Why I Am/ Was Scared of Going Abroad part 2

Now that I have lazily or fearfully put off writing this post of what I overcame. My memories of the holiday as they always do are slipping fast to only a few pictures and key moments in my now whizzing mind. Normally this is the time where all the negative stuff almost reclaim their throne. Yes, I will admit that I have emotional break-downy things to overcome and overcome some more. But it’s time to make myself see the things I did.

The first thing I realised when I came home. Where everything physically felt shrunk and day-back from holiday weird. I realised that when I was there the feeling of depression hadn’t been. Yes I hadn’t been perfect, but I didn’t have this pressure in my head. The cloud which had no wind to blow it away. Momentarily dissipated. It was a revelation. If anything it was hope. Depression had lied to me. It told me that there was no way I could shake it off and although on the days after it was darkness gripping me. I knew maybe not now or tomorrow or days away that there was hope.

To make it easier here is a list of some of the things I challenged myself to do and somewhat overcame. For those who need it most the deepest fears I had that didn’t come true.

  •  I have to speak perfect Spanish – 4 or so years ago got an A* in Spanish. The fact they spoke Spanish on Tenerife put a great perfectionist weight on my shoulders. I was anxious everyday running towards it. Spending light-headed moments on duolingo. Angry when I recognised a word but didn’t know what I meant. I felt this such an intense shame for not being ‘fluent’, memories fragmented and nearly useless vocab. With every day drawing the pressure mounted. It felt wretched, disgraced at myself. I became obsessive, but also procrastinator in fear. It was confusing. Conflicted. I had to be fluent in Spanish otherwise… I will humiliate myself? People will look down on me? Stupid? Thoughts went in more complex and horrible urges took hold. The days before going I decided to come away from it. That I would be ok. How did I overcome this? I know I have still a way to go. But even just remembering that I get nervous speaking in English made me feel more accomplished. I always spoke to the cashier in Spanish. I managed to order several things in Spanish a few times. Saying buenos dias the airport lady as I came in. And other small things along the way. I overcame a bit of my perfectionism on Spanish ( my accent was not the best because I was nervous, but that’s ok). I realised that you only really need hello, please and thank you anyway – they spoke English first sometimes. It’s good to try. Social phobias and challenging them in Spanish!
  • I have emetaphobia, I’m going to be sick. I will get sunstroke. Yep I wasn’t sick. Although at one hot point I got really upset my fear was quite intense – it was very hot. The feeling of it felt uncomfortable on the skin and powerful thoughts on sunstroke. With help and new perspective I managed to calm myself. I didn’t get sunstroke or food poisoning or became ill.
  • I can’t cope in the heat. What if I become sick or… I am a Winter/Spring/Autumn but not Summer girl. I still wouldn’t say I love or like the heat. I still covered up as much as I could. This time (a challenge) I was in summery clothes rather than my comfy hoodies. I went outside. I challenged myself to go out on short periods in the sun i.e. walks.
  • Doing my own thang. I accepted that I could be me. That I am entitled also to do the things and I want to do. That I don’t have to feel chained to this invisible social obligation. That I can sit and read in the shade while the others sunbathe.
  • My IBS is going to be so bad. If you don’t know what IBS is it is irritable bowel syndrome – google it if you want all the eewwy details. I was scared that it was going to be bad. Perhaps that it would lead to embarrassment in front of everyone. That I won’t be able to eat much because of it on and on. Yes as it has been this past year my IBS was annoying. However, I still managed to keep going. I still managed to eat regularly.
  • Buffet >germs>bacteria>food poisoning my mind was certain I was going to get food poisoning. I didn’t. Although I avoided some foods, I did manage to challenge myself to eat meat on few occasions. Big step!
  • I’m not going to be able to get to sleep like last time – I have to sleep. I had trouble the first night getting to sleep with anxiety zooming into as soon as I hit the pillow. But as the days went on I fell asleep much better!
  • What do I say? Do they think I’m weird? Not everyone gets IT. For me knowing what to say when I feel like every word is judged – that I would rather run away from people. Starting conversations is hard for me. But I got along with people well and made it a challenge to speak to everyone at the hen do.
  • I will become overwhelmed by my anxiety. One of the biggest the fear of fear itself! There were times where I did feel overwhelmed. But I don’t think it matches up to the sheer scale in my imagination. Not that you can visualise it. You just know that it will be the worst thing in the world!

Of course there were other bitty overcomings. But I don’t want to throw too much at you. If you liked it please remember to give it a thumbs up. Do tell me the things that you overcome on holiday or want to. Loves and hugs 🙂

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