I’m writing this post on a Greyhound Bus Traveling from Atlantic City, NJ to Midtown Manhattan. I’m going to NYC to take anxiety head on.
Anxiety. You don’t know how crippling anxiety can be until you have it. My cousin got Panic attacks when were young. I used to help her through them. But I never understood how humbling they could be until I had one.
A few years ago I started having some health problems. Anxiety rode along with those issues. Over time my body healed. Physically I’m pretty much the healthiest I’ve ever been. I feel good. My body is strong and emotionally I’m very stable and balanced. But, unfortunately, anxiety has remained.
I don’t have anxiety every day. Actually most days I don’t have it. But, new social situations, large groups of unfamiliar people, speaking in front of large groups, traveling out of my comfort zone of South Jersey & Philadelphia often triggers an attack.
I’ve been working with a Psychologist to gain coping mechanisms and to control my anxiety with rational thought. One thing I’m working on is to turn off the rambling thoughts of the “what if” thinker. What if my Arrhythmia acts up while I’m out of town and I can’t get to a hospital? What if I eat something that makes me sick? What if I have an allergic reaction? What if I can’t get home? What if…What if…What if…My what if thinker is very active and very irrational. I’m learning to acknowledge the irrational thought and tell myself the worse won’t happen and I’ll be ok.
In recent months I’ve taken strides to address the social anxieties. I’ve been forcing myself to participate in group events. I even went to a baby shower at work the other day to force myself to interact more. I’m naturally inclined to be quiet and an introvert. I can’t guarantee I’ll ever be super talkative, chatty Kathy or Miss Congeniality. But, at least, social anxiety will not hold me back.
I’m an independent, self-sufficient kind of girl. I’ve learned to not need anyone and to only rely on myself. I’ve always taken off on my own for road trips, solo yoga retreats and weekends in NYC. I enjoy doing it. If I could find a job similar to the one I have in NYC, I would even consider living in the Village. I love it. But in recent years, anxiety robbed me of my ability to travel independently. I won’t stand for this any longer. I won’t lose that part of myself. I refuse to give in. I came up with a plan to reclaim my life and travel independence.
Saturday, March 21st is my 48th Birthday. I am taking my anxiety head on by going to NYC alone Friday to Saturday. I’m going to enjoy some art, catch a yoga class or two and enjoy the city I’m so familiar with and love. People offered to go with me. But I need to do this alone. I almost chickened out. NYC is expecting 3-5 inches of snow today. I’m going away. I’m wearing UGGs,I packed warm clothes(scarf & hat) & I packed my Xanax. I’m all set 😄👍 On a side note, The dude sitting behind me is snoring and will quite possibly suck me into his hostile with his next breath 😄😄😄
Amelia Earhart said, “Fears are paper tigers.” In other words, we make things worse and bigger than they actually are. I’ve learned through my life that most fear is irrational. Today I’m breaking through one of my paper tigers👍😄
Follow the Twitter Feed on the right sidebar of my Blog for updates throughout the trip. I’ll post a blog when I get home with a recap of my trip.
Google Image search for “anxiety images”