The Long Way Home is my journey from the Canso Causeway NS, to Ottawa Ontario to raise awareness for Soldiers journey through PTSD and OSI. Sept 03-Oct 18
Former Tanker Kate MacEachern may sometimes feel that she is alone (well, apart from support Veteran Kevin Berry and his PTSD dog Tommy) as she travels thousands of kilometers across eastern Canada, but as her FaceBook community page shows, many active duty and Veterans - and those who love them - from around the world have her six.
FaceBook entry: Left foot...Right foot... Headed to Perth-Andover tonight. Beautiful day so far!
CBC Radio Maritime Magazine aired an interview with Kate last week. Go HERE to listen to it.
Kate is sharing her journey with daily updates on the FaceBook page, and not all of them are as optimistic as the one above. With brutal honesty, yesterday she wrote:
The last 24 hours has been well, trying. Emotionally I hit "that point" the same point that I hit back in November. Do I carry on and fight through the next steps that I need to take, or do I give up and go back down into the well I have been clawing my way out of. Although it's not a welcoming or positive place, it's safe. I can control my surroundings down there. No emotion no pain. Just me in the dark.
Up until this point I didnt see the connection.
Those faces I will never meet, and those voices I may never hear need me to finish this as much as I need them to finish.
When I look left on the highway, I see a yellow line...the same yellow that a paramedic wears to work. The same paramedic that just walked into an office and asked for help. To my right is the white line. The same white as the sneakers a mom wears when she takes her kids to soccer. The same mom that put down the pillow she has been crying into from the pain of losing her child and picked up the phone for help instead. The red trees, that's the firefighter that has been thinking he can't hurt because he's a volunteer. The same firefighter that just hit google on the computer and slowly wrote in PTSD. Every stone I pass is another person who hasn't been able to exhale for however many days/months/years. Every child that has wondered why mom or dad isn't there when they look out from the stage at their concert.
The grass..that's the Military. The soldiers, airmen and sailors families that are now sitting down to supper and having "the discussion" The dark spots, and pot holes and obstacles, well that's just fear of those people facing what I am bringing forward....It takes a great amount of strength and courage to stand up against lifes Goliath's.
I understand how hard it is to not judge something you don't understand. Once upon a time I wouldn't even admit I had PTSD. The survivors guilt consumed me, the fear of being judged because mine was born out of an accident within Canada. The scrutiny ripped me apart. It took a part of me away that I didn't think I would ever get back. That is why I decided to walk. That, is why I am sitting here wondering it I can still do this. If I can indeed get to the end and find my own way home. Find the way for so many others that need to see the lighthouse in the storm.
Tomorrow, I'll keep walking. I may be on the highway myself, but when I look back there are thousands of footsteps behind me.
It took me 3 years to get to this point on my highway. I can't give up now. I owe it to myself and to so many others. I am damn well going to finish this.
My name is Kate MacEachern and I have PTSD. I was diagnosed in 2010 and tomorrow, I am going to help those who can't yet find their voice.
---Speak your truth, even when your voice shakes---
On that community page, Kate shares maps of her route, and her thoughts, and the response has been overwhelmingly supportive, encouraging as those of us nowhere near the east coast, cheer her on.
Her mission, though, needs tangible support. In order to keep her fed, all the other expenses, and gas in the van as well, The Long Way Home needs dollars.
You can donate to Kate and The Long Way Home
PLEASE, whatever few spare dollars you have, via - firstname.lastname@example.org (email money transfer)
click here and donate to Kate's mission.
Don't have the price of a coffee to spare? You can support this important mission, by joining the FaceBook community page, and then share the message of what Kate is accomplishing every step of the way. If you live anywhere near the communities she has mapped out as planned stops, (or know anybody else who is) be sure to get out there and show up to walk even a few steps with her. I know she'd appreciate that!
If you can't do any of those? Pray her on - all The Long Way Home.
What Kate is doing is so important. The ripples from her mission will reverberate far into the future. Kate IS breaking the silence for millions around the world; millions who you and I will never meet, as they fight their own battles in the corners of darkness.
Thank you, Kate, for shining the light. Thank you.