Through all sorts of therapies and chats with the wickedly wise and wonderful people who support me during various times of crises, I’m always reminded that intense feelings pass. No matter how distressed I am, hanging in there and waiting for the wash of emotions to fade will see me through the other side. There are so many cliches. Urge surfing. Riding the wave. Sit with the emotions. This too shall pass. Blah blah blah. And they’re true. Each and every one of them.
This time last week my frantic levels of anxiety were receding. I had a sense of things finally coming together and falling into place. I dared to hope the dream would come true.
This time two weeks ago I was a mess. I’d cracked under pressure – again. Filled with suicidal ideation and a desperate need for sleep. I over-medicated twice – an overdose I’m told. Although that was not my intention and I required no medical intervention. But apparently I could have accidentally died. I didn’t care.
The trouble with cracking wide open and falling apart, is cracks take a long time to heal. And they’re fragile. When stress comes along, logic doesn’t help. The anxiety is overwhelming and sometimes the chaos so complete, there are no thoughts. Just all consuming dread and fear. And the hardest things is knowing it doesn’t make sense. Of course this too shall pass, but fear consumes and acceptance is a distant concept.
That was two weeks ago. Now it too has passed, I surfed the urges (mostly), rode the emotional tidal waves, and made it here. To London. To the beginning of the holiday we’ve planned for five years.
I sobbed most of the way from Melbourne to Perth – mostly with waves of pain cascading through my back. But partly letting go of the emotional buildup to our departure, filled with the angst of travel plans (not fun), post-flood renovations (also unfun), and my husband requiring heart surgery ten days before departure. When the wheels lifted in Melbourne, it was all behind me.
London has been underwhelming. It was always our jumping off point for the big adventure. Somewhere to recover from jet lag and begin the trip without too much stress. And it has done just that. We’ve wandered around aimlessly each day, returning to our little haven to nurse various aches and pains. We’ve spectacularly discovered the worst food and coffee London has to offer. The skies are blue, the sun is shining, the sunset views from my bedroom window are truly spectacular.
Monday we collect a car and the adventure begins. Exploring the English countryside before heading to Jordan, Turkey, Sarajevo, Budapest, Krakow, Berlin, Berbigueres, Paris, Lucca, Lisbon and Porto.
Today I visit an osteopath and sports massage therapist to sort the severe pain in my back and legs. Limping my way from Salisbury to Paris was not part of the plan. Nor was medicating myself into a state of oblivion. I’m hoping for miracles this morning.
I feel calm. I know life awaits at home, but for three months I’m in a bubble of spoiled privilege. I want to soak up every moment – the best and the worst all rolling into one big adventure with tales to be told later on. After five years of planning and saving and wondering if it will ever happen, I’ve made it. After five weeks of panic and stress and cracking apart at the seams, I’ve made it.