Finisterre (August 2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (January 2015)
Bilbao - Santander (May 2015)
St Jean - Sahgún (2nd Sept - 20 Sept 2015)
León - Sarria (26/12/2015 - 04/01/2016)
Lisbon - Tomar (02/04/16 - 10/04/16)
Pau - Pamplona (August 2016)
#28
This sounds a very difficult situation for you, so sorry to hear.

I work in mental health and would always recommend to anyone - that if your anxiety and depression are getting too much to bear - then it would be important to speak to a doctor, or at the very least a Spanish pharmacist, or a hospital urgent care centre - any of which should be able to advise you. Look after yourself and be kind to yourself.

If you are loving being in the towns maybe you could bus from one to another for a while and just enjoy yourself. You might then meet some nice people, who you could walk with a little bit, or meet up with your friend at different stops. Take it at your own pace and do what you like doing.

If anyone says "you should ...." or you have thoughts of "I should/ought/must ..." then this might be an indicator of a lot of pressure for you, and unrealistic expectations. Beware of "should / must /ought" words! Much better to say to yourself: "this is what I would like to do ...."

I have found myself very anxious on Camino's at times, I think it is a normal part of such a long walk, but it's not meant to break you down.

I loved the Meseta, but most people don't, so it could be the landscape and toughness that is difficult and you need to bypass. Do look after yourself.

(As a complete aside: I think that you also provide a very good warning about the problems which happen when we walk with other people with different expectations. I always advise that people walk on their own, or plan to go there only with people that they've met on the Camino and who love the Camino.)
 
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Gazelle2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
19th May 2014
#29
So, I don’t really know where else to go to for advice on this but I feel like the Camino is not for me. I’m not enjoying the walking, my feet hurt, I feel anxious all of the time, and I just want to take the bus every day.
I know there is a part of me that needs to push through it but i just don’t know if I can, or better yet want to.
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard and my friend that I’m with is a lot faster and told me at one point she never wants to leave. I just kind of feel like I’m alone in this feeling because so many people say the Camino changes their lives.
I hate to be so negative too but with anxiety and depression it just feels like I’m sinking further and further with no way out or no way to make myself feel better. Anyone ever experience these feelings?
The only advice I would give you is no one is forcing you to do it, take a couple of days off and take stock of your situation , how many days are you into your Camino? I have done 4 Camino’s and believe you me there are times when I have thought to myself , what the hell am I doing this for!!!
There is no shame in getting the first plane home if it is not for you, sometimes it takes more strength to stop than go on .
Are you in a good crowd or are you walking on your own ?
Good luck with what ever decision you make, but make it for you .
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#30
Hi Kellbell,

First, I congratulate you for making it to the meseta! That is quite an accomplishment!

Second, you are in touch with your feelings which can
Help guide you to get what you need!

I hated my first Camino for other reasons then you articulated, but I hated it. I almost did not come back for a second one..but was glad I did.

bhabagrahidasa wrote something,IMO, that can be very key in getting what you need.
“Anxiety is awful and it can be very hard to overcome. I wonder if it is possible to isolate reasons for your anxiety. I know it can sometimes be generalised but if you can identify causes you might be able to alleviate them. For example, if it is the dread of walking long distances, then you might want to consider the distances you walk each day. If you were walking alone you might have walked shorter stages each day but if you need to keep up with your friend, then consider what I mentioned earlier about busing ahead or biking. The day I walked from Leon to Hospital De Orbigo, a companion bused halfway ahead and walked the rest. It is very important that you are enjoying yourself so don't force anything on yourself that you don't need to.”

If you enjoy the towns...figure out how much you want to walk each day and look on line for activities in the various towns that you might enjoy. In short, figure out how to get your needs met. You are spending a bunch of money to be there, why not enjoy yourself? A pilgrimage does not have to be gloomy. How can you make it FUN and ENJOYABLE for you. Take time to consider what you desire. My first Camino, after getting badly bitten by bedbugs three weeks into it, I had had enough. Wel flew to the alps and we enjoyed the next 3 weeks immensely - hiking in Green mountains with pristine cool air. . It was what I needed then. Figure out how to enjoy yourself and remember guilt is not productive!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
#31
I echo all the above - but it can be hard to advise on something that you haven't necessarily experienced. You know yourself better than anybody.
My advice, for what it's worth is to turn it into a holiday. Perhaps forget about the walking bit and just do the stuff you enjoy. Visit the things that bring you joy, the things that make you smile. Stay for a few days in, for example, Leon or Astorga. Sit in a cafe, have a drink, watch life go by. Relax.
Whatever you decide, do it for the right reasons. Do what is right for you and if that means going home then so be it, but don't leave with regret or guilt. It's all part of life's rich tapestry :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2018!)
#32
Hello Kelibell,

