There have been some changes at my house lately. My husband took a new, amazing job with Shell Oil last year, with the understanding that there would be some travel. Well, he has definitely been doing some traveling!!! He's been to Amsterdam, England, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina. This last trip to Argentina was a long one! 1 month! We have never been apart for that long before. His boss told him that while he was there, I should go visit. He could take a few days off and show me around. Now, most people would probably jump at the chance to travel to another country. But I am not most people. I have anxiety and it sucks! It tries to keep me from doing adventurous things. The thought of being stuck on a plane for ten hours and not being able to get off brought about a panic attack all by itself! My instinct was to just say "no way" and stay safe and sound at home. But I knew that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that it would help break up the trip for my husband. So, I went to speak with my therapist about it. She really helped encourage me to give it a try. So, I told my husband I would go and we went ahead and booked the flight. No turning back!
I was still very nervous about the whole thing, so I decided to do a ton of research on where I was going. Then, at least, things would seem familiar. I googled all I could about Buenos Aires, Argentina and found out that it is an amazing city, teeming with art and soul. That was when my focus switched from one of "just traveling" to one of an "art adventure". Graffiti is not illegal in Buenos Aires, so the city is filled with amazing street art! I booked us a walking tour. I also found out that Buenos Aires is home to one of the most beautiful cemeteries, Recoleta. Talk about artistic inspiration! The more I researched, the more excited I became. I couldn't wait to explore Argentina with my husband.
I can't say that the trip was completely anxiety free, because it wasn't. Anxiety does not go down without a fight. But I can say that the plane trip was uneventful, thanks to my anti anxiety meds and the trip was amazing! I am so glad that I did not let anxiety rule my decisions! I had the time of my life and it also gave me an extra boost of confidence that I can do things that scare me when I set my mind to it!
This is a page from my art journal that I made when I got back. I got the quote and idea from Neil Gaimmon's book "The Ocean at the End of the Lane."
Please know that if you suffer from anxiety, you are not alone. There are sooooo many of us out there! Talk with your doctor or therapist. Therapy and medicines do work. It's not something that will magically go away, but you can learn to live with it and rise above it!