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LIVE from the Camino Struggling on the Camino.

Kevin considine

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2), Chemin du Puy, Portuguese, Via de la Plata
#1
I read a recent post by a fellow pilgrim who was struggling emotionally and physically on The Camino which consequently made me think of 4 special Camino buddies who I think of whenever I am finding the going difficult:
1527743899711.png
Dani, a 74 year old French woman that could not weigh more than 70 lbs(31 kilos). On a foggy, gray misty morning out of Barbadelo I approached her from behind thinking she was a child and wondering why she was alone. Dani had lost her husband 2 years earlier and was walking for him. Here I am spontaneously picking her up and hugging her after she informed me she was walking solo and had started where I had, Le Puy en Velay, about 1400 kilometers back in France.

1527743899868.png

Alain and Alice of Paris. Alain was a powerful man, a martial arts instructor who had been diagnosed with MS 6 years before and had required a wheelchair the previous two. He was walking The Camino to give his 2 year old something special to remember him by as he faced a rapid decline in health. And his companion Alice who did not know Alain before this but had helped him to raise funds for a special wheelchair, set up and maintained a blog for the trip and gave him 6 months of her life. I also found that while others focused so much on Alain, Alice was overlooked and yet she carried on selflessly.

1527743900028.png

Last was Lynne Essex, a 58 year old Aussie woman whose path crossed mine in Muxia at the edge of the world. She had just completed a 780 kilometer (500mile) pilgrimage on Camino Francis while I had completed a 1000K walk from Seville on Camino Via de la Plata. I was whining to her about a blister the size of a tennis ball on the bottom of my foot. She told me that she had Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. I spent some time with her that day and she was obviously in pain. She mentioned that she could ‘only’ go about 15K per day on her Camino. I asked her what her doctor said about her going? She said, “He and others told me I was crazy”. She said this with a big happy grin and indicated the pain was getting worse but she was so glad to have been able to finish. A few weeks later I got a message from Lynne that the increasing pain was not the cancer, which was in remission, but a broken pelvis which she most likely had since before starting her Camino.

1527743900153.png

When I am struggling in any way on my current 3000K Camino, I simply think of these 4 and their beautiful spirits and my aching, heavy feet and legs lighten and the next few miles are not nearly as difficult. Thank you to my four friends. Ultreia!

A note of recognition and Ultreia to those people that struggle with various illnesses that take them to the depths of despair that require medication to bring them out of it. Especially deceased relatives Bridget Enright Scanlan and Chris Conrad. And a thank you to Boudewijn van der Ark for helping me and others to better understand the incredibly difficult ongoing battle faced by people with illnesses that cause severe depression.
 

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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#7
Today I heard of two people who took their life within the last few days (I know it happens all the time, but you become more aware of the issue when it reaches your circle - not that I personally knew either of these people).....I wonder if the Camino could be beneficial for those in despair - no, I know it could be - I wonder if there is any way of me facilitating something to connect sufferers with The Way.
Thanks for sharing this post - it has taken my thoughts somewhere quite unexpected.
 

Mark Di Marzio

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#9
What a beautiful and touching post . Some noble human beings just have the capacity for quiet courage and strength under great physical or emotional duress and illness and this is just so inspirational & humbling .It is good to be reminded of this . Thankyou
 

Annette london

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#10
Today I heard of two people who took their life within the last few days (I know it happens all the time, but you become more aware of the issue when it reaches your circle - not that I personally knew either of these people).....I wonder if the Camino could be beneficial for those in despair - no, I know it could be - I wonder if there is any way of me facilitating something to connect sufferers with The Way.
Thanks for sharing this post - it has taken my thoughts somewhere quite unexpected.
Kiwi-family
You are right..
Walking the Camino can be extremely beneficial to someone in the midst of despair or depression
Just putting one foot in front of another day after day after day can be and is a very therapeutic experience
Walking in general, with time "to think and stare" certainly part of the treatment for depression.

What an inspiring post from Kevin
With best wishes and thanks
Annette
 

Kevin considine

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2), Chemin du Puy, Portuguese, Via de la Plata
#12
Today I heard of two people who took their life within the last few days (I know it happens all the time, but you become more aware of the issue when it reaches your circle - not that I personally knew either of these people).....I wonder if the Camino could be beneficial for those in despair - no, I know it could be - I wonder if there is any way of me facilitating something to connect sufferers with The Way.
Thanks for sharing this post - it has taken my thoughts somewhere quite unexpected.
I have had the same thoughts. In fact if anyone I am talking to expresses significant problems I suggest they consider walking the Camino. I think it has healing powers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2013
Camino Fisterra/Muxía 2013
Camino Inglés 2013
Camino del Salvador 2014
Camino Primitivo 2014
Caminho Portugues 2015
Camino del Norte 2016
#13
Today I heard of two people who took their life within the last few days (I know it happens all the time, but you become more aware of the issue when it reaches your circle - not that I personally knew either of these people).....I wonder if the Camino could be beneficial for those in despair - no, I know it could be - I wonder if there is any way of me facilitating something to connect sufferers with The Way.
Thanks for sharing this post - it has taken my thoughts somewhere quite unexpected.
Have you read https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-short-article-in-the-guardian.55814/#post-626301
 

kirkie

Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#15
I read a recent post by a fellow pilgrim who was struggling emotionally and physically on The Camino which consequently made me think of 4 special Camino buddies who I think of whenever I am finding the going difficult:
View attachment 43139
Dani, a 74 year old French woman that could not weigh more than 70 lbs(31 kilos). On a foggy, gray misty morning out of Barbadelo I approached her from behind thinking she was a child and wondering why she was alone. Dani had lost her husband 2 years earlier and was walking for him. Here I am spontaneously picking her up and hugging her after she informed me she was walking solo and had started where I had, Le Puy en Velay, about 1400 kilometers back in France.

