• endurelifenow

"Nature is a place where you can authentically be you." -Fireside with Kathryn

My name is Kathryn Carey, I am 21 years old and I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have enjoyed the outdoors my whole life and was introduced to National Parks at a very young age. I am studying Social Work and hope to some day lead outdoor trips for at risk youth. 


Q.) How has mental health/illness impacted your life? 

Mental illness has been a huge part of my life. At a very young age I was exposed to mental illness, as my mom was diagnoses bipolar type 1. I myself have also dealt with major depressive disorder and anxiety my whole life. To me, my mental illness has created me into who I am today, and I am proud of that. I have been in very dark places, but I use my experiences with mental illness to help others get through tough times, and I strive to be someone that anyone feels comfortable talking to. I have overcome my illness and now I use it as a tool to make me a better person. 

Q.) What are your positive outlets and how did you discover them?

I have many health outlets, but the biggest one is nature. My dad was a professional mountaineer, so I have just grown up taking trips to National Parks and just being outside. I have an immense passion for adventure and just getting outside does wonders for my mental health. 

Q.) Do you think nature plays an important part in recovering from mental illnesses? 

Nature, to me, has everything to do with recovering from mental illness. Nature is a place to let go and just breath. Nature is a place where you can authentically be you and there is no one around to judge, it is just you and nature. 

Q.) What advice would you give someone that is struggling?

To anyone who is struggling, I urge you to talk about it. Staying silent only makes things worse. Even if it is just talking to yourself in a journal entry, or screaming it into the empty woods, let.it.out. You will be surprised with how much weight it lifts off your shoulders.  

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