Although I no longer suffer from panic attacks, the events that took place two and a half years ago (when I had my first panic attack that caused me to end up in hospital in Italy) still cause me a lot of anxiety and fear before going on holiday. Simply because I worry that it could happen again.
To celebrate our anniversary of two years, my boyfriend and I decided to go away somewhere. At first it was going to be somewhere close to home, but eventually we decided to go to Paris.
This was going to be the first time I was going to another country without my parents. Therefore this was a big step for me, I knew if I was feeling anxious I could not just go home… I would be so far from home. It was the realisation that I needed to start dealing with these situations on my own (if they were to happen) that pushed me to go. If I want to live my life to the fullest, travel the world and experience so much more, then this was the first step towards doing all of this.
I was so indecisive, I broke down so many times telling myself I could not do it and I was stupid for even considering such a trip. I thought that not going would be better as I wouldn’t have to stress so much about it all. I even booked the hotel with free cancellations so that I could cancel if I changed my mind!
Looking back at it now I am so happy I did not cancel…
It was the night before we were leaving and I had a million thoughts running through my mind. Why didn’t I just say no? Maybe it would have been best if we just did something close by, that way I could avoid this fear and anxiety. After talking to my boyfriend, who was very understanding, I realised that I just needed to go for it and take each step at a time.
Once we had our passports checked I was getting very nervous, however the journey there turned out so much better than I had imagined. We got the Euro star because I get very anxious when going on a plane. This helped a lot, once we arrived we had to get our travel cards and find the route to the hotel. It was all so exciting having to work it all out in a place we had never been before.
The hotel staff were so welcoming, which instantly made me feel safe. Our room was amazing and the whole area was lovely.
Throughout the few days we were there we visited the Mona Lisa, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and many other places. We even went to Disney land which was a massive highlight for me. As someone who loves Disney and Christmas, going there during this period was overwhelming. It was the most amazing day! I didn’t even have a chance to think about my anxiety.
From this trip I realised how much happiness I could have missed out on because of my anxiety. I realised that I can do it! I am now determined to say yes to opportunities like these and ensure that my anxiety doesn’t stop me from living life to the fullest.
I am aiming at going somewhere that involves getting on a plane as this is the next big obstacle I am unsure I could do without my family around me.
I am hoping to travel more and slowly go further from home so that one day going on holiday will cause me to be full of excitement again and not anxiety, no matter how far away I go.
I encourage anyone who worries about travelling to just go for it, after achieving something like this the feeling was amazing.