View attachment 43137

Alain and Alice of Paris. Alain was a powerful man, a martial arts instructor who had been diagnosed with MS 6 years before and had required a wheelchair the previous two. He was walking The Camino to give his 2 year old something special to remember him by as he faced a rapid decline in health. And his companion Alice who did not know Alain before this but had helped him to raise funds for a special wheelchair, set up and maintained a blog for the trip and gave him 6 months of her life. I also found that while others focused so much on Alain, Alice was overlooked and yet she carried on selflessly.

View attachment 43138

Last was Lynne Essex, a 58 year old Aussie woman whose path crossed mine in Muxia at the edge of the world. She had just completed a 780 kilometer (500mile) pilgrimage on Camino Francis while I had completed a 1000K walk from Seville on Camino Via de la Plata. I was whining to her about a blister the size of a tennis ball on the bottom of my foot. She told me that she had Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. I spent some time with her that day and she was obviously in pain. She mentioned that she could ‘only’ go about 15K per day on her Camino. I asked her what her doctor said about her going? She said, “He and others told me I was crazy”. She said this with a big happy grin and indicated the pain was getting worse but she was so glad to have been able to finish. A few weeks later I got a message from Lynne that the increasing pain was not the cancer, which was in remission, but a broken pelvis which she most likely had since before starting her Camino.

View attachment 43136

When I am struggling in any way on my current 3000K Camino, I simply think of these 4 and their beautiful spirits and my aching, heavy feet and legs lighten and the next few miles are not nearly as difficult. Thank you to my four friends. Ultreia!

A note of recognition and Ultreia to those people that struggle with various illnesses that take them to the depths of despair that require medication to bring them out of it. Especially deceased relatives Bridget Enright Scanlan and Chris Conrad. And a thank you to Boudewijn van der Ark for helping me and others to better understand the incredibly difficult ongoing battle faced by people with illnesses that cause severe depression.
Kevin, thank you. You have given so much by sharing this post.
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#16
Thank you for sharing these inspirational stories Kevin. I have been wallowing a bit lately (injuries, Mom with dementia taking a lot of time away from opportunities to exercise and train for our Camino in August, etc. etc.). A kick in the pants to remind me of what true struggles look like and and how they are overcome with grace. You were blessed to meet some incredible humans.
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#19
Today I heard of two people who took their life within the last few days (I know it happens all the time, but you become more aware of the issue when it reaches your circle - not that I personally knew either of these people).....I wonder if the Camino could be beneficial for those in despair - no, I know it could be - I wonder if there is any way of me facilitating something to connect sufferers with The Way.
Thanks for sharing this post - it has taken my thoughts somewhere quite unexpected.
I sincerely hope you’re right about the effects of the Camino. I have this past 12 months come close twice to taking mine, when I don’t have the guts to try, I take risks that might take control of my destiny for me.

I have recently found The Way and this forum, my plan of my own pilgrimage in 2019 has given light and something to aim for, for the next 13 months at least.
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#20
Kiwi-family
You are right..
Walking the Camino can be extremely beneficial to someone in the midst of despair or depression
Just putting one foot in front of another day after day after day can be and is a very therapeutic experience
Walking in general, with time "to think and stare" certainly part of the treatment for depression.

What an inspiring post from Kevin
With best wishes and thanks
Annette
Annette, my plan is to keep putting one foot in front of the other through my daily grind, until I can plac one foot in front of the other on my Camino.

I have a target for 2019, so a reason to live. I hope to walk, state, think and feel the world around me, as I put one foot in front of the other, day after day after day in 2019
 

Annette london

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#21
Annette, my plan is to keep putting one foot in front of the other through my daily grind, until I can plac one foot in front of the other on my Camino.

I have a target for 2019, so a reason to live. I hope to walk, state, think and feel the world around me, as I put one foot in front of the other, day after day after day in 2019
Hi john,
The best of luck to you
You will make it I'm sure
Some great walking in the west of uk also
With good wishes
Annette
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese May "08" Camino Frances May/June "11" del Norte Sept/Oct "14"/Camino Invierno May 2016/ Camino Ingles Oct 2017
#22
Love this post. I'm returning in the fall for my fourth Camino (the Primitivo this time) and so look forward to the sense of camaraderie that is universal on The Way. Thank you for reminding of the joy of being a pilgrim.
When are you planning on walking? I'm headed out for the Primitive around the 11th or so of October. Always nice to have a friendly face when starting...though I usually get left in the dust, as I'm kinda slow! :)
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#23
I sincerely hope you’re right about the effects of the Camino. I have this past 12 months come close twice to taking mine, when I don’t have the guts to try, I take risks that might take control of my destiny for me.

