Since this post was going to be about my vacation I might as well abuse the vacation subject as a way into what ever I’m going to write.
Here’s the thing I’ve been having an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. It pretty much has the habit of surprising me when I least expect it, making me really anxious about my whole anxiety disorder. It influences me in every part of my life and often isn’t a welcome guest. As you can read from the last paragraph I’m not accepting the fact that it’s part of me and makes me the
crazy colorful person I am. I’m treating it like a perpetual cold that one day will pass and I can leave my hankies at home. Of course I’m wrong and I should have a long discussion with my irrational side, which would be pointless as it's my irrational side.
Most people go on vacation to relax, it doesn’t look that way when you see all those stressed faces on airports and exhausted expressions in packed cars, but for arguments sake let’s just say that those are all sales people on business trips. Vacations for me are challenges, a time to step out of my comfort zone (I've been told that it's somewhere outside of a circle or something).
Lets say I would take a beach vacation. I'd spend a whole day reading on the sand and swimming, without stressing out about anything. Lets asume that I succeeded that day in doing just that. I’d be lying in bed that same evening feeling like Rambo; exhausted and satisfied on a job well done. That shit is a challenge to me.
If you’re the unlucky girl that ran into the trap of hooking up with me you’ll probably be treated to a whole lot of repetition how great that day was- really, I wouldn’t be able to shut up about it. The mistake that would be made by my vacation companion would be to assume I’m totally comfortable and completely in vacation relax mode (seriously, I don’t even know what that is), which will result in a suggestion to climb a church tower in order to enjoy the view up top. I’m talking here about climbing it inside with stairs, so no outside dangly business with ropes. The suggestion only will most likely completely freak me out, however I'll do it, even if I don’t want to, because: “I can’t let this thing win and also I can’t disappoint my vacation companion”, never mind that I totally don’t want to do it because walking up so many stairs to see a roof view of some little poo town isn’t really my idea of a fun experience. With just a little bad luck you’ll end up in one of those really old towers with really steep wooden stairs and every time you want to check on your progress you find yourself staring up some grandma’s skirt or at the very least you’ll end up with your head much too close to someones’ ass. The same rule applies here as with Jehovah’s witnesses; it will never be a really cute girl forcing her beliefs (or in this case her behind) on you.
But as I said, I’d walk those stairs convince myself this is the greatest view I’ve ever seen and shamefully admit to the euphoric feeling that I just did a totally challenging thing and I can really call myself a traveler. That same night I will lie in my bed feeling exhausted but satisfied and imagining a hat and a whip hanging from the chair and a scruffy leather jacket hanging from a hook close to the door; I’m so Indiana Jones right now. Meanwhile, of course, my travel companion will be lying next to me wishing she’d be home as this is the most boring vacation she ever had. To make things worse the guy next to her can’t fucking shut up about climbing a bunch of stairs in a church tower.
So insert real world example:
The next day we are taking it easy. We’ll go for a walk in a nature reserve. Sounds soothing enough. So we take one of those taxi vans. It’s about 35 degrees Celsius in the shade. Much to my dismay the van doesn’t have any airco and as time drags on mixing my sweat with the dried sweat soaked upholstery of the chair I’m sitting on. This thought alone already freaks me out and I start shifting around in a vain attempt to some how find a spot on the chair where no one has ever sweated before. Mean while the van fills up with more and more people triggering my group anxiety. However I’m not new to this game and I keep it together.
While I still shift around and focus my gaze outside we finally drive away. All the windows are open and air starts moving around calming me down even further; good stuff, we won’t run out of oxygen. The driver is taking it easy so chances of the van falling on its side and me getting crushed by a whole load of extremely sweaty tourists should be minimal; I regain a bit more confidence. While still driving through town the already packed van makes random stops picking up more people, now I’m sitting straight under someone’s hairy and sweaty armpit, damn those sleeveless shirts.
By now we leave the town and head up a mountain road, much to my dismay the driver of the van steps on the gas and starts driving his over-packed van like a V12 Aston Marten. I hold on for dear life and try to focus on a game I’m playing on my phone just not to have to look outside. We hit traffic, big buses and cars all on their way to the reserve, packed with tourists. The driver doesn’t seem fazed by all this and casually steers his van on to the next lane, driving against traffic at ludicrous speed on a winding mountain road... I’m not keeping it together anymore, I start shifting in my chair, flexing muscles uncontrollably, stick my phone back into my pocket, taking it out again, focus focus focus, I start to get walking ants all over my body and spots are appearing in my vision. I’m about to freak out uncontrollably and make a scene I really do not want to make. I see the van crashing down the mountainside, I start cursing my adventurous nature and the lack of guide-rail. I fear that they’re already working on my tombstone, curse it, I so much want to be cremated, confined spaces freaking me out even in death (oddly a raging fire filled oven doesn’t).
Just before I really lose it the van breaks hard and swerves to the right and suddenly drives slow again, we seem to have arrived and the driver is looking for a spot to drop us off. For me however this is too little too late, the process is in motion and it’s going to play itself out to the end. I’m fighting not to faint and control my breath just that little bit longer, the flight or fight instinct is kicking in to its fullest, flight is always the go-to-response.
The van stops and I jump head first in the sweaty arm pit that was hovering above me the whole time and I had completely forgotten about, the happy side affect is that the guy loses his balance a bit, with no room to sway but into the other passenger’s he unintentionally clears a flight path for me straight to the exit of the van; I take it and as a fox, I slide through the commotion. As the van parked along the forest line I don’t hesitate and dive through the bushes and into the forest, away from prying eyes and embrace the comfort of solitude, leaving my travel companion completely bewildered behind.
It takes her a couple of minutes to rustle herself out of the van past all the tourists that stand around like sheep waiting for a border collie to disperse them. After some looking around she found me behind the bushes eating Xanax like a 5 years old eats skittles completely drained of all energy and feeling like a rag. Leaving Rambo and Indiana Jones far behind me and completely back in the role of a mental patient which lies so close to me.