Today I failed.

I failed on numerous levels, but there’s one fail I’m the least proud of. I listened to my depression’s lie.

First: some background. As many of you may be aware, I am currently living out of a tent in the wilderness as a counselor and leader for an archaeology camp (I have no background in archaeology, but that’s a story for another post). We’ve been setting up the camp since Wednesday, and the kids arrive tomorrow. Today we tried to fill up our giant water tank on wheels (a US military trailer cast-off in the aftermath of the Vietnam war), only to discover it had sprung a leak. To fix it, we would need to drain it, so I went to turn it around (ever tried to 3-point turn a trailer with 2,000 pounds of water inside using a 10 passenger van?) and got it stuck. Here’s a picture:

It’s so far into the brush because I had to take the van off the road to have room to turn it around (to take this picture, my back is against an out building). As soon as the van left the gravel, the back tires lost all traction (never try to off-road a 10-passenger van). To regain traction, I pulled farther forward, getting me more and more stuck. In summary: I fucked up.

Fucking up sucks. Especially when you have depression, because it becomes a way bigger deal than it should be. To fix the problem, we had to unhitch the trailer, pull the van forward around some trees and back onto the road, then winch the trailer back to where it could be re-hitched. Not too much work. But not only was my pride hurt (I guess that’s the toxic masculinity telling me my self-worth is directly related to my skill at backing a trailer), but I felt incredibly guilty for creating more work for my co-workers. I must have apologized too many times, or looked too dejected or something, because my boss and my coworkers must have reassured me a dozen times that it wasn’t that big of deal, vehicles get stuck all the time, especially when trying to use vans with shitty worn-down road tires the way we do. It ruined my whole afternoon, and I couldn’t shake it off. The old toxic thoughts of low self-worth were back again, because I listened to my depression.

My depression told me my coworkers resented me for creating extra work.

My depression told me I was worthless because I couldn’t complete a basic task.

My depression told me that if anyone else tried the same maneuver they would have done it differently and succeeded.

These are all lies; anyone else would have done the same thing I did. But I listened to the lies and got myself down.

Anyway, I’m excited for the first group of participants to get here and to start with the digging! This is middle school week, which is always interesting because middle schoolers lack a certain sense of self-preservation that is pretty important out here in the wilderness. I once had to tackle a kid to stop him from chasing after a rattlesnake!

Hopefully I can get a chance to post some more, and get some more pictures up! I’ll leave you with a picture of the archaeology lab, where artifacts are identified and sorted. It’s also the out building I was up against when I took a picture of the water trailer.

Oh yeah, I also have this neat picture of a spider eating a horsefly (maybe don’t look if you have arachnophobia)

Now I’m going to bed, we’ll see if my spotty signal will let this post go through!