anxiety disorder – so over it!

Post written partly in response to a daily prompt from a couple of days ago (too late to link to) – who was the first person you encountered today…


The link in the email, that said I could check out online, didn’t work so I called down to reception and the voice on the end of the phone said I’d have to do it in person. He was very apologetic. No need – check out is check out.

And so the first person I had anything to do with yesterday was a lovely young man behind the counter in the foyer. Much more awake than me. Chatty. Smiley. Gorgeous. And when I say young – probably late 20’s maybe early 30’s. I’ve never been good at guessing the length of time someone has walked this life.

Anyway he explained that the online system was so new, that some people had waved on their way past the desk with a ‘we checked out online’, before he even knew it was possible! No problem, totally new to me too so the old way is fine but I just wanted to get out of there. Be home.

I had a huge couple of days.

I’ve done all this and more in the past, without a blink of the eye, and loved it. However for a few months now I’ve been dealing with heightened anxiety and so, silly though it may sound to others, I am incredibly proud of what I achieved the last few days. And I am exhausted now it’s all said and done! I’d have cancelled so easily but for various reasons felt unable to. I’d have loved nothing more than to sit, or lie, on my couch and not leave the house and in fact I’d still love to do that! (back to work this week though so pull your socks up baby and get on with it) I could have run in so many of the situations I was in, hyperventilating, scrambling for the door, for the temporary sanctuary of my hotel room.

Three days ago I flew to Melbourne. That’s an hour flight to the capital city of the state below us. What do you think when you read that? So what? Big deal? No big deal!?

I have no problem flying. I don’t get anxious about the actual flight. When I arrived in Melbourne the temperature was 42C. I’d been tracking that for two weeks previously as they anticipated, then lived, a shocking heatwave. Locals lived that for 4 or 5 days. I endured it from the airport building to a waiting car, from the car to the hotel but I spent two weeks building myself up terrified I would faint. You read that right – you may not understand it. I have an anxiety / panic disorder and sometimes feeling faint is the chicken, sometimes the egg.

The heat was unbelievably shocking, and I don’t ever want to experience that again,  but I didn’t feel faint. I made it to the hotel – a long drive with a stranger when feeling anxious.

That night I went out to dinner in a fancy restaurant, in a hot sticky corner (though the actual outside temperature had come right down by then, as predicted) and smiled my way through a couple of hours of discomfort. Slept very badly, woke 3 times. Went out for breakfast – a short walk to a, more comfortable for me, outdoor café. Too much food over these days, too little appetite with anxiety. Spent most of the day in the hotel room. That wouldn’t have been necessary in previous years but was a welcome break in the activity this time. I did go for a brief nearby walk in the afternoon – visited a produce market, bought some fruit…too much! Leaving tomorrow!

The second night dinner in another restaurant but a quick meal because then – I went to the Australian Open. Major achievement while feeling anxious to be surrounded by people, noise. Sensational tennis Nadal – thank you! And then almost an hour wait for a taxi leaning on the barricade legs wobbly. Not feeling faint. Freezing cold! Heatwave over, the temperature dropped ridiculously and we, along with almost everyone in that long line, weren’t dressed for it.

So happy to have done everything and to be going home next day I slept little but well. At any other time I could just love that hotel – the beds are like a soft but generous cloud, such a hug.

Sat up on the last morning and felt faint. What?! Why now? Got through hotel check out, got to the airport all in panic. Got home…that is simplifying the length of time and the intensity of the feelings but I was just in a race to get home to my couch, cats, youngest. Youngest was very sick the night before I went – of course that added to my ill ease at being away and has just come to my mind now!

Two days in Melbourne so difficult how can I even think I can go to Ireland later this year?


Now to work on breathing and dropping shoulders every single time I wake, prepare for work this week, for life. Does anyone else know these feelings? And what do you do to keep the monster at bay?





37 thoughts on “anxiety disorder – so over it!

  1. unfetteredbs

    You’re giving me courage. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So glad that you are home…and safe. All the heat and problems down your way made me wonder after you. Anxiety is incapacitating–you either succumb or muscle through and neither is a great option. I avoid my triggers as much as possible but it is never enjoyable and the feeling of missing out is often just as bad as the actual doing…

    • Yes I know what you mean – I’m glad I went, happy to have done those things but could equally be happy if I’d stayed on the couch! The things I’ve missed and am sorry I have though…

      In Sydney we haven’t had the extreme temperatures but wow I wouldn’t have been doing much with those 40+ temps they had down south! (and people played tennis in it?!)

