If you follow my blog (all 3 of you) you’ll probably have seen me tweet about my holiday to Croatia. It was a revelation to make that trip. I knew anxiety was going to absolutely destroy me and it did. I made it though and had the best holiday.
A year on, and I’m back. Same country, same hotel, just a bit longer. I said I’d use this time to show how anxiety can affect travel/holidays but also show how we can overcome it. So here’s how it went!
We started off fairly stressed. I finished work an hour after I should have, drove straight home, packed, sorted the house and garden and then we were off. I felt instantly worked up because of the running around, lateness, and being all round frantic. Once in the car, I was ok. I felt relatively calm, knowing we were heading to a hotel just outside of the airport to make getting to the airport easier.
Once there, we got showered, climbed in bed and relaxed until I naturally fell to sleep at around 11:30pm. Next thing I know, the alarms going at 5:00am and today was the day – and like clockwork it woke my anxiety too.
We packed up and headed to the airport, and there were cars all over. My brain began saying ‘oh no that means there’s lots of people!’. It’s as if I wanted the whole airport to myself! (Can I do that…?). We parked at the meet and greet, waved goodbye to the car (I just got distracted because a guy decided to go swimming in his boxer shorts which are now see through and I feel sick) and made out way into the airport.
Check in was fast, barely any waiting around and we were directed to security. When we got there it was absolutely packed! BOOM! Anxiety shows up and I go into panic mode. This is the bit I hate the most about airports, so the panic about potentially doing that was high. Then I realised I’d paid for priority security which the desk hadn’t mentioned, so made our way back to the desk and sure enough, she pointed us in the right direction. For some this would be considered a cheat but I don’t care.
We sailed through security. Literally 3 minutes and it was done. I didn’t have time to get panicky, even when they did a body search I was totally fine. Once done I was in the gate but this is where my IBS came into play, with stomach cramps and feeling sick. I knew things were going to be tricky. I had 2 immodium to stop any movement, popped to the loo and then hoped for the best.
Before we knew it we were boarding and compared to last time I felt relatively OK. Some odd jitters but nothing bad. The problem I now had was the IBS issues in the back of my mind. I just wanted to get on the plane and get to where we were going.
We sat down, extra leg room so not to feel cramped, watched intently at the security things while simultaneously reading a book and we were off. Everything felt fine, odd jitters but nothing bad. The plane is my safe place. Or so I thought.
GF was asleep and I was reading when a wave of sickness came back over me out of the blue. Was I going to be sick? Here I front of everyone? I had a sip of water and tried to ignore it, but by now my anxiety was up and I was struggling. I became agitated and anxious and the worse I felt, the more nauseous I felt and I knew I was heading straight for an attack. I was struggling, planning if I could go to the front and have a minute. I couldn’t go to the toilet because the queue was massive, so what was I going to do? Oh no this is a nightmare! Then I stopped.
This is anxiety. This is just anxiety, your brain is making this up. All this panic, all this stress is all you. Stop, have a moment and carry on. I suddenly went really tired so decided to doze for half an hour and after I felt better for it. I knew what I’d done, worked myself up to the point of feeling physically sick but knew I had the control to stop it too. I made it the last half hour of the flight and we left the plane. The rest was relatively easy, the airport is only small so passport checks and baggage is relatively fast. We got to the car that the hotel had sent, and after 15 minutes journey we arrived safe and sound.
I’m now writing this while laid by the pool feeling much better about myself, the situation and my accomplishment. Was it easy? Was it hell as like. Did I manage it? Damn right I did. Am I worried about the journey home? Kind of. I know it won’t be easy, but I know I’ll survive. I might throw up, I might not. I don’t know anyone on that plane so if it is in front of them all then so be it. I won’t let anxiety take any opportunity of me having a good time. Not anymore.