Today I went for a hike up the beautiful Mount Lofty in South Australia. It is an absolutely stunning climb, and whilst it doesn’t take too long, it is a tough trek! Especially for someone like me who doesn’t do a whole heap of climbing mountains.
On my way to the top I began reflecting on my recovery journey and how far I have come. I was able to draw parallels to my journey, and the journey that I was on in that moment – to the summit.
Any journey begins with one simple thing: a thought. In order to do something, you first need to think it, and then you need to make the all important decision to start, and to take the first step. It is so easy to remain in our comfort zone, but unfortunately there is no growth that can happen there, so we need to step out.
Once I was climbing I remember having the thought that it was harder than I anticipated, and there were even times I felt like stopping, turning around, and heading back down. But when those thoughts arose I needed to remind myself of why I began in the first place – I wanted to reach that beautiful summit, so I kept going. One foot after the other is all it took.
Sometimes I would look ahead and groan internally at how far I still needed to go, but if I turned around I was comforted by how much I had already achieved and that is the drive that kept me going.
If I needed to stop to have a rest, I did, and that was okay. I went at my own pace and listened to what my body needed. When others overtook me I felt a little bit frustrated and annoyed, especially when they seemed to be climbing up with ease, but I needed to remind myself that I don’t know what their story is. They may have climbed this mountain one hundred times, and now they can stroll up with ease. It was an important lesson to always remember that you don’t know another persons situation, and you can’t judge your own journey on those around you, as we are all individual and at different levels.
Finally, I reached the top, and can I just say that the views were spectacular! But the feeling of joy and elation that I felt trumped the beautiful landscape around me. To have pushed through the pain and sweat, and to have fought those defeating feelings and make it to the top was an incredible feeling.
Much like climbing a mountain, recovery from mental illness can be a challenge. You may find yourself climbing up, but then falling down again, and it can be so frustrating! But one thing is for certain, you cannot stay stuck up on that mountainside, and there will come a time where you will reach the top. When you are there, you can look out over everything and realise why some things happened the way that they did, and you will see all that you have conquered.
So don’t give up on the journey. Yes, it can be tough, but being stuck is tougher, and you are so much stronger than you think.
Love & light,
Shannon Amber xo