I mentioned this in a previous post, but I promised you I’d explain and I never ever break a promise (especially a pinky promise!). So, when the last guy I was seeing abruptly ended things between us, I spiraled fairly rapidly into an emotional wreck. I was consumed by fear and overwhelmed with anxiety. Before I go further into the details of my battle with fear, worry, turmoil, and the struggle of nothing making sense for the longest time, I’d like to remind you that you are safe, you are loved, and you are protected.
(This may take more than one or two posts to explain in such detail, so I apologize in advance that it’ll be “to be continued” until tomorrow).
Alright, without further ado, I would like to tell you my story. You have to first understand that this guy I had dated was my absolute world. Think back on someone you’ve dated in the past or are currently dating who takes up your thoughts, your energy, your every thought, and your deepest desires. The sun and moon revolved around the time I spent with him. I didn’t see him very often, usually when he had time and wanted to see me, but I craved time with him. Whatever you would call the kind of relationship we had lasted about a year. As with previous breakups, I spent my days and nights crying and wondering what I could have changed or done differently to make him love me; however, this time the pain seemed to be more intense than ever before. You know how I mentioned in a previous post that I focused all my attention on him and didn’t worry about much else because I wanted to make him happy and do all I could to make him love me? Well, now that I lost him, I began to question pieces of my own identity.
I have dealt with anxiety and depression throughout my entire life, to the point where I’ve been medicated a couple times for it, so I was well aware of anxiety attacks and days sleeping to feel better and much more rested, while internally not wanting to deal with people or even your own emotions. This fear I began to feel was much different. I started to have dreams (or nightmares rather) of my daily commute to and from work. There are multiple routes I can take to get to my job. I started to imagine these accidents happening on every path. I dreamed of each mile and the many ways I could be brutally hurt or even killed along the way. I had previously seen clips of bridges collapsing or being torn apart by sharks or even movies that destroy all roads, highways, and semblance of life on this planet in a moment’s time, which in theory sounds ridiculous, but it’s pretty remarkable what we can dream of out of that irrational fear.
Since I have to drive across a bridge to get to work and drive in general during my daily travels, fears of commuting while driving a vehicle just aren’t acceptable. Now, I feel I should preface this by saying I have never ever in my life up until this point had a fear of driving. In fact, I’ve driven across the country twice and back and forth to multiple locations on the east coast on multiple occasions during college. I love driving during thunderstorms – it relaxes me. Crossing a bridge was always my favorite part of a road trip. The rest of the trip was always boring to me, but when it was time to cross a bridge, I absolutely adored the view and didn’t want it to end. Everything else seemed mediocre compared to the sound and the feeling of driving on a bridge. My cousin used to think I was crazy, because who enjoys driving on a bridge, but I always did. Imagine my surprise when not only did I suddenly not want to drive a car, but I also had trouble imagining riding in a car of any sort with even the most trusted drivers.
Coming from someone who gets motion sickness, I’ve always either had to drive, ride in the front seat, or sleep in the back so I wouldn’t get sick. This was on a brand new level, one that I never even knew existed. Not only was the fear focused on driving, but I also seemed to have a fear of things on a molecular level (even though I have no extensive education in the scientific realm). These fears included the idea of parking garages collapsing, streets disintegrating before my eyes, or the ever present fear of my car falling apart into tiny pieces as I’m driving it. Did I mention these fears were extremely irrational?
💔 One fear that tore me apart was flying. As those who know me will attest to, I’ve been flying my entire life. Over the past 15 years or so, I’ve traveled solo and have always been thrilled to do so. I’m always relaxed with music, a movie, or just the thrill of meeting someone new on the flight. ✈️ Most often I’m meeting a friend or someone on the other end of my journey, but overall it’s unlikely I’m traveling with anyone to my destination. About a month after a major scare and an emotional catastrophe started this whole thing, I was flying home to see family. I had dreams the days leading up to the flight involving plane crashes and other catastrophic events, but I had to be home for my niece’s 1st birthday, so not flying wasn’t an option. I had friends drive to and from work on other days, but this particular day one of my best friends was taking me to the airport. We had a really fun day, got our nails done before the flight, and even had something to eat. You’d think I’d be fully prepared to travel at this point.
Well, the moment I got into the plane, I was overcome with this intense feeling of dread. My entire face went white and I was shaking uncontrollably. I didn’t want to walk over the ledge at the end of the terminal into the airplane because I was scared I’d fall through that tiny slot to walk onto the plane. I quickly found my seat and stayed there. The guy who sat next to me looked at my (uncharacteristically pale) face and, with a very concerned look on his face, asked if I was okay. No, I was not okay, but I started coloring in my fresh adult coloring books, that someone suggested I buy at the airport, with my super cute coloring pencils and I tried not to look up. I felt like I could have opened the door at any moment to jump out because I felt like the walls were closing in and I would no longer be safe, which is yet again unbelievably irrational and stupid. The reality of it was that I couldn’t even get up out of my seat to go to the restroom.
While I was at my childhood home, we were packing up the house because my parents were about to list it for sale on the market. I found some treasures, which were nothing of value, but at the same time they were nothing I wanted to throw away or part with either. Suddenly I came across a newspaper I had saved from September 11, 2001. I thought, well no wonder I’m having fears about flying… Look at what happened back then. In my mind, The fear made perfect sense. I was also highly upset about parting with such wonderful memories, while feeling like I was being forced to part with my childhood earthly possessions. The reality of it was that I simply didn’t have room for it in my new home and my family was just trying to make room for new memories, but again, I wasn’t thinking rationally. Throughout the weekend, I felt like everyone was judging me, even though my entire extended family has always been extremely supportive of every single thing I do, and I was on edge most of the weekend. Looking back, no one even knew anything about my fears and they certainly weren’t judging me. They were loving me.
Okay, so now it’s time to discuss my flight back home where I would be by myself with my own thoughts and feelings. Talk about an adventure I never want to face again.
I feel like this will be an okay time to stop and regroup until I can explain more in the next post in regards to my flight home and the irrational fears, forgiveness, joy, hope, and indescribable healing that came next. ♥️
If you’ve experienced anything like this or have any questions, please leave me a comment down below and I’ll be happy to explain. I’d also love to hear about your own experiences.
This is a safe space. Please share your heart.