Thank you for being here.

6

Jeremy and I did a podcast a few weeks back, and it’s all about how naturism (how you experience being naked in nature) has helped him with his survival of PTSD. This prompted me to talk to my other internet friend named Tracy, who is super famous for her ADHD for Badass Women podcast. (I feel honored to have had her gone through my branding class because, OMG, what a fantastic name for a podcast, right?) 

But it also made me realize; finally, some of the extraordinary effects naturism has had on me. I say “finally” because some things had to change around the nude park before I could truly enjoy what it means to live here. Our Trump-supporting neighbors finally bounced, which decreased my anxiety to an almost non-existent level. 

As I started feeling safe around my neighborhood again (we are on 40 acres total, but the space that all of the people live on is around five, so it feels like two neighborhood blocks) it has started to feel like a neighborhood. The one where the old dude across the way comes out of his house to say hi every time he sees you on your daily walk. The one where you always run into the neighbor with the cute dogs, and you know the dog’s names by heart but can’t for the life of you remember his name.

The one where there’s a ton of elderly neighbors interspersed, and they all keep dying, but you can’t be mad because they were so old and senile that they almost burned the neighborhood down on more than one occasion?

Things finally feel normal around here, and by “normal,” I mean there’s folks that keep to themselves, a few people around the corner that you tend to stay away from, and few people that you just genuinely enjoy.

In that comfortable seeming space I feel free to walk around my neighborhood again. As a child, my mother never let me go anywhere, so I could only ride my bike in a two-block radius. It wasn’t unless I was home alone with my dad that I could freely bike as far as my legs could take me. “Just don’t tell mom” was our promise to each other, and it still stands to this day. My personal freedom has always been important to me because I didn’t get a lot of it as a kid. My mom helicoptered the shit out of me.

I can’t tell you the profound life-changing effects of being able to step outside your door to exercise is. To have access to fresh mountain air and fresh mountain spring water. And the lack of need to put on a whole f*cking outfit to do so.

In Jeremy’s PTSD episode, he talked about his uniform for work. His morning routine, which was once a drain on all of his mental energy for the day, doesn’t use up any space anymore because it’s already been decided for him. 

Putting on work out clothes is a pain in the ass. You have to put on these tight ass legging things, and then when you go to peel them off and you can’t because they now have become glued to your legs. WHYYY. Stepping outside of my house in a sports bra and knee-length puffer jacket IS WHERE IT’S AT. I rarely miss a work-out anymore because it’s easy. I hadn’t realized this until Jeremy and I did our podcast on the mentally draining activity of getting dressed. I’ve always loved to get dressed because I love clothes. (Yes, I’m a nudist who also loves to wear clothes. It’s how I express myself.) 

But every time we do a podcast, I learn something new. And after this one, I finally realized what the profound effects naturism has had on me.

I love to work-out, but the process of putting on clothes to do so had been draining all of my energy. When my Trump-supporting neighbors lived next door, I felt like I needed to cover up all the time because of some of their family values, which is the complete opposite of what naturism is. I finally realized I was safe in my neighborhood again, so I felt comfortable going for hour-long walks, half-dressed.

I work on Skinny Dippers stuff A LOT. And I love it so much I don’t want to stop, so fitting a work-out in, which is vital to me staying healthy and managing my ADHD without drugs, is hard. Making working out easy by being able to step out of my workspace and not have to think about what to wear has helped in the recovery of my back pain and my need to manage my ADHD without drugs. 

Being in nature decreases your anxiety by default. We learned in one of our podcasts that staring into a mountain relaxes your eyes and mind. When we put a soaking tub outside and at night started soaking in it and watched the sunset instead of being on our devices, my anxiety dropped even lower. 

I haven’t had to take drugs for three weeks to get through my day. I haven’t had to turn on music to lift my energy level. My body finally has enough dopamine to run on so that my brain can function on its own. (Picture putting Arco gas in a Jaguar vs. rocket fuel.) I can’t tell you what that means to me. I’ve had to get high almost the entire time I’ve lived in Seattle to get through my days. I’ve lived here for four years now. That’s a lot of edibles.

Unfortunately, it’s also a lot of munchies. 😂

It has alleviated so much anxiety that I was finally able to sit down and read a book. I’ve been trying to read a book for months, and I haven’t been able to. I’ve just been addicted to the endless scroll and social media dopamine hits because I couldn’t get any on my own. And that’s just bad because that only causes more anxiety. I know it’s incredibly white privileged to bitch about not being able to go on vacations, but it’s a health concern for me. My vitamin D levels are dangerously low. I NEED sun, or my brain doesn’t function. And I can only recalibrate my brain when I can calm down enough to read a book, which is why summer is so important to me living in the PNW. I will read like ten books in six weeks because my anxiety is non-existent, and I am calm enough to sit long enough to read. I don’t need those artificial dopamine hits because they are naturally occurring on their own. My cholesterol levels go down (which is essential as we age) because there’s enough Vitamin D in my system to convert it.

The positive health effects it has had on me are endless. Nevermind the body positivity. That alone was worth the price of admission.

Submerging myself in this way of recreation and life has been fascinating. It’s taken twists and turns that were completely unexpected. But I think the most profound has been the people we’ve met along the way. 

In our PTSD podcast, Jeremy started crying at the end because of how much naturism, as well as our Skinny Dipper Community, has meant to him. I’m sitting here crying too. I think naturism, and our community, has saved us both.

Thank you for being here.

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