my first trip to the city that never sleeps…

However, the city that never sleeps may sleep, a few years ago I went for a run early in the morning in New York, and it was pretty quiet, maybe a few people walking, it was pretty early, but I think people were sleeping😊

Along with my schizophrenia, I have anxiety.  I have anxiety around all forms of travel, planes, trains (train anxiety became worse as I got older) and automobiles.  I also have anxiety around other people’s issues and around crowds and parking lots.  In certain situations, I become very anxious and nervous and stressed, and it can be difficult to live with sometimes.  One thing that helped me years ago was a group anxiety class at my university, it helped change the way I looked at my anxiety and it made me realize that I wasn’t completely alone in this.  I do suggest if you can, join a group with people that are going through the same things you are going through, it gives you another perspective on what you are feeling or if you are not ready to talk in a group, see if you can find a counsellor that has experience with mental illness.

Most times the anxiety does take me over, however I’ve learned to face it head on, and I’ve learned that I know I am going to get anxious, so I just have to deal with the feeling of anxiousness until I am able to feel better.  I decided one day, like deciding that you are going to quit smoking (easier said than done), that I was going to face my anxiety.  I now know that I will get anxious in certain situations, but I do know deep down that I can survive the anxiety and make it through it, and I’ve learned that the best way to handle my anxiety is actually to distract myself, so I watch a couple of shows, clean, exercise or throw myself  into work, distraction has been the best remedy for me especially with travelling.

My anxiety around travel was so serious that I would not get into a car if it was raining or snowing even if someone else was driving (still to this day I do not like getting into a car when it is raining or snowing when someone else is driving), and I also did not fly for about 5 years.  However like I said, I decided to face my anxiety head on and I have talked myself through the anxiety, basically in my head it goes like this, “so I know I am going to get anxious, I know this, but I do want to get to this place, it’s only a half hour away (or three hours or seven hours), so if I have to get into a car to get to this location, or take a train there or take a flight, then I will just have to deal with the anxiety in the car, train or plane, and breath, talk to myself and know that I can overcome this feeling and I will get from point A to point B, and I really want to be able to get to point B.”

And that takes us back to the city that never sleeps, so after 5 years of not flying, I decided I was ready to fly, I wanted to get to point B, New York.  My entire family came with me, I was so scared, I think I remember holding my mom’s hand at one point. I knew I would have to take a car to get to the hotel, but I talked to myself again in my head, “I know I am going to get anxious, however I am strong, I can face this and I want to get to point B, and I will be okay.”  I was so petrified for the entire trip however I knew my anxiety was not going to get the best of me, I was going to take control and know that if I can understand that this anxiety will soon pass and I will eventually be okay, then I will take the risk and face my anxiety head on.  

Just to note, my first trip to New York was amazing, my family knew it was my first trip so that is why they came with me, which made it so much more special, we even met up with my cousin who was staying in New York.  This trip was probably my most all time favourite and best trip I had ever taken, anxiety and all.

4 thoughts on “my first trip to the city that never sleeps…

  1. Such an amazing story! Thanks for sharing! Anxiety feels almost common right now yet people who have it feel so alone. It’s so nice to hear your story

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Samantha
    Unless someone has experienced anxiety or panic it is hard for them to grasp how debilitating and crippling it is. It is the fight or flight problem. You hit a home run though with dealing with it head on, and going to group counselling. We feel all alone with our mind and thoughts swirling, and think that nobody else will understand. We are afraid to open up. Counselling, talking about it and a desire to fight and conquer is the only solution. You did it all and you reached the top of the mountain. Congratulations and thanks for sharing…..
    Jim

    Liked by 1 person

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