I’ve fought anxiety for a long time, and developed a set of skills unique to my condition which allows me to accomplish certain situations. I put them to use whenever I can, to build on myself.
Today, I wanted to challenge my anxiety. I felt 60% ready to take on my demons by using public transport. I live in a tiny village with a train commute to a local city where I would meet friends for breakfast. I was rushed, and contemplating not doing it, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. So I got to the station with a few minutes to spare. Planning if I would sit in standard or first class to make it easier. It’s not a cost thing for me, it’s how I make these situations simpler. I see it as an investment into my own development.
The train pulled in, 3 small carriages with no first class, so instantly I was in less control. I looked and it was absolutely packed. Hot from running to the station, I got on and wedged myself in. I was completely thrown in at a very uncomfortable deep end without a paddle. A rubber ring would have at least helped!
But I was on, and the train was moving. With my twitching and sweating, all eyes were on me, and I could sense every single one. Normally this would have phased me, but I knew I wouldn’t see one person after this journey so I genuinely didn’t care. I was doing this for me. I fought through it with the help of some incredible Twitter friends who took their time to tweet me through it. It was beyond unpleasant, with physical symptoms I haven’t felt in a long time but I was getting there, counting down the minutes. As I got off, I knew I’d done it. I felt sick to my stomach (still do), I was uneasy, legs aching, exhausted but I’d done it. Now to have a steady walk up to the cafe to have breakfast with friends.
While in there I couldn’t relax. Impending doom of what I had to endure to get home was swallowing me up. I couldn’t eat, and drank my way through 4 cups of tea. I knew I needed to brace myself in order to even get in the station. So I found a time on the website and set off.
When walking towards it I knew this wouldn’t be easy, u knew I’d panic, I knew this would be as hard goin as it was coming back. I stood waiting for the train praying it would be a big one with first class so I could buy myself some relief. After waiting for 10 minutes, the train was cancelled and the next was 1 hour away. I decided it was going to be a taxi.
So here I am, writing this post wondering where I went wrong today. I felt ready to be challenged, I felt like I could do this, but I can’t help feeling like ‘too much too soon’. I felt like I’d failed as I sat down, looked at him turn on the meter and sat back in my seat. Then I looked through Twitter, at all the lovely reassuring tweets from my fellow warriors and I know that today has been a big accomplishment. I needed to feel what anxiety does to me to remind me of how much more I need to do to beat this illness. So now, I’m off home for some tea and some alone time. I think I’ve earned it.
I felt silly for taking this on. I instantly felt like a fool for thinking I could handle it. Now I feel silly for doubting myself. I feel silly for feeling like a failure. I feel silly for feeling silly.
A special thank you to some of my Twitter friends that were there for me today. You held my hand when I needed it the most, and although words can’t tell you how much it helped, I hope you all realise.