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?