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  • Writer's pictureDee Crute

The Unexpected Journey: Phase 1

Episode 4: Decluttering

teasel seed head against sunset
Sunset in Woods Mill by Dee Crute

Welcome, my dear folks! Welcome, and thank you for joining me again on my Unexpected Journey!

With only 12 days remaining until setting off for Poole Harbour - the starting point of the 630-mile Ultra Hike - we need to talk about preparations.

books and maps by Tolkien spread on a desk
Maps of Tolkien by Dee Crute

Thinking about adventures, I cannot stop imagining Bilbo with his maps, backpack, and walking stick.

But as much as planning and packing are involved in travelling arrangements - there is something else without which I could not set off for this Life Changing Journey.


Wanting to downsize and simplify my life, I had to remove everything that would hamper me from becoming the person I want to be.

Throwing and giving things away was so much more than just practical cleansing - it was cathartic and therapeutic.

Going through all of my 'earthly' possessions amassed in my lifetime, I was surprised by how a simple decision of what is going inside the box instead of a bin can show what is really important to you and what is clearly not.

Very eye-opening.

Some things had a nostalgic value or meant a lot, like my drawings or paintings - but asking myself, do I need them? The answer was simple.


It felt like cutting the ties of the past and being released from its grasp.

Most importantly, I felt empowered to start creating new things and - a new me.

Setting Sun, SWT Reserve, Woods Mill by Dee Crute

But there is one more thing preventing me from completely moving forward and moving on from my trauma.

My profession.

In my follow-up Instagram video, I disclosed that I am a police officer. I told you that I have eventually gathered the courage to externally report sexual assault and harassment from my colleagues.

It wasn't easy, but it was the right thing to do.

I had reported it once, along with the bullying - internally - but it was swiped under the carpet. I was told I would lose my job if I made this complaint. And I may as well still lose it - but I do not care anymore.

From now on - I am standing up for myself.

I saw too many awful things inside the organisation, which should make us safe. But it is the last place where I feel safe. Every 'wellbeing' contact makes me unwell, and I am terrified of going back.

I am terrified to change profession, too - I saw disability harassment and bullying in other companies, and the neuro-typical structure and way of living causes me to struggle with my life.

I can only see myself as self-employed, a freelancer.

But a writing career does not happen overnight.

road amidst pastures
South Downs, Pyonings by Dee Crute

So what am I going to do?

My autistic brain wants to know what's next. It hates uncertainty and does not comprehend that life cannot be planned ahead (how boring it would be anyway!).

Luckily my ADHD brain (perks of living with both) is spontaneous and loves adventure!

And since the adventure is about embracing the unknown - I decided not to decide. No decision making.

Not yet.

I want to see what this journey will bring.

What it will reveal about me.

I am excited about it - about the unknown.

And I am ready to start afresh - I only left my books, my Ork army (as I will be playing Warhammer 40k once I settle), and most importantly, anything relating to my beloved. These memories are precious to me, and I want to keep them. I want to believe that I will get better with my mental and physical health, that I will rebuild my life and will be able to build a healthy relationship.

tulips in pots
Last Days in my garden

Currently, I feel like a broken thing, but I am also curious and fascinated about how this journey will change and heal me.

Having been away from work for a few weeks now, I can see some good changes - my tremors and other neurological symptoms are gone (well, they returned after my supervisor's call but went away after a couple of days), and my fibromyalgia improved too!

There were also two occasions where I did not revert into an appeasing mode (trauma related), but I stood my ground and was assertive!

My self-esteem is still shattered, but it's getting better too.

I am no longer petrified of seeing myself in a video despite putting on weight.

After developing fibromyalgia, I have gone from size 6/8 to 12/14 - I know it should not matter, but it is worth knowing that this has nothing to do with my values. I do not care about the looks of others - I think everyone is beautiful.

Yet, I have always struggled with my body image, which my autism/ADHD coach explained is linked to ADHD and comorbid body dysmorphia.

Another good sign is that I am getting comfortable with hearing my voice.

Language and good enunciation were always important to me. I was born with an impediment and had speech therapy. Fibromyalgia affected all my muscles, including my speech, causing me to mispronounce words and making my lisp worse.

As a child, I was embarrassed about it. In academia, I was giving seminars before scores of people, proud of my therapy-perfected enunciation.

Now I'm back to square one.

And do you know what?

It is me. Imperfect.

And thus, detached from what was and what I was,

I am looking forward to what is going to be.

Sending my love!

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