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#GetTheFckOutside was created organically through frustration. As an autist with lifelong mental health problems, my teenage years taught me the magical properties contained in the woods. Seeking solace, solitude and peace amongst the mud and the trees became a lifelong staple.

One night, while roaming the countryside in darkness, I tripped over a Goblin walking in the opposite direction. Rightly perturbed by my oafishness the Goblin cursed me with the fear. I have lived with this curse for five years or so. Outside became too frightening to encounter. I locked myself away for a long time. Every day that I don’t go to the woods I feel it in my bones.

BC (Before Covid) I had functionally overcome my fear. Then came the virus. The orders to stay home. The NHS graphics with toxic green vapour helping me visualise all that was unclean. I used to be scared of outside. This year I became afraid of every person, surface and the air.

My agoraphobia and fear of contamination went off the scale. I locked down harder and for longer than any law or any guideline ever told me to. My head visited long forgotten places of madness. 

I broke pretty badly. I am one of the lucky ones for whom breakages are transient. Returning to the world is however exhausting and confusing and hard work every day. The place to start was, of course, the woods. During a twitter conversation I asked my friend RAF (@RoseAnnieFlo) to encourage me to #GetTheFckOutside and she did.

For a week she ran a #GetTheFckOutside thread and encouraged us to share plans, adventures and evidence.

I took over the following week. What began to emerge from these threads was a raggle-taggle community of people sharing all sorts of adventures with accompanying photographic evidence.

RAF and I are just two people, the world is still on fire, running a thread for a week can sometimes be too onerous. Rowena (@wijsgerig) kindly offered her hosting services.

These days, while one of us generally keeps an eye out for the hashtag to offer encouragement (and points! RAF introduced points!) it has taken on a life of its own. If you want encouragement or acknowledgement to get outside (safely, socially distanced, within whatever law is currently in play, blah) use the hashtag and tell us what you are up to. It can make for a joyous read.

You never know, you may come across a magical gate:

Or a mysterious floating Christmas tree:

If this year has left you a little broken, if you have forgotten what outside looks like, if you need some encouragement in learning how to get outside again check out #GetTheFckOutside. 

If you want to see pictures of muddy boots, crabs, ducks or graveyards check out #GetTheFckOutside.

If your skeleton hates you but you don’t have a kinder one going spare #GetTheFckOutside 

No permission required for joining in, lurkers also welcome.

By Asteroid (Asteroid_Caller)

With thanks to my friends RAF (@RoseAnnieFlo) and Rowena (@wijsgerig) for helping me back outside and creating this accidentally beautiful project.

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