This time last year I was struggling to reach a toilet which lay beyond two flights of stairs. My relief was short-lived with the soft kiss between my bare bottom and the cold ceramic sending shivers through my body. I was high up in the Himalayas trekking to Mt Everestbase camp. I was the furtherest out of my comfort zone that I’d ever been, and as “alive” as I’d ever felt. I was feeling capable, strong and ready to march right back into my regular life with the mindset I was using to tackle this trek.
The trip was mostly a success — but I stepped right into an avalanche upon returning. I lost my job and found myself being told I had been living my entire life with two undiagnosed mental health conditions (ADD and Bipolar 2). It was a tough pill to swallow. And almost one year later, I’m still struggling to keep it down.
Same time, this year.
Things are better. I’m not on completely solid ground yet, but I have an idea of where it lies. I have a plan and a sense of direction. It’s hard when things are hazy. But having even a few steps ahead plotted out is always better than being completely stranded.
This isn’t a story of triumph. I’m writing this to remind myself of the wisdom passed on by those silent mountain peaks — ‘spoken’ through sheer presence.
We’re always in unstable territory — things can suddenly change for the better or worse. So stay alert and ready to adapt. In some situations we have to ask for support — I still remember my friend spoon feeding me electrolytes through the night as I lay shivering and stiff. If you do find yourself behind, don’t stress. It’s not a race. Go at your own pace, remember to breathe. Smile and give way to those you pass. There’s animal droppings and loose rocks everywhere, so watch where you step. But definitely stop and look up now and then. There’s always beauty to take in… Don’t overlook where you are for where you want to go.