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Author Topic: Too scared to go on holiday  (Read 361 times)

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Offline hpets

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Too scared to go on holiday
« on: December 02, 2013, 10:06:26 AM »
Hi, I'm brand new here and I was a bit reluctant to join because I've never been officially diagnosed, but I'm almost certain that I have anxiety and have been told by a doctor that it's very likely. Often I can deal with it alright, but as soon as I step even slightly out of my comfort zone I can't cope with anything. I thought I'd been okay recently, but all of a sudden, over the past few days, it's like I've crashed and I can't handle anything; it's worse than ever.

I'm 20 and I'm supposed to be going on my first overseas trip to Europe on Sunday. I'm flying over by myself and will be travelling alone at some points over the seven weeks. Up until recently I've mostly been really excited because it's something I've always wanted to do. But over the past few days I've been getting progressively more anxious about it and now I don't want to go at all. I've been crying constantly, can't sleep, feeling nauseous and I've been having really bad chest pains and can't relax. I'm so so scared of going and I wish I could be excited but I'm not at all. I'm too scared to leave my home, I'm too scared to be in a place I'm not familiar with and I'm really really really terrified of not being with my family. I want to cancel the trip so badly and I can't even find it in me to care about how much I'd regret doing that or how much money I'd lose. The only reason I haven't cancelled yet is because I'd be letting people down. I'm not really scared of flying and not so much scared of something happening to me while I'm gone, but I'm scared of something happening to someone at home while I'm gone and can't do anything about it. My grandparents were supposed to go away at the start of this year but then my great-grandmother passed away and I'm terrified beyond belief that the same thing will happen with my great-grandpa or another member of my family. I'm scared of not being able to contact anyone while I'm on the plane and not being able to know my family have gotten home safely. I've had to come home early from camps before and this is so much bigger than that that I have no idea how, or if, I'm going to be able to handle it.

Does anyone have any advice on how to overcome the anxiety? I want to be able to relax and be excited and enjoy myself but I know that I won't be able to if I'm like this. As soon as one tiny thing goes wrong or not according to plan I freak out and start having mild panic attacks which are only getting worse the closer the trip gets. I want to overcome it so that I can go, but a stronger part of me wants to just miss the plane and cancel everything so I can stay home. Please help, I really don't know if I can go through with this trip.
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Too scared to go on holiday
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 12:49:40 PM »
Hi hpets...  I sure wish I could tell you that there was a magic-wand that could fix this for you, but from what you have shared, I would be doubtful if that would happen.  I started having panic attacks over the summer, and am now in a full blown anxiety mode.  This is not the first time I have been through this.  This also happened to me 3-4 years ago.  My doctor has me on a new med, but they typically take weeks before they begin to work, and things often times get worse before they get better.  As for your trip, I can only share my experience, strength, and hope with you.  I am certainly not in any shape to go on a trip like that, with where I am right now.  You have to make the decision about your trip.  You could ask yourself, would it be better, to stay home and get help for this problem?  I sure wish I could help you more...
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Offline Nann James

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Re: Too scared to go on holiday
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 09:48:35 PM »
You are going to be able to handle it. I know I too had to come home from camps. One time I went on vacation and drove to New Jersey and then got caught in a blizzard with no food..., no boots and no shovel. Only my hotel which was an econo lodge. I called my parents and even a supposed friend in the area to come get me. You know what they said, no. No! And now how obvious it was... they couldn't come get me.

I was in serious panic mode only I didn't know it. I thought I was sick. I thought in addition to all of it.. I had the flu. I really thought I was going to die. But I didn't.. and in the end I realized there was nothing I could do but stop worrying and slowly but surely start handling it. No one was coming.  I got a ride with a plow guy to the Dennys that was down the street. I got food and took it back to the hotel. I had to walk back but I just put my head down and made it back. The next day, the snow was less than they said.. I took it one step at a time and cleared off my car and the highway was pretty much cleared.

I made it home and felt amazing.

Every single time now I feel nervous and upset when going away. Last year I had a panic attack in the middle of Manhattan. I seriously considered leaving my hotel room getting on the subway at 10 PM at night and going to the train station and trying to get a train back to where I lived... but I said, NO, no.. and I stayed and the next day, I felt great and saw some amazing sights.  Overall what a great trip made even better by the fact that I said, No... I going to stay, and I got though the anxiety.

