“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. ” Omar N. Bradley
It’s been a couple of weeks since I returned and though I’ve shared the photos, I didn’t really go into too many details as to how the anxieties were and how I felt and I know that if anyone who has anxieties reads this, then that’s what you’ll want to know (because that’s what I’d want to know).
The Build Up
The thing with anxieties (even ones that are healing well, like mine have been this year), is that it’s not necessarily the anxiety itself that’s the problem, it’s the anxiety about feeling the anxiety and I remember when we booked the holiday worry about how anxious I’d start getting before the holiday as it was such a huge step in confronting 11 years of fear but, and this is the honest truth, I barely had more than vaguely concerned thought about the trip before we left. I know this hasn’t happened by itself but has been so much to do with the routines I’ve started this year like nearly daily yoga practice, healthier eating and a lot more mental stimulation (ergo, less time for my poor brain to dwell on things, which is the real pain when you’ve got anxieties) but I was honestly really surprised. I even felt excited, which was really fun and I spent a lot of time investigating where we were going online, looking up weather averages and generally doing the kind of holiday planning which non-anxious people would do which in it’s own way, did it’s bit as I was focusing on all the exciting holiday stuff that I was discovering.
The Day of Travel
On the day of travel itself, I felt a little anxious on the car journey to the airport but really not much at all and as soon as we got to the airport itself I was just so excited, especially because it had been so long since I’d been on a commercial flight/holiday that remembering and renewing the sights, sounds and feelings of going through the airport/departure lounge /passport control etc. was insanely fun, that was literally the predominant feeling and even the early hour didn’t make it worse, it just felt novel that we were in the airport at 4 a.m. and we just went and had breafast (I had delicious smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on muffins!) and my hunger is one of the first things to go when I’m nervous but I wolfed it down!
In the Plane
As we got closer to the flight, I thought that I’d get really nervous but I honestly felt pretty good still as it was the excitement that was at the forefront of my mind, not the nervousness. And walking on the plane was loads of fun, especially as I got the window seat!
My anxieties were vaguely there as we were taxiing on the runway but that was more because it was a slow process and I knew that I just wanted to get to the bit where we in the sky so that I could just deal with that the feeling, so the waiting to get to that was quite frustrating and a little tense but hey, it wasn’t too long!
And then we took off! And the only anxiety I felt was the kind I get if I go on a roller coaster, as in ‘ooh this is bumpy and a little scary because I’m not in control but it’s sort of exciting too – weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’. As soon as we reached cruising altitude, I’d realised how much I’d missed being up that high and was glued to the window, watching all the sparkly lights of the houses and roads below against the dark early morning and then watched the sun come up and the sky turn blue as our journey continued and honestly, it took my breath away:
I had been a little nervous as there was an hour’s coach transfer on the other side but the thing that I was forgetting was the fact that looking out the window was going to be a totally stimulating experience, what with all the Portuguese, buildings, people and scenery and I actually loved the journey and was merrily chatting to the fellow travellers who were also in the same mini-coach – I briefly felt a little sick, as my anxieties sometimes cause that but ultimately – it was fun!
Being Away From Home
Weirdly, in the past, my anxieties can stretch to not only travelling but also being away from home (probably because I was away at university when they started) so I did wonder how I’d feel being all the way in Portugal, with no familiar reassurance (aside from my lovely husband of course!). There was only one moment, where I was a little tired, that I felt at all uncomfortable and felt my heart get a little faster but as soon as I distracted myself and enjoyed the holiday (being in a hot country, by the sea, with no responsibilities…..), I felt a million times better and didn’t feel any other symptoms).
The 9 Hour Delay Home!
See, if anything was going to stress me, it was going to be anxiety-related unforeseen circumstances and they don’t come much worse than a 9 hour delay home (speaking of which, we’re never flying Monarch again!). And you know what, I was peeved, I was irritated but nope, not remotely anxious during any of those 9 hours and once I’d found a really comfy chair (it was practically a bed!) then I was mellow for the entire wait to go home!
Anxieties don’t just disappear, that’s pretty unrealistic and illogical, especially if you’ve had them for a long time but I have to say, considering I never thought I’d do any significant travelling ever again (much less get on a plane) that I am proof that you can heal them enough to get your life back again and whether or not it’s exactly as it was before the anxiety, you should feel even stronger than you did before and that makes life very very good.