Travelling With Anxiety
Anxiety is embarrassing.
It’s embarrassing because my life is pretty close to perfect. It’s embarrassing because I’m half way across the world, on a vacation of a lifetime and I can’t breathe. It’s embarrassing because I get mad that no one can fix it, even though I know it’s not fair to them.
Anxiety is all encompassing. It takes over every inch of your body and doesn’t let go. It holds on so tight until you can’t breathe, you can’t move, and you’ve lost total control. And I’ve recently been reminded of one of its characteristics that I so deeply hoped was not true: it doesn’t stay behind with the rest of your life when you try to run away from it.
Yesterday was a lovely day. It started and I was calm and that calmness continued when I went to visit the Rose Seidler House. Look at that home, how could you not be totally relaxed while visiting it?
The day continued and my anxiety grew. I’m not sure why, but it did. I had a panic attack, but got through it with the help of my family.
This morning I woke up with the same pit at the bottom of my stomach, this time topped with an immense feeling of guilt. I shouldn’t be feeling anxious. I should be off exploring, making every single moment count. This beautiful view from the balcony wasn’t helping. How could I not feel completely peaceful?
But then I was reminded that this is my mental health month. These are the things I am supposed to be tackling. I am here to visit my dad and to give myself a much needed break. It’s okay that my anxiety followed me to Australia. It’s okay to not be exploring every second of the day.
I got up, I showered, and I took myself to the beach. It was so hard, but I was rewarded with this view.
I also happened to lose my lens cap while on my beach journey, which isn’t great but I decided to laugh about it. I made it out and my anxiety started to calm down, I wasn’t going to let a lens cap ruin that accomplishment.
I guess you could say the first lesson I learned during my mental health month is that mental illnesses follow you, even when you try and run away from them. And I think to move forward, I need to accept this and stop being embarrassed when they make an appearance.