Travelling with Anxiety.

This is more like a story of my own, a story of my life ‘Travelling With Anxiety’ an experience that I have had to recently do, to help other people who also suffer with anxiety and anxious to travel.

I have recently had to travel from Swindon Town, all the way to Sheffield City, a place that I really hadn’t thought that existed, of course I knew it was a place in England, but when you live in a little town like Swindon its a huge difference.

My mothers boss went on holiday and which left my mother to be the boss, she had to travel to Sheffield which is where Amefa’s head office is, I had the choice to stay at home, which gave me so much more anxiety and depression even thinking about it, I don’t like being on my own too much and for two nights seemed incredibly tedious. So I took the option to join my mother on her journey, it helped her in the long run knowing she wasn’t on her own facing a big important deal to herself.

Trains aren’t my friend, I really really cannot stand trains, too many people, to many information, to many train stops, it’s always good when suffering with anxiety to always bring things with you that keep you calm, someone you’re mostly comfortable with that knows where they’re going and know what train they’re catching, always good to bring hard sweets to suck on, takes your mind of panicking about the UN-panic. It’s usually a good idea to take headphones or earphones to take your mind of your surroundings, but silly old me forgot and left them at home, I brought two books with me, which I had read for a bit on the train up until a man kicked me out the seat cause he apparently ‘reserved’ the seat. He wasn’t exactly polite about it either, but it was okay I wasn’t on my own, we decided to stand near the doors which seemed a lot more better for me than actually sitting down, had the little window down which help calm my nerves down.

If you aren’t sure what platform you’re heading to or even know where it is, it’s always good to ask a pass a by or someone who works there, it does sound rather scary just randomly asking, but that’s there job, and most people travel by trains daily. They’re most likely used to it.

Once we got off in Sheffield we had to find a way to our hotel that we were staying at for two nights, this also gives me extreme anxiety, I am not in a town anymore, I am not at home, this isn’t Swindon. This is a city, this is big..but I felt less anxious in Sheffield than I ever have done when I travel to London, London scares the crap out of me. I have been there numerous of times and still find it extremely difficult to travel too and travel in. Mother used google maps to get to our hotel ‘Mercure Sheffield St Paul’ We got there okay of course, once we got in we headed to check ourselves in, all anxiety still lingering ’cause it’s all so much to take in, you’re staying at five star hotel with a spa included, how can you possibly take this all in all at once?

We got our card keys to our door, as soon as we got in it was roughly around 9 pm all I really wanted to do was unwind and climb into bed, but it’s dark…the TV isn’t turning on, the lights wont turn on, it’s dark, did I mention it’s really bloody dark? Don’t worry, we figured it out, well actually I figured it out. Had to put one of the card keys into a slot for the lights and TV to work.

Next day, I was feeling it all over again, whats that? I am left on my own in a hotel room, mother has gone to her meeting…what do I do? do I do what I want to do, or just stay in the room cause it’s all I know right now? I stayed in the room, I made myself a terrible cup of tea, I had a nice warm shower,(I wish I took advantage of that shower now that I am not there anymore.) got dressed, and did some reading, took some photographs of the view from my window, (which will upload later tonight or tomorrow), I sat down watched some Big Bang Theory on my laptop, which really helps me with my anxiety, kinda like an escapism, started doing some art therapy too, which helps a lot with my nerves, made myself some food, which I brought with me from home.

I stayed in the room most of the day, I wanted to go adventure out in the world of Sheffield, but I didn’t want to get lost. So, I stayed put.

5 pm mother finished, she’s coming back (its really hard not saying home) once she is back in the hotel room, we now have to get ready for a meal, what’s that? a meal? with people I don’t know? yes I had to do that. I had to go and eat and socials with people I didn’t even know, they were all waiting down in the lobby of the hotel, John the directing manager (Least I think that’s what his job title is) asked if I wanted a drink, I didn’t talk, literally no words escaped my mouth, just really bad awkward noises like “uhhhhh” and “errrrrrrrrm” I looked around to see what the other important managers were drinking, he’s stood there looking patient, but inside my head I was thinking “crap, crap, crap, he’s waiting just say something like coke, or jack denials or something, speak woman.” Instead again, my words were just “aaaaaaah” and I shrugged, my mother piped up saying “wine?” and I just said “WINE Please” and quickly before he asked what type, I said “rose, please” more questions, what more does he want to know he asked “small or big?” How do you answer that, if I ask for a big because it seems most likely to other wine drinks there, I am going to look silly, but if I ask for a small, it almost looks like I don’t want to be there, I asked for a small, waiting on drinks, people are talking among themselves, mother listing in on each conversation going on, I sit there just looking at my feet, sometimes I think traveling sometimes is better to deal with, cause socializing with people you don’t even know is a hell lot worse. Least on a train, bus, or plane, you can just keep yourself to yourself.

