Hands are shaking, check. Head is throbbing, check. Stomach is churning, check. At any given moment I can stop whatever I'm doing, feeling these symptoms pulse through my body like that have done for many, many years.
Slowly but surely, we made our way up the dirt path. A path leading us towards a clearing in the trees not far from where stood. As we continued upwards, I began to make out the white of the mountains above the treetops, as if luring us in with their brief but impactful presence.
I stopped to catch my breath, letting the cool of my hands soothe my eyes. As I recoup and continue up the path, I think back on my reluctance to take this adventure. Why? I asked myself I over and over. It's almost as if I have been trained to say no, only ever looking for the parts of me that are in pain. The parts of me that feel anxious. The parts of me that I deem unworthy.