Travelling with Anxiety

Do you ever do something and think afterwards how the f**k did I do that? IF ONLY IT COULD BE BOTTLED, THAT COURAGE.

I am talking about traveling with anxiety.

I have suffered with anxiety my whole life. It has limited my life to the extent I don’t go out, and if I do it’s after dark and to the supermarket to stock up on pasta and ice cream.

I have a partner I have been with for a few years. We did attempt to go out as a couple to restaurants and the like, but quickly had to knock that on the head because my anxiety did not make the experience at all fun. Then shit happened and going out at all became impossible.

But.

That said, we have gone on holidays abroad. This is the point I think HOW?

Going on holiday is stressful, if like me you have agoraphobia and anxiety. For my partner it is enjoyable. Yes. Enjoyable. What a strange old word. Let’s break it down.

Travelling with Anxiety


Writing a list. A travel inventory. Nothing must be forgotten. Shades, toiletries – are they in a clear bag and to the measurements required, pads – you never know I might start my period, notebook, books, flip flops, charger – spare charger, snacks, magazine, toilet rolls, an outfit for my hand luggage – in case I puke over myself on the plane (keeping it classy) blanket, towel, sweeteners – am I the only person who feels bad when someone on the plane has forgotten their sweeteners and the cabin crew don’t have any, raincoat, tickets, printout of travel/hotel info, wipes, soap, money – in all currencies, tissues, water bottle.

Yes, this stuff can be bought in Spain or Germany or wherever. Yes, it is ok to forget something. TELL THAT TO MY BRAIN.

Packing the suitcase. Have to remember carrier bags, day outfits, socks, underwear, night outfits, evening outfits, pyjamas, loungewear, OH MY GOD THE SUITCASE ISN’T ZIPPING SHUT.

Traveling to the airport. That involves a train into London, an overnight stay in a hotel, worrying about dinner, and breakfast, trying to sleep in a bed that is not my own, what if my alarm doesn’t ring and we miss our flight, what if I don’t have time for a shower – I don’t want people to think I stink, setting the alarm 8 times so it goes off in the lift, and in the taxi on the way to the airport AND NOT BEING ABLE TO TURN IT OFF, worrying I may have left something in the hotel when I leave – I DIDN’T UNPACK ANYTHING.

The airport. Oh the airport. Trying to navigate the way into the airport, onto the shuttle, finding the toilets, waving off our suitcases, trying to hydrate and simultaneously trying to finish the bottle of water before we go through security, finding another toilet, queue at security, sweating because – you never know – I might get arrested, wondering if you will ever see your hand luggage again when you have relinquished it, the waiting, the delays, wandering through endless cold corridors – which always make me think of the time corridors in Doctor Who – my partner gets thoroughly annoyed every time I mention it,

all this while trying to rearrange my face to appear ‘normal’ while inside I am losing my shit, having no idea what to do with my hands, trying to not get stomped on by people in a bigger rush to get this done with than me,

then asking myself if my face has changed from my passport photo and they won’t let me on the plane, more waiting, waiting, getting onto those stairs to the plane – they frighten me – I don’t like heights, knowing as someone with a large chest someone is going to elbow my boobs, or going to get them in their head or back, and how on earth you get comfortable in a plane seat I do not know. As soon as I am sat in my seat I want to leave. There is no personal space, my knees are in jeopardy, and I immediately get a headache as soon as the plane takes off. 

You think at this point I would have a chance to breathe, but no. I am counting down the minutes until the plane gets back onto solid ground. I’m not quiet about this either.

Being in a foreign country unsettles me. It’s because home is a bit too far away for comfort.

Queuing for the toilet, queuing, more queuing, and finding our suitcases. Is there no better way? Maybe it is just me, but how do I pull my suitcase off that thing without me landing on my backside.

I don’t know why, but we get a coach transfer to our hotel. It is a new kind of hell. Waiting for everyone to get onto the coach, onto the right coach, the relinquishing of luggage again as it goes in the boot, I worry about all of the kids running around, I worry about how the rest of the day is going to pan out now we are actually HERE.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It takes me 2 days to recover. So why do I do it to myself?

Because my anxiety is limiting, it also limits my partner’s life. I’m not going to tell him we can’t go on holiday, because there’s already a lot we don’t do because of my anxiety.

It’s like a bruise. Curiosity makes me keep prodding it. Travel is exciting. I like the idea of it. I like experiencing new places. New foods and new people not so much. Anxiety inducing.  The holiday we had last year was relatively less stressful, which I think means I may be getting used to it. Also the airport was trying a new way of easing queues and getting people onto their flights quicker. That worked like a dream.

It’s a privilege to travel as well, my family could never afford to take me and my two siblings abroad. I think my parents probably had enough of taking us to stay in a caravan for a week. The memories I have of that are being in a stuffy car, ants and endless walking. I still had anxiety then. I will forever dislike piers. How can walking along slats of wood across the sea ever be fun? I used to have nightmares about falling into the sea. It doesn’t take a lot to fuel my imagination.

