So if you’ve been following my Insta stories, Twitter feed, or you’ve read my July Mental Health Reflection, you may well know that I put my brave girl undercrackers on yesterday and stood to toe-to-toe with my anxiety to come away for a break ON MY OWN. It also meant braving trains, which I’ve not been on in well over a year, so it’s safe to say, it’s a huge step.
If you don’t know me very well or you’re new to my ramblings, I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but my anxiety has had me petrified of trains – I’d have breakdowns and awful anxiety attacks on them around Spring last year and I pretty much turned the trains into the problem, rather than facing what was really getting me down. I began to dread getting on one the night before – I’d be terrified of being crammed like a sardine, or the pushing and shoving, and I’d have panic attacks every time Southern decided that my train would be delayed or cancelled (best excuse was ‘there’s a branch in the tracks’..). It was awful.
Couple that then, with the fact that I’ve never felt brave enough to go away by myself, and… yeah? I’ve basically been a big sack of excuses everytime someone’s asked me to come and stay with them – I’d never even try because I was convinced I’d get lost, panic, be a mess without my bf. I really just didn’t think I was capable of it.
& yet. I did it yesterday.
All in one day.
On Monday, I booked a return ticket to Wiltshire to go and stay with my Auntie.
& after booking it, there was no panic – there was no regret. I think I reached a point where the desire to get away – the need to beat the anxiety – became greater than the fear of actually doing it. I decided in a very short space of time – hours in fact – that I wouldn’t let this stupid voice in my head tell me what I could/couldn’t do, & I wanted to take back control of my life – the only limits there are, are the ones I put there.
So before I knew it, Wednesday rolled around and I can’t even tell you how alien it was to be so in control of my mind – I wasn’t panicking half as much as I anticipated, I wasn’t trying to talk myself out of anything. I stood on the platform, boarded a train & arrived at London Victoria like I’d been doing it forever.
It kinda felt like I was pumped full of adrenaline, because literally nothing phased me! I could feel myself randomly smiling at times, because I kept telling myself at every little step, ‘you’ve done it’ – the getting on the train, the getting off the train, the reaching Victoria, the wading through the crowds at Victoria, the not getting in a tiz at the crowds, the finding the coach – each step felt like a f*cking victory. I also had it in mind that there were people who didn’t believe I could do it. Somehow, that just made me more determined.
It wasn’t until I sat down on the coach and genuinely thought to myself ‘how the f*ck did I just do that?!’
I’m ngl, I might have cried a little bit. It just felt like… freedom? This will probably be the cheesiest thing you read today, and I know that it’s a totally normal thing for people to just board a train or go away on their own for a break, but for me, it’s one of my biggest achievements so far – and I think it’s gonna change my life.
In short, fuck you anxiety.
If you suffer with anxiety, and think/believe you can’t handle something, please know that one day there might just be a chance you can handle it. You’re stronger than you know and no evil brain-voice has the right to dictate to you how you live. Keep fighting.
Big thank you for all the supportive and lovely messages I received via social media yesterday and on my previous mental health post. It means the absolute bloody world.
Oh & I reached Wiltshire safe & sound, welcomed with a glass of vino – the only way to be welcomed right?!
Big emotional slobbery kisses,