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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Anxiety & Me: Travelling

As a kid I always dreamed that I would travel the world. I was in love with America from a very young age, and I always told myself that I would live there someday. I was also planning on becoming a singer or a wrestler when I grew up, so I would have to travel for my inevitable tours, obviously.

I used to enjoy travelling. Although I've never been abroad, I used to love car journeys to Wales with the family, or coach trips with school and the youth theatre I used to be a part of. Even getting into my early 20's I loved getting the train to wherever I was going and didn't really mind when I had to travel by myself. I have a love/hate relationship with driving; I love driving to places, but hate that there are also other drivers on the roads. 

Whilst I was in my early 20s, I started to suffer anxiety and things began to change. I started to dread having to travel anywhere, especially to big cities or other places that I knew would be busy. I became my own worst enemy, unable to escape the ideas that something bad was going to happen at the place I was going to, or that I would get cornered on the train by someone unsavoury if I was on my own. Suddenly, I found that on some days I couldn't even bring myself to go into my beloved Liverpool, a city a half hour train ride away and somewhere I have visited hundreds of times in the past. All thoughts of travelling to any other city or country went completely out of the window for a time.
Liverpool. Source: Google Images

I feel deep down as though this has affected some friendships of mine. I have friends who've lived in Birmingham and London, and I've never been able to bring myself to go and see them. My friend from London used to say to me every new year "you'll definitely have to come down and see me this year!" but this year I never got the message. She probably thinks it's a waste of time inviting me; I'm sorry, Char.

London. Source: Google Images
This year I have made some progress. I've managed to spend a day in Liverpool with a friend (although I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder) and I've gotten the train to both Harrogate (via Manchester and Leeds) and Birmingham, the latter of which I did completely by myself. My main aim right now is to be able to spend a weekend somewhere busy, somewhere like Manchester or London, without feeling overwhelmed. If I can do that then I can start considering a holiday abroad, preferably to the place I've always dreamed of going to: New York City.

I'll get there someday.

Stacey Rose xx


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