I appreciate your brave posting! I also deal with depression and anxiety, and know that this condition is particular to each person. As you see from all the other replies, many people care about you and your difficult situation.

I’ve just returned from my first Camino. Most of my time I was connected with a group (a mixed blessing), but my first few days I was alone in Pamplona; an older single woman not speaking Spanish and staying in a slightly-sketchy pension. I was anxious, to put it mildly.

I have two suggestions. One is that you do find an english-speaking pharmacist who knows about anxiety. This may take a few tries, and you’ll likely need a mid-sized town/city, but it will be worth it. There will likely be a natural remedy that could supplement any Rx you are taking... make sure you bring them along.

The second is that in this mid-sized city/town, you find a safe, comfortable, attractive place to stay for a few nights. An owner who speaks english, a quieter location close to a few bars with food and drink. You’ll be able to find recommendations on line. During these few days, do a little exploring and maybe revisit the same places where you’ll feel more comfortable.

From there, decide on your next safe step.

If you have a loving support person at home, share with them, and ask for support and suggestions.

Of course, this will cost $. I went into debt for all of my Camino -- difficulties and all -- and feel that every euro was worth it.

I’m praying for you.

Jo
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
#33
My daughter gave me some sound advice when I was feeling this way in Astorga. She rowed crew in college and they called this the “middle meters”- the excitement of the start is over and the end is not yet in sight. This is where the race is won or lost. It was just what I needed for my second wind, which quickly took me to the 3rd phase-the spiritual!
That said, two years ago I walked the Cotswold Way in England. It was a ten day walk but after three days I was so stressed and I knew it wasn’t for me. I cut my losses, taxied to Bath, and had a ball!
Life is too short to be miserable. Enjoy Spain in whatever way works for you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Apr-Jun 2018)
#35
I echo the “you do you” sentiments above even if that means not walking the Camino. Also, don’t feel like you have to have a life changing experience. That’s a lot of pressure. I think the people most vocal about the Camino are the most likely to have had a life changing experience but I’m not convinced that’s the “norm” if there is such a thing. Plus, reflecting back on a Camino is different than being in the midst of it.

Try some small changes and see if they improve your experience. If not, you can still stop the Camino. I definitely had afternoons and stages (week 2 was tough) that felt like slogs where I plugged in headphones and binged on podcasts and books on tape. I also found that paying a little extra to stay in private albergues rather than municipal ones generally reduced my anxiety level and was worth the extra cost. And I was always the last person to leave a hostel because the morning bustle felt stressful to me, so I often called at lunch to reserve a bed for the night so that I didn’t feel like I was racing pilgrims for spots.

I met a father-son pair doing the Camino together that were totally on different pages. The father was a machine walking really fast while the son brought a nice camera and wanted to take his time capturing good pictures (plus he didn’t have great shoes). They ended up deciding to meet up each evening, which meant the son would bus pretty frequently. It allowed them to do the Camino together while still doing things their own way. You and your friend may be able to set up a system where you meet up each night or each week. Even if you stop walking the Camino, you could hit the highlight cities along the route and stay a few days to overlap when your friend is walking through. As a side note, if you do continue the Camino, some of the physical stuff will get better. The first week on the Frances and Norte have some of the more objectively difficult stages of those routes and you’re bound to be in worse shape on week 1 than week 4. Whatever you decide, there is a lot of great stuff to eat, drink, see, and experience in Spain whether you’re on the Camino or not.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
#36
Ok. Thanks.
It might just be, that this is not for you ;)
But all is not lost.

Would you be ok, to let your friend go on ahead without you?
That way you could slow down to your own pace.

