Sunday, October 14, 2018

Friday Field Notes: October 12, 2018

From October 12, 2018

Finally sunny after about a week of rain I am able to get out and enjoy some time birding. Luckily the birds seem to like the sunshine as well. All of the American Coots (Fulica americana) wading up the flooded road and the Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) happily hunting from the trees along the bank.

It's nice to have such a great day to get out and be with nature for a while. I just found out that I have been dropped from the Marine Corps Reserves due to an issue with paperwork and this changes a lot of things that I had planned for the future. Although I have been trying to find the positives in the situation, a change this big can really put a strain on a person.

Since separating from active duty, I have gone through periods of depression. Topped with a slight amount of PTSD, there are many things I could have turned to trying to escape my mind. Luckily for me, I found a sense of security in birding and spending time in the outdoors away from people and my own thoughts.

Unfortunately there are lots of veterans out there who haven't found such a healthy way to deal with their depression and turn to alcohol or drugs to try and escape the pain. Currently 22 veterans each day take their own lives due to not being able to escape their own heads. If someone you know has recently separated from the military, or just suffers from depression and bad thoughts, try taking them birding with you. Showing them how to enjoy the world around them could help them to get away from themselves when they really need to.

Birding has really helped me in times of need and I hope that by sharing how it has assisted in my transition, you will share birding with another person. You never know what they might be going through and how a simple walk with nature could affect decisions that they make in the future.

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Views like this have helped me to escape my mind.

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