They say 3rd time is a charm, but I don’t think that applies to hiking Mailbox Peak. Although I really do not like this hike at all, this time, it was for a great purpose. September 10 was my friends birthday, but it is also National Mental Health Day. Mental health is something we don’t talk about often. It comes with an air of secrecy and weakness. We don’t talk that way about physical health so we should not talk that way about mental health.
The “why” behind the hike is my friend. She lost her oldest son a couple years ago to suicide. Devyn was (and still is) deeply loved by his family and friends. Devyn had reached out to the crisis line multiple times on that day, but did not get the attention or help that he needed. The feeling of hopelessness that can not be explained or relieved in that moment. That moment when a person feels suicide is the only relief. In reality it isn’t a relief. It is a lifetime sentence of grief and loss for everyone left behind. Choose to stay! Moments are temporary. This level of grief and loss is permanent!
Mailbox Peak is a hike Devyn did with friends. A photo of Devyn and his friends at the mailbox, smiling, full of life and a bright future. A photo she cherishes. Once she said she wanted to do this hike, I was all in with helping her reach the top. We’ve trained all summer for the hike. The weather was cooperating, although it was crazy hot! We decided it would be best for them to take the new trail up and down. Although it is a longer trail, it is not as steep. Both trails meet partway up the trail, so the climb to the summit is the same for both trails.
The day started on the wrong foot. On my way there I realized I forgot my boots! Huge problem! Had to turn around so I was an hour late to the hike. I told everyone else to start and I would catch up. My goal was to catch up at the point where the old trails and new trail meet.
We arrived at the trail and kept up a pretty good pace to meet up with the group. We were quick enough to actually catch them before the two trails meet. One of our group members was having some issues with nausea and anxiety so that slowed our pace getting to the top. Sometimes you just need to stop, breath deeply and focus on accomplishments to calm yourself. Too much thought can get you spinning in a negative direction.
The pace to the top was pretty slow, but that was okay. I started having back spasms along the way so frequent breaks helped by allowing me to take off my pack and stretch out my back.
Although I truly hate this hike, it was amazing seeing my friend step over the top and stand at the mailbox. A huge accomplishment! She spent some quiet time at the mailbox. Left a custom t-shirt. A Starbucks card and a Stay; sticker.
Longest walk every back to the car! 3rd time is the last time for Mailbox!!
Take care of your mental health. Reach out!
Always…..Choose to STAY; You are far more important and valuable than that moment! You are LOVED!