There are many things that trigger my anxiety. Some may be the same as you but also could be nothing like them, different triggers for different people. Nonetheless I thought I’d share one my many triggers as a bit of insight as to the effects it has and the way it makes me feel.
So today I am going to talk about Travel. This is a pretty major trigger for me and the one that has effected me the most, which is why I have dedicated a blog to it.
Travelling on motorways or isolated places.
Travelling behind large vehicles that block the view of the road ahead.
Travelling to a place I have never been to.
No services or places to stop when travelling more than 20-30 minutes.
Travelling for more than 20-30 minutes.
Getting stuck in traffic.
Being in a car with someone driving that isn’t one of my “safe people”.
Having anyone in the car as a passenger that is not one of my “safe people”.
Expectations of others and the prospect of letting them down if I can’t make the journey.
Travelling to a destination that may trigger other triggers…….. which is whole other blog!!
The list is endless!!
As you can see the travelling trigger is made up of lots of different factors. What people don’t always understand is that if you could take 1 or 2 or even 3 of those factors away it wouldn’t stop the anxiety, the only way to stop travel being a trigger is to ensure that all of the above is removed. I think you would agree that its near on impossible to do that. This I feel only leaves me one option…… to not travel at all.
By cutting out travel completely I am trying to avoid feeling anxious, the rise in my stomach, the feeling of impending doom, the urge to throw up and cry at the same time, The overwhelming feeling of wanting to get out or escape, the feeling of no control when all you want to feel is complete control.
These are all the things that anxiety makes me feel at one time and its draining to say the least, for some not travelling is an extreme reaction to this and not at all a solution, but when faced with anxiety you will literally do anything to avoid feeling that way ever again, for example if you eat something and you instantly don’t like it, it makes you gag and feel unwell, you wouldn’t eat it a second time you would simply avoid it, so for me and probably a lot of others anxiety is that food, if you can avoid feeling anxious you will stop doing what ever it is that causes it.
As I read this blog back I feel very sad at the realisation of how deeply this effects me. Control it seems is my biggest trigger and every time I say the word so I feel my eyes fill up and the tears roll down my face. To not be in control is a major issue for me and the main reason I try to avoid situations. Not only am I not in control of the situation, I am also not in control of the anxiety and the effects it has on me. Its a double whammy!!
I guess I just long to be some kind of “normal” again.
This is just one trigger but it has such a huge impact on not just my life but also the lives I share with others, the constant feeling that your letting people down, your children down, your self down, seeing the disappointment on their faces and the disappointment you feel for your self, feeling constantly like your not good enough, feeling like you will never again be good enough.
This blog is probably not the most uplifting but I believe it to be proof that it’s very possible to overcome your biggest demons.
As time moves forward so I have realised that not travelling is not an option nor is it going to make my anxiety any better. Over time I am gradually easing myself back into travel, just taking baby steps, one day at a time, I may not be able to travel very far just yet but today was more than I could last week, which is progress!!
Anxiety is a vicious circle and a constant battle that I and many others fight every day, it can be really tough at times but we are all strong enough to overcome it, maybe not today, maybe not this week or maybe not even this year but we will get through it, one day at a time. We all have the strength inside of us and together we will rid ourselves of these triggers and the effects they have on our lives.
You must always try to trust in your journey and remember that you are not alone, there will be times that you feel there’s no way out but just focus on how far you have already come and the strength and knowledge you gained along the way.
It’s time to take back the control and not let anxiety control you!