Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Do's and Don'ts when Traveling with Anxiety: Part 1

Today was my first day of travel on my business trip and I have sooo much to say from what worked and what didn't that I thought it might be best if I broke it up into Parts. So here is Part 1.

DON'T Assume you are in a good enough place to not properly prepare your mind beforehand.

You would think I would have learned my lesson from my last trip to Hawaii. But when my business trip that was scheduled in few weeks suddenly turned into a few days, all I could think about was packing, scheduling, finances, etc. I figured I would bring my medication and my mp3 player with my recordings of positive affirmations and that would be enough. WRONG! Unfortunately on the way to the airport I had my first full blown panic attack in 4 months. I am not sad about it because I know that every setback has a valuable lesson to be learned, even if it has to be shoved down your throat in my case. I think the second time is a charm, and I won't forget it for the next time. I should have properly prepared myself mentally no matter how good I thought I would be. I should have made time to plan things out in my head, tackle all of my fears and what if statements no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. I ended up throwing up on the side of the road on the way to the airport. Then I couldn't stop shaking for about an hour. I felt nauseas and tired all through my first flight and didn't start feeling normal until I was almost to San Jose. All I ate before now was a couple peanuts, a juice box, a bite of a granola bar and some gum. Then as soon as I got in I had to go to work and didn't get back until 9:00 pm. I am emotionally and physically exhausted, and I am lonely in my hotel room. Today overall sucked. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and on...

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Mike said...

I went through the same experience a few years ago when I traveled to Massachusetts for a job interview. I drove 6 hours by myself, and when I got there, I just holed up in my hotel room for two days and didn't eat a thing. On the drive back, I thought about what had occurred and realized that I had totally missed out on a potentially fun experience.

That experience had such a profound effect on me that I still credit it with helping me overcome my fear of travel. When I'm feeling anxious about a business trip, I tell myself that I don't want to experience another Massachusetts!

Molly said...

On a positive note...you did not let your panic attack stop you from going on the trip! My full blown panic attacks totally immobalize me, I am truly impressed and inspired that you went on with your day. I am sure the trip will get better, I will be thinking about you!

Take Care

Dave B. said...

I'm really sorry to hear you're trip isn't going well. I've always been a very reluctant traveler, due to my anxiety. I get terribly homesick and depressed when I'm away.

Here's wishing you success as your journey continues.


Aimée said...

Thanks everyone! Luckily each day out here has gotten a little bit better, but I must admit I can't wait to come home. I knew if I didn't go on the trip than that would just heighten the fear and make me even more sensitive for the next time, and I can't give in to my fears. Thanks for all the well wishes! I hope all of you are doing well also :)

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