Like everyone, there are things I can handle and things I can’t. For instance, I can handle climbing. Not everyone can. People say to me when I talk to them about it in store lines and such, “I’m afraid of heights,” and I try to explain to them that rarely, if ever (unless they purposely look down), do you ever end up looking all the way down at how high up you truly are. Usually, you only look as far as your knee or the end of your leg where your foot’s attached for your next good (or good-enough) foothold. People don’t believe me when I tell them that, but it’s true. I’ve never unintentionally seen where I am as far as height off the ground goes while climbing a route unless I’m downclimbing. Heights don’t bother me, thank goodness, but I can empathize with them on the level that I quit being an EMT because I couldn’t handle driving the ambulance. The blood and bodily fluids and injuries and gore and sense of emergency didn’t bother me, but people not pulling over and yielding to the ambulance when I was driving was intolerable to me! I couldn’t handle it! I don’t have any real phobias, but I do have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which has demons that go with it, but I don’t have any “fears of…” anything. I guess I fear losing control. If there was one thing that I have to say scares me, it’s the thought of going insane and never coming back, because I wouldn’t even know I was gone. That does scare me. I can’t handle that. But I wouldn’t know that I can’t handle that, so there’s no sense in worrying, I guess.
Those are just a few examples of what I can and can’t handle. Everyone has them. They are nothing to be ashamed of and nothing that anyone should be giving you a hard time about. Maybe you can’t handle cologne. I wouldn’t give you a hard time about it, and you shouldn’t give yourself a hard time about it. There are times that I have switched elevators and breathed into my shirt because someone has had too much on. Some people are sensitive to that sort of thing, and that’s okay. Maybe you can’t handle life in general. I’m in that boat right now, but climbing, as an oxymoron, keeps me “grounded”. Since I’ve gone back to climbing the limited amount that I can right now with my injuries, I’ve felt so much better. A wave of relief has come over me and my stress levels have gone down immensely by just taping up, donning my climbing shoes, dipping into my chalkbag, and getting a few feet off the ground and onto the wall! I have a long recovery ahead of me, and lots of progress to make, but at least I have that to look forward to. Climbing is something that always offers an opportunity for advancement, which is good. That means there’s always hope!
If your life seems out of control, I would recommend finding something that calms you and offers you hope. It could be weaving, knitting (yes, I’ve seen guys knit), origami, archery, climbing, skiing, running, hiking, biking, crosswords, sudoku, calculus, engineering, web design, writing, journaling, walking, swimming, you name it! There are so many things to do in this world! Getting active is a major uplifting factor. If you can find an activity that engages both your body and your mind at the same time, you’ve found something special. That’s why I love climbing! If you can think of anything besides climbing while you’re climbing, then you’re not climbing hard enough! That, and it burns off toxins in your body and releases good chemicals and neurotransmitters in your body at the same time, so you feel great afterwards! Whatever it is, whether sedentary or active, find something you enjoy engages your mind and gives you some relief from the worries of the world. They can be overwhelming. Don’t be a victim to them. Be proactive and combat that stress! As for me, I’m going climbing! All my best to you in your journey! And remember…it’s the journey that counts, not the destination.