Wednesday March 18, 2015

This last Christmas saw two intrepid climbers, Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell, ascend El Capitan in Yosemite without using ropes (other than safety harnesses). We all thought "how brave" and admired their courage, their strength and their skill. None of us (unless we are climbers ourselves) would think to put ourselves in their position.

But perhaps we are more like them than we know.

On Monday Lex talked about the three Rs; Resources, Resourcefulness and Resilience.

It was the last that grabbed me. Resilience is getting up when we've been pushed down, coming back after we've been defeated and the ability to spring back into shape after we've been squashed.

For those of us who suffer with depression we are most familiar with that state of down, defeat and squashedness (and no – I don't think that's a word either) and when we are there it seems impossible that we will ever be able to bounce back. But let's think about it as climbing the biggest granite monolith in the world.

Kevin and Tommy did not scamper lightly up that rock face. They did not grow wings and soar effortlessly to the top. Instead, the BBC says: "During their climb up the notoriously difficult Dawn Wall route, both took rest days to wait for their skin to heal and used tape and even superglue to speed the process.

"At one point it seemed unlikely that they would make it to the top.

"The pair suffered bruising falls, when their grip slipped, and they would bounce off the mountain face.

"Only their safety ropes saved them from further harm.

"As disappointing as this is, I'm learning new levels of patience, perseverance and desire,'' Jorgeson posted online at one point.

"I'm not giving up. I will rest. I will try again. I will succeed."

So we, climbing our own personal El Capitan, need rest days. We need to give ourselves time to heal, and to use whatever helps us heal – whether that is conventional medicines or the superglue of alternative therapies.

We will inevitably fall down and hurt ourselves and we need to make sure we have a support harness of friends and family to catch us when we do.

We need to learn patience, perseverance and if not desire, then resilience or faith to know that we can keep on climbing. Let's not give up. Let's rest up and try again.

The great thing about Moodscope, if we are faithful and do it every day, is that we know there are good days when we make good progress, as well as bad days. On the bad days it's hard to remember that, but they are there.

And no – I have no idea what's at the summit for us, or even if the summit is in this life or the next. I just know, that in this analogy, we're on the rock face and the only way is up.

A Moodscope member.


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