District of She Magazine

The call of the mountain

They say the mountains call you, and I know this to be true...

April 1, 2013 I hit rock bottom.

I had been sexually assaulted for the second time in my life, earlier that year, and I was engaging in destructive behaviors. I was stressed to the max and I didn’t know how to deal. I drank a lot and was reckless with my own safety. April fools day, my boyfriend dumped me, and my best friend/roommate had moved in with someone else behind my back. I was devastated. I was a victim. I embodied the victim mentality and it played out in my life in every way. In all my devastation, the same question kept coming up. “Why is this happening to me?” Then, I woke up. I decided to take back control of my life. I started reading and running. I ran every single day for a couple miles. It was a perfect release for my anger and sadness. I got counseling. I started making plans for myself. I was not going to be a victim of my own life. In fact I was going to create a beautiful life for myself. In that moment I decided that this was the end of my victimizations. It was only then, did I hear the mountains calling.

 

My Grandfather had died earlier that year and he left my Grandmother in Colorado with a big house that needed filling. I moved to Longmont Colorado in May 2013. I spent the next few years exploring, reading, working, getting healthy. I stopped drinking so much, I started meditating. I moved into my own place in Denver and got a new job. There I met Travis. The absolute love of my life. He read and meditated with me. He didn’t drink. He ate healthy and ran. Our dates were going to museums and painting in my bedroom. His world was so different than anything I had ever experienced. It was intoxicating in the most sobering way. Before long he and I were spending every waking moment together. We quit our jobs and lived off my tax return. We spent our days meditating and reading and learning everything we could about life. Thanks to the blood moon that spring, I became unexpectedly pregnant. Travis was ready. He didn’t blink an eye when I told him, he even seemed excited. I was not ready. I was freaking out. Travis was steady and stayed his course. I got a job and frantically tried to get health insurance. We moved to a smaller town, closer to the mountains. We had a baby and we almost lost him. We watched him fight for his life for 9 days. We brought that tiny baby back to our one bedroom apartment and we stayed there, watching this little life we created grow healthy and strong. The next year and a half at that apartment we spent our days learning, parenting, and loving each other. Some days were really hard. Some days I didn’t know how we were going to make it, but I knew I wanted to make it. Creating life with someone is the best test of a relationship. We were tested and we passed, and we got engaged.  Life started to settle down. Phoenix was 6 months old and so healthy. It was at this time that I finally looked up from my baby’s face and truly saw those mountains for the first time. I had seen and explored them many times before but I never really understood them. I, for the first time, felt comfortable leaving Nix for a few hours to go hike alone. I had never hiked alone, ever. It changed me. This is when I began courting the rockies.

 

Every spare moment I had I spent in the mountains. Travis and I would drive through them any time we didn’t feel right or if we were fighting. They were our medicine, muse, and magic. We spent all summer hiking, camping, exploring. I spent a month at a yoga school located up in Nederland, CO. I was infatuated, totally and completely in love with the mountains. A month ago we were able to move into a beautiful house in the valley near Nederland, Colorado. Now I’m here, in the mountains. I share the ground we live on with elk, moose, bears, and bobcats. The wind roars and the snow falls heavy. The views are incredible and it’s quiet. Deafening silence fills this house. When we first moved in it was so exciting and thrilling. We were so proud and happy for Phoenix to have a home like this to grow up in. Then, as all new things, the house became our normal.

The silence grew louder...

I began having bad dreams. I was fearful again, fearful of my past coming back for me. Logically these things would never happen, but they felt like real dangers. I was face to face with old fears, anger and sadness. After my assault and move to Colorado life moved fast. I mistook distraction for healing. Moving to these mountains brought me face to face again with aspects of myself I had been ignoring. My fears were right up in the front row demanding my attention. I have looked at them, asked them what their purpose here is and I am still working through some of these issues. I don’t think that I will ever, not, revisit these feelings from time to time. The energy is strong here and these mountains strip you from all your guards. You can’t be anything but who you really are here. There is no hiding in these rocks. You are bare.

 

This is where I will heal. I am healing. Truly and actually healing, not covering.

To heal and also remember, is a tall order. I don’t want to forget the “bad” things that happened to me, because the great parts of life lose their meaning. I want to remember and to heal. I want to remember and to trust. It wasn’t until just this moment as I write this that I realize that to heal is not to forget. I don't have to forget or conceal to heal. Maybe these mountains brought me here to write for you. So that I can remember and know it’s ok to accept, to love, to trust, to heal. Full circle. That is the power of the mountains. They show you things you've never seen before. About yourself, about the world. I hit the bottom, then slowly and gently the mountains called me. They still call and their call is louder than ever. They are healing giants, begging me to trust them, to trust that it is all perfect and beautiful. All of life is perfect and beautiful. My life fell to shambles and then I climbed up into the mountains and looked back and saw that the shambles were just as beautiful. The view from the bottom is just as beautiful as the view from the top. Paradox.

 

I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a woman, a strong, confident, loving thriving woman. I wear these badges proudly. The badges I will not wear: victim, survivor, warrior, or lucky.

The mountains called, and I climbed them. Victorious, I stand on top of my mountain proudly, lovingly. These mountains are my friend. The climb to the top is the healer. Don’t be discouraged by being at the bottom. Instead take a look around at the beautiful potential. The land you stand on is strong enough to hold up an entire mountain. Begin climbing. Moment to moment we climb our personal mountains. The tiny moments collect together to create our whole life. If you can enjoy each moment you can enjoy your life.

Climb a mountain and you will see.

Cheers to the beautiful works in progress that we are.

XOXO

Haley Anne

You can check out Haley's Blog HERE

And get lost in her Instagram HERE