A blog about my diagnosis of moderate to severe depression with suicidal ideations, and how I found Social Nudity to be the best therapy.
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What a glorious day today has been. I spent the day at my happy place, Rock Haven Lodge. After enduring a long, cold, winter, Rock Haven Lodge opened for visitors on Friday, April 13th. It was a beautiful day, but unfortunately, I had to work that day so I was hoping for good weather over […] The post A Glorious Day appeared first on The Bare Therapy...
What a glorious day today has been. I spent the day at my happy place, Rock Haven Lodge. After enduring a long, cold, winter, Rock Haven Lodge opened for visitors on Friday, April 13th. It was a beautiful day, but unfortunately, I had to work that day so I was hoping for good weather over the week-end. It was not in the cards, it rained all week-end. The following week-end wasn’t much better, and I had things I needed to get done so I was praying that the week-end of the 28th would be nice.
The weather looked decent for both days. Today was supposed to be windy, but a little warmer than Sunday, so I decided to go today. I think it was a wise decision on my part. As I undressed at my car I could feel the stress leave my body. The last 7 months I had little to no opportunity to be naked. I felt so free walking naked to the pool. I got myself situated in a chaise lounge, and felt the sun kiss every inch of me. The weather was beautiful, and while baking in the sun by the pool, the breeze felt wonderful.
Another reason why today was a great day to go. Radio Controlled Racing is a big event at Rock Haven. Last Summer I never stayed late enough to watch them. Today I wanted to watch, and I also wanted to take photos for their new website. Over the winter I created a new website for them. Rock Haven has done so much for me, I wanted to give back. Their previous website was old, and the photos were old also. It didn’t really capture the atmosphere, didn’t convey what a wonderful place this really is. Another guest of Rock Haven, and a friend of mine, Stan Lee (as usual, not his real name), is probably the best illustrator, and graphic artist, that I have ever seen. Every time I see his work, the first thing that comes to mind is Norman Rockwell. He is that good. Late last Summer Stan took some new photos of the facilities (The welcome sign in this post is one of his photographs), and I incorporated them into the new website. In March I went out to Rock Haven to take photos of the trailers and cabins that they rent out. Just before Rock Haven opened this season Stan went back out there and photographed the interiors of the trailers and cabins. You really should check out the website, and the photos. The trailers and cabins are beautiful!
Back to racing. Rock Haven has a wonderful hard surface oval racetrack in an open air pavilion. Tables are set up on one side for the racers to work on their cars. Each heat is timed, 4 minutes. Each racer tries to complete as many laps as he/she can before the 4 minutes are up. Some of the racers not only have R/C cars, but R/C trucks as well, so there is a special race for trucks. There is an announcer, a time keeper, and judges who count the laps for each race. As I said, they are serious about their racing!
I needed to take photos for the website. At a nudist facility, this presents quite a few challenges, the first one being, cameras and cell phones are not allowed in the park. Susie, the owner, gave me permission to take my cell phone to take photos with. She talked to the announcer, who told everyone that I would be taking photographs for the new website. My second challenge was to take interesting photos, and not have any people in the background. I tried taking photos during the races, but they didn’t turn out well at all. The announcer talked to the racers and they were great. They lined up all of the cars at the finish line so I could get a good photo of them.
Today was a great day. By the time I left there I was sunburned, but it didn’t hurt. It will turn into a tan, and it should be the only time this summer that I burn. I am in a MUCH better mood than I have been for the last 7 months!
It’s been a long winter. I hate cold weather with a passion. As you well know, I love to be nude, and that is nearly impossible during cold weather. Even in my house I have to stay dressed, or else my ridiculously high electric bill will be even higher. During the winter I tend to […] The post A Long Winter appeared first on The Bare Therapy...
It’s been a long winter. I hate cold weather with a passion. As you well know, I love to be nude, and that is nearly impossible during cold weather. Even in my house I have to stay dressed, or else my ridiculously high electric bill will be even higher. During the winter I tend to avoid going out of the house unless it is absolutely necessary. I leave the house to go to work, and to go to the store to buy necessities. Thank God for Amazon. If I can buy it on Amazon, and don’t have to leave the house, I do it. But, this is not great for my mental health.
By the end of last year I believe the VA finally got me on the correct medication, and the correct dose. The suicidal thoughts don’t come nearly as often, although they are still there. I still have trouble concentrating, and at times I still get confused. It is not as bad as it was last year. After my experience with the VA psychiatric ward I started to see a civilian therapist. After 3 visits she told me she couldn’t do any more to help me. This just confirmed my opinion that talking with others does not help me. With all of the therapists I have talked to I have opened up to them, and told them things that I never told anyone else my entire life.
