Day 6: 25.79km, 37 402 steps and 1 pair of broken boots.

Yesterday was the furthest I’ve walked yet and it was, in one word, spectacular. It rained all day and I spent the majority of the hike on (astonishingly beautiful) country roads, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with walking that far after an early-morning anxiety attack is like no other. The voices in my head try their hardest to convince me of my uselessness and lack of capability and with every step I take I’m proving those voices wrong and while the battle is often exhausting, I feel as though each day I come a bit closer to vanquishing the voices for once and for all. As accomplished as I felt by the time I crawled into Ballyvourney, my boots had sadly taken their last walk, causing a whole new sense of anxiety to fester. I couldn’t hike on with my broken boots yet new boots are so far out of my budget at this point, it was painful to even think about. Alas, it had to be done, so I tearfully headed to Killarney to purchase a new pair.The anxiety that came with this sudden change in plans has been a physical burden all morning. It’s this weight on my chest, preventing me from taking a single full, deep breath. Inout-Inout-Inout – my lungs are working double time to keep up with the voices and their insistence that I spend the day horizontal, in bed. Well fuck you voices. I’m going to find my silver lining. I’m in Killarney, having my first pint at an actual Irish pub, enjoying a warm bowl of soup and brown bread slathered with Irish butter (which in my opinion, should be a whole new food group). The voices have not been defeated today, but they are quietened. This level of noise I can live with. So, now I have new boots. I’ve officially had a pint of Guinness in an Irish pub and can check Killarney off my bucket list. Today has been a continuous uphill climb (which is both ironic and unappreciated seeing as I’m not even on the trail). But I’ve survived it. And I want to share a message with you all. I received this message this morning on Facebook and it gave me the motivation I needed to get out of bed:”There is a storm raging around us. Everyone is effected by it. The next one you feel that the storm might break you, just remember that to some people, you are the lighthouses that we look to.”
So I leave you with this. Be kind to strangers. Use all the cliches in the book, smile at everyone you pass, be KIND. We are all fighting our own battles and a small bit of kindness will often go a long way.
Tomorrow I hike on, new boots and all!

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