Hiking to Heal: AT for Mental Health Awareness
Hi! Who Are You?
Hi everyone! I’m Cassidy Camp, a 23-year-old gal born in Idaho, but I’ve bopped around between Washington State, Florida, and most recently, Ohio. I have a huge heart for music and theater having been a vocalist in a band from age 12 to 18 and performing on stage too many times to count. I’m passionate to my core about animals, both domestic and wild. I volunteered at a wild bird center helping rehabilitate sick and injured wild birds in my younger years and served as a foster mom for kittens too young to be adopted while I pursued my degrees at Florida State University. I’m a sucker for good poetry, I cry during most movies, sad or not, and I drink more coffee than is probably healthy. ☕
I will be hiking the AT SOBO with my amazing partner, Mason Remillard, in 2019 beginning on 4th of July and fingers crossed we’ll be home for Christmas!
Oh yeah, did I mention I live with borderline personality disorder (BPD)?
I won’t go into too many specifics here, but BPD is one of the deadliest mental illnesses, with an 80% attempted suicide rate and a 10% death by suicide rate. These are some seriously heartbreaking and scary statistics. Since receiving my diagnosis in 2017 and being on my own road to recovery, I have long wanted to do something big to show those who may be fighting their own battles with mental health that everyone, regardless of circumstance, can do great things.
This is where we came up with the idea for our Hike The Borderline project.
You’re Gonna Walk ~2,200 Miles; Why, Again?
We plan hike the AT to raise awareness of BPD and inspire others struggling with BPD or other mental health issues to overcome a personal obstacle of their own.
Living with mental illness is challenging in many ways. It has been a long, strenuous road working toward overcoming the struggles I face in my day-to-day life, not just for me, but also for those who love and support me. Over the years, I have noticed a common factor in myself and those I’ve met on their roads to recovery—mental illness almost always comes with an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. This powerlessness is a feeling I know all too well, and it can be absolutely paralyzing, making it feel impossible to improve, to get better, to move forward in life.
This powerlessness is what we’re hoping to combat with the Hike the Borderline project. My amazing partner, Mason, and I have chosen to hike the Appalachian Trail and walk ourselves from Maine to Georgia to show others who may be struggling with their mental health that everyone can do great things, whether that great thing is getting out of bed and showering that day, or conquering a mountain. Mental illness doesn’t have to paralyze us, define us, and make our decisions for us. Everyone’s battle is different, and everyone has bad days and stumbles, but everyone, all of us, has the power to do great things.
Hiking for Healing
While I know that I have made great strides toward recovery over the past several years, I know I still have many more to make. I know this hike will prove to be overwhelmingly difficult at times, but I also truly believe that it will be a hugely healing experience. If we can inspire just one person who is struggling to do something difficult and overcome an obstacle they face, no matter how big or small, it will be worth it.
Thank you for reading and getting to know a little bit about us. We are incredibly excited to begin this journey and hope that you’ll follow along as we bust some stigmas and walk across the country for mental health awareness. Wish us luck!
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