I’m still seeing a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at the VA, but this is so he can prescribe my medication for me. He still has to assess my mental health at each visit. I’m very careful in what information that I give to him, and he knows this. I know that he has a obligation, if he ever suspects that I am a danger to myself or others, to take action. I understand that, which is why I have told him that I will never reveal to him if I have thoughts about actually harming myself. I will never be a danger to others, I couldn’t do that. Never again will I ever be committed to a psychiatric ward, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
Looking Forward to the Summer!
I am anxiously awaiting the time that Rock Haven Lodge opens up for the 2018 season. When I spend time there in the sun my mood improves immensely. Being able to spend one day a week there in the summertime has saved my life. Over the winter I have been developing a new website for them. I am not the most creative person in the world, but I have had help from an Illustrator/Graphic Artist that I met at Rock Haven. His work is fantastic. Every time I see a piece that he has created I think “Norman Rockwell!”. A few week-ends back I went out to Rock Haven to take updated photos of the rentals they have. While it was too cold to be able to be nude while doing it, just being there brought a calm over me. I’m excited about launching a new website for them, and I’m anxious to get feedback from the guests who visit Rock Haven to see what they think.
4 more weeks until Rock Haven opens. I’m praying for warm weather!
Subsequent Visits After my first visit, I knew that this was going to be the best therapy for me. I decided that I was going to visit Rock Haven as often as I was able. Every week-end I would check the weather, and if it was sunny, and no chance of rain, I would spend either […] The post Rock Haven Lodge – The Best Therapy appeared first on The Bare Therapy...
After my first visit, I knew that this was going to be the best therapy for me. I decided that I was going to visit Rock Haven as often as I was able. Every week-end I would check the weather, and if it was sunny, and no chance of rain, I would spend either Saturday or Sunday there. After just one day there, I was addicted. I knew that this was going to be the best thing to keep my depression in check.
The following week-end I went on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, and not nearly as hot as the previous week-end. I prefer the weather to be hot when I am at the pool. It not only keeps the water temperature in the pool at a comfortable temperature for me, but it is VERY refreshing after baking in the sun. There weren't many people there that day. I spent most of the day just lying in the sun. The temperature outside was in the low to mid 80's, and the pool temperature was 78, which is colder than I like it. I did get in the pool a few times, but I had to swim a couple of laps each time to warm up. I also walked the trail 3 times. I don't normally like walking any great distances, but when the weather is nice, and you can take your time, a nude walk is very relaxing. It was another great day. Just as the first time, when it came time to go, I dreaded having to put my clothes on again.
By now it was the end of August. Rock Haven is open to day visitors until October 1st. I started going one day every week-end as long as the weather was good. Fortunately for me, the weather was good enough every week-end, except for the last week-end that they were open. I was very disappointed. I did miss one other week-end. My nephew lives in Florida, and when the hurricane was was due to hit where he lived, he and his family evacuated and came up to my house for a week, a very smart move on his part. I don't get to see them that much, so when they come up it's always a good time. They were here over the week-end, so I didn't visit Rock Haven.
All of the other week-ends were great though. Toward the end of September the temperature of the pool was down to a very chilly 74. I still went into the pool to cool off, I just didn't stay in the pool very long! I continued my hikes on the trail, usually 3 times each visit. Walking that trail is the only time in my life that I actually enjoyed exercising! I got to know some of the regulars at Rock Haven. All of them are great people. I met one couple from Alabama who came up for the week-end. They are members, so they can visit any time during the year. They were telling me that they even come up in the winter. As long as the sun is shining, and there isn't any wind, they tell me it's great sitting out by the pool. One of these days, when I am a member, I'm going to try it.
I also discovered that Rock Haven has an award winning volleyball team. They travel to different parts of the country to compete against other teams. I knew there were people there that were very serious about volleyball. The parking lot is right next to the volleyball courts, and there are always people playing. Volleyball is probably the only sport that I was any good at, and I always enjoyed playing. Next summer I think I'm going to try it again. I haven't played in about 20 years.
In conclusion, my visits to Rock Haven have been the only thing that has kept my depression under control. They VA finally found a medication and dose that works for me, which helps, but social nudity is the miracle drug for me. After every visit I would feel good about myself and the future. The length of time that lasted after each visit varied. It's been a month and a half now since I was able to go. It's been difficult, and the medication helps me get through the day, but I feel confined having to wear clothes during my waking hours. I keep thinking about next April 15th. Not because it's tax day, but that is the day Rock Haven opens back up to day visitors. That's the prize for getting through the winter, and I'm keeping my eye on the prize!