It sounds like you have not quite broken through to stage three yet.
You know the stages people often talk about.
1. Dealing with the physical.
2. Coping with the emotional aspect (maybe where you are now)
3. The really cool bit where it all just clicks. The spiritual.

Are you spiritual at all? If you are not, then maybe this is just a long walk, rather than a Camino?

Not related to a Camino, but a lesson nonetheless.

I was on a really ‘out there’ residential course for a week.
A friend bullied me to go.

Song writing and singing!!

I was sooooo out of my comfort zone, with all the yoga and chanting stuff each morning. Yea.....it was out there ... big time.
Searching each day for our different energy sources (archetypes). Meditating...

Me and a lady on the course thought they were all nuts.

But we agreed, that we should not waste our time, but try to ‘get it’

In fact we agreed to fake it! Just so we could participate....

Within 24 hours we ‘got it’. Big time.....

So what does that all mean here?

Maybe, just maybe, you need to relax, and just fake it for a bit :eek:

Wonder at the skies.
Pick wild flowers.
Sit under a tree gazing at the clouds.
Watch how the wind makes waves on the fields of barley.
Say hi to some people you would never ever normally say Hi too.
Stop and talk to the animals!

Stop at those road side crosses and offer up a prayer.

Visit every open church, and just sit quietly. And talk to God, even if you don’t really believe there is one...... ask for his help on the journey.

Listen to some really cool music (on ear phones)

Put yourself ‘out there’ for a few days.......
And maybe, just maybe......things will click for you ;)

If not. You can always take a bus to a beach resort :eek::eek::eek:

Let us know how you are going.....

Oh, most of the people I meet go on ahead. Because I walk so slowly.
I just say Hi to the next bunch coming along...

I know this might all sound a bit weird.
But IMHO ‘getting’ the Camino is about letting go.....and just engaging with everything around you.....
Not wierd to me! I have done my own speed because my feet and ankles won’t go fast. I do like it for many reasons but simply am not able to follow the “typical” pattern. If it just doesn't work for you that is okay. “Not a good fit” is not failure.
 

twh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#37
Though I loved almost all my time on the CF it is not for everyone and perhaps it is not for you at this time. As much as it strength to go on it also takes strength to stop, if you wish try busing ahead through the Meesta and walk from there, or if you have looked into your heart and truly feel this is not for you speak with your friend and tell him/her you've tried and decided this is not your time for the CF and you will meet them later, wish them the very best on the Camino. Anxiety is a very real condition and should be treated with respect and only you and your Medical Professional Team know the best way to deal with it. Know that you are not alone in how you feel.
 

twh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#38
KellBell,
all the advice above is great...I can't add anything new to it but I want to offer my support and encouragement. I finished the Frances last week. I always got a little lift of excitement and freedom when i was walking all alone. I walked a little slower and I felt the freedom from being influenced by another human being. No expectations to live up to or conform to. No taking care of others. It was liberating and made me a little giddy. On the tougher days, I said hello to everyone and found people to walk and talk with for awhile. Talking and asking questions of others got good conversations going and distracted me from thinking about myself and my own physical and/or mental discomfort. I encourage you to try implementing some of the great ideas your fellow peregrinos have suggested. Eventually you will hit on something that works better than what you are going through now, you just have to find it. Congratulations on your accomplishment of walking this far already under such difficult conditions. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Few people could have endured 13 days of walking feeling like you have. Try busing 2 stages ahead of your friend. Then walk half days (10 -12 km per day) and see how you feel physically. Take note of how you feel mentally and emotionally...you may experience a big lift by eliminating the expectations you feel your friend has for you. By walking alone, you will be so much more open to actually meeting and getting to know new people...but you will need to be more proactive at starting conversations with them. On day three, your friend will catch up to you again. Notice how that feels....the good and not so good. Then figure out what walking conditions, or bus/taxi intervals, who you walk with and for how long you walk with them make you feel the best. And then, maybe the toughest part, be honest with yourself and your camino partner. Let her know in a gentle and loving manner how you would like to finish out your Camino. It's your Camino, find a way to do it that energizes you. Stop doing it the way you have been during the last 13 days...it's not working for you. Things can only get better for you. I hope you find your way.
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#40
Ok. Thanks.
It might just be, that this is not for you ;)
But all is not lost.

