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Author Topic: GAD over impending travel.  (Read 172 times)

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Offline GenSec

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GAD over impending travel.
« on: August 29, 2014, 05:19:35 PM »
Hi,

My anxiety disorder has been affecting me quite badly recently, i guess writing about it here is taking my mind of it, heh. :laugh:

I've had issues with GAD all my life, and in 2010 it got so bad i was put on meds for it. They worked well and helped me function normally; then eventually i had to be taken off of them due to a bad side effect. Since then i have managed my GAD entirely on my own. I've successfully kept myself balanced and free of anxiety attacks, paralysing fear, etc.

However, in recent weeks i've been suffering bad anxiety bouts. This is due to the fact that in a few weeks i am going to be travelling abroad for the first time in my life. Alone. I've decided to visit a country i've always wanted to visit: a country i even studied for years at university. I'm not far off 30 now, and i feel like anxiety has held me back all my life from doing some of the things i wanted to do. I feel like i need to do these things now, take those chances, before i get too old and live a life of regrets and might-have-beens.

Well, everything is booked. I'm just waiting now. The anxiety is affecting me so badly some days... even in ways i've never known before. I can wake up in the morning with an anxiety attack, terrible stomach pains, and even throw up at times of the day if i eat anything.

What scares me most isn't that i'm going abroad; its that i need to make a connecting flight to get to where i want to be. A 3 hour stopover between the international flight and the domestic one. I'm absolutely terrified of getting lost and missing that connecting flight, of being stranded completely alone away from any help. I've only been to an airport a couple of times in my life, all domestic ones. I've tried reading up on what i have to do on this 3 hour gap (security checks, etc) and despite having a good idea whats involved i am still, frankly, terrified. I have no idea where i'll be going until i touch down there!

This is like a continuing story of combating anxiety for me... last year i had never travelled alone in my own country let alone abroad. Then i had to travel whenever i wanted to get together with my ex so i had to FORCE myself to get on trains (a first in my life at the time) and FORCE myself to go to strange destinations i'd never been before, waaay across the country! :dazed: Again, i had no idea what i was doing, how to arrange it all, where i was going; but i got there. I triumphed. Survived safely! Now i am no longer scared of travelling alone in my own country - or taking a train to somewhere, anywhere! I always know how to get from place to how and how to get home again even if the worst should happen. I've pushed back that barrier GAD had constrained me within a world limited to my local city.

I try to tell myself this plane flight to a foreign country is a continuation of this pushback against GAD, of expanding the horizons of what i can and cannot do. That when i succeed in this vacation i will be able to look back and know i can do yet something else i never thought i could.

I used to have a huge fear of flying... so last year i forced myself to go on an airplane, a domestic flight. :sick0002: Yes, terrified; yes, very ill beforehand. But it cured my fear of flying, haha. ;D That opened the door to visiting a country i've always wanted to see yet was too scared to climb on board the necessary plane to get to.

Perhaps its reassurance from others here who have flown via connecting flights that i'm hoping to hear from. :winking0008:

Kind thanks,
Gen.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: GAD over impending travel.
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 05:32:20 PM »
Gen, on one hand I'm sorry you going thru travel anxiety.  On the other hand, how exciting that you are going to travel to a new country and make a dream come true.  In buddhism we say that obstacles arise whenever we try to move forward in life.  So congrats on moving forward.

I don't know what meds gave you side effects before, but have you ever tried Klonopin?  Ask you doc if it might be good to take on an as needed basis.  The kick in is fast, like 30-60 minutes and it stays in your system almost the whole day.  Maybe you could take some Klon an hour before you time of the connecting flight.

It's a great opportunity.  Remember the tiny circle on the map represents YOUR COMFORT ZONE.  And that huge circle represents WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.  Do you want to be comfortable or to you want to be alive?
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Offline kcg13

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Re: GAD over impending travel.
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2014, 01:55:23 PM »
Hi GenSec :action-smiley-065:

Some encouragement for you ... Good for you for going on this trip!!!  Don't let your anxiety hold you back - you have managed it before, you can do it again.  Airplane trips can be stressful - I personally don't like them - but look at the opportunity in it all:  you will be doing something you never thought you'd do before, you get to visit a country you have been interested in and studied - the time it takes to fly and the crossover flight are really insignificant.  I try to look at airplane flights as a chance to buy new books and magazines - free time to read!  (I like to read and, due to life, don't do it like I would like to - so I would love some airplane reading time!).  Also, 3 hrs is a long time for a crossover flight - you should be fine - you should have enough time to get there, find your way around, and have time to kill.  I don't know if they do this, but maybe google the airport, or a lay out of the airport you are flying to, to get an idea of how it is set up.  Also, once you get there, find the next gate you need to be at before doing any airport exploring.  Again - I look at that as time for coffee and some yummy pastry product  :happy0151: .  And people, in general, try to be helpful.  Ask questions once you get there - people will help you.  As you know, with anxiety, we get stuck in our thoughts - and you are stuck on this crossover flight - it will all be fine.  Focus on your plans in the new country.  Focus on the things you can do with your time while on your flight.  Change your thoughts and your focus and hopefully the anxiety will begin to decrease. 

