After 3 Months of being in the walking group I was really starting to enjoy myself and felt like I was making some good friends. My weekends which were so empty before were now taken up with hill walking and even the ones that weren’t I felt more motivated to get out and just do something.
I had walked up many of the Cheviots, walked in Yorkshire; wild camped for the first time and walked the furthest I ever I had. I had been out to wild and beautiful places and genuinely had fun with new friends.
I felt as though these people actually wanted me around which was a scary thing to allow myself to think. I had been closed off from the world for a very long time and it was frightening to risk the disappointment that I would feel should I be wrong. In honesty allowing myself these thoughts and the possible distress they can bring probably takes more courage than a slippery rock or large drop off.
I was now signed up for many future adventures with the group and it seemed I was making good progress towards my goal of standing on top of a very large mountain. I was slowly getting fitter, more able and maybe just a little bit more confident.
I still had my fear of falling to contend with, and it made me think it would be impossible to ever do more and still does sometimes make me think the same thing. But I have done a lot more and I know I can still do things even when I am scared, it just takes me longer than other people which is a different mental battle altogether.
Being brave enough to take that first step of signing up and asking for a lift had payed off, my previously empty world had expanded a lot. For once I felt like I might actually be able to change things for the better, empowered in some way by my new experiences and the fact I had overcome some of my anxiety or at the very least got better at pretending it’s not there.