I am in an infernal valley of miserable, suffocating heat. The only way up is a slow, tedious, treacherous climb up a winding narrow path hugging the rugged mountainside. At any time, if I slip, I fall down, bouncing off the rocks like a nightmarish Pachinko. I'm not sure if the path ever goes anywhere, but people tell me the important thing is staying on the path. It's very stressful, and there's no real safety mechanism in place--only my will not to step off the path.
I've been doing this for over half a decade. Climbing the path, falling back down, bouncing between suffocating misery, maddening stress, staggering pain, and aches and bruises that never seem to fully heal. Actually, if you count the rest of the time I've spent in the infernal valley, I've been in this scenario for most of my life that I can remember.