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Climbing saved my life ... for now
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t_e_d


Nov 20, 2003, 12:57 PM
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Climbing saved my life ... for now
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I'm writing this piece under a psuedonym, for reasons that should be fairly obvious. Suffice it to say that I've been on RC.com for a while, and a semi-regular contributor.

I recently got back to the US after an extended time overseas, where I was forced to deal with things that no one should have to see. Dead and dying children, abject poverty and suffering, absolute visceral hatred directed towards me simply because of the uniform I wear, never knowing whether any particular day might be the one I get killed. I also have lost three friends there, and a couple more whose life is changed forever because of the wounds they received there.

I have to admit, reintegration to life in America has been difficult, to say the least. My marriage is a wreck. I've essentially lost my faith in God. I can't bring myself to concentrate at work. I've distanced myself from my friends. The only thing I continue to do well is climb. I think it's because climbing is so demanding mentally as well as physically, that for the time I'm actually on rock (or even plastic), I don't have to think about anything except the task at hand. Nothing else allows that complete escape, and at least for now, I think escape is what I need.

I'd like to think that this story has a happy ending, but I'm afraid it doesn't. For now, anyway, the thing that keeps me going is my sense of having unfinished business -- like sending that .11b that shrugged me off last time...

I can't really say why I chose to post this, maybe just to remind everyone out ther to be thankful for what they have. And to be thankful that you can climb.


bandycoot


Nov 20, 2003, 1:05 PM
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If it makes you happy keep sending! Don't let the rest of your life (like your marriage) fall apart as a result, but if it makes you happy then that's awesome. I also recommend Yoga. That also seems to have a good mind numbing aspect as you concentrate on holding a current position or pushing a stretch a little farther. Thanks for you contributions overseas, and good luck with life!

Josh


bigfoot


Nov 20, 2003, 1:15 PM
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That is a very sad story my friend, but one that seems eerily familiar, I think you should read lynn hill's book climbing free. She discusses the fact that those who perceive their life to be falling apart who are climbers- fall into climbing- which can be healthy to a point. Climbing is completely personal, it is you and the wall, and its good to have something for yourself. But its important for people to have multiple facets for accomplishing goals in life- climbing is important but its not the only thing out there. Im glad you find escape and release in climbing, I myself turn to my climbing when it seems all else has broken down. You are dealing with alot right now, im sure- but it gets better bro. Think back 10 years ago- and where you were then, and thought you would be now- im sure you had no idea back then that you would have accomplished what you have up to this point. Im sure this all seems like BS- but when i lost a couple buddies, this advice helped me- so im just trying to pass it off to you- im not trying to compare situations, or tell you that everything is cool- but just that it gets better- take what you will from this- i just had to respond.


debsanders


Nov 20, 2003, 2:08 PM
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My heart goes out to you. My father was in Korea and in Vietnam. I experienced war from a child's perspective. Body counts on the news each evening and comparing the map of Vietnam to the locations mentioned by Walter Conkrite.

My father was walking dead for several years after his return. He eventually began to feel love and give love. He is now age 73 and the rock of our family.

He has a wonderful saying that has gotten our family through tragic times; TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS.

Thanks for sharing your raw emotions with us.

army brat,
deb


unabonger


Nov 20, 2003, 4:36 PM
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No one should have to go through what you did.

You're probably suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

You should find a counselor, and fast. One that is experienced in this and that you vibe with. Climbing is an amazing outlet for your energy and gives your troubled mind a much needed respite from the stress of reliving your experiences. But it isn't enough. Don't let yourself or your family suffer any more.

It is a curable condition, but it is very difficult to do alone.

Good luck, I'm sure that you'll get through this.

The UnaBonger


rokshoxbkr19


Nov 20, 2003, 5:04 PM
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I will offer this as a son of a soldier and has someone who has grown up in the home of military strife; don't let your marriage fall apart for the awful things that others do in this world. Tell your wife what you are feeling, tell her your pain and ask her for help. Accept the fact that nothing will be as easy as it was before, but be thankful that the ones you love are better off and be thankful you have loved ones in your life. Don't punish yourself or those you care about for the things in this world that are out of your control. Good Luck my friend and thank you for serving our nation, your sweat and tears are appreciated.
PM me if you need someone anonymous to speak with.


sandbag


Nov 20, 2003, 5:10 PM
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t_e_d,

I second unabongers sentiment, you have amazing amounts of stife to deal with so dont worry about asking for help. Take it all day by day, the happy ending is that youre here, youre alive and you get yet another day to work on anything you wish to work on now.
thanks for your service and your sacrifice, I have tremendous respect and gratefulness to you and the others that are putting in the time to do what needs to be done.

jason


moabbeth


Nov 20, 2003, 7:20 PM
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I third what Jason and Unabonger said. With any kind of loss or profound tragedy, it will take time...sometimes a long time...to start having life seem normal again. A good therapist or counselor can help you work through some of the issues you have. And if your wife agrees there's problems in the marriage, couples counseling might help you two work through some of the issues in your relationship that have arose. You've come back a different person...she had all that time without you, worrying about you, you both have things you need to overcome and maybe a counselor can help you do it together.

