Camping as a child hold some of my greatest memories, being outside, that feeling of freedom and being able to play was great. It just always felt like a massive adventure.
Holiday’s as a child were always about being outside, doing lots of activities and going on long adventures with my family, we would ride our bikes round the new forest, play rounders with loads of people on the campsite that we had only just met, roast marsh mellows round the camp fire and eat cereal that strange looking earwig type bugs had managed to make their way into! Despite that little detail they are still some of my favourite memories. When I was camping I had no insecurities, it was a community and we were all equal, I never feared being picked on or worried about what other’s would think of me, everyone was there for the same reason…. to have a good time!! Some of my best and most vivid memories as a child are whilst camping, so it makes sense that now as a parent myself I want my children to have those same experiences and in turn create their own precious memories.
Due to my anxiety travel isn’t something I cope well with, in fact it is one of my biggest triggers. Our first camping trip would have to be somewhere that was not to far away, but far enough that it felt like a holiday. We eventually found a beautiful privately owned site that was perfect and only about a 40 minute drive, It wasn’t going to be plain sailing as far as my anxiety was concerned because of course any travel is still going to be a trigger but the fact it was in an area I was familiar with it would make it more achievable.
After having curative hypnotherapy, it really helped me to overcome some of the toughest moments in my life with my struggle with mental health, honestly I wouldn’t be here without it, it has helped so much in moving forward and seeing that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. This is ultimately how I am able to even consider a holiday.
Back to the camping….
On the journey the anxiety kicks in as expected, my throat always dries up and I feel like I am struggling to breath, I always make sure I take water with me when I fear anxiety may rear its ugly head. The anxiety was there but I was in control of it, it wasn’t getting the better of me it was just a constant reminder that it was there in the background, get too comfortable and it will kick straight back in again. I honestly was just focused on getting there and believed that once we had arrived, I would be fine. Unfortunately that was not the case.
Don’t get me wrong the kids had a wonderful time, they were not at all effected with my struggles. For me the entire time that I was there I had that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach, consistently feeling uneasy and actually looking back now never really enjoying the moments. I was there and I was engaging and saying all the right things at all the right times but if I am completely honest I was not present in those moments at all, my main focus was always on the constant feeling of anxiety and really just looking forward to going home.
This now I am learning is the thing that I need to work on, I didn’t allow my anxiety to get the better in the sense it didn’t force me out of any of these situations like It would have done a few months ago but instead I am going and I am doing but I am not really there, I am allowing my anxiety to consume my thoughts, my entire holiday is of blurry memories that ultimately are coated with anxiety, and that makes me really sad.
Anxiety is so draining and can easily spiral your mood, I remain mindful of this every time I allow it to get me down, it’s awful to have anxiety especially when it controls many aspects of your life but at the same time it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to define you as a person and at some point things will get better. The fact that I even went on the holiday is a massive step in the right direction and that should ultimately be the focus in this situation.
It has taken me writing this blog to actually realise this for myself, I spend so much time focusing and dwelling on the negatives when actually the positives always out weigh them. The children had a wonderful time and seeing them so unbelievable happy and experience the types of holiday’s I had as child and to love them as much as I did is exactly what it was all about.
I may still have Anxiety but I refuse to let it rule my life and stop me from making precious memories with my beautiful family.💚❤️