Camping? Don’t Let Fear and Anxiety Ruin It for You

by Bill Brenner on July 9, 2012

I just got back from a weekend camping trip with the family. It’s the second time we did this in a camper, and I’ve done a few Cub Scout camping trips in the last year and a half. No small deal since OCD and anxiety used to make me fear such things.

Mood music:


Fear of dangerous situations used to keep me on the couch, and camping was one of those things that made me tremble in terror. I’d go crazy worrying if someone was ransacking our house while we were away. I’d freak out every time the kids got dirty or bitten by bugs. The thought of eating food cooked in a dingy camper or over a campfire would give me the willies.

After years of therapy and the assistance of Prozac and Wellbutrin, I’ve actually learned to enjoy these outings.

Oh, I’m still not a fan of eating inside a camper. Ours is in great condition, but the inside has seen better days (I admit I’m a snob on this point).

Jayco Camper

Disease-laden mosquitoes still worry me. But such concerns don’t paralyze me like they used to. I can still get on with life and enjoy moments despite whatever worry has crawled into the recesses of my brain.

Duncan had a cast for this latest outing, and he got a bunch of nasty-looking bites on the last trip, including one we were fairly certain was a tick bite. It had the bulls-eye look but turned out to be nothing. I worried about these things but didn’t freak out. Not even close.

The first morning we spent at Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough, Maine, I got up at 5:30 and walked to the beach. The ocean always rekindles my spirit, and this beach did not dissapoint.

Sunrise at Pine Point

The trolley ride to Old Orchard Beach that afternoon was fun. We found a discount bookstore where I acquired an illustrated bio of Led Zeppelin, and we played a few rounds of skeeball at a local arcade. This stretch of beach is a bit more circus-like than I prefer, but it made for some good people-watching.

Old Orchard Beach

The next morning we ate breakfast in a schoolhouse-turned-restaurant. Then it was off to Fort Williams Park and a visit to the Portland Head Lighthouse. This place was once a military base, which was more interesting to me than the lighthouse itself.

Portland Head Lighthouse Erin and the Boys

This was not a relaxing trip, truth be told. It was full of all the kid-related chaos that comes with family outings. But it was worth it. And Erin and I did break away for dinner and a beach walk our last night camping. We had a beautiful sunset for the walk.

Sunset on Old Orchard Beach

We were happy as hell to get home last night, especially the part where we slept in our own beds. But we made some great family memories this weekend, and you can’t do that when fear and anxiety keep you pinned to a couch in front of a TV.

I’m grateful.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Briteleaf December 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm

What a victory! It’s not just the adventure but it’s the making memories that make such a difference.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: