Holidays we all look forward to them, we all travel to work in the mornings being pushed and shoved and waiting in line at the coffee shop wishing we was somewhere else, sometimes its what motivates us, gives us something to look forward to, knowing that all your hard work is going to pay off in the long run when your sitting on the beach sipping a pina colada and dipping your feet in the sand and have a whole week to do exactly whatever you please. But unfortunately for some people (Some people like me) there’s one small little problem that stops me from being just as excited as most people would be.
The big A that a lot of people dare not to utter the word or admit they are a victim of this over thinking time consuming issue, Anxiety. And of course don’t get me wrong I’m looking forward to being on the sunny beach of Portugal, I’m looking forward to having a break to having a whole week to spend with my boyfriend,but its the build up, all the what if’s that spin in my mind like a washing machine on the super quick setting. Sometimes they are very minor issues that my brain likes to make into a even bigger issue.
Let me give you a little example of how the beginning of my last holiday started. Me and my boyfriend arrived at Stanstead airport at around 5am and i felt a little bit nervous but i was ok, then waiting for the mini bus to take us to the airport entrance from the car park, im still okay, standing in line at security this is where my stomach starts to turn don’t ask me why, maybe its that sub conscious knowing that once you go through security there’s no going back, that’s it no outside air until you land in your destination how ever long your flight is, that might be it. So we get through and decide to get some breakfast before the flight so we go into what i believe was a Frankie & Benny’s and i had some pancakes and maple syrup and a big glass of cold orange juice and the longer we sat there the closer the flight was coming to boarding time and even my boyfriend noticed as time ticked by i got quieter and quieter and quite frankly unfortunate enough for my boyfriend quite snappy! The thing is for people that don’t suffer with Anxiety its very difficult to understand, my boyfriend really didn’t understand it for quite a long time, and i don’t get snappy or extremely quiet and un-talkative for no reason im not nasty, but its something that just takes over inside and i just cant help it.
So we leave the restaurant and i head on over to WH smiths to grab a few magazines for the flight and by the time i make it back to my boyfriend his trying to hurry me up because our flight is boarding and our gate is a good five minute walk away, so rushing there pulling my suitcase along by my side, this is just too much for me, the already gut wrenching feeling i have and the rushing to board a plane i really really don’t want to get on, and the really horrible thing about it was that in the back of my mind im hoping we don’t make it, i want to miss it, i don’t want to have to get on that plane i don’t want to sit there grabbing on to the edge of my seat every time the plane makes a slight move i don’t agree with and to have myself wondering what if, What if something is wrong with the plane what if something really bad happens, what if i get sick on holiday and i cant get home, what if we get into a wrong cab and something happens to us. Why must i think like this cant i be like a regular person someone who’s like my boyfriend just bloody happy to be going on holiday regardless. So we check in walk down the stairs outside on to the runway, walking up to the big old beast of a plane (surprise surprise i don’t like that to much either) and the closer im getting to this plane the more i cant fight the tears that are breaking their way through my eye sockets, and there you have it lady’s and gentlemen there you had a 21 year old, on a runway at 7am in the morning crying into her boyfriends shoulder sobbing at him to go without her that i just wanted to go home, so of course people are walking past us, we are letting them through everyone looking at the poor little crazy girl and then looking at my boyfriend with pure compassion (poor sod) of course he reassures me telling me its all going to be okay and that just hold on to him while we walk up the stairs to the plane doors, and im still crying we get on the plane while i try and hide my face from the air hostess before they think that im crazy, or worse my boyfriend has kidnapped me against my will and i don’t think he needed anymore grief than he was already getting to be quite honest. So because we was almost the last ones on the plane the walk to our seat was awful, people were naturally staring wondering what was wrong, so we sat down in our seats and i cried a bit more, don’t get me wrong i wasn’t sobbing anymore it was more like looking out the window crying like i was in a cheap romantic drama. My boyfriend was a good sport though he did keep insisting we could get off and just go home if i wanted too, and trust me it took everything in my power not to agree i just couldn’t do that to him, and looking out the window all i kept thinking was that as soon as they took the stairs away that was it there was no getting off, my boyfriend pulled me into his chest and i remember crying quietly for a few minutes more and then nothing.
I woke up what must of been one hour later and looked out the window, while my boyfriend probably held his breath not knowing what sort of state i was going to get myself in once i looked out the window and we was way above the clouds a long way from London, but believe it or not i was absolutely fine and i couldn’t remember why i was so upset i mean i knew why i was so upset but it didn’t make any sense anymore, and to be honest from then on our holiday was smooth sailing i didn’t get much more anxiety for the whole trip and the flight back to the UK i was actually okay.
But that’s the thing with anxiety you can be fine one day and the not so fine the next, and obviously im speaking for myself i know full well that everyone’s different, and has their own ways of dealing with things and not everyone’s anxiety will be the same and different things and situations will bring it out of certain people like it wouldn’t in others, but unfortunately a lot of the time traveling, being away from home does it for me. Along with a few other things but i wont dwell on that right now.
So with my next holiday only a short 5 weeks away i am mentally preparing myself and i believe in the last year i have found ways to handle my anxiety a bit better, i don’t believe i will react in the same way i did last year but strange thing about anxiety is that you just never know when its going to jump up and make you start crying in front of a plane full of people. But over the last year i have come to realize a few things that have made it a bit better.
Number One: You can’t let your bad thoughts control your life, just because of what happened to me last year I’m not going to let that stop me from going on holiday again, even though i thought it would at the time, because lets be honest if you let every single thing you was scared of stop you from doing things, you would never do anything you would never go anywhere and i don’t believe you can live like that, you could live the rest of your life and do nothing don’t travel don’t be adventurous don’t do the things that make you happy. And then one day you will wake up and be 80 years old and realize you done nothing that you really and truly wanted to do and i cant imagine anything more heartbreaking.
Number Two: Knowing im not alone. When i first started coming to terms with my anxiety it was a long while ago and at the time i didn’t really understand it nor did i know anyone else who was dealing with it, and now im seeing people speaking out about it all the time, on blogs, on the television and even people i know, people i have know for quite a long time and it was just as if one day i noticed people speaking openly about their anxiety and at first i was shocked, shocked at the fact someone was saying it out loud, that they was admitting to the fact that they was also had this issue just like the way i did. And then what felt like not very long after i was seeing anxiety posts pooping up on my news feed, seeing people speaking about it openly online and on TV and all of a sudden felt like it was ok, it was OK to speak about it, OK to tell people why i just didn’t feel comfortable to attend that birthday party at a club in central London that i knew would be packed full of people and knowing i couldn’t handle it, OK to finally open up to my boyfriend and tell him, tell him about it tell him how i felt, what triggered it, how he could help me, and when he knew it made me feel more comfortable and for him too
because he then knew what was wrong, what was wrong when we would go out with a group of friends and i just couldn’t socialize or not booking things because i just wouldn’t know if i would be up for it when it came to the day, and him being there, knowing, supporting me made it that little bit better, and i have all them brave people to thank everyone that spoke up about their anxiety, everyone that spoke up to let others know that its okay and that yes it does make things harder but it doesn’t make you strange or weird but it makes you strong, strong when you can open up and speak about how you feel even though it scares you to even utter the words to still go and do things that you want even though sometimes your shaking and your heart starts to race, Yes that makes you strong and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
So there you have it that’s me mentally preparing for my holiday, as for the physically, well that’s quite simple i need a new suitcase and a good old browse at some new holiday clothes, and a good old catch up with my nutri bullet, but apart from that i think im going to be just fine.
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie ten Boom