Taking the Plunge I made up my mind that I was going to visit Rock Haven Lodge, the local nudist park, at least once. I watched the weather each week-end. If I was only going to go one time, then I wanted to make the experience as perfect as possible. The week-end of August 21-22 […] The post My First Visit To Rock Haven Lodge appeared first on The Bare Therapy...
Taking the Plunge
I made up my mind that I was going to visit Rock Haven Lodge, the local nudist park, at least once. I watched the weather each week-end. If I was only going to go one time, then I wanted to make the experience as perfect as possible. The week-end of August 21-22 looked perfect. Hot and sunny. I decided that I would visit on Sunday, Aug 21.
I read everything I can on their website, because I didn’t want to break any rules they may have, but I still have questions, such as, are lockers available to put my clothes in? Are towels provided, or do I bring my own, etc? I email Susan, one of the owners, and tell her that this will be my first visit, and I have some questions. She quickly replies, and tells me there are no lockers available, most visitors just leave their clothes and their valuables in their car. She suggested that, since this is the week-end before the full eclipse, I should arrive early to reserve myself a lounge chair by the pool, because they would have a lot of visitors. Her reply was very welcoming, and eased my nervousness a bit. I am really going to do this!
The Day Arrives
The day finally arrives. The night before, I pack a small duffel with items that I think I might need throughout the day, which wasn’t much. Three towels (two for covering the lounge, one to dry off with), sunglasses, and flip flops. What more could I need? They open at 9 AM for day visitors, and I want to get there just as they open, so I can spend as much time at Rock Haven as I possible.
I get there at 9 AM. The entrance to Rock Haven has an electric gate, with an intercom next to it. I pull up to the gate, and honk my horn (the procedure to let them know you are there). A person on the intercom asked how they can help me (that person turned out to be Susan, she runs the office and checks people in). I told her I was here to visit for the day. Susan opens the gate and tells me to drive slowly to the office.
My First Impression Of Rock Haven Lodge
As I drive slowly to the office, one of the first things I see is a woman, sitting in a lawn chair in front of a mobile home, reading a book. Of course she is nude. I drive a little farther, and on the right are the volleyball courts. Two men are playing volleyball, nude. I’m not shocked by this, I’m expecting this, but it feels strange seeing this for the first time. I get to the office and park my car.
Rock Haven is not a clothing optional nudist park. Unless the weather is cold, or you are sunburned, you are required to be nude. I had my first decision to make. Do I undress at my car and go into the office, or go in fully clothed. I decide to play it safe, and go in to the office fully clothed, where I meet Susan for the first time. She is a wonderful woman, and makes me feel totally relaxed and comfortable. Susan gives me a registration card to fill out, then gives me a map of the park, pointing out the location of all the facilities. She then points out the parking lot where I was to park, and tells me to leave my cell phone, and my clothes, in the car.
Nude In Public For The First Time
I drive over to the parking lot, park the car, and then strip. I put on my flip flops, grab my duffel, and walk to the pool. It feels strange, walking around in public nude for the first time. It is a great feeling, and I love it, but it is something that I have not experienced before. I pass the open air Pavilion, which is next to the pool, and see people sitting there at tables. I arrive at the pool, and just 2 people are there, a woman reading, and a woman taking a nap, both sitting in the shaded part of the pool area.
The pool at Rock Haven isn’t large, but it is very nice. The shallow end has steps to enter the pool, and is 3 feet deep. The depth increases until you get to the other end, which is 9 feet deep. The area around the pool is tiled, with wooden decking making up the rest of the area. The wooden deck is where the lounge chairs are located. The lounge chairs encompass 3 sides of the pool area, with a hot tub, located on a covered, raised deck, located on the fourth. To reserve a lounge, you place your towel on it. About 20% of the lounges had towels on them. I decided to take a chair in the sunny area; I wanted to get a tan without tan lines!
Meeting Other People
I get settled in my chair, and enjoy basking in the sun. After a while, other people start showing up. At first, it was strange seeing people walk around nude. Most everyone says Hi to me as they pass, and after a short while I realize I’m not seeing naked people, I’m just seeing people. A couple sits just behind me, and next to them is another man. I overhear them talking. The woman is saying how a lot of people visiting lately are there for the first time. I figure this would be a good ice breaker, so I raise my hand and say, “I’m one of them”. I turn around to chat. The couple is Charley and Annie (not their real names), and next to them was Stan Lee (not his real name).
