The original free verse “Climb”

“Climb” by Chris Jones, Copyright 2016, all rights reserved

The original “Climb” in free verse style was composed as a distress tolerance instruction sheet of sorts.  The photo is of my La Sportiva Katanas and my Krieg tribal warrior shield design chalk bag.  I printed this out on photo paper after I was finished putting the words with the photo that I had taken at the old bouldering gym, laminated the photos, and used them as bookmarks so that I always had one with me, because I always had a book with me.  I carried one with me to go through slowly, line-by-line along with the photo, so that I could calm myself down from PTSD symptoms when I needed to.  It worked well enough to get me to the climbing gym, which resulted in my primary distress tolerance and emotion regulation skill of climbing.  I’m not kidding when I say that climbing has saved my life!!!  “Focus on the next hold…and climb,” is a quote from my psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Nicholson, to whom I will be forever grateful for suggesting climbing as a distress tolerance skill, among other things.

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