Holla ladies and gentlemen (I can say that because the other day I got some actual verification that guys do read this blog, which is strange but exciting because everyone is welcome here, no sexism here ladies and gents). I have been absent from pretty much all forms of social media over the past few week or so (probably longer) in an effort to come to some kind of a mental balance. A few weeks ago my mental health took a bit of a turn, not a sharp one but a nicely executed, barely noticeable one- if only turns I made while actually driving were presented as nicely as this. So this turn, because it was only small I didn’t worry too much about it, it was only the end of the scale that I tend to overlook and tell myself that I had bigger things to worry about.
It was on the Sunday just gone that I had a very off day- I was grumpy, tired and generally unmotivated. I put it down to the fact that work had gotten busier and a slight case of PMS. During that Sunday night I went to bed still feeling off, but with the idea of a good night sleep planted in my mind as the remedy I continued to just wander through the feeling. Come around three o’clock Monday morning, I woke up feeling short of breath, sweating like it wasn’t single digit degrees in my house and in tears, God knows why. I don’t remember what I was dreaming about, but whatever it was had shaken me enough to spend the next two and half hours lying awake listening to Brodie snore next to me and the occasional bark of the dog who was probably barking at nothing more than his own snoring.
Monday was a bad day- I couldn’t pull myself out of bed in the morning, I was snappy, tired and just bloody sad, again who knows why. Something that has happened before, but not for a while- when I am in this kind of state I wake up with a stress rash, todays was on my chest and across my arms, I recognised it immediately. Brodie was actually the one who said something that made me realise why all this was happening.
My trip to Sydney was planned weeks ago, I thought that by booking in advance I would have enough time to sort myself out and in a way be prepared to do it all solo. What I didn’t count on was life getting particularly busy and hence leaving me with little time to mentally prepare. The thing I was most worried about wasn’t the flight, or even really being over the other side of the country to every one that I know, no, what I was more scared of was being alone with my own thoughts for the whole time. Don’t get me wrong all that other stuff was terrifying, especially the idea of being on the complete opposite side of the country to my family and Brodie, by myself was fucking terrifying. But it was the idea that every where I went there wouldn’t be much of a distraction in the form of people I knew and could interact with to distract me from my own thoughts.
I wanted to get as much out of this trip as I could, I wanted to prove to myself and to all the people who said “Oh really? By yourself?” every time I said that I was going alone- that I could do this, that I was feeling better enough in my self that I could leave the state alone and be absolutely fine.
The next few days after my realisation that I was about to try solo travel for the first time in a not great mind set was me continually working to feel better. I read books, I went through the ways that I know help me with my anxiety- I did the breathing techniques, I planned out my days so I had little to come as a surprise and little time that I didn’t know what to do with, I took the calming sprays (look, I don’t know if they are a placebo effect or what but man they’re working for me lately).
It all seemed to work on me. I got on the plane Thursday morning feeling slightly nervous- but I was excited to be doing this. I think my Mum who drove me to the airport was fulling waiting for an anxiety attack or full on break down (or both) while we were driving there/ waiting for me board, but it never came. Once I was seated on the plane I felt fine, the only nerves I had were when the plane shook for a good few minutes while going through some strong wind, not my idea of fun.
I got to the hotel and I was still fine, I will admit by this time I was getting a bit sceptical of myself, surprised that I was still holding myself together- surely I would crack eventually. I think, that it was brought me undone in the end, the fact that I let myself doubt myself, the fact that I stopped to wonder why I was doing fine.
It wasn’t a full blown panic attack, it was more of a small one (I have definitely had worse) while I was lightly drifting off to sleep- that’s one way to wake yourself up. I was panicking over being alone, I was panicking over being so far away, I was fucking terrified of being in a place I hardly knew with people I flat out didn’t know.
I don’t really remember much more from last night if I am being honest, at some point I had fallen back to sleep, only to wake up and call Brodie at one o’clock in the morning (it was eleven at home and he had been drinking so it was fine). What I do remember is waking up this morning feeling like utter shit, I skipped my morning plans in favour of pushing myself to work out (something that usually restores some balance to my mind). After a workout and a long shower, surprisingly I felt a lot better, I was still anxious about going to the actual Business Chicks event but I was fine now, I was happier, I was more content than I had been and I was bloody glad about it.
It is now around six oclock at night here, I spent the morning shopping and the afternoon at the Nine To Thrive event and let me tell you- I could spend a whole month here by myself (okay I probably couldn’t but you know what I mean.) Now that I know that I am completely capable of being alone with my thoughts, being on the other side of the country to everyone that I know and being independent- I feel so much bloody better.
I wanted to write this to show that while you can feel like you really cannot do something, that you aren’t in the right mental space, you can change that- you can be your own change, you just have to have a bit of courage. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is never easy, but you can make it easier on yourself, you just have to have a bit of courage in you.