Standing at the base of the mountain in Sedona, Arizona, I had a touch of trepidation and a lot of determination.
I’d been hiking and mountain climbing all week but this day was going to be a challenge.
It was an advanced climb. I had never attempted one this challenging.
I had no business even thinking I could do it.
I was at the tail end of a battle for my life.
A bit of backstory…
Four years ago my life came crashing down around me. I developed PTSD from caretaking a loved one who had it. In a blink, my life changed.
Watching him try to exorcise those demons was traumatizing for me.
It was more than just witnessing someone you love shatter into a shell of his former self.
There was the constant anxiety that he would fly into a rage… accost someone in public without provocation… have another hallucination that would take us god knows where… or that I’d come home to find him hanging from the rafters in the basement.
And, once I left that situation to save myself, my own PTSD hit me with full force now that I no longer had to “be strong” for him anymore.
The anxiety attacks, rage, paranoia, depression, hypervigilance and stress were paralyzing. Many times I really didn’t care if I got through the day.
But I knew the only way out of it was through. I allowed it all and, slowly, waded through that swamp. I released the pain until nothing was left.
I had to put my coaching business, my relationships, my entire life on hold. Everything stopped. Like a turtle hiding in its shell for protection against the big, bad world, I retreated.
I knew better than to fight it. I isolated myself and let the blackness inside wash over me.
For the first time, I could see the truth of who I was… without all the stories, limiting beliefs and a lifetime of obligations placed on me by others. Without the drama, trauma and shame of a long road of frustrations and disappointments.
This was what had needed to happen to clear space for the new. I deeply knew that.
Moving forward, I made sure every brick I placed in the foundation of my new life was on solid footing.
And, although I had retrieved lost parts of my soul and got my mind right, my body hadn’t fared so well through this time.
I gained 20 lbs that I couldn’t seem to shake and hormonal changes had affected how my body was working. I had aches and pains that I never had before.
And so here I was, 4 years later, on carefully-laid ground, about to climb a mountain.
I should mention here that I had a few added challenges… I had a broken toe at the time and the side of my foot was aching from a break that happened a decade ago that I never had treated properly.
But I was going to get to the top of that mountain if I died trying.
And get to the top I did.
Coming down, I rolled my ankle and every step was agony.
But I did it.
Despite the pain, or maybe because of it, I was euphoric. It added to the glory of it all.
It was never about that mountain.
It was about taking my power back.
It was about declaring to the Universe that I was back.
And that no one should ever count me out.
The space had been cleared.
I was ready for the next chapter of my life.
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