Stepping Back from The Edge, Landing Under The Knife



The most terrifying moment I’ve ever had wasn’t while soloing, it was a long time ago on top of a building, while my mind fought to destroy me, as it had been doing since my earliest memories

Some people call me suicidal because I solo, claim I have a death-wish. Well excuse me, but *fuck you*. I know exactly what a death wish feels like, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it claim the things in life which bring me joy. This week’s episode on the podcast is the story of how I climbed out of a deep dark hole from which many never return

Freesoloing isn’t a death wish, it’s a life wish. It’s the single best therapy I’ve ever found for calming my tumultuous mind. The control that I’ve developed on the wall transfers into my daily life. This is important, because I’m not the guy who “beat depression.” I don’t get to be that guy. I’ve got to manage this for my entire life. And worse, it’s not “just depression,” its more complicated than that. I have Bipolar II, which is similar to classic bipolar, except that your “baseline” is shifted negative. So the up-swings bring you to a sort of mild-elevation and the down-swings take you much, much further into the darkness, while “normal” isn’t normal at all, but still contains all the markers of self-hatred and low self-esteem

So I’m not soloing for the other reason that many will toss either. A narcissistic craving for attention isn’t driving this show, because I don’t get a bump off of praise like most people. Instead, it feels foul, and false, because my mind tells me it “knows better.” Luckily The Process I’ve developed on the wall, has many transferable skills and helps me mitigate these risks off the wall too

I’m not going to die climbing. I’d be far too pissed off if my epitaph read “we told you so.” Plus, there’s this thing called “free-soloing,” and I really like it… so if I kark-it… I won’t get to do that anymore… so that don’t make any since atall!

Life is an inherently dangerous sport, and mine a bit more than others. If it wasn’t for soloing, I might have been dead already

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