Outward Bound – Alone In The Middle of Nowhere

Monday 20 January 2020 22:45

To celebrate my 30th birthday, I went on an Outward Bound course in the Lake District.  As it happened it wasn’t quite the fun adventure I’d expected, not least because a couple of days in we were all told we were to be bundled into a minibus and driven out into the middle of nowhere, dropped off individually at a mile or so apart, with the most basic and minimal supplies, and left to fend for ourselves for 48 hours. 

As we’d paid a lot of money to stay in a beautiful old manor house make new friends and enjoy sustaining ‘home cooking’, spending 48 hours of the 5 day stay alone, with minimal provisions, in the middle of a field, felt like a complete con. At the last moment, on the understanding that I could do that, any time, under my own steam and at zero cost, I declined to take part, caught an early train home, and thought no more of it; until now.

Today it suddenly occurred to me that I feel like I’ve been dropped into the middle of nowhere now, utterly alone and with minimal provisions, and left to survive; and this time there’s no option of simply taking the train home.

I feel lost, cold, clueless, and as if I’m in way over my head. What am I doing?

The Outward Bound people who devised that original challenge did, I’ve no doubt, consider it a worthwhile one. Maybe if I had taken it then, and come through with flying colours, I wouldn’t feel suddenly so ill equipped for surviving it now. 


I think I need to add a footnote to posts like this to emphasise that it’s simply to record how I’ve been feeling. I hope it doesn’t come across as a cry of “poor me” (I can’t promise there won’t be any of those over the coming year, but I do promise they’ll be rare, and you’ll know if a post fits that particular bill; in fact I may create a “poor me” category so at a glance you can avoid them!).

Getting through times of doubt, and momentary despairing that all is hopeless, is all part of the journey. I know that looking back on such times from a much better place shows them for the imposters that they are, which in turn helps to face up to them the next time they rear up.

Oh… another thing that ADHD causes problems with is the ability, or rather lack of it, to control emotions. It’s a scientifically recognised wiring thing. But that’s for another post.