Post trail life can be brutal. I remember nearing the end of my hike and hearing recommendations to not fly back home. It was “too much of a shock” and “didn’t give time go acclimate”… Pffft. I practically ran up Mt. Katahdin and pushed my flight out of Bangor up as much as possible.
It wasn’t too bad… at first.
The first trip to the grocery store was overwhelming. So many lights, people, noise, marketing, choices, blah blah blah. I know this may sound hippie-dippie. It is totally a thing. Myself and plenty of other thru-hikers know this first hand.
Here is an interesting paper from Cal Tech. pages 19 & 20 hit a heavy but real topic. Depression. http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&context=rptasp
Another mental enemy. Depersonalization. Thru hiking is a fertile environment for obsessive introspection. Trapped inside your mind for mile after mile, month after month. The struggle is real man. Loose grip on reality? Human consciousness is paradoxically intriguing? If you already have these tendencies, try and remember to live in the moment. Have fun. Talk to other hikers and tourists. Listen to music and podcast. Refocus outside yourself. You’re not alone. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-search-self/201204/i-and-my-depersonalization-comments-your-comments
As a non-thru hiker, this guy may come off as pompous. But I really feel like he simply struggles to communicate something that is inherently hard to communicate. For me, he hit the nail on the head and it was great to know there is community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgbNE6t7Vfk&sns=em
Another kindred spirit. https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/through-hiking-ruined-my-life/