Would you be ok, to let your friend go on ahead without you?
That way you could slow down to your own pace.

It sounds like you have not quite broken through to stage three yet.
You know the stages people often talk about.
1. Dealing with the physical.
2. Coping with the emotional aspect (maybe where you are now)
3. The really cool bit where it all just clicks. The spiritual.

Are you spiritual at all? If you are not, then maybe this is just a long walk, rather than a Camino?

Not related to a Camino, but a lesson nonetheless.

I was on a really ‘out there’ residential course for a week.
A friend bullied me to go.

Song writing and singing!!

I was sooooo out of my comfort zone, with all the yoga and chanting stuff each morning. Yea.....it was out there ... big time.
Searching each day for our different energy sources (archetypes). Meditating...

Me and a lady on the course thought they were all nuts.

But we agreed, that we should not waste our time, but try to ‘get it’

In fact we agreed to fake it! Just so we could participate....

Within 24 hours we ‘got it’. Big time.....

So what does that all mean here?

Maybe, just maybe, you need to relax, and just fake it for a bit :eek:

Wonder at the skies.
Pick wild flowers.
Sit under a tree gazing at the clouds.
Watch how the wind makes waves on the fields of barley.
Say hi to some people you would never ever normally say Hi too.
Stop and talk to the animals!

Stop at those road side crosses and offer up a prayer.

Visit every open church, and just sit quietly. And talk to God, even if you don’t really believe there is one...... ask for his help on the journey.

Listen to some really cool music (on ear phones)

Put yourself ‘out there’ for a few days.......
And maybe, just maybe......things will click for you ;)

If not. You can always take a bus to a beach resort :eek::eek::eek:

Let us know how you are going.....

Oh, most of the people I meet go on ahead. Because I walk so slowly.
I just say Hi to the next bunch coming along...

I know this might all sound a bit weird.
But IMHO ‘getting’ the Camino is about letting go.....and just engaging with everything around you.....
Wonderful advice!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#41
So, I don’t really know where else to go to for advice on this but I feel like the Camino is not for me. I’m not enjoying the walking, my feet hurt, I feel anxious all of the time, and I just want to take the bus every day.
I know there is a part of me that needs to push through it but i just don’t know if I can, or better yet want to.
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard and my friend that I’m with is a lot faster and told me at one point she never wants to leave. I just kind of feel like I’m alone in this feeling because so many people say the Camino changes their lives.
I hate to be so negative too but with anxiety and depression it just feels like I’m sinking further and further with no way out or no way to make myself feel better. Anyone ever experience these feelings?
Listen to your heart. From reading your post I guess that walking with people who are faster than you - and love the whole experience - may be doing you no good at all.
Only you know if you really feel like giving up right now. If you do, I’d say give up, either go home or do something else whilst in Spain. Do something that you will enjoy, please. The Camino will still be there should you change your mind, one day.
You are on a forum where most people love walking the Camino but in ‘real’ life I have met a few who HATED it. Two of them carried on, three of them gave up. (And i am only mentioning the ones I knew well, there were others!).
I really admired the ones who carried on because I know I wouldn’t have done it. Had I felt how they were feeling, I would have left.
Really, listen to your heart, not to other people, not to any idea of what you ‘should’ do. It’s ok.
I wish you all the best :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016
#42
So, I don’t really know where else to go to for advice on this but I feel like the Camino is not for me. I’m not enjoying the walking, my feet hurt, I feel anxious all of the time, and I just want to take the bus every day.
I know there is a part of me that needs to push through it but i just don’t know if I can, or better yet want to.
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard and my friend that I’m with is a lot faster and told me at one point she never wants to leave. I just kind of feel like I’m alone in this feeling because so many people say the Camino changes their lives.
I hate to be so negative too but with anxiety and depression it just feels like I’m sinking further and further with no way out or no way to make myself feel better. Anyone ever experience these feelings?
I really battled during the first two weeks of my camino in 2016, for reasons I won't go into here, but I now look back on my journey as one of the most amazing, beautiful experiences of my life. For me, I didn't start to thrive until the last week of my adventure, but please believe me, I am so happy I continued on. Your feet will probably continue to ache my friend, but please carry on, it will change your life. :)
 

GerN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking from 6th to 13th October 2017
#43
If you are still struggling with it and not having any company along the way, I personally would go on to Sarria and do the last 100km into Santiago de Compestela. Because of the amount of people that do just that part of the Camino, you will never at any stage be on your own. You will definitely have company along the way. We spoke to some lovely people along the way and got their life stories. You will end up talking to people, they will walk on and the next lot will come along to talk too and that will definitely be a distraction of nothing else for you.

