It might have been because it was my first ever solo trip: first time flying alone, first time working in a hostel, first time going to the Czech Republic. Of course, it might also have been because of the 5 pints and 2 G&Ts I had the night before at my Australian friend’s leaving drinks. Either way, I think I experienced my first ever anxiety attack that morning.
My heart was racing and wouldn’t slow down; I couldn’t drift off back to sleep; I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t stop my thoughts from whirring. It took 2 pints of water, 10 minutes of breathing exercises, 2 Kalms herbal tablets, 1 Headspace meditation activity and a trip to the bathroom before I felt anything close to the positivity that I thought I should be experiencing.
Sometimes, you just need to stick your fingers down your throat for everything to feel ok
I love travel, and I love my own company. I love the idea of going somewhere new by myself, having only myself to please, doing only what I want. But, somehow, when my eyes opened that morning, nothing felt more appealing than jumping on the first train back to Wolverhampton, smothering my face in my cat’s fur and forcing my mom to take care of me. I would throw up if I made ant attempt at getting to the airport.
But, spoiler alert, I shut up those anxious voices in my head, and I bundled my precarious luggage situation (Ryanair, amirite?) into the back of an Uber.
Sometimes you need to act before you feel like acting – and know that it’s the right thing to do.
I’m no stranger to planes, I used to effing love flying as a kid, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten warier, more anxious, more unsettled. I still fly, I still love flying (in a way), but it’s just not as easy a thing to do as it used to be.
I don’t know if this was some of the reason for my near-miss meltdown that morning – I don’t really think it is – but I understand that inner conflict between wanting to be let loose on the world, but not really wanting to step foot on a plane. Either way, after spending weeks waiting excitedly for my day of departure to come, being told by everyone who knew what a fantastic experience this would be, waking up in a state of sheer panic wasn’t just an inconvenience, it was a shock.
As you already know by now, though, from my numerous Instagram posts and stories, and my piece about Worldpackers, this all meant nothing. It was real at the time, and it was based in real emotion, but it didn’t come with me to Prague.
I want to know: how do YOU Shut Up And Go with anxiety?