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The Top of the Mountain

30 April 2017 | Post A Comment

Two months ago, I was stood on top of a mountain. My shaking legs were strapped into skis and my sweaty, trembling hands were tightly gripping ski poles. I thought I would never make it down that mountain. The day before, I thought I would never make it to the top of it.

I am an incredibly stubborn person, it kills me to have to say no to things. Unfortunately, I have also got pretty bad mental health, so saying 'no' is something I have had to become too comfortable with. I desperately don't want to be this person. 

When my boyfriend's family invited me to join them on a ski trip everything inside me screamed no but my gut quietly yet persistently spoke yes

There were one hundred and one things about this ski holiday that terrified me and I tried as hard as I could to block them out. I blocked the whole reality of it out. I didn't believe I was actually going until I was in the car on the way to the airport. 

There were countless things about the travelling alone that utterly terrified me. The packing completely overwhelmed me. My mum had to drive the 90 minute journey from her house to make sure I had everything. I was worried about taking valium again and getting the dose just right, at the right time. I was so anxious about the transport from the carpark, luggage weight, checking in, security, queues, not being in control, people, the toilets, before flight drinks, waiting times, delays, alarms, overwhelming smells in duty free, losing something, getting lost, being trapped... 

To me, there can't be much worse than being trapped in a building full of people waiting to be trapped on an enclosed metal tube full of people in the air. 

The unknown of where I was going was too overwhelming to think about. My fear of becoming ill and food poisoning was constantly on my mind, I was convinced that everything I would eat would make me ill. The anxiety of being in an alcohol fuelled environment made me incredibly worried. Being so far away from my family made me feel sick with anxiety. Being in a group of people that I barely knew was so intimidating. Embarrassing myself in front of these people with a full scale panic attack made me feel sick. I didn't want to be separated from Rob for even a second yet I was so conscious of wanting to make sure that he could enjoy a holiday where he wasn't completely burdened by the inconvenience of me. The list continued and was likely endless. I was filled with fear that the stress and anxiety would cause my grasp on reality to snap, like it has before. Nothing about the experience excited me. I didn't want to go. I didn't think I could do it.

But two months ago, I was stood on top of a mountain. My shaking legs were strapped into skis and my sweaty, trembling hands were tightly gripping ski poles. I thought I would never make it down that mountain. The day before, I thought I would never make it to the top of it.

But I did it. One breath at a time. 

The night before we were due to leave for Manchester Airport my anxiety leaked in floods of tears. Rob asked me countlessly, "why are you going if you are this upset?". It was difficult to come up with an answer until it finally came to me. 

"Because there is a chance that going will result in something positive. Nothing positive can come of staying." 

It was suddenly simple. There was more chance that I would get something positive out of going than not going. I am in a constant state of Depression. Sometimes it's bearable, often it's not. Stepping so far out of my destructive comfort zone held more chance of something good coming out of it than staying inside it and I had nothing to lose. 

That was enough.