How the Mountains Continue to Save My Life

Report from 11/9/18

The outdoors really is the best kind of therapy available to us. Yes, it is critical that we seek professional help in times of need, but as a general coping mechanism nature is the best. Hands down. This week, I needed the mountains more than ever.

Without going into great detail of my living hell growing up, let me just give you the basics of my backstory…

  • My sister passed away when I was 10
  • An unusual number of friends around me passed away from various causes
  • I was emotionally abused, and sexually assaulted on numerous occasions
  • I was dealing with untreated depression
  • I tried to kill myself… twice.
  • I dealt with an eating disorder
  • …but most of all, I felt worthless, unloved, undeserving of love, ashamed, and a waste of space. 

It wasn’t until I passed out at the wheel from malnutrition and totaled my car during my eating disorder that I was able to finally get some help. I have spent the last 8 years in therapy trying to sift through all of the crap. I have put a lot of pieces together over the years, but nothing hit me like a brick wall more than when I found out about a week ago that one of my abusers, nay the first… was recently released from prison. 

Looking back all those years ago, I didn’t think anything was wrong until after the relationship was over. I was blind to the manipulation, the emotional mind games, and the damage he was causing. He made me feel like I was nothing more than an object… When he dumped me for not getting “his way” it all really began to sink in. This was when I REALLY lost myself. I didn’t care anymore. I was worth nothing to myself, or anyone in my mind. My childhood dreams were long forgotten, I was never going to be good enough anyway… because how could I, this worthless, disgusting piece of trash, every be able to live or go after those dreams?

That fire eventually was rekindled through therapy and literally getting back outside where I belong. I was able to work up enough love for myself to be able to taste my dreams and I finally made it to Nepal! But hearing he was out of jail brought up all those horrific feelings: the fear, the anxiety, the disgust in myself, shame for not having the hindsight, the self-loathing, self-doubt, and worthlessness…. they came flooding back. The fight began. Tears, and panic attacks were all of a sudden a daily occurrence, all while the “smarter self” I have spent so many years working on was patching holes at every turn. At first, I slept… A LOT. After a couple days, I finally had some time where I could head up the canyon, take in the snowy views and the cool breeze and try to recenter myself in my element. I was able to just sit for a while, take in the view, think, and process everything that has just happened, as well as other questions my life was trying to throw at me.

Trying to work through the overwhelming amount of feelings going through my head this week I realized a few things. I am NOT, nor will I ever be that person again. I have grown and worked so much, I refuse to let my past try to drag me back down into that hell. I have learned what is truly important to me in my life and am constantly working to make sure my life goes in that direction. I may doubt myself all the time, and feel like I’m not good enough, and question every move I make, but that is because I want to make sure it is the right one. I tell myself all the time, I want to inspire others, and be someone who goes after there dreams and succeeds because those people are amazing inspirations to me. What I have to remind myself is that I already am that person. I have students and people tell me all the time, but being my own worst enemy, by brain would tell me not to believe it, or that I am still not good enough anyway. The one belief system that I haven’t been able to shake…

But it is time. It is time to tell myself that I AM that Badass I have always wanted to be! The one who is training to climb to the top of the world, doing circus tricks in her backyard, and inspiring others to conquer their own dreams, whatever they may be. 

Because after all… (excuse the cheese)

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves” 

                                                                -Edmund Hillary 


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