Over the past two months I’ve been struggling with serious anxiety. Worrying more than ever about my relationships, my appearance, whether or not I’m doing “enough” with my life, you know, the usual crap.
But what has proved to interfere with my life the most is my fear of lightning. I can’t get over it. I can’t sleep a wink the night before a hike, even if clear skies are forecasted. I lay in my bed, car, tent, wherever I may be; paralyzed by fear. I can’t eat while I’m hiking because I’m so goddamn nervous I feel like I’m going to be sick. I can hardly stop to take a picture or catch my breath, because I’m constantly worried about time.
I take every measure possible to not end up in a bad situation. I know I make smart decisions. But it’s gotten to a point where this fear is really taking away from something I love — something that once reduced said anxiety — and I’m not sure what to do about it. I know it will subside soon, when afternoon thunderstorms aren’t a big concern in a few months, but I’m worried about upcoming adventures.
At the end of August, I’ll be attempting to summit the Grand Teton, and I’m really worried I won’t be able to sleep the night before summit day. If I can’t sleep, there’s a pretty low chance I summit safely.
Has anyone struggled with a similar fear before? Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with this fear, or how to shut off my brain so I can just fall asleep before a big climb?
P.S. Big thank you to everyone who’s dealt with my tears and panic attacks on the trail this summer . [: @ramblin_rachel]
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