Photo by Marianna on Pexels.com

Thanks for reading!

https://ko-fi.com/klpoetry

A Day in the Life of a Writer

ROUGH DRAFT

today did not start well –

reason being because i didn’t get to sleep –

it was too hot – i couldn’t decide on what to eat

so spent a great deal of time getting up off of the sofa

and putting my face in the fridge –

i didn’t feel tired – at 6 o’clock in the morning

as an insomniac –

you learn different levels of tiredness –

and their intensity

my mind turned to today’s tasks –

shower being number one

and two, getting the bed sheets and pillow cases into the wash

i turned on my laptop

for it to promptly turn itself off

because i forgot to charge it yesterday

i managed to find the charger for my laptop, out of the plethora i own –

from tech i probably traded in years ago –

 

and could put the charger into the plug socket

without trying it the wrong way first –

my assumption was i cannot be that tired

if i am getting this right

i thought today i would send a manuscript

to an open call from a publisher –

and edit a poem to send into a contest.


Going back to the early 2000’s. What I read as a child.


Hello. Hope you’re ok.


I spent a good chunk of time trying to find one of my favourite reads from my childhood last week and, after finding it, I went on to find other books that unlocked memories. I was born in 1995, not a time of great diversity in publishing if we’re looking at this list and as for Diary of a Chav <puffs out cheeks> I should mention a lot of these books I read because they were there and I could find them in charity shops or the public library. Trying to read a series of books (in order) proved impossible and I liked authors I knew had other books to read. I found comfort in familiarity.
I might try getting a hold of some of these books and re-reading them. Possibly setting myself up for disappointment.


  • Dustbin Baby – Jacqueline Wilson

  • The Granny Project – Anne Fine

  • The Famous Five – Enid Blyton

  • Diary of a Chav – Grace Dent

  • Just Henry – Michelle Magorian

  • Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

  • Lucky Star – Cathy Cassidy

  • Ally’s World – Karen McCombie

  • The Babysitter’s Club – Ann. M. Martin

  • Blitzed – Robert Swindells

  • The Shell House – Linda Newbury

  • Pink Knickers Aren’t Cool – Jean Ure

  • There’s a Pharaoh in our Bath – Jeremy Strong

  • Matilda – Roald Daul

  • Lady Daisy – Dick King Smith

  • Trust me, I’m A Troublemaker – Pete Johnson

What do you think, have you read any of these books?


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My Thoughts on Christmas at the Grange by T. E. Kinsey

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

We are going back in time to December 2019. I did read this story then and somehow the review has been in my drafts ever since – even though I could have sworn I posted it?   

Hmmm.

I am now a massive supporter of the Lady Hardcastle mysteries. The characters are beginning to feel like people I know.

Christmas at the Grange felt like a full-length novel, opposed to a short story that takes no more than an hour to read. It is set at The Grange, the home of The Farley-Stroud’s. They are one of my favourite couples in books, so good to learn more about them and their home. While I feel a lot of short stories are a cast-off idea and fall short, Christmas at the Grange did not. It had a great idea, the usual brilliant dialogue between the characters and is a lot of fun.


Contains affiliate links. Doesn’t cost you anything, helps me out if you click on ‘em.

Non-Fiction books roundup reviews.

No sleep for twenty hours. No food for ten.
And a ward full of soon-to-be mothers…

Midwives are there for us at some of the most challenging, empowering and defining moments of our lives. From heart-wrenching grief to the pure joy of a new-born baby, midwife Leah Hazard has seen it all.

But life on the NHS front line, working within a system at breaking point, is more extreme than you could ever imagine.

Moving and compassionate, funny and unexpected, Leah shares her experiences in this extraordinary love letter to new mothers and fellow midwives everywhere.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story by Leah Hazard.

Apparently, I read this book. I have no recollection of it.

Get one pound off of this book at Waterstones.


Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships… Welcome to the life of a junior doctor. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides an essential, brutally frank account of what life is like for the beleaguered vanguard of the NHS. Now providing the groundwork for a sell-out stand-up tour, This is Going to Hurt is an unmissable window into Britain’s ailing health system and the lives of the people who are its lifeblood. Simply essential reading.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay.

Why does everyone rave about this book? I did not like it. I’m so confused.

I didn’t find this book funny. It didn’t read funny. The narrator came across as arrogant and parts of the book were immature. I understand that if those parts of the book were from when he was younger. He made jokes at the expensive of his patients. I don’t have medical knowledge, not all of us do and that is why we take trips to the doctor and the hospital. We don’t have the medical knowledge, we didn’t go to university for that like you did?! Why are you expecting your patients to be on the same wavelength as you? I do get that doctors and nurses are not angels and they are human, with a responsible and stressful job. I at least thought they gave their patients respect.

I appreciated where Adam Kay wrote about long hours and low pay. That I do agree with.

I may have to revisit this book. I haven’t seen a bad review for it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood when I read it.

Have you read This is Going to Hurt? Did you enjoy reading it?

*This book is currently £5.00 at Book Depository and that’s with free shipping.


Horrifying, heartbreaking and eye-opening, these are the stories, the patients and the cases that have characterised a career spent being a doctor behind bars.



Violence. Drugs. Suicide. Welcome to the world of a Prison Doctor.


Dr Amanda Brown has treated inmates in the UK’s most infamous prisons – first in young offenders’ institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe’s largest women-only prison in Europe, Bronzefield.


From miraculous pregnancies to dirty protests, and from violent attacks on prisoners to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has witnessed it all.


In this eye-opening, inspirational memoir, Amanda reveals the stories, the patients and the cases that have shaped a career helping those most of us would rather forget.


Despite their crimes, she is still their doctor.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Prison Doctor Dr. Amanda Brown.

Liked. The stories did not all feel fully fleshed out and read short. It is good.

This book is only £3.36 at the moment on Book Depository and that is with free shipping.


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