I really loved the city of Santiago de Compestela and will definitely return there again, whether it is for a weekend visit or part of the Camino again.

I really hope you are feeling a bit better in yourself today. It is a pilgrimage but it must make it so much harder for you if you are struggling along the way x
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#44
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard
@Kellbell408 , hi. In addition to what @Robo says, I suggest:

Turn this trip into a bus holiday, stopping where YOU will and catch-up with your friend from time to time.

Then I suggest you return home when originally planned.

Then I suggest you prepare for your next big walk, both body and equipment.
For equipment search out really low weight pack and sleeping bag. Try to keep every thing below 6 kg including water, snacks and techmology.
For training I suggest you work up to:
1) say 15 km (10 miles) before stopping for breakfast
2) say 400 m of elevation gain before stopping for breakfast
3) always wear all you gear
The objective is to have distance, height and weight just so common place it is normal. And you may find the energy and inclination to look around.

I wish you well for your next camino, wherever it may be.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#45
I am on day 13, but I decided to bus today because I was feeling so meh. We have been in mostly albergues which I don’t mind too much. It’s not my favorite but I don’t hate it. I met some really good people in the beginning but they are ahead of us now and I just haven’t really connected with anyone else. I loved the scenery in the beginning but we are on the meseta now so I’m getting super bored with it. The towns are beautiful and I love being in them I just hate the walking miles and miles being bored out of my mind to get there. I think that answered your questions? Thanks so much
Being completely bored out of your mind is a very important part of becoming a pilgrim -- it's something that you have to accept before you can learn to embrace the silence that is related to it.

I'm not saying you need to be masochistic -- and personally I think that stopping somewhere to take a rest day rather than getting on a bus is a far better way of dealing with the inevitable bad days -- but learning how to accept the walks through even the ugliest industrialised suburbia, or long walks through sprawling cities, or incredibly repetitious stretches of unchanging scenery is worth it in the longer term.

The opposite of beauty and enjoyment isn't ugliness and suffering, not on the Camino -- it's the mundane and the banal.

But to learn how to live with these, to tame them if you will, to own them and make them yours, is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn on the Way of Saint James -- I say : persevere.

But I really do not recommend trying to keep up with someone who walks faster than you do -- if it's not your speed or your rhythm, then you cannot force these things upon yourself.

And a faster pilgrim cannot always slow down for a less speedy one -- it's possible sometimes, if the faster pilgrim has enough experience with the Camino to know that it's not a race of any kind, but this is something that can sometimes only be understood by the naturally faster people after a few 1000 Km. And until they have, maybe they just need that faster speed.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#47
@Kellbell408 , hi. In addition to what @Robo says, I suggest:

Turn this trip into a bus holiday, stopping where YOU will and catch-up with your friend from time to time.

Then I suggest you return home when originally planned.

Then I suggest you prepare for your next big walk, both body and equipment.
For equipment search out really low weight pack and sleeping bag. Try to keep every thing below 6 kg including water, snacks and techmology.
For training I suggest you work up to:
1) say 15 km (10 miles) before stopping for breakfast
2) say 400 m of elevation gain before stopping for breakfast
3) always wear all you gear
The objective is to have distance, height and weight just so common place it is normal. And you may find the energy and inclination to look around.

I wish you well for your next camino, wherever it may be.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)

15 km before breakfast !

Sometimes 15 kms is my whole day on Camino :eek::eek: ;);)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#50
Just because many on this forum (like me) love the Camino and long distance walking doesn't mean that everyone has to love it or even like it. I don't like to jog or run long distances. I find it boring. As much as I would love to complete a marathon, it's just not for me. I also don't really like gardening, even though I'd love to have a beautiful garden I'm not going to knock myself out doing something that I don't like. I would encourage to OP to give themselves permission to just quit and find something else to do that gives them joy while they are in Spain.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#52
It took a few days before the gerbil wheel in my head went still
LOVE this phrase. I think that most of my Camino's start with that for a day or so.

