Friday, March 14, 2008

Traveling With Anxiety- Trip #3



This weekend I am going on a trip to Las Vegas with my husband and some friends. What a fun thing to do right? However I have had some minor anticipatory anxiety worrying about it this week since the last two trips I went on was either an anxiety nightmare, or at least had some smaller setbacks.

Following my true natural instincts I procrastinated all preparation for the trip until the afternoon before we leave. This is because then I wouldn't have to think about it and worry more than I need to. Not very smart after all because now I am a little overwhelmed with everything I have to do and that is stressing me out.

So I thought I would take my lunch hour and go over some previous posts I have written to help me be more prepared. Hawaii I didn't prepare at all because its the land of relaxation so why would I have any anxiety there? That was an extremely painful lesson to learn. San Fransisco I prepared only a little bit because I thought I was beyond needing to do prepare. After all at that time I was 4 months free of a panic attack and in a really good place. That quickly ended my panic free streak as I spent a whole day sick with panic.

Third times a charm. I am hoping. I am learning from my past mistakes and taking the time to really work it out before I leave by creating a game plan for the worst case scenario, working through some of my fears so I can rationalize them with some positive thoughts instead, and whatever else I can do with the time I have.

No matter how absurd it may sound I am going to break down and then analyze my anticipatory anxiety.

What am I telling myself to make me feel this way?
  • Its a longer car ride and sometimes I get carsick. If I get sick that will ruin the trip.
  • If I get an anxiety attack on this trip than I will be a downer and ruin the trip.
  • My friends will think badly of me if I get sick or panic or don't want to do something they want to do.
  • I have to eat a lot because I am pregnant so I can't let myself get super panicky the whole time.
  • I am not on any medication so I worry I will be more prone to panic.
  • The last couple trips have had lots of anxiety so this one will too.
Ok so now I am going to replace these fears with more positive thoughts that I can write out on a card to take with me and read any time I start to feel panicky while breathing. Or I can just read it when I wake up in the morning even if I don't feel panicky to help me throughout the day:

  • Its a longer car ride and sometimes I get carsick. If I get sick that will ruin the trip.
    • I have never thrown up as a result of getting carsick. The worst is just a bad headache. I can bring Tylenol and a baseball hat and sunglasses to help me if I start to feel sick. If the worst happened and I got carsick, I could ask to pull over and get some fresh air. No one will think badly of me. My friends and family or not that cruel. This trip is my vacation just as much as anyone else's and I deserve to be able to be myself.
  • If I get an anxiety attack on this trip than I will be a downer and ruin the trip.
    • If the worst case scenario happened and I got an anxiety attack on the trip I can stay in the hotel room until I feel better. Everyone else can still have fun without me. It won't ruin the trip for anyone. No one will think badly of me. My friends and family or not that cruel. This trip is my vacation just as much as anyone else's and I deserve to be able to be myself. I can take as small a step forward as I choose.
  • My friends will think badly of me if I get sick or panic or don't want to do something they want to do.
    • No one will think badly of me. My friends and family or not that cruel. I believe in myself apart from other’s opinions.
  • I have to eat a lot because I am pregnant so I can't let myself get super panicky the whole time.
    • I have already gained more weight than the average at this point and my baby is normal in weight if not on the higher end for how far along I am so far. If I listen to my body it will take care of me and my baby. It won't let me starve myself. If I don't want to eat when everyone else does then I can eat at a later time when I am more hungry. There is nothing wrong with that. I don't have to eat to please others, I only have to eat to please myself.
  • I am not on any medication so I worry I will be more prone to panic.
    • If the worst case scenario happened and I had an anxiety attack where I couldn't take my medication, I can do some deep breathing techniques, get distracted, or leave the situation if I need to. I have the tools I need to survive a panic attack and even minimize it or make it go away faster.
  • The last couple trips have had lots of anxiety so this one will too.
    • I have not always had panic attacks on every trip I've gone on. Having them in the past is not enough to prove that I will have one again. If I do get panicky, I have the tools I need to manage it.

So my game plan is to have these positive thoughts I can read when I start to panic. I can figure out which one I am feeling and repeat the positive thought instead.

Some important things I want to remember:

DO put yourself first.

Keep your camera around for easy distractions.

Listen to Your Body

Hopefully this will be enough for me to fall back on, granting I can access the internet wirelesly from my hotel room. I also plan to bring my Workbook with me just in case I can't access the blog and I need some help.

I know I blog about this process a lot but taking the time to do the work really does help me and I hope it is beneficial for you as well.

I hope everyone has a happy, peaceful, weekend!


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2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Omg! I just want to tell u that u r not alone here. I have been going thru the same sort of situation. I am on a vacation with my husband off in key west. I literally got to go n leave my kids for just 2 days n relax n I had anticipatory anxiety the whole way here. That's how I saw ur post n it helped me realize I'm not alone in this n there r others out there like me. Today is day 2 p
Of my vacation. Hope I can relax enough to enjoy it. I so wanna have a good time. I needed this break from the kids so bad. I too went thru other trips where anxiety ruined it for me. One of my anxiety attacks was so bad that I made my husband cut short our vacation so we could go home. N he had planned such special events for us. I felt horrible. It ended up becoming a fight unfortunately bec I nor him understood what was happening to me. Since then ive been so worried that it would happen again. I am now talking to a cognitive behavioral therapist to help me change my train of thought n at least change the wAy I react to things. I realize how bad I have to work on myself bec I want to be able to travel alone with ny kids if I need to. I can't live like this anymore and I won't let life pass me by. So I hope u know u r not alone and don't give up! Bec we can't. And yes we do deserve to go places and enjoy them :)

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