As we all leave the hotel to go to this restaurant, my mother introduces me to this other manager, she manages York…I believe that’s what my mother told me, I can’t actually remember her name, it was either Louise or Lucy, she asked if I was joining them for dinner, and I nodded…probably seemed highly ignorant to her, but I just couldn’t speak, even if I wanted to nothing would come out anyway. She said that when it’s her and Teresa there they usually laugh and nod to whatever is being spoken about, not having the slightest clue what anyone is actually saying, which gave me a little hope that I am not the only one here feeling really awkward, she’s nice I like her. As we get seated, mother is sat with Lucy/Louise, the awkward nice one, and I am sat next to mother, I am not sat next to anyone else which makes me feel 100% better knowing I am the last one on the end. Sat opposite me is Vicki who is I assume another directing manager, like John. She’s lovely, she was talking to me about all sorts of things, Wine, Netflix, Anxiety…yep that’s right anxiety. She gave me some advice, and some coping techniques, we even spoke about her wedding, we spoke about my interest in photography, and that if I have a portfolio then I can go to a university and show them what I have done, the only issue with that is my anxiety yet again, can’t ever imagine myself going to a uni interview showing them my portfolio, I cannot even stand my own family seeing it without feeling like my insides are falling out of my backside.

I wouldn’t advice drinking alcohol to calm your nerves, but it did wonders, I wasn’t constantly thinking what I should say, or how I should say it…everyone is really really nice, not as scary as they look, Lucy/Louise (again still not sure which one it is) said I should get a job at Amefa, I actually should, I know everyone who works there, I know a lot about Amefa’s products, and all I would need is training, but I don’t think families are even allowed to work together, but I might actually apply for a job.

We got back to our hotel, I watched a bit of Big Bang Theory, mum had her shower, we sorted out our stuff. And didn’t think I had to worry no more, just finished eating in a restaurant with people I didn’t even know. What more could possibly make me anxious.

Next morning, 26th of July 2016, yeah that’s today. I have to go down to that bloody lobby again, check ourselves out of the hotel & wait for all the other important people to join us for breakfast, not too anxious this time as I have met them all, once we all met down at the seating area then went for breakfast, not to bad, but again started feeling a little anxious again, I have a phobia of eating in front of people, I mean stuffing your face with food isn’t exactly attractive in the slightest is it?. But had breakfast, and then when they all went back to their rooms to get their stuff and check out, mother and I went outside the front so I could have a ciggy before we left to come to the head office, THAT’S RIGHT HEAD BLOODY OFFICE.

We go to the car park, Mother, the lady that name starts with L, John and I, all go to Johns car, L lady gets in the front, I get in the back behind John, and mother looses a shoe as she gets in next me, it’s okay though, her shoe was returned to her.

Now this is the day, I have experienced such crippling anxiety, I have never been so anxious in my whole entire life that I've suffered with it. Yeah okay at this point I am no longer traveling, but I do need to be seated somewhere away from their meeting…John plonks me in their office, across from a man who I thought was really angry that I was there, he didn’t look all at pleased that he’s had to work while I sit opposite him doing sod all. I decided to not bother to speak or to ask questions like, where the toilet is, or where’s the smoking shelter etc. I didn’t even ask what the WiFi was…I wasn’t comfortable at all, all the people who’s made me feel welcome are all in the next room, what do I do?

I sit there, just slowly reading my book, analyzing each word so I can spend more time reading, mother made me a brew..I am sat here thinking why didn’t I just stayed at home, cause even though I would have been lonely at least I knew I had nothing to really worry about. To late, I am here, I can’t go, I am stuck.. so roughly reading this book, and it comes to my senses that I have actually finished this book, I take out my other book to read that, I was sat there for ages just reading my book, trying to not look up or anything, its scary I don’t know anyone and they don’t know me, a lovely lady Bridget gave me a tour, also gave me times what the warehouse employs breaks were so that I didn’t have to go into the staff room with everyone else in there, she also showed me where the smoking area is and where the toilets are, let me use my laptop and this guy mark helped me sign into their WiFi (he’s the computer techy), had a cigarette in the smoking area, and few people said hello to me, and a guy even opened the door for me. I am still feeling extremely anxious, so I decide to write this blog, not only ‘cause it helps me calm my nerves, not only to help other people, it’s to make myself look busy, which technically I am, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but I am just tap tap tapping away, it got easier I guess, after lunch, people were a little more chatty, and friendly, I am not saying I want them to stop working to talk to a nobody like myself, but an acknowledgement would be a little kind.

It’s okay though, the guy across from me isn’t looking all mean and moody anymore, he asked me if I was alright and if I had eaten, which I had, Bridget even asked if I had eaten. It’s nice that they’re all smiley and welcoming, but I am still to anxious to go to the toilet and too anxious to go have a ciggy, I guess it’s not them, it’s the warehouse lot, they seem nice and all, but I’m not here for work, or work basis and I am not wearing a high-vice jacket either, so I just look weird and I am sure I don’t but someone with anxiety and social anxiety looking weird is the most common worry an anxious person has, although they seem more friendlier than people from Swindon.

When travelling back, it seemed quicker, it always does. 
But, this time I had no concerns or no panicky feelings, just on the way back through Sheffield to Bristol, I slept. Bristol to Swindon I just stayed awake, wasn’t panicking or anything, I guess it’s much worse travelling to a different place, than actually travelling back.

I am home now, and I am happy to say that I did it, I did it all with no medication, just me myself and I. 
Make sure you use the loo before you get on a train.