Personal content inside, buffer image for your safety.

He’s totally gonna stick that landing, btw...

Those of you who read my previous post about anxiety will perhaps not be surprised to hear that it hit me again. It didn’t feel any more scary or terrible this time, but the aftermath is much worse.

I got a call on Saturday evening from my boss asking me to travel to London this week, a bit of a rush trip. I got pulled back into the stressful project that we just wrapped up because some of the users are having a lot of difficulty. I agreed to leave, and was pretty excited about it. London! I love that city!

Getting ready was the usual pre-race jitters: is everything in my bag, do I have the address for the customer offices and the hotel, etc etc etc. I got to the airport with time to spare, security was light, and I had time to take a walk, read, catch up on some emails, blah blah blah.

I felt fine. I felt ready. I had asked myself if I was going to be ok, because naturally I thought about this, and I had none of the usual signs of anxiety. I was so excited to be feeling well and to be heading to the UK.

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And then when people started lining up at the gate - a good 15 minutes early, as people with assigned seats tend to do... - I started to feel off. I took a walk, visited the restroom, did some breathing and visualization exercises. No dice. Stomach is churning. Take it easy... Go to the gate, almost everyone has boarded now and the waiting lounge is a ghost town. Look at the plane, look at the gate, start shaking and sweating... Nope.

A Boeing 787 - the plane I should have taken. Instead, I flew home in a Prius V...

I talked to the desk agents and there was an employee there who took the time to speak to me calmly and reassure me, but in the end I couldn’t do it. I had my bags offloaded and went home. I feel absolutely “normal”, and felt pretty good as soon as I was away from the gate, but I’m also feeling pretty bummed out. I’m disappointed in myself, and I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down. Shit happens, I’m allowed to feel bad nonetheless.

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So I’m off to the clinic to see a doctor and talk about next steps. What I know for sure is that I won’t accept going through this again. I will do what I need to do to get over it or around it, but I can’t accept being afraid to do simple things like sitting in a concert hall or taking an airplane. I’ve done these things many times in my life, and I’ll continue to do them. I’m determined to take the effort to get better.

Thanks for listening.