So when I went all bravado in my last post, in that carefully crafted mumbo jumbo about grabbing this trip to Europe by the balls and allowing happiness, rather than anxiety back into my life, I was lying.
Anxiety by Leo Hidalgo at http://www.flickr.com
Not intentionally; but I was kidding myself.
Which is a shame, because from the perspective of my writing and my blog, that ‘positive’ post proved to be one of my most popular to date. It seems you like ‘uplifting’ and ‘feel-good’ writing.
And I get that. The problem is…
It’s just not my niche. I’m far more comfortable writing about fear and doom and gloom, and because the first rule of good blogging is to remain authentic, here’s the truth about my feelings about my impending trip.
My balls have shrunk to the size of peas since that post, as the anxiety connected to travelling halfway around the world, (ON MY FUCKING OWN!), as well as driving around the UK in a manual car with no GPS, (AGAIN, ON MY OWN!), and basically making all the decisions for myself over the next few weeks, has begun to secretly fuck with my brain.
I’ve only got through the last few days by ticking things off ever-increasing lists and drinking loads of wine.
I had my hair done this morning and caught myself looking at my reflection in the mirror in my hairdressers, wondering if it will be the last time I go there…or see myself in a mirror.
I keep saying weird, uncharacteristically, needy things to the kids, like how proud I am of them. If I’m not careful, I might say something nice to the old man.
It has taken every ounce of self-control not to check the safety statistics of Emirates, although I admit to checking the location of the exit doors when I reserved my seats.
I keep toying with the idea of drugging myself for the entire journey to discourage bowel release every time we hit turbulence, then worry about the risk of sleeping through my connection.
I worry about ISIS boarding the plane and taking out their retribution on all the scared, middle-aged women on board.
I am even worrying about eating anything close to its sell-by date from our fridge in case I get a bout of chronic diarrhoea just when the seat belt sign pops on.
This is how we roll, us anxious crazies – and I only have a mild case of anxiety.
Which is why it is such a relief to identify with someone else. For me, that is ultimately what blogging is about. So for those other anxious loons out there like me, I lapped up this post like a thirsty kitten by Mia Freedman this week, when she came out about her own issues with anxiety.
You see – anxiety is not always visible and even those who appear to be super-successful and fully in control can become victims too.
And this is another fantastic, honestly-emotive piece by one of my favourite writers, Anna Spargo Ryan:
During rare moments of sanity and clarity, of course I know I’ll still be around to bore you all again from the other side of the world, once I get to the other side of this irrational fear.
But in the meantime, allow me the time to focus on the important process of worrying.