I have recently found The Way and this forum, my plan of my own pilgrimage in 2019 has given light and something to aim for, for the next 13 months at least.
@Johnlewis47
There is a previous thread about walking the camino as help to persons who suffer from operational stress injuries. I don't know if you might find this interesting in your personal situation. It can be found at : https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/informational-package-for-ptsd-camino.37496/.
I have heard a lot recently about operational stress injuries suffered by military veterans and persons working in emergency medical services. Your comments on this forum suggest that this might be relevant to you.
Mary Louise
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#24
Today I heard of two people who took their life within the last few days (I know it happens all the time, but you become more aware of the issue when it reaches your circle - not that I personally knew either of these people).....I wonder if the Camino could be beneficial for those in despair - no, I know it could be - I wonder if there is any way of me facilitating something to connect sufferers with The Way.
Thanks for sharing this post - it has taken my thoughts somewhere quite unexpected.
My grandmother always easily slipped into depression especially after my grandfather died. She was so much better and brighter if we could drag her out of the house for a walk, she would be better almost immediately. When my grandfather was alive, they hiked everywhere, climbed mountains and went on walking adventures, it made such a difference to her personality and happiness.
I think they passed the walking gene to me.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#26
@Johnlewis47

Hi John,

I hope you are well. And congratulations on the decision to walk a Camino. As many have testified, the Camino can be a transformative experience and I hope that this is the case for you.

I hope that, given your current struggles, you have been able to access some of the excellent support we have in the UK with charities and support groups. I really hope that you don't experience that despair again, but if you do please reach out to someone. As you have now recognised, everyone can have a future and yours seems to be beginning with planning next years Camino and I am so pleased that you have this positivity to move forward.

Walking can be an amazing tool for so many aspects of our health and its impact on mental health is being recognised more and more. The UK Ramblers association address this on their website and perhaps they have a branch you could contact for training walks and support. I am sure they would have some great tips on walking long distance and there are some beautiful walks here.

Speaking of which, have you heard of Jake Tyler? Jake was suffering from really debilitating depression and decided to walk the UK, completing some 3000 miles in the process. A google search will bring up lots of articles and news reports but this link is to his take on what walking does for us. Short but succinct.

https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/walking-impacts-mental-health-tips

But in regards to the Camino. It can transform lives. It can be spiritual, healing, revelatory and so many other things but it can be so either very obviously or with subtlety. Some are left disappointed and perhaps feel their expectations were not met. Like life, there are no guarantees. But what it definitely does, is offer opportunities. Opportunities to learn and grow and experience so many things.

You will have the time to be alone or socialise with people from all over the world. And away from the restraints we sometimes have at home, you will have the time and freedom to think. And I sincerely hope that when you do get the chance to take life step after step, as you put it, that those steps lead you to your next path in life.

Have fun planning! And I wish you all the best for you and your Camino.

Bryce
 
Last edited:

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#27
@Kevin considine

Thank you so much for this wonderful thread. Sometimes I lose sight of the Camino Spirit and become preoccupied with quite trivial annoyances about other pilgrims. It was nice to have my ego remember that there are wonderful people who guide and heal us on The Way.

I have met some wonderful people who humbled me in their generosity of kindness and perhaps the people are one of the reasons I return to the Camino year after year. But I really do thank you for this timely reminder. Your post was beautiful

Bryce
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#30
@Johnlewis47
There is a previous thread about walking the camino as help to persons who suffer from operational stress injuries. I don't know if you might find this interesting in your personal situation. It can be found at : https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/informational-package-for-ptsd-camino.37496/.
I have heard a lot recently about operational stress injuries suffered by military veterans and persons working in emergency medical services. Your comments on this forum suggest that this might be relevant to you.
Mary Louise
Mary thank you for guiding me to the mentioned thread!! I will now be reading though it.

Thank you so much for he support. I have felt nothing but confidence since joining the part of my Camino (the forum alone) and look forward to the rest of my journey
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#31
@Johnlewis47

Hi John,

I hope you are well. And congratulations on the decision to walk a Camino. As many have testified, the Camino can be a transformative experience and I hope that this is the case for you.

I hope that, given your current struggles, you have been able to access some of the excellent support we have in the UK with charities and support groups. I really hope that you don't experience that despair again, but if you do please reach out to someone. As you have now recognised, everyone can have a future and yours seems to be beginning with planning next years Camino and I am so pleased that you have this positivity to move forward.

Walking can be an amazing tool for so many aspects of our health and its impact on mental health is being recognised more and more. The UK Ramblers association address this on their website and perhaps they have a branch you could contact for training walks and support. I am sure they would have some great tips on walking long distance and there are some beautiful walks here.

Speaking of which, have you heard of Jake Tyler? Jake was suffering from really debilitating depression and decided to walk the UK, completing some 3000 miles in the process. A google search will bring up lots of articles and news reports but this link is to his take on what walking does for us. Short but succinct.

https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/walking-impacts-mental-health-tips

But in regards to the Camino. It can transform lives. It can be spiritual, healing, revelatory and so many other things but it can be so either very obviously or with subtlety. Some are left disappointed and perhaps feel their expectations were not met. Like life, there are no guarantees. But what it definitely does, is offer opportunities. Opportunities to learn and grow and experience so many things.

