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Coping with Post-Walk Depression

Anna Sar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Central, Litoral, Finisterra, Primitivo, San Salvador, di Assisi, Francis Way, Sanabres
When walking is part of your nature you carry a bit of that depression with you even when you start your next journey. Because you know it will end and how you will feel afterwards. For me its like an eternal, endless longing. Yearning for something there. And it was with me all my life, as long as I remember.
Yet in that I appreciate every moment of the journey. It feels so mindful. I remember the first steps of my last one. Almost flying with joy and happiness. I could only wish to share it with my best friend. He would know.
My biggest dream is just to take my rucksack one day, start walking and finish it only when I feel it's done. Maybe months later, maybe years :)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I think we all experience it to some degree. Personally, I find the only cure to participate here in the Forum trying to help others, and planning for my next Camino, and / or volunteer stint at Santiago.

It is what keeps me sane... (or as sane as possible...)o_O
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
I thought thats what Cruz de Ferro is for...to leave all stuff like that beneath it :rolleyes:😇
 

Kym G.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF ('13, '15)
SJPP to Logroño ('18)
Logroño to Castrojeriz ('19)
Salvador, Primitivo ('19)
I would recommend Alexander Shaia's book, Returning from Camino. I have not read it yet, but I have heard him speak and have chatted with him about the same subject. He has some pretty keen insights and reflections on re-entry.

And I agree with emvb. There is definitely an emotional overlap between returning from something like the AT and pilgrimage.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I think we all experience it to some degree. Personally, I find the only cure to participate here in the Forum trying to help others, and planning for my next Camino, and / or volunteer stint at Santiago.

It is what keeps me sane... (or as sane as possible...)o_O

Many of us remember and hope to give back a part of what has been gleaned. Some may serve as volunteers or hospitaleros offering physical assistance to fellow pilgrims. Others share their journeys anew offering tips/advice by writing to unknown readers as for example in blogs, books or on this Forum....Every morning I wake and wonder how it might be walking that day in such heat or rain or snow. Every evening when offering silent thanks for the gift of the present day I give special thanks for personal camino memories and hope that I may "wear" a pilgrim shell until my end.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I think we all experience it to some degree. Personally, I find the only cure to participate here in the Forum trying to help others, and planning for my next Camino, and / or volunteer stint at Santiago.

It is what keeps me sane... (or as sane as possible...)o_O
Time to bring up an old saw again: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" and no, it wasn't Einstein who said it. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Many of us remember and hope to give back a part of what has been gleaned. Some may serve as volunteers or hospitaleros offering physical assistance to fellow pilgrims. Others share their journeys anew offering tips/advice by writing to unknown readers as for example in blogs, books or on this Forum....Every morning I wake and wonder how it might be walking that day in such heat or rain or snow. Every evening when offering silent thanks for the gift of the present day I give special thanks for personal camino memories and hope that I may "wear" a pilgrim shell until my end.
Every evening when offering silent thanks for the gift of the present day I give special thanks for personal camino memories and hope that I may "wear" a pilgrim shell until my end.
I hope that for you too, mspath. I owe you a great deal! I know that you are not waiting for refund! If I am lucky, perhaps our paths will cross this winter, in Paris...
 

Cary

Member
Camino(s) past & future
del Norte/Primitivo May 2019
Must say this is something I have wondered about happening post Camino. If it does I will simply hope it will pass with my getting outside and into nature which is my usual way of handling such emotions. Is that wishful thinking?
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Time to bring up an old saw again: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" and no, it wasn't Einstein who said it. :)
In that case... I am certifiably insane... And WHO did say it...or is it an urban myth... ?

One is curious
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
In that case... I am certifiably insane... And WHO did say it...or is it an urban myth... ?One is curious
I (for one) know that I am crazy but that is the ONLY thing that kept me from going insane ;):p

and as long as we are quoting:
Sickness will surely take the mind
Where minds can't usually go
Come on the amazing journey
And learn all you should know
👍
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
Some time ago I came across this excerpt. What between the subject of this thread and the Season - IMHO it is fitting:


A walk into the dark
The spiritual life does not come cheap. It is not a stroll down a Mary Poppins path with a candy-store God who gives sweets and miracles. It is a walk into the dark with the God who is the light that leads us through darkness.
Darkness, I have discovered, is the way we come to see. It creates the depressions that, once faced, teach us to trust. It gives us the sensitivity it takes to understand the depth of the pain in others. It seeds in us the humility it takes to learn to live gently with the rest of the universe. It opens us to new possibilities within ourselves.
Darkness is a very spiritual thing.
Myra B. Nagel has written, “The season of Lent is a time to reflect on the cross and its meaning for our lives.” There is no doubt in my mind that the cross is significant in any life. Who ever carries a cross and is the same at the end of the journey as they were at the beginning? The only question is the nature of the change. I have so far always been stronger at the end of struggle than I was at the outset. But I have always been more independent, distant, isolated, as well. That hasn’t been all bad—but it has, at the same time, taken its toll.
I have discovered over time that the cross is supposed to take its toll on us. It forms us to find God in the shadows of life. Ironically enough, it is the cross that teaches us hope. When we have survived our own cross, risen alive from the grave of despair, we begin to know that we can survive again and again and again, whatever life sends us in the future. It is this hope that carries us from stage to stage in life, singing and dancing around dark corners.
But hope is not a private virtue. Hope makes us witness to the invincibility of the spirit. The hope we bring to others becomes the one sure gift we have to give to those in pain.
The God of the Dance beckons us out of the caves of the soul to faith and trust and new beginnings. It’s when we get trapped in the past—in its details, and its shame, and its narrow boxes and short leashes—that life stops for us. When life is defined for us by others, we limit our sense of ourselves. Then we dismiss the God of Possibility from our lives. We refuse to become the more that we are. We sit on the dung heap of our past and make it our present. We fail to believe that God is. That God is in us. That God is calling us out of the darkness into the light.
Darkness is one of the ways to God, provided we see it as leading to the light. Provided we don’t turn it into the death of our own soul.
—from Called to Question by Joan Chittister (Sheed & Ward)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
In that case... I am certifiably insane... And WHO did say it...or is it an urban myth... ?

One is curious
No idea - Daughter No1 had it on a tee-shirt at Uni and a lecturer said it wasn't Einstein.

And you're not certifiably insane, you're a pilgrim . . . oh.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
For me I walk the depression away. Post Camino I try to remember to take each day one step at the time. A Camino never has to stop.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
I deal with it by running two successful Face Book Groups both for Pilgrims who have returned and for Pilgrims who have not yet walked - both are looking for answers of some sort, just as they do here on the forum each day. To run the group is no small task and sometimes, it gets to me, but then, I turn on the computer anew the next day and I feel truly blessed to have been given this gift and the people in my group, some of whom have become very close Cyber friends. I love my life and I look forward to my next Camino which is coming up in September this year. :)
 

BiancaQ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Portugues 2018
I agree so much!! Working towards that!
 

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