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Old 02-03-2012, 09:21   #31
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

I find this thread interesting, considering some of the other threads we've had here recently. Basically, in THIS thread everyone is pointing out that cruising isn't all peaches and cream, and that you have to be prepared for the tough work and lifestyle changes. Yet in OTHER threads people have complained about all of the "negativity" and insisted that we should not say anything to discourage people who have decided that cruising is their dream.

Well, it's one or the other. You can't have both. Either we tell the newbies the truth about cruising and risk being accused of "negativity," or we blithely encourage them to "follow their dreams" and just let them find out about the difficult stuff on their own. Personally, I think it is best to be honest.

Mostly, though, I find it amusing that we have had these different threads with dramatically different perspectives. (And I'm not going to name any names, but I see some posters who seem to have switched their perspective from those other threads.)
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:30   #32
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

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Originally Posted by svpattyd View Post
Yesterday, my good friend wrote a 'goodbye' note and left her boat. She was depressed and overwhelmed. We feared the worse. She returned 20 hrs later, disoriented and exhausted. During the time she was missing we all feared that she had taken her life.

She retired after the school year ended in 2011. She worked to get the house sold/ rented, got rid of stuff, moved onto the boat. They had been weekend sailors for the past 10 yrs. They brought their son back from overseas to help him with his problems. He is 30+ yrs old. They left late 11/2011 and moved as fast as possible south. They had some mechanical set backs, but made it to the Fl Keys.

It sounds like a dream trip, but if ur self is defined by ur job, and the job is gone, u may lose ur self.

Cruising is not a vacation. It is a way of life. Cruising is not, for us, one long party. You have to be sober to make good choices and decisions.

Keep an eye on your sailing partner. If they seem depressed, take notice and get them help. Please keep each other mentally and physically safe.
it's not nice what happened and I have seen this personally, My father retired at 55 when they (my folks) sold the company business. Mom was offered a position with the sale, my father was not.
So ended his career and he went to be "Retired" fast forward 15 years and my mother has now retired last year.
After 3 months of her looking forward to joining my dad in retirement he left her and is filing for divorce after 53 years of marriage.
Sad, yes but his explanation was this, when he was forced to retire he made a new life for himself and didn't include her in the long term plans, he started to do all sorts of single action sports, kayaking, geo-caching, and new friends.
I asked him why and he said what was I supposed to do, they wanted her and not me. He resented the fact that they wanted her, and he worked every day from that day on to ensure "she' was not in his plans.

As for the OP, this would have happened to her regardless of sailing, RV'ing or what ever retirement travel setup. She herself was incapable of making the transition, just like my father. Both set in ways that they never accepted or realized. Life is what you make of it, live today for today, plan for tomorrow and love the ones around you.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:40   #33
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

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Probably because a job / work does provide something important to most humans - a sense of belonging? / being part of a great whole? / or summit? .......cut all that off and no surprise that folks can feel lost.
A job defines structure in your life, gives you a routine, and is also a source of stability and security. I think these things are important, but they don't have to come from your job.

I think humans are happiest when we're doing things, being productive and overcoming challenges. A boat provides you with more than enough of that though

Probably the biggest thing is to make sure your partner isn't a passenger but crew. What part of the boat is their responsibility? Maybe they do the sewing, canvas upkeep, provisioning, cooking, cleaning while you're the mechanic, electrician and navigator. I'd bet most long term happy cruising couples keep busy and split out the responsibilities.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:51   #34
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Originally Posted by Yachtmops
SVPATTYD

That is very sad for your friend. When I read this post; it was the reference to her son & his needs that stood out for me.

How much did her son’s struggles play in their decision to retire, sell/rent & go cruising as a means & opportunity to maybe help their son? Or where they ready to go cruising regardless of their son’s difficulties. ?
Her son's struggles were two things for her. A challenge and a familiar role. She was/is comfortable being a Mom. She and her husband planned on cruising, but the boat is a 36ish island princess. It gets mighty small. Talked with her. She is still fragile, but wants to go forward with cruising, cause she ' promised her husband she would'.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:56   #35
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

is sad.. ty for sharing...
many times as we face depression, we fail to take proper care of self, including failure to ingest proper electrolytes necessary for brain and other functions, resulting in a disorientation and weakness-- i hope your friend only net with this fate-- i hope your friend is doing better now-- we all must remember that , even in the face of depression and weirdness we must properly care for self-- no one else will do this...
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:21   #36
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

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Thank you for that link Wireless1. Absolutely brilliant!
Thank you. I sincerely hope EVERYONE in this thread reads Pirsig's essay. Pirsig is truly brilliant and there is much we can gain from our "depressions" if we learn how to face them instead of run from them. It is so easy to talk about, yet so difficult in practice---very very difficult. But a reward like no other awaits... It is so unfortunate and sad that some people get so depressed that they decide to create permanent solution to their temporary problems.

