On Saturday 25th of June, 2016, I shall be spending the night precariously perched, and most definitely not snoozing, on a ‘portaledge’, suspended by ropes half way down a cliff, at an unnerving height above the swirling sea on one of the furthest points jutting outwards from Anglesey in Wales. Not only will the adventure involve ‘cliff camping’, but I will be abseiling down the cliff to get to my bed for the night. Having only abseiled once, last year, where I cried and almost had an underwear incident, this is pretty scary for me. There’s a difference between sliding down the side of a smooth building where you are more than aware of how safe you are as you can clearly see the mechanisms holding you on, and chucking yourself over the edge of a cliff, above the world’s biggest soup. I am terrified of the sea: this is going to be very scary indeed for me.
There are a few reasons I have chosen to do this, the most important being to again, raise money for a very worthy charity. For the past two years, I have performed both a skydive and an abseil to raise money for the League Against Cruel Sports. I am by no means a natural daredevil, with a propensity to perform exhilarating tasks just for the fun of it. I am neither athletic nor an exercise fan, and so having already successfully gone through with my two previous stunts, I felt I could not match these by simply arranging a cake sale. So I did a bit of searching for a feat which would rival the previous, but also test my own endurance, both mentally and physically, resulting in my discovery of an evening on the escarpments. This pushing of myself to my extremes is the second purpose for doing this, as I want to be proud of myself. The final motive for cliff hanging is – I sincerely hope to have fun!
Unlike my previous two shindigs, I shan’t be going at this one alone. I have enlisted the support and camaraderie of my friend, Lee, who will be independently raising money for the Wish Upon a Star charity. We have lots of shared interests: punk music, gigs, partying. But one hobby we don’t share is madcap antics. Lee can often be found motorbiking here there and everywhere and other mental stuff which I wouldn’t dream of doing. I sincerely hope that his experience will help me to overcome any fears I may succumb to on the day.
The charity I am raising funds for with this event is OCD Action. As an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sufferer myself, this year, I have made the conscious decision to begin to help others beset by this often debilitating, and frequently misunderstood mental illness. As part of my own journey of battling OCD, a lifelong and permanent ailment as opposed to a passing sickness, I have decided to set up a self-help group in Lincoln, which is an ongoing process, and also publish my own blog and posts using social media to help support and inform others.
My experience so far of OCD can be found here: https://ocdaware.wordpress.com/, with the rest of the blog to be updated shortly.
I am very lucky to have been asked to volunteer to help OCD Action, on behalf of the charity Maternal OCD, in facilitating regular online support sessions, due to begin shortly.
My Facebook page is https://m.facebook.com/beocdaware/and my Twitter handle is: @beocdaware.
You can find out more about the aforementioned charities and the fantastic work they both do to offer support to those affected by OCD, and their families, by following the below links:
If cliff camping sounds like something you would like to take part in, take a look at the event organiser’s website here:
Please be assured that in no way do funds raised by JustGiving pass through my hands. Any donation made online or by text message will be automatically directed to OCD Action. I do not wish to recoup the expense of both the course itself and the travel there and back in any way.
And lastly, ANY donation is appreciated, even just £1. We can all afford a £1 here and there. Think of not having that grab bag of crisps at lunch one day, and be reminded that unlike you, there are people out there who cannot leave their houses due to being afflicted by OCD, or cannot eat foodstuffs not prepared by their own hands for fear of contamination, who may never be able to enjoy that luxury. OCD charities are able to provide a lifeline of support to people in desperate need to reach out, and you too can help us (and I say ‘us’ because I too am one of these people) by sparing a quid.