You will have the time to be alone or socialise with people from all over the world. And away from the restraints we sometimes have at home, you will have the time and freedom to think. And I sincerely hope that when you do get the chance to take life step after step, as you put it, that those steps lead you to your next path in life.

Have fun planning! And I wish you all the best for you and your Camino.

Bryce
Hello Bryce

Thank you for your amazing message of support. I try to keep my expectations in check, for a number of reasons, but as you rightly identify too much expectation can end in let down.

However with the vast support this forum family has already offered, including yourself, says to me the decision to walk a Camino is the right one.

I have been supported along the way from a good number of charities and when with them see the light often and you’re right we have some amazing support services here in the UK.

I have a good bright light at the moment, in the form of my Camino planning and this forum.

Thank you once again good man
 

Colette Zaharie

Happy Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Fisterre-Muxia March 2017
Slovakia Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017
El Norte March 1 2018
#32
I sincerely hope you’re right about the effects of the Camino. I have this past 12 months come close twice to taking mine, when I don’t have the guts to try, I take risks that might take control of my destiny for me.

I have recently found The Way and this forum, my plan of my own pilgrimage in 2019 has given light and something to aim for, for the next 13 months at least.
Johnlewis, the Camino has been so life-altering that I beg you to keep your eyes focused on your start date, don’t look anywhere else, read this forum daily and join some Facebook groups to follow others’ pilgrimages live. The Camino starts to provide even before you travel to Spain. I returned from my second Camino 2 months ago. I walked the Norte alone mostly in the rain and mud. I’m filled with an intense but gentle JOY for my life and all life around me. I started to feel a bit lost a few weeks back (I’m a wanderer so don’t feel “home” is really anywhere) but as soon as I saw some posts about the Camino Salvador + Primitivo I knew it was calling me. Now I no longer feel lost because the Camino awaits me once again. Buen camino and a prayers.
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#33
Johnlewis, the Camino has been so life-altering that I beg you to keep your eyes focused on your start date, don’t look anywhere else, read this forum daily and join some Facebook groups to follow others’ pilgrimages live. The Camino starts to provide even before you travel to Spain. I returned from my second Camino 2 months ago. I walked the Norte alone mostly in the rain and mud. I’m filled with an intense but gentle JOY for my life and all life around me. I started to feel a bit lost a few weeks back (I’m a wanderer so don’t feel “home” is really anywhere) but as soon as I saw some posts about the Camino Salvador + Primitivo I knew it was calling me. Now I no longer feel lost because the Camino awaits me once again. Buen camino and a prayers.
Good morning Collette

I have seen the truth in all you say. I too feel the CF call me as soon as I stumbled across it in a TV documentary, and similarly I am experiencing my Camino already from my daily views on this forum.

My start date for Camino 1 (and Camino 2) are firmly set in my diary!

Thank you and best wishes
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#34
I read a recent post by a fellow pilgrim who was struggling emotionally and physically on The Camino which consequently made me think of 4 special Camino buddies who I think of whenever I am finding the going difficult:
View attachment 43139
Dani, a 74 year old French woman that could not weigh more than 70 lbs(31 kilos). On a foggy, gray misty morning out of Barbadelo I approached her from behind thinking she was a child and wondering why she was alone. Dani had lost her husband 2 years earlier and was walking for him. Here I am spontaneously picking her up and hugging her after she informed me she was walking solo and had started where I had, Le Puy en Velay, about 1400 kilometers back in France.

View attachment 43137

Alain and Alice of Paris. Alain was a powerful man, a martial arts instructor who had been diagnosed with MS 6 years before and had required a wheelchair the previous two. He was walking The Camino to give his 2 year old something special to remember him by as he faced a rapid decline in health. And his companion Alice who did not know Alain before this but had helped him to raise funds for a special wheelchair, set up and maintained a blog for the trip and gave him 6 months of her life. I also found that while others focused so much on Alain, Alice was overlooked and yet she carried on selflessly.

View attachment 43138

Last was Lynne Essex, a 58 year old Aussie woman whose path crossed mine in Muxia at the edge of the world. She had just completed a 780 kilometer (500mile) pilgrimage on Camino Francis while I had completed a 1000K walk from Seville on Camino Via de la Plata. I was whining to her about a blister the size of a tennis ball on the bottom of my foot. She told me that she had Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. I spent some time with her that day and she was obviously in pain. She mentioned that she could ‘only’ go about 15K per day on her Camino. I asked her what her doctor said about her going? She said, “He and others told me I was crazy”. She said this with a big happy grin and indicated the pain was getting worse but she was so glad to have been able to finish. A few weeks later I got a message from Lynne that the increasing pain was not the cancer, which was in remission, but a broken pelvis which she most likely had since before starting her Camino.

View attachment 43136

When I am struggling in any way on my current 3000K Camino, I simply think of these 4 and their beautiful spirits and my aching, heavy feet and legs lighten and the next few miles are not nearly as difficult. Thank you to my four friends. Ultreia!