Charley runs the miniature train at Rock Haven. Annie, his wife, is a school bus driver. Stan Lee is an illustrator and graphic designer. I introduce myself and they start telling me all about Rock Haven. They are such nice people! They tell me that everyone at Rock Haven is nice, there is no judgement about how you look, or what you do. Everyone is the same, just regular people who enjoy being around other like minded people. Throughout the day they introduce me to other people. Everyone, without exception, is so nice!
I spend a good part of the day talking with Stan Lee. He works for himself as an illustrator and graphic designer. We have a few things in common, so we spend a good part of the day talking. He tells me that time just seems to slow down for him when he is at Rock Haven. He also tells me there is one downside, and that is having to get dressed when you leave at the end of the day. I spend most of the day laying out in the sun, talking to Stan Lee, and cooling off in the pool. Stan Lee tells me I should check out the walking trail, it is a nice walk through the park.
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
I decide to take a leisurely stroll along the trail. The walking trail is the “The Yellow Brick Road”. It’s not yellow, and it’s not brick. Bricks, strategically located along the trail, and painted yellow with arrows, show you the trail. The trail mainly consists of gravel, and it winds partly around the perimeter of the property, and partly through the residential area of Rock Haven (yes, there are people who live here year round).
The trail is approximately 1/4 – 1/3 mile long, and is a very pleasant walk. Displays, set up along the way, capture your interest. Two of these are a Memory Garden, and a Wagon Wheel Swing (pictured at right). It’s also very interesting to see how the residents live here. Some residents have small houses/cabins, and others live in RV’s. There is even one very large shed that is converted into a living space. It is very relaxing, walking in nature completely nude.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
Around 3 PM, after I have been here for 6 hours, I decide it’s time to go home. I don’t want to leave yet, but I can tell I got a little bit of a sunburn, so, to be on the safe side, I decide to leave. I say my good-byes to my new friends, and head out to my car. Along the way I stop in the office to say good-bye to Susan, and tell her what an amazing experience I had. She isn’t there, but I leave a message for her.
I get to my car, and discover what Stan Lee told me earlier was absolutely true. I don’t want to put my clothes back on! I’m really dreading this, but I don’t have a choice. I can’t drive home naked. I reluctantly get dressed, and drive away, knowing that I WILL return.
The one main conclusion I have of this day is, this has been the most relaxing and stress free day of my life! I didn’t think about work, or problems/concerns about home. I didn’t have my cell phone chiming notifications every 15 minutes. This was an oasis where everything was good. The only improvement to this day would have been if this had been at a beach.
I didn’t get a chance to experience all of the facilities there. Some of the other facilities available are shuffleboard, volleyball, tennis, darts, petanque (similar to Bocce Ball), billiards, and ping pong. For your dining pleasure, on the week-ends they have a snack bar that serves breakfast and lunch. For overnight visitors on the week-ends they also serve a light supper on Friday night, and a hearty sit-down dinner on Saturday evening.
Today was the best therapy possible for my depression. Nothing so far, the therapy, or the medications, have done as much to relieve my depression as this care free naked day. When I got home I explained this experience to my wife, and told her that I will be going back, because this is helping with my depression, and I need help.
I know that social nudism is not for everybody. Many people are just not comfortable being nude, and that is OK. There are a lot of people that do like to be nude, but, they are either too shy, or ashamed of their body, to take the plunge into social nudism. I wish everyone who wants to try this would take the plunge just once. I believe they would find, just as I have, a very acceptive community of people who are more than willing to accept them into the fold.
What is a Bucket List? No one knows for certain how the name “Bucket List” came to be. The most popular belief is that it refers to when a person dies, or “Kicks the Bucket”. A bucket list is a list of things a person wants to do, or accomplish, before they die. They place […] The post My Bucket List appeared first on The Bare Therapy...
What is a Bucket List?
No one knows for certain how the name “Bucket List” came to be. The most popular belief is that it refers to when a person dies, or “Kicks the Bucket”. A bucket list is a list of things a person wants to do, or accomplish, before they die. They place these items in the “Bucket” as goals. My bucket list is fairly short. Before I ever heard the term Bucket List, I had already accomplished a lot of my goals. I went skydiving (which, ironically led to my Traumatic Brain Injury and depression), learned to fly and became a pilot, travelled to far away places, and last, but not least, got married and had a family. These are all Bucket List items that were not written down, just goals I had. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a co-worker about my Bucket List. She told me she read somewhere that you should actually write down your Bucket List. This way you could take it out every now and then, shake off the dust, and remind yourself of what it is you want to do. Maybe even add to it, or cross off items that you have accomplished. That was a brilliant idea, and we made a pact to write down our Bucket Lists.
