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A 2 a.m. Mental Health Meltdown

Updated: May 25



There he was 6” higher than me, sleeping like a baby. Warm. Comfy. Snoring.


And me? My side of the air mattress deflated. I was sleeping on the plywood used to cover our folded down seats. Freezing. Full bladder. Husband snoring. Miserable. Angry!


Don’t get me wrong I LOVE sleeping in the back of our atlas. We bought a special air mattress last year (check it out here) and it’s awesome. I’ve always loved sleeping in enclosed spaces - maybe it’s nostalgia from childhood blanket forts :) It feels safe, warm, and cozy.


But this was none of those things, and I was mad. Actually I was more than mad; I was livid!


We have had a very busy few day. Driving two 12-hour days to Colorado, and I hadn’t slept in 4 nights. We had been photographing horses all day. When we finally chose a camp site, it was getting dark and cold. (FYI we were the only visitors we knew of on 150,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land!) We heated some water for our yummy dehydrated food, ate, Tim got our “bed” ready. I just knew I would cuddle up in that sleeping bag and snooze.


You know that feeling after you’ve been lying in bed for about 5 minutes and you’re like, Oh no… I’m not sleeping tonight! But you hope and pray and hope and pray.


My husband? Fell asleep right away. I hate that. He has a cold. He has allergies – so guess what? Yep, snoring right away. Now I have an amazing Bluetooth headband (Amazon link) that I use on these nights. I brought it. I charged it. I was ready to go. But my phone was not. It died.


So there I was, still awake, around 2 am. Bones poking into the plywood (I knew I was going to get bed sores, right?!). 29 degrees at one point. Tim sawing logs as if I wasn’t 6” shorter than him in this den of death. I had taken a Benadryl for my allergies, and you know how sometimes it doesn’t make you sleep but instead makes you want to slam yourself into a wall?? At one point, I was crying!


I hated Tim, Colorado, Sand Wash Basin, our SUV, and quite honestly the entire world. Overkill?? Maybe.


It is Mental Health Awareness Month, and even in the middle of the night of horrors, I knew I could work through it. So here’s what I learned:


  • First, I don’t hate my husband, Colorado, Sand Wash Basin, or the word. I love them all!

  • Second, it was temporary. I often speak about the concept of globalization: the thought that how you feel in any given moment will be how you always feel. I knew this would be over in a few hours.

  • Third, I tried to focus on gratitude – yes, even at 2 am in the middle of a stupid but very real to me mental health breakdown. I had such a great week last week: got to speak at the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable about mental health!!! And so much more. I have a great husband and family. I'm on an adventure most people never get to take.

  • Finally, and here’s the stinky part: It was all preventable. Yep. It sure was, like so many things in life that happen. Tim aired the mattress, and when I climbed in I said Oh, it feels a little too soft. He said let’s fix it now, and what did I say? Nah. It’ll be fine. I did NOT want to get back out in the cold, even though deep down I knew this wasn’t going to turn out well! Turns out Tim didn't sleep that well either, but he didn't complain like I did. It was like I wanted to be mad! Ever do that? 😉 So no need to blame my husband or anyone else. All me.


Bottom line is these experiences we have are such treasures, good and bad. The memories, the beautiful countryside, the horses – all of it! Memories that I will always treasure.

I hope during this month you take time to rest, enjoy, reflect, and enjoy your one and only life.


Here's Tim's YouTube Channel. If you want to follow our journey, please do!


I’ll be back with more lessons from this trip. Thanks for joining!!



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