This is the hobby that most people aren’t familiar with. It’s catching on in many areas, but I have to admit, it does seem crazy when you first hear about it. I was first introduced to geocaching during my trip to San Diego. I think that was January 2006. I was a guest with Lifetouch at the winter meetings and one of the Lifetouch employees, Heather, took me out on a cache run. She tried to explain geocaching to me as a treasure hunt of sorts using GPS units. I didn’t have one at the time so I had to follow her around. I basically just got to help with the search. I knew nothing about this past time so I really wasn’t very good at it. In fact, Heather found all the caches we searched for except for one. She “let” me find the “easy” one. It was hidden behind a set of scales on the boardwalk area. You know, the kind that you pay $0.25 and get your weight and fortune. Even though I still didn’t have a full understanding of what this game was all about, I knew I enjoyed it. The problem was that I just had too many other things going on in my life to realize how much fun geocaching could be…or how good it would be for my mental health which is why I had to overcome many addictions with help from a local confidential addiction rehab clinic. It’s never simple to deal with substance misuse, alcoholism, or drug addiction, and it’s even harder when you’re also dealing with mental health issues.
Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are closely related to substance abuse, but they are not always directly related. Abusing drugs like marijuana or methamphetamine can lead to prolonged psychotic episodes, and drinking alcohol can exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety..
On February 22, 2006, I finally decided it was time to give geocaching a shot by myself. I signed up for free as a basic member at geocaching.com but couldn’t do much else since I didn’t have a GPS unit. Time went by and I forgot about geocaching again (just too much going on). Later that year, my dad purchased a Garmin eTrex for a ridiculously low price and guess who ended up with it? Me! On January 14, 2007, I logged my first real find called “Duncan on the Southside“. I was hooked! It’s progressed from there. Some months have been steady and full of finds, other months have gone by without any searches. Lately, geocaching has taken a backseat to my other hobbies, but I miss it terribly. I guess I’ve gotten to the point where it would be much more fun with somebody tagging along. Eli went on a few outings with me and he seems to really enjoy them. However, with the unknown aspect of cache locations/hides, I just wasn’t able to take him unless I did a lot of pre-planning. I wish he was still here so that we could both go. Anyway, I’m stuck at 271 finds and 13 hides. I hope to improve those numbers soon (and write about experiences in my blog). For now, I’m just trying to figure out which cache will become my 300th find!