A Short List
I did write down my Bucket List, but it is very short. There are only two items on it:
- Go to a nudist resort
- Take my wife on a trip to Italy to see where my mother, and both sets of grandparents were born
The order of the items is not important. What is important is to try and reach these goals. After my short stay in the psychiatric ward I decided that life was too short, and we should live life the way we want to. Of course my wife knows I love to be naked. She knows I have always wanted to visit a nudist resort, or a least a clothing optional beach. I didn’t want to go without her, and she always refused to go. I understand why she doesn’t want to go, it is not for everyone. When I left the hospital, I decided that I was going to go to a local Nudist Park at least once. I needed to experience it at least once in my life. I told this to my wife, and to her credit, she readily agreed, but informed me that I would be going by myself.
Rock Haven Lodge
Rock Haven Lodge is a local Family Nudist Park that is situated on 25 peaceful acres nestled in the natural beauty of the Tennessee woodlands. They offer a wide variety of recreational facilities, including a sun-kissed pool, hot tub, volleyball, pickle ball shuffleboard, darts, ping pong, horseshoes, billiards, petanque, children’s playground, clubhouse, small convenience store, snack bar, and tennis court. They even have a miniature train you can ride! There are people who live there year long, and the park is open from April 15 to September 30 for day visitors. I started checking the weather every week-end. If I was only going to go once, I wanted it to be perfect.
I read everything they had posted on their website. I didn’t want to do anything wrong, or offend anyone by violating any customs or practices that they had. One Sunday it appeared that the weather was going to be perfect, 95 degrees and sunny. I love the heat. I decided that I was going to go. A few days beforehand I sent an email to the email address listed on the website. I told them I was going to be a first time visitor. I had a few questions that I asked, and also asked for any other information that they thought I might need to know. A short while later I received an email from Susan, one of the owners of the lodge. She answered my questions and told me, since this was the week-end just before the full eclipse, they would be very busy and I should arrive early to reserve myself a lounge chair by the pool.
I gathered my supplies in preparation for the day:
- 3 towels
- Flip Flops
- A small pillow
- A card case to carry my ID and money
Some of you may be asking, considering where I was going, why sunscreen isn’t on the list. I have never used sunscreen. My first day out in the sun in the summer I burn, but that is usually the only time. I decided to take my chances with the areas the sun never reached before.
I Remember a Friend About a week after I got out I was feeling depressed and helpless. Then I remembered that I had a friend, LTG Keith Huber, who may be able to help. He is a retired Army Lieutenant General. He is now the Senior Military Advisor to the veterans at a local University. […] The post A Friend Becomes A LifeSaver appeared first on The Bare Therapy...
I Remember a Friend
About a week after I got out I was feeling depressed and helpless. Then I remembered that I had a friend, LTG Keith Huber, who may be able to help. He is a retired Army Lieutenant General. He is now the Senior Military Advisor to the veterans at a local University. As soon as he accepted that position, he went to work, with the help of Charlie Daniels and The Journey Home Project, to create the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. This center provides veterans with all of the resources they need to successfully complete their education. There is no greater supporter of Veterans than LTG Huber, and he has been my lifesaver.
I was at work when I thought of him, so I sent him an email asking if he knew of someone who I could contact that would be able to help. 30 minutes later I got a call from him. He told me he was in his car, that he had received my email but he didn’t have time to read it. He then told me that no matter what the problem, he and I would find a solution for it. I start to cry every time I think of this. My relief was so great at that point. It was like a dam had burst, and all of my frustrations were released from me. If I ever look back to see where I started my recovery, this will be the time that I think of.
Help From Another Friend
LTG Huber told me that he was going to call another friend of his, a retired Navy Captain, who was a nurse in the Navy. He told me that she really cared about veterans and she would be able to help. That afternoon I received an email from the Captain. She told me the General had sent her a copy of my email, and she wanted to know if she could call me. Of course I said yes. What I didn’t know previously was that I was acquainted with the Captain. She is on the Board of Directors with LTG Huber for a veteran’s non-profit that I designed the website for. I also didn’t know that she is the Director of the VA hospital where I was admitted, along with another VA hospital in the area.
The Captain called me the next day, and we spoke about my experience in the psychiatric ward. She agreed that I didn’t get the care I needed. She assured me that she would be meeting with her staff, and the problem would get corrected. Two hours after I spoke with the Captain, I got a call from her Chief of Staff. He also assured me that they would fix the problem. LTG Huber and the Captain have both been checking in with me to see how I am doing, and if I am getting the care that I need. As I said, I am acquainted with the Captain, and I know how dedicated she it. After speaking with her, and her Chief of Staff, I am very confident that the veterans, not only in the psychiatric ward, but throughout the VA facilities will get the care that they deserve.
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