Again, for those that haven't found the link here it is:
>> Cruising Blues and Their Cure...
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:34   #37
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

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Wireless, you the man!
Pirsig is so impressive and he sails too!
Just started Zen and the Art of MC maint. .......RICH !
Thanks for the link.
Actually Pirsig is the man!!...but thank you.
Good luck with "Zen and the Art..."
You are probably smarter than me. When I fist started reading this book there were many places where I had to read the same page three, and four times...then put it down and think about it...then read it again. There are places where I simply could not grasp the depth of what he was trying to tell me and I had to move on. I am presently starting to read it again, after almost forty years of it collecting dust on the shelf. This time however, I am loaded for bear!! AT my side I have a book titled "Guide Book to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"! (Written by a couple of Ph.D's---I find it an interesting ratio; TWO Ph.D's to ONE Pirsig!) I may even learn a little more this time! LOL...
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:06   #38
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Like I said, "Variety is my spice for life".
Everything can become a drag if you let it.
Security? There is no such thing! All can be lost in a flash.
Depression? Learn how not to let it bite you in the ass. Learn the signs and do something about it!
Most people bumble along in life with little or no insight.
Insight? The ability to see within ones self.
Think you've got it rough? Try living with Combat PTSD
No matter what you do, IT HAS TO BE FUN! WHEN IT AIN'T FUN, DONT DO IT!
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:17   #39
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

learn to recognise symptoms of depression in yourself and begin to treat before it sets in deep enough to mess with ye...PTSD??? i got that--- many of us do....take care of self as without self aint no cruising for ye.... life is an adventure meant to be LIVED... so ----
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:40   #40
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Sorry to hear it, Zee.
I'm a combat veteran so I dont have ptsd - I've got battle fatigue!
We've let the civilians have ptsd! LOL
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Old 02-03-2012, 13:40   #41
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

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Actually Pirsig is the man!!...but thank you.
Good luck with "Zen and the Art..."
You are probably smarter than me. When I fist started reading this book there were many places where I had to read the same page three, and four times...then put it down and think about it...then read it again. There are places where I simply could not grasp the depth of what he was trying to tell me and I had to move on. I am presently starting to read it again, after almost forty years of it collecting dust on the shelf. This time however, I am loaded for bear!! AT my side I have a book titled "Guide Book to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"! (Written by a couple of Ph.D's---I find it an interesting ratio; TWO Ph.D's to ONE Pirsig!) I may even learn a little more this time! LOL...
I find when I have to read the same thing 3 or 4 times, then I am usually reading something very important, enlightening, and/or rewarding. Thanks for your posts here, the timing for me is perfect. A reminder of "Zen and the A of MM" just happens to be exactly what i needed in this very hour!
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Old 02-03-2012, 13:54   #42
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

One of the problems with any of the cluster B disorders (including PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder ...) is the state of Mental Health services. I wish they would rename them Mental Wellbeing Services, it might be the first step in changing the focus.


What i have seen is that many heath professionals come up with the first convenient and social acceptable diagnosis, leaving the client to deal with the remaining symptoms without treatment.


If i can share a story leaving out identifying details. I worked with an 86 year old lady who was placed in a dementia ward by court order. Her diagnosis was dementia and that is all she was being treated for. Her behaviors were atypical and rapidly got worse. Management were unsupportive in seeking psychological assessment.


Her history was born eastern Europe, birth mother died when she was very young, step mother died of a brain tumor when she was 8. 2nd step mother kicked all of the kids out of the house when she was 12 and she with her younger brother walked many miles to grandparent. A year later she was transported to the camps in germany where her job was cleaning up German soldiers returning injured from the front. After the war she was one of the many displaced person in europe, eventualy finding a home in another country. After she had 8 kids, when the youngest was a few months old her husband died and she was left to look after the family.


I talked the family into having an assessment done, she got a real diagnosis and proper medication (with the onset of dementia counseling was no longer an option). Several months later an estranged son came to see her and after a few hours walked up to me and said "thank you for helping me to meet my real mother before she died" She was a really nice person who had a less than pleasant life.

Rant over
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Old 02-03-2012, 19:18   #43
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

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... When I first started reading this book there were many places where I had to read the same page three, and four times...then put it down and think about it...then read it again. ...
I love that I have time to do that.
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Old 02-03-2012, 21:46   #44
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

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Thank you. I sincerely hope EVERYONE in this thread reads Pirsig's essay. Pirsig is truly brilliant and there is much we can gain from our "depressions" if we learn how to face them instead of run from them. It is so easy to talk about, yet so difficult in practice---very very difficult. But a reward like no other awaits... It is so unfortunate and sad that some people get so depressed that they decide to create permanent solution to their temporary problems.

Again, for those that haven't found the link here it is:
>> Cruising Blues and Their Cure...
Interesting as it was. I think the sailing/cruising experience is different for each person. Some embrace it others find that they hate it. Personally, I have more "wow" and "pinch me" moments on board than depressed backward looking feelings like Pirsig describes. Then again I was voted happiest in High School so others might have sensed my contentment with life early on too. I embrace the solitude and don't feel I need others around to make me feel alive. For me being on the boat is about constant change and noticing how the world is constantly changing around you. The shift of the tide or the shadows on the shoreline etc... Nothing ever routine about it for me. If anything my curosity is elevated not about the past but, what I am experincing or seeing from the cockpit at the moment. For me the here and now is the primary experience.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:18   #45
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

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We aren't "selling up" and completely severing ties to the land; we are turning the house into two apartments.
This is what we are doing as well.
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