Kellbell408, just know you have a lot of people rooting for you and what ever you decide is best for you.

Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#53
@Kellbell408 , the Camino is not always so much fun, and neither is life.
If you give in to the boredom you are enslaved by it.
So why not practice changing your mind now and look at the glass half full rather than half empty? That way when life gives you something that's an even bigger pain you'll be better able to deal with it gracefully.
Buen camino, peregrina!
 
Camino(s) past & future
June/July 2018
#54
So, I don’t really know where else to go to for advice on this but I feel like the Camino is not for me. I’m not enjoying the walking, my feet hurt, I feel anxious all of the time, and I just want to take the bus every day.
I know there is a part of me that needs to push through it but i just don’t know if I can, or better yet want to.
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard and my friend that I’m with is a lot faster and told me at one point she never wants to leave. I just kind of feel like I’m alone in this feeling because so many people say the Camino changes their lives.
I hate to be so negative too but with anxiety and depression it just feels like I’m sinking further and further with no way out or no way to make myself feel better. Anyone ever experience these feelings?
Edit: I so appreciate everyone’s kind words and advice I have no words for how great everyone has been! I decided to bus a few days ahead to Leon so now I will have a few days off to hopefully chill and figure out the rest of my way! Probably going to keep walking but shorten my distances and then bus every other or every few days to catch up with my friend after this. Thanks for everything everyone I am so positively overwhelmed by the support! :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#56
Edit: I so appreciate everyone’s kind words and advice I have no words for how great everyone has been! I decided to bus a few days ahead to Leon so now I will have a few days off to hopefully chill and figure out the rest of my way! Probably going to keep walking but shorten my distances and then bus every other or every few days to catch up with my friend after this. Thanks for everything everyone I am so positively overwhelmed by the support! :)
Thank you Kellbell 408! You will enjoy Leon. There are some great Restaurants there! You can look on TripAdvisor.com. There are really some excellent choices.

I liked going over the mountains starting after Astorga. Both Ponferrada and Astorga are great places to stay. I would bus out of Leon there are stops along the way to Astorga on Alsa bus. From there you can either walk various distances till you reach Ponferrada, or you can take a train from Astorga to Ponferrada. The walk from Ponferrada to VillaFranca do Bierzo is not particularly interesting. You may want to get the bus in Ponferrada and get off in camponaraya and then walk to Villafranca do Bierzo. I found the walk from there all the way to Sarria scenic with varying terrain. There is bus service you can pick up in Villafranca that goes to Pedrafita do Cebriero....and bus service to Triacastela and Sarria! Hope the rest of your trip is more relaxing and peaceful! You will probably be busy but I hope we hear from you again!
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos 2017
St Jean to Fisterra 2018
St Jean to Fisterra 2020 or Chemin Piemont
#57
Hey there Pilgrim!

You are experiencing exactly what I went through last year. It sucks mightily...

Take buses when you feel like it. Take taxis. Heck, ride a damn horse!

What you need to remember is that everyone walks their own Camino. What is right for you is right for you, no one else. If your friends are faster, let em go be faster. Walk just fast enough to keep up with your joy and not so fast that you catch up with your pain.

Enjoy what you can of the experience. Your next Camino will be better.
 

twh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#58
Hey Kellbell, thanks for sharing your great news...so happy you are trying something new/different. Everyone here is pulling for YOU to figure out how to do YOUR Camino. I have a very strong feeling that you will be fine now. You will still have daily pain, struggles and challenges...everyone does on the Camino but I think you will figure out how to get those things down to a manageable level. Once again, I have so much respect for you and your endurance and pain tolerance to walk through 13 days of unbearable physical and mental discomfort. You are one tough cookie! Stay flexible with your plan, discard all expectations, just experience each moment of each day living in the present, not thinking about the past and any regrets, not trying to picture the future and what it will be like when this or that happens. You only have one moment in life....this moment. Tim H.

I love the quote below from Malachiuri (above)...it's great advice for Everyone.

