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Camping can be a way of life or a way to find oneself.
September 15, 2016

Carly Goes Camping

“Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.”

– Dave Barry

Camping can be a way of life or a way to find oneself.I became more and more unable to function at work. My savings account was almost in the basement while my fear and panic was going through the roof. I was making no commission money at my weekend job, so I finally quit. I wasn’t making enough money in my new business to pay the bills. Alcohol and pill-popping continued to “help” me cope. Then came the tipping point. I was no longer able to handle working at all. I couldn’t handle an hour phone consult with a client or bear to read my emails.

I had no choice but to rent out my townhouse in hopes of covering the mortgage payments. I hadn’t the time or money for movers or a storage unit to keep my furniture and personal things so I donated it all to Good Will. All my possessions gone because I couldn’t reason out what to do with them. The responsibility of all that stuff was overwhelming me. I wanted to move in with my mother in her condo, but there were strict rules about no pets and the “condo-commando” lived right next door. My Corgie and Yorkie were the two loves of my life and there was no way I’d ever abandon them.

In my mind there was no other choice but to get some camping supplies. I was mortified at the thought. So, I downed another drink, put on some lipstick and a smile and went to tell mom: “The doggies and I are going to live in a tent in the backwoods of Florida!”

I set out for the campground, hoping to find the Marlboro man sitting around a campfire, just waiting for me to show up.

Instead, I was greeted by torrential rain which lasted for nearly a week! At least I lived in Florida so a warm sleeping bag was fine for the winter weather. Finally, I sat in the tent with my two furry little boys and they loved it. But for me, the emptiness in my soul wouldn’t go away. I went from being completely isolated while drinking away the days in my home, to being completely isolated in the woods. The difference was chilling. Also, I have a vivid imagination and Florida has not only alligators, snakes and diseased mosquitos, but panthers, bob cats and brown bears as well!

The hot summer days came all too quickly. As early as April, the heat was unbearable. The dogs were uncomfortably hot and I would have to dip them in a nearby canal to cool them off. Even after the sun went down, the inside of the tent remained 90° plus. The days were so long. All I did was sit around my tent drinking from morning till night. It was hopeless to think I could ever turn my life around. My Marlboro man never did show up and I knew I couldn’t continue on like this. I knew it to my toes that I was at the proverbial rock bottom of my life. The instant I acknowledged that rock bottom, I gave up on everything. Perhaps that’s what allowed a power higher than myself to take over. Because three miracles came in to change the course of my life forever.

“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”

– Dave Barry

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