A note of recognition and Ultreia to those people that struggle with various illnesses that take them to the depths of despair that require medication to bring them out of it. Especially deceased relatives Bridget Enright Scanlan and Chris Conrad. And a thank you to Boudewijn van der Ark for helping me and others to better understand the incredibly difficult ongoing battle faced by people with illnesses that cause severe depression.
I am worried my plight has clouded the OP, which was not my intention. I found Kevin’s story reassuring and as my own fuel to my light at the end of the tunnel. A Camino experience story that so many have and that I am already joining, thank you @Kevin considine
 

Annette london

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#35
I am worried my plight has clouded the OP, which was not my intention. I found Kevin’s story reassuring and as my own fuel to my light at the end of the tunnel. A Camino experience story that so many have and that I am already joining, thank you @Kevin considine
No John, it hasn't, so stop worrying
This has been a very thought provoking thread and it's all interlinked well
If it's humbled or helped those of us on the forum
Then it's done a good job
If the weather in the west isn't too bad today.
Then get those feet moving .....that 500 mile journey can begin with a single step ...as the saying goes!
Best wishes
Annette
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#36
super reminder.
We have hosted such quiet miracles at our house. I remember Vika, from Hungary, a 50-something woman with a terminal tumor condition. Her camino was her last wish. She went very slowly and had to do daily injections... which got her reported to a hospitalero who assumed she was shooting up illegal drugs. He threw her out.
Two athletic German boys knew her story, stood up for her, and were thrown out too! All three slept on the church porch that night.
The two "boys" (they were 19 and 20) spent the rest of their "sport camino" slowly accompanying Vika down the camino, ensuring she got a bed, a meal, and a kind word. They sent a post card from Santiago when they arrived. Their sporty holiday was transformed into a mission of mercy.
Five months later one of the boys sent Vika's funeral announcement. Both boys traveled to Hungary for the Mass. These are three of the most wonderful people I have met on the Road, a holy trinity.
 

Kevin considine

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2), Chemin du Puy, Portuguese, Via de la Plata
#37
I am worried my plight has clouded the OP, which was not my intention. I found Kevin’s story reassuring and as my own fuel to my light at the end of the tunnel. A Camino experience story that so many have and that I am already joining, thank you @Kevin considine
Dont worry about that Johnie. We are all in this together. That this thread helps you just a little bit is the point and inspires me to keep spreading the word of the miracle of the Camino. I will pass on your message to my Camino Buddies which will make them happy. I have 200 days on the Camino and am currently walking to Santiago from my ancestral home in Ireland. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions on The camino or anything else. Buen Camino and Ultreia!
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#38
@domigee

Thank you so much for your words. And I agree. Sometimes I would love to plant a big "heart" on a post or thread such as this one. It has been so nice to be reminded to remember those who touched my Camino.

@Johnlewis47

I absolutely agree that it sounds like the best thing for you and I certainly didn't want to emphasise any negative. It has totally transformed my life. As some already know, i battle mental illness but my first Camino in 2013 was life-changing and friends could not believe my new found confidence and peace of mind when I returned. It was the best therapy in the world and I return every year. I am sure it will be everything you want it to be.

The Forum Family you mention is indicative of the Camino Family in my opinion. When walking I came across so many open minded and open hearted people, willing to share their help and knowledge that it was impossible not to be touched by human kindness. And it has been so lovely to see that openness reflected here on the forum. I am so pleased you found it and that it has helped you.

@Rebekah Scott

That is a wonderful story that is humbling and inspiring. It absolutely epitomises what the Camino spirit is all about and is what brings me back to the Camino as well as restoring my faith in people generally. Note to self, stop being so cynical. Thank you for sharing.

Wonderful thread.
 

Kevin considine

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2), Chemin du Puy, Portuguese, Via de la Plata
#39
super reminder.
We have hosted such quiet miracles at our house. I remember Vika, from Hungary, a 50-something woman with a terminal tumor condition. Her camino was her last wish. She went very slowly and had to do daily injections... which got her reported to a hospitalero who assumed she was shooting up illegal drugs. He threw her out.
Two athletic German boys knew her story, stood up for her, and were thrown out too! All three slept on the church porch that night.
The two "boys" (they were 19 and 20) spent the rest of their "sport camino" slowly accompanying Vika down the camino, ensuring she got a bed, a meal, and a kind word. They sent a post card from Santiago when they arrived. Their sporty holiday was transformed into a mission of mercy.
Five months later one of the boys sent Vika's funeral announcement. Both boys traveled to Hungary for the Mass. These are three of the most wonderful people I have met on the Road, a holy trinity.
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
 

kirkie

Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#40
I read a recent post by a fellow pilgrim who was struggling emotionally and physically on The Camino which consequently made me think of 4 special Camino buddies who I think of whenever I am finding the going difficult:
View attachment 43139
Dani, a 74 year old French woman that could not weigh more than 70 lbs(31 kilos). On a foggy, gray misty morning out of Barbadelo I approached her from behind thinking she was a child and wondering why she was alone. Dani had lost her husband 2 years earlier and was walking for him. Here I am spontaneously picking her up and hugging her after she informed me she was walking solo and had started where I had, Le Puy en Velay, about 1400 kilometers back in France.