And I couldn't agree more about how climbing can save your life...or at least your soul. I discovered climbing when I was at one of the lowest points in my life, it really turned things around for me. And when I am really down about life, it seems to be when I'm at my best climbing. How it totally frees your mind of all other things in life is such a blessing, there are so few other activities that allow 100 pct of your mental and physical being to be in the moment like that. Keep climbing, keep focused, when life is getting you down just think about what your next climb is gonna be. One step at a time, one day at a time.


jughead


Nov 20, 2003, 7:48 PM
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I know 7 dudes from the royal sigs who snuffed it and its tough to take that


esoteric1


Nov 20, 2003, 10:12 PM
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in any other situation, i woulda tried to harsh your gig for being in the millitary in the first place, but since i realize you were only trying to better yourself, ill chime in with a possitive response.
climbing has saved my life also. it is the only thing that has enabled me to continue this sometimes dreary existance, between the addictions to whatever, and the depression that follows, its safe to say i would not be here if it wasnt for the way we choose to live. climbing is a gift. and the fact that we can emerse ourselves in a totaly pointless past time, for whatever it is that we get out of it, we have the opertunity to do that, some more than others....whatever it is, 5.8 or 5.19, we face difficulties that challenge us, on purpose. rather than trying to feed ourselves...like it is in other places. struggle is struggle, some people have to, but we choose to. thank whatever it is that you thank, that we have the opertunity to choose our struggles. our reward is a prize. the reward some others get for their struggle, is simply, another day of struggle.
i wouldnt hold it against the people that hated you for being an american, and doing what it was that you were doing. if you were in their shoes, being brought up in that way, you would probably have turned out the same way.
suicide used to be in the back of my mind when i started climbing. but being runout 40ft past my last placement made me think. i didnt want to fall, the emotions that were flowing through my body were stronger, than the negative thoughts that i was talking myself into believing before i started up the route.
there is something that takes ahold of your mind when you climb at your lead level, especialy trad. sending that 11c takes presidence over anything you can conjure up in your head (at the time) to tell yourself how bad everything else is. hell, i get pissed if someone starts talking during a super hard red point, at that moment, nothing else matters to me.
climbing brings me back to the reality that absolutly nothing matters in this world. what you did while you were here. what someone else did while they were here. the bottom line is that someday, when the earth is gone. there will be nothing left to even remind anyone who einstine was, who you were and what you accomplished.
we are here for the moment, and the moment only. I would rather be dancing up some nameless route any day... than to be worried about yesterday, or its particulars, and my life, that dosent pertain to my specific moment, where i cling to some dime edge, and pull my foot to where it belongs.
on the rock


gethighonarock


Dec 25, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Re: [esoteric1] Climbing saved my life ... for now [In reply to]
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[quote "esoteric1"]I would rather be dancing up some nameless route any day... than to be worried about yesterday, or its particulars, and my life, that dosent pertain to my specific moment, where i cling to some dime edge, and pull my foot to where it belongs.
on the rock[/quote]

Nice.


Syd


Dec 26, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Re: [t_e_d] Climbing saved my life ... for now [In reply to]
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[quote "t_e_d"] ... maybe just to remind everyone out ther to be thankful for what they have. [/quote]

I can't agree more. We've all had tough times and no matter how bad our stuff seems, there's always someone who has had it worse. I've heard stories that make it hard to imagine how people have managed with life. For me, I'm most thankful for my loving wife and child. They mean the world to me.


brooklynclimber


Dec 26, 2012, 9:50 PM
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Re: [unabonger] Climbing saved my life ... for now [In reply to]
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[quote "unabonger"]
You're probably suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


The UnaBonger[/quote]
I agree. I'm glad that climbing is helping you get through whatever you are going through. Hang on to it (no pun intended) for what it's worth. Know that there are people who can help you, and that many others have gone through what you are going through and have come out ok.

I wish you well.


sycamore


Dec 27, 2012, 12:22 AM
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Crazy thread revival--9 year old topic, OP hasn't logged on since his first post.


milesenoell


Dec 27, 2012, 9:26 AM
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I suspect he's still around, and hopefully the intervening years have brought him to a better place.


donald949


Dec 27, 2012, 9:54 AM
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milesenoell wrote:
I suspect he's still around, and hopefully the intervening years have brought him to a better place.
+1


Partner happiegrrrl


Dec 27, 2012, 7:12 PM
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donald949 wrote:
milesenoell wrote:
I suspect he's still around, and hopefully the intervening years have brought him to a better place.
+1

Yes, I do hope so too. Climb On, OP!


fingerincrevice


Jan 8, 2013, 7:53 PM
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i hope things get better for you man, thanks for your contributions overseas, and climbing is a great outlet to help clear your mind


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