Today I’m off to Malta. My flight is scheduled to take off in one hour and 23 minutes. Normally, sitting at the airport I’d be pure excitement and anticipation, but apparently today is not a normal day.
On the drive to the airport I felt the beginning pangs of a slightly different anxiety hit. The sensation being uniquely different from from excitement. This is uncomfortable and laced with the bad kind of fear.
I began regulating my breathing and focusing on the road, I had my mother in the car and I didn't want to endanger her or anyone else on the road.
For the most part I kept it together, at least I did until I was driving the last stretch to the airport. By that point I was gripping my seat cushion with my free hand so hard my knuckles went white white and my head was feeling light and dizzy from hyperventilating. The feeling was overwhelming, and the feeling was this: I am not okay. I am not okay. I am not okay.
I wasn’t sure why or what triggered it other than an impending sense of doom. My best guess was that a part of understood I was about to isolate myself for the first time in a month. Since I saw my GP a month ago to get my anxiety medication I have zealously followed her advice, I have kept busy, kept my support systems close and was around the people I felt safe with most evenings. That's not to say I didn't spend evenings and nights on my own, I did, but this is different. Those other nights on my own I still had access to my people, I could take control back if I lost it because I had access to the people that give me strength when mine fails... and here I am cutting myself off from my support and my backup strength for the next 28 hours.
I am petrified right now.
These next 28 hours feel like a prison sentence in the confines of my own brain, and my brain can be a dangerous and scary place.
Hyperventilating, and breaking down, I am pretty sure I freaked out the Emirates employee at the check in counter. And walking through the security and immigration lines while trying to hold tears and catch my breath I was convinced I would be setting off alarm bells at airport security… and I was in fact pulled out of line and asked to do a full body scan.
But now I’m sitting at a table, seeing the rain rage outside, I've taken one of my few remaining anti anxiety pills and am waiting for my second parachute to deploy. I can already feel my heart rate slowing and I can feel my lungs pulling oxygen again. I’m going to be okay. I am okay. For now.
While I'm feeling like the ground is once again become solid under my feet, I'm left feeling worried about the next anxiety attack. I am worried my 4 remaining pills won’t carry me through to the next 7 days and I'm worried my strength will fail me at some point. But while I am worried, right now, I am okay. I am okay.