      I’m not sure I’ve worked out actual triggers Deb…grrr


  3. I dunno. The first thing that came to mind was ‘breathe’. Conscious focused breathing. But you probably know that.
    What courage you have! To do it anyway. Ireland too. Do it anyway! Just remember to breathe.
    I think after being away, and sometimes during, we all want to be home on the couch. Even me, though my couch is my hotel room bed, all cosied up.
    (There’s no button saying to notify me of follow-up comments 😦 WP glitch again

    • Thank you – it doesn’t feel courageous though. It kind of felt like I had to go (reasons I won’t go in to here), I’d so easily have rathered cancel…and at this minute I just can’t see getting to Ireland. I know it’s sad and silly when I think of you two trotting the globe…

      As for breathing 😉 yep I’ve breathed up a storm all over the place ha ha ha 🙂

  4. Actually, I’m not surprised that you felt faint (arriving in our heatwave in Melbourne). I was literally housebound as I was too scared to go out in case I DID faint. I actually caught a taxi into the city (to the camera store last Monday) – a rare extravagance these days as I was nervous about fainting on the tram or bus.

    I absolutely dread crowds and social occasions, so perhaps I have a little anxiety disorder myself. I just can’t converse for long – too fatiguing and I run out of conversation (except about photography). I like to keep to open spaces and fresh air if possible.

    I can’t stand perfume or strong chemicals either, so I don’t even bother keeping up to date with art or photography exhibitions. Last Impressionist exhibition at the National Gallery, I had to leave because of some obscene amount of perfume floating in the crowded exhibition and I had trouble breathing.

    Then there was a evening at a local wine bar/cafe to announce the winner of a street photography exhibition I’d entered. I chickened out (going) as I imagined all those young trendy street photographers and I would feel old in their midst (apart from the horrible deodorants that young people wear these days, one of which I am allergic too and can’t breathe around).

    So I guess I have a wee bit of anxiety disorder these days too, Annie.

    • I suppose if we are happy at home and not pushed it’s ok. It’s a shame to miss things we might enjoy…but not enjoy if feeling uncomfortable.

      I’ve been to the tennis four or five years in a row now and loved it…but this year I really felt I’d rather stay home and watch on tv. It is amazing to be there – the speed and power of players like Nadal – it’s good on tv but just unbelievable to be there.

      Still…today I’m on the couch, tv on, and feeling better 🙂

      I would love to have met you and had a take away coffee outside somewhere – if I come again, and am feeling strong, and it’s not 40 degrees ha ha etcetc and you’re feeling well enough too!

  5. I have had this and it’s horrible. I still get it every now and then and have a prescription just in case. Good on you for getting through!

  6. I’m sorry you feel these things. Glad you’re home, safe and sound.
    Diana xo

  7. Biofeedback, my friend. The right person can make so many things easier to manage.

  8. I had massive attacks of anxiety last year (for reasons I can’t go into publicly) and my daughter gave me a tape that she had bought from a woman she had seen for hypnosis to cure her fear of flying. It was amazing – I listened to the tape through my headphones every night before bed and now I’m feeling very calm and relaxed. It involves some hypnosis, but I can remember everything she says. I’ve got it on my ipod and not sure if I can send it to you, but I’ll give it a try.

  9. Shoot, I don’t know what to tell you and I feel bad that I didn’t know you suffered from such anxiety, like you have nothing else going on in your world. A few months after my dad died in 2005, I couldn’t leave the house or at least not without crying for a few hours or making a deal with myself, “all you have to do is drop the girls at school and you can come right home and go to bed.” It’s horrible. Mine was situational. I got a prescription for Lexapro. Did weekly therapy for probably six months and eight years later….I’m fine!

    You are aware of the issue. Try some tools to fix it or better it before you are off to the Emerald Isle? Please, for you and your well-being and for me and my need to hear about Ireland?

    xoxo mag

    • Thanks so much Mag, it’s great to hear that you’re so well after going through that – and thanks for sharing it with me.

      I haven’t heard of Lexapro – will talk to my dr.

      Went to the supermarket today and was laughing to myself thinking, if I don’t make it to Ireland I’m still going to do a bunch of posts ‘If I was in Ireland I’d be doing this…today’ for you ha ha ha THEN the supermarket got robbed – O M G I did not need that hello!!!!!!

      sheesh give me a break, let me breathe, calm down..

  10. You are my hero. It was very courageous to go by yourself for two days. Most people have a hard time going anywhere by themselves (other than routine errands) – dining out, to a movie – let alone to a tennis match!

    Annie, I was scared to death the day I took our granddaughter back to Texas. She and I had two flights to get her home, and a long layover. Then I had two flights home with a long layover in between. I had so much anxiety until I was home, I felt like crying when Rich picked me up at the end of the day. But I had to do it. And I’m going to do it again this summer – anxiety and all – because it’s that important to me.

    You will go to Ireland. Get on the plane and just get your butt there. Once you do, everything will fall into place and you will wonder why you worried so much about it. ♥

    • I had two people with me at the tennis Maddie…I flew by myself and did alot alone but I did have some company. I’m not sure I might have been less stressed alone though?!

      Yes I can understand you doing what you did 🙂 and I hope I can make Ireland. Perhaps I shouldn’t doubt it…

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