View attachment 43137

Alain and Alice of Paris. Alain was a powerful man, a martial arts instructor who had been diagnosed with MS 6 years before and had required a wheelchair the previous two. He was walking The Camino to give his 2 year old something special to remember him by as he faced a rapid decline in health. And his companion Alice who did not know Alain before this but had helped him to raise funds for a special wheelchair, set up and maintained a blog for the trip and gave him 6 months of her life. I also found that while others focused so much on Alain, Alice was overlooked and yet she carried on selflessly.

View attachment 43138

Last was Lynne Essex, a 58 year old Aussie woman whose path crossed mine in Muxia at the edge of the world. She had just completed a 780 kilometer (500mile) pilgrimage on Camino Francis while I had completed a 1000K walk from Seville on Camino Via de la Plata. I was whining to her about a blister the size of a tennis ball on the bottom of my foot. She told me that she had Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. I spent some time with her that day and she was obviously in pain. She mentioned that she could ‘only’ go about 15K per day on her Camino. I asked her what her doctor said about her going? She said, “He and others told me I was crazy”. She said this with a big happy grin and indicated the pain was getting worse but she was so glad to have been able to finish. A few weeks later I got a message from Lynne that the increasing pain was not the cancer, which was in remission, but a broken pelvis which she most likely had since before starting her Camino.

View attachment 43136

When I am struggling in any way on my current 3000K Camino, I simply think of these 4 and their beautiful spirits and my aching, heavy feet and legs lighten and the next few miles are not nearly as difficult. Thank you to my four friends. Ultreia!

A note of recognition and Ultreia to those people that struggle with various illnesses that take them to the depths of despair that require medication to bring them out of it. Especially deceased relatives Bridget Enright Scanlan and Chris Conrad. And a thank you to Boudewijn van der Ark for helping me and others to better understand the incredibly difficult ongoing battle faced by people with illnesses that cause severe depression.
Kevin, you have a right to feel really happy at all the goodness that is flying around as a result of your post. Fair play!
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#42
Dont worry about that Johnie. We are all in this together. That this thread helps you just a little bit is the point and inspires me to keep spreading the word of the miracle of the Camino. I will pass on your message to my Camino Buddies which will make them happy. I have 200 days on the Camino and am currently walking to Santiago from my ancestral home in Ireland. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions on The camino or anything else. Buen Camino and Ultreia!
Thank you Kevin, you are a good man as I have found with so many on here.

I will follow you on your Camino

Buen Camino
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#43
@domigee

Thank you so much for your words. And I agree. Sometimes I would love to plant a big "heart" on a post or thread such as this one. It has been so nice to be reminded to remember those who touched my Camino.

@Johnlewis47

I absolutely agree that it sounds like the best thing for you and I certainly didn't want to emphasise any negative. It has totally transformed my life. As some already know, i battle mental illness but my first Camino in 2013 was life-changing and friends could not believe my new found confidence and peace of mind when I returned. It was the best therapy in the world and I return every year. I am sure it will be everything you want it to be.

The Forum Family you mention is indicative of the Camino Family in my opinion. When walking I came across so many open minded and open hearted people, willing to share their help and knowledge that it was impossible not to be touched by human kindness. And it has been so lovely to see that openness reflected here on the forum. I am so pleased you found it and that it has helped you.

@Rebekah Scott

That is a wonderful story that is humbling and inspiring. It absolutely epitomises what the Camino spirit is all about and is what brings me back to the Camino as well as restoring my faith in people generally. Note to self, stop being so cynical. Thank you for sharing.

Wonderful thread.
Thank you thank you thank you. I know you weren’t trying to be negative, and the change in you is what I hope for too.

Buen Camino
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#45
super reminder.
We have hosted such quiet miracles at our house. I remember Vika, from Hungary, a 50-something woman with a terminal tumor condition. Her camino was her last wish. She went very slowly and had to do daily injections... which got her reported to a hospitalero who assumed she was shooting up illegal drugs. He threw her out.
Two athletic German boys knew her story, stood up for her, and were thrown out too! All three slept on the church porch that night.
The two "boys" (they were 19 and 20) spent the rest of their "sport camino" slowly accompanying Vika down the camino, ensuring she got a bed, a meal, and a kind word. They sent a post card from Santiago when they arrived. Their sporty holiday was transformed into a mission of mercy.
Five months later one of the boys sent Vika's funeral announcement. Both boys traveled to Hungary for the Mass. These are three of the most wonderful people I have met on the Road, a holy trinity.
What a beautiful story. Two young men with amazing hearts!
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#48
super reminder.
We have hosted such quiet miracles at our house. I remember Vika, from Hungary, a 50-something woman with a terminal tumor condition. Her camino was her last wish. She went very slowly and had to do daily injections... which got her reported to a hospitalero who assumed she was shooting up illegal drugs. He threw her out.
Two athletic German boys knew her story, stood up for her, and were thrown out too! All three slept on the church porch that night.
The two "boys" (they were 19 and 20) spent the rest of their "sport camino" slowly accompanying Vika down the camino, ensuring she got a bed, a meal, and a kind word. They sent a post card from Santiago when they arrived. Their sporty holiday was transformed into a mission of mercy.
Five months later one of the boys sent Vika's funeral announcement. Both boys traveled to Hungary for the Mass. These are three of the most wonderful people I have met on the Road, a holy trinity.
What a true Pilgrimage. Thank you for sharing!
 