"Walk just fast enough to keep up with your joy and not so fast that you catch up with your pain."
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#59
Edit: I so appreciate everyone’s kind words and advice I have no words for how great everyone has been! I decided to bus a few days ahead to Leon so now I will have a few days off to hopefully chill and figure out the rest of my way! Probably going to keep walking but shorten my distances and then bus every other or every few days to catch up with my friend after this. Thanks for everything everyone I am so positively overwhelmed by the support! :)
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I hope all goes well for you :)
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
#60
I echo all the others....its your 'vacation'...spend it how you like.

But...i will chime in that I feel that this forum often over-romanticizes the experience. There's a whole lot about it that's just plain miserable. (Or can be) Some of the greatest joys come from having pushed through and endured that which felt un-endurable.
 

SCT

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to Santiago 2014
Camino Frances 2016, 2017
#61
When I was hurting or anxious while walking, I often repeated verses of scripture or affirmations or prayers--all brief but something I could use as an anchor for my mind. For me it helped.

Keep letting us know how you are doing!
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#64
15 km before breakfast !
LOL! I had the same reaction. If I tried to walk 15km without first having breakfast I'd probably bonk halfway through from low blood sugar :)
Kia ora tatou (greetings to you both. The list was prefaced by "consider working up to: ... " or similar

My first training trip more than six years ago and was 5 km down hill with no pack etc. At the end of it I was buggered and my feet needed much TLC.

Within two months I was doing 30 km with heavy gear. At that time I was a mere 70 year old and weighed well over 90 kg.

My 22 km walk yesterday included a loo stop of 10 minutes, a savoury bread stop of 10 minutes and a height gain of only 150 m (100 m of that over 3 km). And all at nearly 6 km per hour on average*. And with my pack at just over 7 kg all up. Apart from the savoury bread stick I had my breakfast (porridge and fruit from the pack) when I got home, And had used about 100 ml of water. It is winter with temperatures between 2 and 10 C when I was walking.

This is training. I don't expect to do those speeds when en route

On the other hand, in two months I intend to be walking from Canterbury towards Rome with sparse accomodation and food opportunities on much of the route. So will need to make good speeds and endure the heat. Hence the training advice to build stamina and endurance for the awkward times.

Kia kaha to you both (take care, be strong, get going)

* from my trip notes and from the photo attached taken yesterday approaching a Speed Monitor, normally used for motorists.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#65
I hesitate to say, but that is a fast walk. Faster than most people. At just over 7 kph most people would break into a run. :oops:
A few times I have walked at 6 kph but I can't keep it up for long. :(
 

truenorthpilgrim

"Adventure is Worthwhile" - Aesop
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances (2016)
C. Finesterre (2016)
#66
So, I don’t really know where else to go to for advice on this but I feel like the Camino is not for me. I’m not enjoying the walking, my feet hurt, I feel anxious all of the time, and I just want to take the bus every day.
I know there is a part of me that needs to push through it but i just don’t know if I can, or better yet want to.
My anxiety is so bad I’m getting sick in the morning, and as much as I wish I was enjoying it I am not at all. I feel miserable all the time. I’m not in shape so the walking has been hard and my friend that I’m with is a lot faster and told me at one point she never wants to leave. I just kind of feel like I’m alone in this feeling because so many people say the Camino changes their lives.
I hate to be so negative too but with anxiety and depression it just feels like I’m sinking further and further with no way out or no way to make myself feel better. Anyone ever experience these feelings?
So glad you reached out. I have dealt with (and still do) depression and anxiety, mostly off the camino, but the camino has a way of drawing the stuff out of you that needs healing and love. I was mostly alone on my camino, because I'm a slow walker and only 5ft tall. I fretted about being left behind but after my journey I realized I met exactly who I was supposed to meet. I had this whollllee agenda of what my camino "should be", and the Universe chuckled and gave me the camino I needed.

All the advice on this thread is pretty solid, so I'll leave you with this...be super gentle with yourself. Don't beat yourself up, push yourself more than you need to, slow down a bit, sit in a church just to be silent with your heart. Ask for guidance, not necessarily from a god above, but from your heart. Perhaps now is not the time for the camino; only you'll know the answer. BUT...we are all cheering you on! Buen Camino!

