January 9

I Powered Through Anxiety and Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro

By fitness

January 9, 2023

It was three days earlier than my flight to Tanzania.

I had simply arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, the place I'd spend the following few days filming Erika Bogan, who's disabled, as she ready for our journey to the highest of Kilimanjaro at 19,341 toes above sea stage.

After she picked me up from the airport, we filmed for just a few hours. Then, earlier than I knew it, it was time to go to mattress.

I’d been dreading this second. As the hours glided by that day, I might really feel my nervousness taking maintain. And simply as I suspected, virtually talking it into existence, sleep escaped me.

I closed my eyes, praying my exhaustion from the cross-county journey would overtake my thoughts, forcing me to sleep. But the nervousness grasped onto my mind and physique like a straitjacket. Questions swirled in my thoughts like a leaf caught in a whirlpool. Would I survive this climb? Would I be capable of sleep on the mountain? Would I let my group down and be unable to movie?

I felt so hopeless.

Just earlier than midnight, I emailed my therapist. I’d begun seeing her six months earlier to organize for this daunting journey.

“It’s my first night away,” I wrote. “Only in North Carolina — and I’m hysterical and can’t sleep. I’m so worried and feel like I’ve pushed my limits too far with this climb.”

I tossed and turned till the wee hours of the morning.

This was my actuality for the following 5 days earlier than climbing the tallest freestanding mountain on the planet. I labored tirelessly filming all day and spent my nights awake and crying.

It bought so dangerous that I thought-about abandoning my group and flying house twice earlier than we began the climb — as soon as after we arrived in Tanzania. The evening earlier than the climb started, my nervousness was the worst it had ever been. I sat within the lavatory for hours and cried hysterically to my mom over FaceTime earlier than lastly taking medicine to sleep.

The challenges I confronted are as a result of I've generalized nervousness dysfunction, which signifies that generally my nervousness will get so dangerous it interferes with my life.

If you ask my mom, I've had nervousness since I left the womb. But it did not begin affecting my day-to-day till I started working within the information trade. It began at my first job as a manufacturing assistant at a radio station. There, they “shift worked” me: I'd go from working a day shift to an evening shift to an in a single day shift. The inconsistent schedule made it troublesome to sleep.

My circadian rhythm was off, and so was my life.

I started taking nervousness medicine — which helped — however even after I left that job and bought a extra constant schedule, the nervousness continued to hang-out me.

Now, 10 years later, it nonetheless does. I've discovered to dwell with it, however this sleep nervousness often creeps up. Sometimes it occurs at house, however it usually occurs once I’m touring and sleeping outdoors my consolation zone.

Knowing that's the reason I sought remedy earlier this yr. I needed to organize myself bodily and mentally as finest I might for essentially the most difficult feat of my life: climbing to the rooftop of Africa.

mount kilimanjaro sign

And being well-prepared bodily and mentally wasn't only for me. I didn’t wish to let Erika down. She was paralyzed in a home violence incident in her 20s and spent twenty years with suicidal ideation, extreme despair and intense nervousness till she started competing in impediment course racing.

Through this movie, she needed to point out folks that regardless of the hardships and turbulence of life and their anxieties, there’s at all times a cause to maintain going.

Erika's phrases, actions, perseverance and grit echoed in my head, and I remembered the wholesome habits I'd constructed over the previous couple of months. Some of these habits included respiratory workouts, stretching and journaling. While I could not use the whole lot I'd discovered, respiratory and stretching helped immensely to calm my physique and thoughts.

My therapist additionally taught me visualization strategies to alleviate my nervousness.

During these problematic nights, I used a few of these strategies. I imagined a river the place I positioned all my hardships and fears on a ship and watched it drift away. I considered my favourite, most comfy place on the planet: my house, on my comfy sofa with my loving husband and two vigorous and hilarious kitties.

Having all of those instruments helped my journey of overcoming my bout of hysteria as I climbed Kilimanjaro. Even higher, I finally discovered peace and solace through the journey. My nervousness melted away. I made it to the height.

And now, essentially the most highly effective device in my nervousness toolbox is that I survived climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with generalized nervousness dysfunction.

Have a Real Woman, Real Stories of your individual you wish to share? Let us know.

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