David from Freo

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago about 2006; SJPP to Santiago (March-April 2014); Lisbon-Santiago-Muxia (April-May 2016)
#49
What a delight this thread has been! When reading Kevin's initial post, and looking at the lovely photos, I remembered the gentleman I saw on various occasions during a camino in 2014, who walked with crutches. He was suffering from MS (Multiple Schlerosis?) And struggled each day with the added challenges of his physical condition as he walked the Way, with this pack, his crutches and an indominable spirit. I never knew his name, but he was an inspiration. To all who walk in such a spirit, I thank you.
 

Jen Marsden

Charging The Globe
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2016 (Walked Frances)
Sept 2019 (Planning Norte or Via De La Plata)
#50
I read a recent post by a fellow pilgrim who was struggling emotionally and physically on The Camino which consequently made me think of 4 special Camino buddies who I think of whenever I am finding the going difficult:
View attachment 43139
Dani, a 74 year old French woman that could not weigh more than 70 lbs(31 kilos). On a foggy, gray misty morning out of Barbadelo I approached her from behind thinking she was a child and wondering why she was alone. Dani had lost her husband 2 years earlier and was walking for him. Here I am spontaneously picking her up and hugging her after she informed me she was walking solo and had started where I had, Le Puy en Velay, about 1400 kilometers back in France.

View attachment 43137

Alain and Alice of Paris. Alain was a powerful man, a martial arts instructor who had been diagnosed with MS 6 years before and had required a wheelchair the previous two. He was walking The Camino to give his 2 year old something special to remember him by as he faced a rapid decline in health. And his companion Alice who did not know Alain before this but had helped him to raise funds for a special wheelchair, set up and maintained a blog for the trip and gave him 6 months of her life. I also found that while others focused so much on Alain, Alice was overlooked and yet she carried on selflessly.

View attachment 43138

Last was Lynne Essex, a 58 year old Aussie woman whose path crossed mine in Muxia at the edge of the world. She had just completed a 780 kilometer (500mile) pilgrimage on Camino Francis while I had completed a 1000K walk from Seville on Camino Via de la Plata. I was whining to her about a blister the size of a tennis ball on the bottom of my foot. She told me that she had Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. I spent some time with her that day and she was obviously in pain. She mentioned that she could ‘only’ go about 15K per day on her Camino. I asked her what her doctor said about her going? She said, “He and others told me I was crazy”. She said this with a big happy grin and indicated the pain was getting worse but she was so glad to have been able to finish. A few weeks later I got a message from Lynne that the increasing pain was not the cancer, which was in remission, but a broken pelvis which she most likely had since before starting her Camino.

View attachment 43136

When I am struggling in any way on my current 3000K Camino, I simply think of these 4 and their beautiful spirits and my aching, heavy feet and legs lighten and the next few miles are not nearly as difficult. Thank you to my four friends. Ultreia!

A note of recognition and Ultreia to those people that struggle with various illnesses that take them to the depths of despair that require medication to bring them out of it. Especially deceased relatives Bridget Enright Scanlan and Chris Conrad. And a thank you to Boudewijn van der Ark for helping me and others to better understand the incredibly difficult ongoing battle faced by people with illnesses that cause severe depression.
Thank you for that great message Kevin. I think we all have our camino inspirationiers (as I have taken to calling them) and I also think of mine daily and while I wonder where they are now, in some ways not seeing them since helps those memories to remain undiluted.
 

Patri Ire

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Finisterre (June 2018) (. Ingles (2019)
#52
Thank you Kevin for such an inspirational thread and all the other contributing replies. On Tuesday my brother begin our first Camino. By comparison a short hike from Santiago to Finisterre but a challenge nonetheless less for me, a very inexperienced walker. My brother has for years experienced episodic anxiety and depression. During those times I have advised him to get out and walk,walk,walk! and during the darkest moments he thinks it may have saved his life. So therefore I can totally concur with bhavagrahidasa who has found walking to be any excellent therapy. Coincidentally my brother has recently experienced an episode but is recovering well.. He tells me that the prospect of walking the Camino is without doubt aiding his recovery.. Positive thoughts to all experiencing mental distress and to all now on the Camino struggling with physical or mental challenges.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#53
@Patri Ire

How wonderful for you both to be going on Camino. The walk from Santiago to Finisterre is lovely and I am sure you will enjoy it.

There are so many studies now that show walking helps with mental health and like your brother, the planning and prospect of a Camino also gets me inspired. I have schizophrenia and depression/anxiety and so I had a few obstacles to overcome, such as not being able to share a room as it triggers paranoia which can lead to psychosis. But once I had worked out what worked for me and what didn't, The Camino was the best thing I have ever done. I actually went on it a complete novice after the death of my father and the only person who thought it was a good idea was my psychiatrist. Everyone else panicked but it was so many things and on so many levels. Living in London I pop over a couple of times each year and the walking gives me space to process things and refocus I think. Im off again in 6 weeks and can't wait!

