I am a bit of a stickler for history and often find it interesting to know what happened on this day that was notable. For example, on 29th May Bing Crosby recorded the biggest selling song in all time, “White Christmas”. It also happened to the day that in 1958 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest – the highest mountain on earth!
I remember reading the story about this adventure and dreaming of me climbing that mountain – but in reality – this will remain a dream. I do not have the motivation to do all that would be required to become ready to climb Everest. I must digress here as I smile while typing this and remember answering a question my mother asked me when I was 15…. “What do you want to do when you grow up?” My answer was everything! I used to think nothing could stop anyone achieving everything in life. But with wisdom, age and knowledge, we come to realise that we must prioritise our dreams and wishes. Although nobody should stop you from achieving your dream – the dream itself can not be everything!! For example, I have a dream of being a mother. This dream itself hinders me from achieving some things, but I am a determined piece of work, and nothing will stop me from giving something a go when I put my heart and soul into it.
Getting back to Everest, I realised today, that although I will probably never climb the highest mountain in the world, I have climbed a few mountains. For example, the hubster and I climbed Mount Kosciuszko – all 2,228 metres. In all honesty – it was a long process, but not really a difficult one for me… it was just a matter of putting one step in front of the other and before I knew it, I was at the summit!
Now, 2,228 meters is nowhere near the height of Everest’s 8,848 meters and there is no risk of altitude sickness when climbing Kosciuszko, but I am going to let you in on a secret… I have climbed even a higher mountain than Everest!! This mountain has no recorded height yet, but side effects see many people give up.
I am climbing a mountain full of the hardest winding tracks ever. This mountain starts quite easily, with a relatively straight-forward climb, before I reach Sexual Abuse. I wasn’t meant to reach this part of the mountain, and it took me by surprise, but it didn’t hold me back, it just took me down a different track than I should have initially gone to. After awhile I hit Depression. This part of the mountain really held me back. In fact, I had to back-track in order to find out how exactly I got to this part of the mountain, but eventually, with some assistance, I was able to move forward. Though from this point, the path was harder to navigate. It got really hard and there were very many twists and turns in my path as I hit Drugs, Boyfriends, Jail, more Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence and Heartbreak which saw me back to the Depression landing point. When at these points, I was close to the edge. These parts of the mountain really tested my resolve and I become angry and frustrated. I knew where I wanted to head, but these points of the mountain were really holding me back. It was an unpassable part of the mountain.
After dealing with the defeat of Drugs, Boyfriends, Jail, Domestic Violence and Heartbreak, I decided to take a path parallel to the one I had travelled, landing at Fraud, Abortion and Abandonment. Once again, I was forced to travel back to Depression. After tending to my bruises, it was obvious that I needed to take a completely different track to the two previous ones. I headed east, leaving behind all of my support team. It was me against the elements.
Heading East was the best thing to do, but I didn’t know it at the time. I again found myself while heading east, heading in a circle and back at the Depression landing. I ended up staying here for a while and even visited Sexual Abuse again. But just like last time, I carried on, even visiting Heartbreak again as I tried to find my way up to the summit. I stayed at Heartbreak for much longer than I should have as I tried to figure out my next move.
Little did I know that I had invited someone onto this mountain. He met me at Heartbreak and at first I pushed this person away. I was determined to climb this mountain by myself. Regardless, he walked beside me, always offering his hand. I would try to run away, but he would eventually catch up. While running, I didn’t realise that I had climbed up the mountain, further than I had ever been. It wasn’t until we both fell back at Fraud that I realised how far up the mountain we had climbed. I realised then, that this person was good for me. I was going to need his support to continue. But he wasn’t wanting to budge. He was looking to climb to the Depression landing. It wasn’t until I spent a long time telling him that there was no point looking backwards, that we needed to climb upwards again, that he eventually started walking with me again, towards the summit.
We had quite an easy trip. We visited Marriage, Honeymoon, and Travel. These are awesome parts of the mountain and for those that have not been there, I recommend them. Unfortunately, we also visited Death. This is an unvoidable part of the mountain. It slowed us down a little, but did not see us having to back-track gratefully. This part of the mountain will always be with me. Death however has a wonderful partner, Birth. And it was around this time that my partner and I started wondering if we could find Birth on our path. We searched for quite a long time, we came close, but after two attempts, my partner and I started arguing about the best track to take. He wanted to go one way and me the other. As a result, I ended back at Depression and then eventually further down the mountain at Hospital.
I stayed at Hospital for sometime and my partner would visit me often. But by the time I decided to move on from Hospital, it was clear that my partner and I were looking at the mountain completely differently. We walked together to a place called Separation and then decided to take different paths. For quite some time, my partner and I travelled down our own paths only to wind up together at Depression again!
We decided to travel North to look for Birth. But once again after two attempts to find it, we decided to move on. I took a detour to Affair before landing back at Depression again. Eventually I ended up back at Hospital and then to a place I had never been before; Bipolar. It is not a great place to be, but after travelling there, I found a path I had never been on before. It was a sparkling path and led to a such great joys including another new adventure into the Middle East of the mountain! Finally, my partner and I found peace. But the niggling feeling of not being about to find Birth continue to gnaw at us. We decided that as we had grown stronger that we would try to locate Birth again. We are still looking for this part of the mountain and while we are looking, the best part is that we have decided that we are not going to descend any further, but to continue climbing. One day we will either find Birth or decide that we must continue up to the summit, as we already know what is below.
This mountain we are climbing requires us to do exactly what we did with Mt Kosciuszko – put one foot in front of the other. There is no going back now, not even to find Birth. It is on our journey or it’s not.
I suspect that while climbing this mountain, we will continue to have some set-backs. Bipolar and the memory of Death continue to be with me as I climb. But, I can not wait to see what lays ahead. I am sure it will be much better than some of the experiences we have already been through.
This mountain is called “My Personal Mountain.” It is my journey. While I may not be proud of some of the things I have done while climbing it, I am damn proud of where I am now, and where I am heading.
Bring it on!