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How a High Ropes Course Helps Me Cope With Depression's Bad Days

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I have struggled with depression and anxiety for the past 20 years, and it has not been fun. Finally, my family and I decided I needed more help, so I went to residential treatment. Residential was helpful and taught me a lot about who I am. However, the real change happened my last week of treatment.

It was a warm September day, and my group walked down the path to our recreational therapy for the day, the high ropes course. My roommate and I chattered away about if we wanted to climb. When we got there, we all got our harnesses on, and the leader asked who wanted to go first. Without thinking, my hand flew in the air. I was all tied in and began to climb.

“What is your anxiety at?” the leader asked. “Um, a 3,” I responded. I continued climbing the ladder and got up to the top. Then my anxiety kicked in.

I was proud, I used the skills I had been learning and climbed the whole ropes course. Once I was down on the ground, I was greeted with cheers and hugs from all my friends.

I am thinking back on this day today. Today is a hard day for me with depression. I am feeling sad and miserable and like I can’t do anything. But this day shows me I can do hard things.

I can get out of bed, I can take a shower, and I can get on with my day. And you can too.

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Thinkstock photo by oksix

Originally published: March 25, 2017
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