Have safe travels and an awesome time!!!  I like what worldbeat99 said, "Do you want to be comfortable or do you want to be alive?"  You can do it!
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Our thoughts dictate our emotions .... in other words, how you think is what you will feel.

Online tinam7

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Re: GAD over impending travel.
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2014, 03:28:24 PM »
So glad you posted here. Will keep this short. Look at the wonderful posts from wb and kcg.

We are all here for you. :party0006:
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Offline GenSec

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Re: GAD over impending travel.
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 05:48:13 PM »
Hi, kind thanks for the replies, i appreciate it! :action-smiley-065:

Gen, on one hand I'm sorry you going thru travel anxiety.  On the other hand, how exciting that you are going to travel to a new country and make a dream come true.  In buddhism we say that obstacles arise whenever we try to move forward in life.  So congrats on moving forward.

I don't know what meds gave you side effects before, but have you ever tried Klonopin?  Ask you doc if it might be good to take on an as needed basis.  The kick in is fast, like 30-60 minutes and it stays in your system almost the whole day.  Maybe you could take some Klon an hour before you time of the connecting flight.

It's a great opportunity.  Remember the tiny circle on the map represents YOUR COMFORT ZONE.  And that huge circle represents WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.  Do you want to be comfortable or to you want to be alive?

This is a really lovely post, kind thank you! :winking0008: I enjoyed reading it, it made me feel alot more positive about all this! I am going to go back to the doctor and ask for help - i can suggest Klonopin, i've never tried it before bit i'm willing to give anything a go if it helps. You're right, this is an opportunity. And i may never get it again. Although i am comfortable here where i am i haven't been 100% happy in a long time. Anxiety urges you to seek comfort yet it is a very small circle to live your life in... it is really inhibiting. Its held me back for the past 4 years. 4 years ago my life stalled when my GAD went out of control. This trip would fulfill something i've really wanted to do! Only anxiety is holding me back. Not time, finances... anxiety. I cannot let it beat me! Last year i began successfully pushing the boundaries of my anxiety back by doing things and visiting places i could never have managed successfully before and this is a further continuation of that effort. Thats what i tell myself, anyway!

Instead of passing time i've got an opportunity to live life and make some memories worth holding on to. If i don't do this i fear yet another thing to add to the list of regrets already in my life.

Hi GenSec :action-smiley-065:

Some encouragement for you ... Good for you for going on this trip!!!  Don't let your anxiety hold you back - you have managed it before, you can do it again.  Airplane trips can be stressful - I personally don't like them - but look at the opportunity in it all:  you will be doing something you never thought you'd do before, you get to visit a country you have been interested in and studied - the time it takes to fly and the crossover flight are really insignificant.  I try to look at airplane flights as a chance to buy new books and magazines - free time to read!  (I like to read and, due to life, don't do it like I would like to - so I would love some airplane reading time!).  Also, 3 hrs is a long time for a crossover flight - you should be fine - you should have enough time to get there, find your way around, and have time to kill.  I don't know if they do this, but maybe google the airport, or a lay out of the airport you are flying to, to get an idea of how it is set up.  Also, once you get there, find the next gate you need to be at before doing any airport exploring.  Again - I look at that as time for coffee and some yummy pastry product  :happy0151: .  And people, in general, try to be helpful.  Ask questions once you get there - people will help you.  As you know, with anxiety, we get stuck in our thoughts - and you are stuck on this crossover flight - it will all be fine.  Focus on your plans in the new country.  Focus on the things you can do with your time while on your flight.  Change your thoughts and your focus and hopefully the anxiety will begin to decrease. 

Have safe travels and an awesome time!!!  I like what worldbeat99 said, "Do you want to be comfortable or do you want to be alive?"  You can do it!

Hi kcg. :action-smiley-065:

One thing i can reassure myself is that there will be no language barrier... i'm from the UK and am visiting North America. So i'll always be able to ask for help in times of crisis, lol! :laugh: I picked the smallest international airport i could find so that i wouldn't be completely overwhelmed. My travel agent made sure i would have at least 3 hours between the international and connecting domestic flight just in case. I've looked at maps of the airports and have a good feel for the general layout now! I know my terminal buildings and stuff, as well as what connects them. I'll be too high with anxiety to eat i know that! :laugh3:

I also changed my hotel plans... i decided to spend slightly more than i had budgeted for to go for a better, safer hotel. Its got good reviews. The other one was okay but it didn't look as safe to me for someone on their own. The way i see it is its better to pay a little more if it helps lessen my anxiety. It has gone down since the new hotel was booked.

Plus, my family has offered to help me if the worst ever happened - if i wanted to fly home early they'd pay for an earlier return ticket whenever i wanted one; if i miss my connecting flight they'll pay for another flight to either take me to where i want to go or fly me home. I won't be alone and stranded if the worst should happen, phew! :dazed:

Kind thanks for yet another helpful response to one of my threads, kcg! :happy0062: Take care!

So glad you posted here. Will keep this short. Look at the wonderful posts from wb and kcg.

We are all here for you. :party0006:

And am glad to hear from you, Tina dear! :wavey: Take care!

-Gen.

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