|'RUARGH! FEAR IS JUST A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!'|
Okay. It is 20 minutes since I wrote that last post, and I have cried like a baby, and apologised to my boyfriend yet again about Berlin. I have also realised something (both on my own, and with his help). That last post was only half of the story - but that's the bit I keep torturing myself with. I'm going to use all of my super panic-busting skills and re-tell that in a different (and much more accurate) way.
When I went to Berlin, I'd had no CBT therapy at all for my panic attacks. I still thought there was a possibility I might die. It was also minus 18 degrees, and was actually painful to breathe outside - panic attacks or not. I have learned so much since then, and I will never again be in that early, terrified place I inhabited when the panic disorder first started.
I also only had about three Lorazepam which I tried to eke out over a week. I also thought I would become an addict if I took them.
And I didn't stay in my hotel all week. Despite my terror, I got out of bed every day, and walked out of doors in the bitter cold and discovered new things. I would have panic attacks along the way, and I would sit down and cry. I would then get up, wipe my face, and carry on again. I haggled in a market, I had hot chocolate with brandy in it, I ate kasespatzel, I went to a cafe where resistance groups used to hang out back when Berlin actually was a genuinely terrifying place to be. So it wasn't even a complete and utter disaster - because I was brave, I clawed some great experiences back from it. And that was the absolute WORST it will ever be, because I can never again go back to that place of confusion about my condition.
And since Berlin, I have had a wonderful holiday in Granada for a friend's wedding, a lovely family holiday in France for another friend's wedding (a panic attack here or there in both, but nothing terrible), and flew both to and from Cannes film festival on my own with no troubles at all.
I spent my entire childhood and adolescence on planes (between the UK and Australia) - often on my own. I LOVED planes, and I LOVED travelling. My mum took me backpacking around the world when I was four, and I loved every second of it - and was apparently never anxious, worried or nervous for a single moment. That is the true me - strong and tough and rough and brave - and this is just a blip.
I'm going to have an AMAZING holiday. And even if for some reason, I don't - it won't be the end of the world. I'll get back up and keep on going and keep on trying until I do.