30 October 2016

One Moment of Pride at a Time...

This is not going to be a long blog post, but I just wanted to share a little success story from this weekend, in the hope that if somebody out there is struggling with a lack of self belief, that this may inspire you to never give up on yourself.

This time last year, I was packing my bags ready to head back to hospital after two days away in London with my family. Those two days away were granted following a tiring battle to convince the medical professionals that I was capable of looking after myself without their 24/7 care. Every week I worked hard to prove to the staff, and myself, that I could be trusted with the opportunity to leave the unit; and nothing can prepare you for the elation you feel when that occasion is approved.  However, I also cannot tell you how painful it is when you just manage to experience a sense of normality and suddenly it is snatched away from you. Not only that, but you have no idea when you are going to experience it again. There are moments when you believe that the day is never going to come around when you can walk out of the doors of the hospital for one last time. There are moments when you feel like it is not worth putting in the effort to fight those unhealthy thoughts and behaviours controlling your life. There are moments when you consider giving up- but you must not.

Yesterday, with the support of my fantastic fellow members of the Fell Walking and Mountaineering Club at Sheffield Hallam University, I managed to do something that I never thought I would ever be able to achieve- I climbed England’s highest mountain- Scafell Pike! As the rain seeped its way through my clothes and the bitter coldness attacked my fingertips, I sensed nothing but determination. Yes, there were times when I felt like giving up could be an option- particularly when I found myself scrambling up a vertical cliff face on loose rocks- but did giving up on myself get me to where I am now? Memories replaying of being sat in the Monday meetings, clutching my list of requests; 20 minutes unescorted leave off the hospital grounds, or the opportunity to eat my snack independently in another environment other than the ward kitchen- those were the fuel I needed to take every step up that mountain and reach the summit.

So when you feel like that moment is never going to come around, the effort is not worth it, or you consider giving up, just think about all the times when you managed to push through and achieve the unthinkable. As a quote pinned on the corkboard in my room at university states:

‘Remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you feel and smarter than you think.’


  1. A very inspirational piece of writing Jess. Congratulations on achieving that climb, Snowden next, then Everest! Onwards and upwards xxx

    1. I am still recovering from that climb Shen! Definitely in the future you will see me on top of them mountains! Thank you for your supportive comment xxx