If you follow my tweets you may have noticed some incredibly panicked ones of late, failure to sleep, drinking rescue remedy like water, memory failure, complete loss of words, violent mood swings, y’know…the usual when I’m stressed.
The reason for all of the above (this time) is that on Tuesday, that’d be…tomorrow…I’m going to Paris for a couple of days with my parents and some friends. And 140 characters isn’t enough to express the panic. So here I am. (P.s. do you like the new badge on the side?!)
Firstly, I want to go. At least in the sense that I want to take photos of Paris. I want to come back with trillions of shots of awesomely beautiful places, interesting little hideaways and uber fashionable people. There aren’t words to express how much I want to do that.
However, in order to do that I have to wander round a city. A busy city. A capitol city in a tourist hotspot. With a fear of people and crowds. And my history in cities isn’t really the best, I’ll point you in the direction of this post about University to make my point. Cities are basically the hub of everything that terrifies me in life (and that’s a lot of stuff), so I avoid them. Throngs of people will be hustling and bustling their way around, thousands of tourists jostling to get the standard photos, street sellers, entertainers, the works. It is, essentially, my idea of hell.
And worse; I’m sharing a room with my parents. Now that may not sound like a big issue, but I have issues with sleep anyway, and my parents snore, and my mum has to have a fan on. I can’t sleep with any noise. Even without any noise it takes me a good hour to calm down enough to drop off. Oh, and I’m scared of the dark, so I sleep with a night light on. Oh, and I have a stupid bathroom routine that takes the edge of the feeling that the entire world is imminently going to collapse, which takes 20 minutes on a good day. I’m not really the optimal person to share a room with.
Worse, all the physical symptoms of my anxiety are back, bar 1 as yet; my sleep is buggered, I’m not hungry, I’m reliving the pain I went through with the asshole (that’s the ex for new readers!) on a daily basis in full colour, I’m having nightmares, I’m getting my light headed/almost faint thing happening again (which is the precursor to the undiagnosed fits I will no doubt get again very soon), my memory is shot to the point I can be typing something and completely forget what I’m saying, and essentially I am failing to function.
S’all good fun this mental illness malarky.
And what makes it even worse again is that I know that this is the worst bit, that in reality the actual being there wont be as bad. It might be absolutely horrendous, it might land me with panic attacks and unable to leave the house again, but it wont be as bad as this. Because the fear of fear itself is the worst thing. It is. I know that. But there is no reasoning with mental illness. None.
I can sit here and yell at myself that it’s going to be fine. That this fear is massively blown out of proportion. That the reality will probably find me on auto pilot, doing my post-event experiencing thing, and I’ll get through it. But none of it makes any difference to the absolute terror I feel right now.