I wish you and your brother all the very best. I am sure it will be great.

Buen Camino

Bryce
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#55
The Camino was the best thing I have ever done.
What a beautiful and inspiring post @bhavagrahidasa .
Thank you for your openness.
We are all broken in some way or another and ultimately if we deal with it well it's a source of strength of heart. But not everyone has the courage to work as well with that brokenness as you are managing to do.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#56
Thank you so much @VNwalking

It is really kind of you and encouraging to me because for years I didn't try to work with it and was trapped by my own insecurities and limitations. Walking the Camino was life-changing for me in so many ways. I went from being someone who at times couldn't get to a shop to buy milk because of anxiety and spent time in hospitals, often months at a time. People were horrified when i said I was going to walk across Spain alone. I was diabetic, 135 kilos so morbidly obese, I have schizophrenia and depression, high blood pressure and was self-harming, so many reasons others used to say i would fail. And then I met beautiful pilgrims and people along the Camino who told me I was funny and generous and interesting and that i could succeed and my life changed forever. I came back believing in myself. Haven't self-harm since my first Camino in 2013 and got back to work as a teaching assistant for children with learning difficulties. Lost weight and I like myself. The Camino really was life-changing. And I started being open about my illness because of it. I really want others who think they might not be able to walk the Camino to realise that with help and support, they just might be able to after all. And so when people like yourself take the time to write, I know I am right to be open.

All the best,

Bryce
 
Last edited:

Annette london

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#57
Thank you so much @VNwalking

It is really kind of you and encouraging to me because for years I didn't try to work with it and was trapped by my own insecurities and limitations. Walking the Camino was life-changing for me in so many ways. I went from being someone who at times couldn't get to a shop to buy milk because of anxiety and spent time in hospitals, often months at a time. People were horrified when i said I was going to walk across Spain alone. I was diabetic, 135 kilos so morbidly obese, I have schizophrenia and depression, high blood pressure and was self-harming, so many reasons others used to say i would fail. And then I met beautiful pilgrims and people along the Camino who told me I was funny and generous and interesting and that i could succeed and my life changed forever. I came back believing in myself. Haven't self-harm since my first Camino in 2013 and got back to work as a teaching assistant for children with learning difficulties. Lost weight and I like myself. The Camino really was life-changing. And I started being open about my illness because of it. I really want others who think they might not be able to walk the camino to realise that with help and support, they just might be able to after all. And so when people like yourself take the time to write, I am glad I now share with others.

All the best,

Bryce
Gosh Bryce
I just had to reply to you
An amazing story

You are most certainly an inspiration
With all good wishes for the future
Annette
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#58
@Annette london

Thank you Annette. It is much appreciated. As I said, The Camino changed my life and I am so glad I didn't listen to the well-meaning but ill advice from friends and walked. I was 45 at the time and a lifetime of self-hatred left me and able to deal with what i needed to. Good Way indeed!! I still have moments but they no longer define me and I am the biggest advocate of walking the Camino for health.

All the best always,

Bryce
 
Last edited:

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
#59
Being part of this thread and hearing others stories of Mental Health reminds me I’m not alone in this dark depressive pit, I’m holding hands with so many of you, and will do every day that I think about and each stage of my Camino. I can’t wait to meet so many of you, whether we have spoken on here or not.

I feel blessed to be (albeit a new) member of this Camino family
 

Stephen Nicholls

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#60
I feel blessed to be (albeit a new) member of this Camino family
Hey, John! We don't worry about "new" or "old" members. You're simply one of us - peregrinos of the camino! Feel free to message me any time, with any concerns. I used to live in the West of England .... now over in East Anglia. Blessings, my friend, and ultreia!
 
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#61
To everyone who has bravely shared their struggles on this post and throughout the forum...I thank you.

Which backpack and shoes and places to stop brought me to this forum but the honesty, kindness, love and dedication of it's members are what has kept me here.

Thank you for your inspiration and courage.
 
#62
What a terrific thread this has been. So often we are caught up in the weight of our packs and the problems of combatting snoring, these posts have put all of that into its rightful perspective.......not really that important. What is important is the comraderie of others and helping where we can. I remember when walking from Porto to SdeC in 2016 a lovely Austrian man dragging a trolley with his friends backpack in it. His friend was receiving cancer treatment into his shoulder so was unable to carry his pack, so he carried it for him plus his own back on his back without complaint. With friends anything is do-able.
I will be walking the Primitivo in October I truly hope my path crosses some of yours, i think this post has been the best i have read. Thank you everyone.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#63
@Meridawilson

With friends everything is do-able.

You are so right. And you make some wonderful friends on the camino. And this thread has indeed been wonderful. All the very best for october.

Buen Camino

Bryce
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk with my husband June 2018
#64
I sincerely hope you’re right about the effects of the Camino. I have this past 12 months come close twice to taking mine, when I don’t have the guts to try, I take risks that might take control of my destiny for me.

I have recently found The Way and this forum, my plan of my own pilgrimage in 2019 has given light and something to aim for, for the next 13 months at least.
Why wait 13 months? Come now if you can.
 

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