Here is what you are going to do.. you are going to go.. you are going to look at it as a learning experience. You are going to look at it as practice for stepping outside of you comfort zone. You are going to make a commitment to yourself that you are going to go and what happens happens. If something happens it won't be bad or good, it will be your experience. And your experience .. no matter what .. is good. I assure you, once there, the "experience" of it all will lift those anxious feelings.

Every single time now I go away feeling anxious and like -- what did I do this for... and every time, I have a great time.
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Offline hpets

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Re: Too scared to go on holiday
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 10:16:04 AM »
Hi guys,

Thanks so much for the support. I had a really rough few days and truly wasn't able to face the thought of going away for that long, but I knew I'd regret it if I didn't go, so I ended up booking new flights so I could come home earlier - I'm now only staying for a month. I've also changed a few other parts of the trip to try and make sure I'm almost always around someone I know well enough to feel sort of at home.

I'm still very very very worried and stressed and am still concerned I might get to the airport and not go, but I do feel much better about it than I did so hopefully I'll make myself go. It's nice coming here and knowing that I'm not the only one going through this type of thing.

Nann James - thank you so much for sharing your experience. I hope I'll be as brave as you when I'm there! I haven't got the money to change flights again so I really hope I'll cope with everything.
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Offline Nann James

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Re: Too scared to go on holiday
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 11:58:55 AM »
I am glad that you are still going. Every single time I go on vacation I get nervous and want to bolt. But I always end up going and I always have a good time. You may still feel nervous and scared the first few days but I assure you, if you make it to the middle things will really improve a ton.  I think your brave. I have never attempted Europe before alone. Though I went about 10 years ago with my family. 

If you get in a situation where you are stressed out take it easy. You don't have to be doing something every day. If you want to just sit in your room and rest... do it.

A couple of years ago I went to Chicago and got caught in horrible weather. We had to divert to Michigan and literally it was like an entire day of endlessly stressful travel.  I had planned all this stuff the next day but I just didn't do it... I just stayed in. The next day I felt better and made up for lost time. Still had a great time.

Good luck.
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Offline hpets

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Re: Too scared to go on holiday
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 01:39:21 AM »
So my flight was today. I took some valium and psyched myself up, got to the check in desk about to check in and then had a panic attack and couldn't go through with it. At the time I was certain of my decision but now I regret it so much and I feel like such a failure for not being able to do it.

I knew I'd regret not going and I really thought I'd be able to do it after all, but it was just too much. I'm completely devastated as I've wanted to do this trip for my entire life and I worked hard for 18 months just to save for it and now everything is ruined and I only have myself to blame. I had it in my head that I wouldn't cope, so even when I'd calmed down a bit and felt like I could do it my mind kept telling me to run away.

I'm not even sad at the moment. I'm just so disappointed and angry at myself. I'd somehow managed to rationalise and realise that I was safe, that everyone at home was safe and that I'd enjoy myself. But when the moment came where I had to go through with it, I couldn't. I know there will be other opportunities and I've learnt that being scared shouldn't have stopped me but it got the better of me. It's just that I'd been looking forward to this for so long until my stupid horrible anxiety kicked in and I ruined everything.

Please please please I'm not the only one who hasn't been brave enough??
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Offline Nann James

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Re: Too scared to go on holiday
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 10:02:05 AM »
I am sorry to hear that. I hope you can get your money back or something.. look don't beat yourself up. As I said before this is a learning process and no matter what it is valuable that you learned from this.  This experience is valuable no matter what.. even if it cost you money.

So something that has really helped me... I got from the book "the power of now". If you haven't read this book you should today. Basically his hypothesis is that your "brain" is made up of two things... your mind and you. Basically he suggests that there is a part of your mind that is actually your enemy.  It tells you you can't do it.. it tells you that you should leave. He calls it your "ego".

Everyone is pretty associated with this ego. They think they have to follow it. But you don't. You can disassociate you and your ego. When you hear it tell you negative thoughts you can just say "oh that is my ego trying to get me to do something" ha ha.. I don't have to listen. It isn't me. My pain is not me. You can hear those thoughts going through your head and laugh at them. They aren't real... you don't have to do what they say.

I definitely had had my issues. I haven't been on vacation in a year and I don't know if it is fear from the panic I had last year in Manhattan.  I can't bring myself to even attempt Europe.
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