*EDIT-just saw your latest post. Glad things are turning around for you!
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#67
Kia ora tatou (greetings to you both. The list was prefaced by "consider working up to: ... " or similar

My first training trip more than six years ago and was 5 km down hill with no pack etc. At the end of it I was buggered and my feet needed much TLC.

Within two months I was doing 30 km with heavy gear. At that time I was a mere 70 year old and weighed well over 90 kg.

My 22 km walk yesterday included a loo stop of 10 minutes, a savoury bread stop of 10 minutes and a height gain of only 150 m (100 m of that over 3 km). And all at nearly 6 km per hour on average*. And with my pack at just over 7 kg all up. Apart from the savoury bread stick I had my breakfast (porridge and fruit from the pack) when I got home, And had used about 100 ml of water. It is winter with temperatures between 2 and 10 C when I was walking.

This is training. I don't expect to do those speeds when en route

On the other hand, in two months I intend to be walking from Canterbury towards Rome with sparse accomodation and food opportunities on much of the route. So will need to make good speeds and endure the heat. Hence the training advice to build stamina and endurance for the awkward times.

Kia kaha to you both (take care, be strong, get going)

* from my trip notes and from the photo attached taken yesterday approaching a Speed Monitor, normally used for motorists.
I love that, I always wondered if a walker would trigger it. Now I know.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#68
@AlwynWellington you’re a machine! It’s highly likely there will be plenty of people who DON’T match your speed! It’s good to know what is comfortable for yourself. Yesterday I walked with my husband for the first time after months of walking alone. I seem to have settled into a comfortable speed for me (5.6km/hr). He commented on how slow we were going;-) After a couple of hours I got him to check our pace because I knew we had sped up. 5.8, a negligible difference really. For my hubby it was enough to make it feel like we weren’t dawdling, for me it was just enough to have to work a little rather than simply walk.
Find out what works for you....
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#69
Kia ora tatou (greetings to you both. The list was prefaced by "consider working up to: ... " or similar

My first training trip more than six years ago and was 5 km down hill with no pack etc. At the end of it I was buggered and my feet needed much TLC.

Within two months I was doing 30 km with heavy gear. At that time I was a mere 70 year old and weighed well over 90 kg.

My 22 km walk yesterday included a loo stop of 10 minutes, a savoury bread stop of 10 minutes and a height gain of only 150 m (100 m of that over 3 km). And all at nearly 6 km per hour on average*. And with my pack at just over 7 kg all up. Apart from the savoury bread stick I had my breakfast (porridge and fruit from the pack) when I got home, And had used about 100 ml of water. It is winter with temperatures between 2 and 10 C when I was walking.

This is training. I don't expect to do those speeds when en route

On the other hand, in two months I intend to be walking from Canterbury towards Rome with sparse accomodation and food opportunities on much of the route. So will need to make good speeds and endure the heat. Hence the training advice to build stamina and endurance for the awkward times.

Kia kaha to you both (take care, be strong, get going)

* from my trip notes and from the photo attached taken yesterday approaching a Speed Monitor, normally used for motorists.
Good God man! You are my hero? I pray to God that when I reach your age I'm half that fast. You put me to shame. Thank you for sharing that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#70
I hesitate to say ...
Rob, don't hesitate: just get going, at whatever is comfortable for you. At now time did I feel inclined to jog: doing that would almost certainly induce a episode of actute vertigo.

I love that, I always wondered if a walker would trigger it. Now I know.
This is the only one that does this for me. It's on a bend with a change of limit from 70 to 50 kmph approaching houses.

Find out what works for you..
Rachel, that worked for me on that occassion. It was a Saturday morning, low temperatures, no wind (it is Wellington after all), no rain, a dedicated shared path for about half the distance, almost flat over most of the length (again, it is Wellington). And a route I know almost too well. And I am most comfortable with my gear, in particular my shoes and hose.

To you all: the point of being as quick as I can is to establish, fitness, stamina and a mind set to cope with the effects of walking day after day, while having time to see what I am passing through, stopping as the spirit takes me.

And it proved very effective, for example, on the pull up from Saint-Jean (after nearly four weeks on the way from Le Puy). I left about 7.30 and was amongst the first at Roncesvalles. But did not always prove effective.

As Rachel and Rob say, use what works for you.

Kia kaha tatou (to you all, take care, be strong, get going)
 

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