As you may know I recently ventured to Spain with my boyfriend for a week away. My grandparents have had a place out there for around 15 years and so it feels like a home-from-home. Therefore when we were deciding where to go on holiday Spain felt like the perfect option. We booked our flights back in December hoping that I would be in a better place with my mental health.
As the date rolled around I was frustrated to find myself somewhat improved, however I personally felt I wasn’t improved enough to go abroad. Although I wasn’t about to let this stop me. My boyfriend kept telling me we could easily just cancel our flights and go somewhere in England instead, however I felt like this would be the easy option. In addition to this I knew it would also be a waste of money and I hate wasting money (when I could be spending it on bags haha).
I was going to Spain and that was that.
On the morning of our flight I woke up absolutely terrified – what if I had a panic attack at the airport and everyone saw me? It was a horrible thought but I knew it was one I had to confront.
So what if I panicked and people saw me? Did it really matter?
The morning of the flight I took some Rescue Remedy, I did a meditation app and I took a lot of deep breaths.
The drive to the airport was the first part of the journey that I had to tackle, we got stuck in a lot of slow moving traffic but somehow I managed to keep myself together. Looking back I think this part of the journey was greatly helped by the fact that I knew I could just turn around at any point and decide not to do it.
We were really lucky with how we timed the journey. We got to Gatwick, checked our bags in and went straight through to security. Once we had made it through security our gate was already shown on the boards. We ran and grabbed a couple of bottles of water and then made it to our gate. This was the worst part of the journey as everyone was herded into a small space to stand and wait until we boarded. We tried to avoid it for as long as possible but they were about to close the gate and so we had no choice but to join the chaos.
Eventually we made it on to the plane. I had the aisle seat whilst my poor boyfriend was squashed into the middle seat – he didn’t mind though. I forced myself to concentrate on my book until I got lost in it. I didn’t stop reading that book for the entire flight – apart from one trip to the loo. I was afraid that if I stopped reading I’d lose my composure.
I momentarily let my guard down as we began to get ready to land. Take off and landing are the parts I fear the most as you’re stuck in your seat and unable to move. I could feel the panic attack moving in on me but somehow I managed to hold it off.
By now though I really was feeling dreadful and exhausted.
Unfortunately our ordeal was not over yet!
The airport we flew into is newly opened and none of my family have visited there yet. When we hired our car we were careful to choose one that stated it was at the airport. However, this later transpired to be a little white lie on their behalf. Their shuttle service is at the airport – not their offices. Cheers for that Centauro. Following another little panic and a long rant we got on the shuttle. It was only five minutes down the road but it was five minutes too long for me.
Eventually we made it to the villa and I celebrated with a much needed glass of red wine (which then lead me to panic the following morning when I didn’t feel 100% – don’t you just love anxiety).
Our Journey home
Now if I’m honest our journey home is where all the fun began. I hadn’t slept the previous two nights before the flight – I was absolutely terrified. This time I had no choice, I had to get on that flight. I woke up that morning after four hours sleep feeling panicky and sick. I went through the motions getting ready to leave, however when it came to it I couldn’t.
I burst out crying and declared that I couldn’t do it.
It’s easy to read my posts and for me to tell you about how I panicked but I got over it and did it in the end. Sometimes I don’t talk about the toll it takes on me, both mentally and physically. The majority of the things I do are not worth it when you consider how terrible the panic side of it has made me feel. On this particular day I was exhausted and honestly felt like I had no fight left inside of me.
We looked at other ways of getting home but discovered that hiring a car to drive from Spain to England was about £2,000 a day. We exhausted every possibility until my tears ran dry. At that moment I knew we either had to lose all of our savings or I had to force myself onto that flight home. We grabbed our things and ran out to the car. We agreed that my boyfriend would drop me off at the airport to check in our luggage whilst he went to drop the car off and get the shuttle back to the airport. There was no way I would have been able to get on the shuttle.
I checked our bags in 3 minutes before it closed. It still amazes me how close we were to really not getting on that plane. By this point I’d completely cried myself out, my face was all red and puffy and I was determined to get on that plane. I knew that if I could only make it past take off that was it I’d be home soon. I felt considerably stronger now and knew that whatever happened I would get on that plane.
As sods law would have it our flight was delayed by about an hour but since we were cutting it so fine we didn’t particularly notice it. We boarded the plane and the flight was relatively okay. I didn’t touch my book this time, instead I watched lots of Youtube videos that I had previously downloaded. I would look at the length of each video and think right if you can get to the end of this that’s another 15 minutes off the flight time.
I made it to Gatwick and my grandparents were there with the dog to meet us. I have to admit I was most excited about seeing the dog and was very happy when he sat on my lap for some of the journey home.
I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it home that day but I did. Whether the holiday was worth what I went through that morning I’m not sure.
We did have a lovely time away though, I’m going to do a separate post about what we got up to. I have loads of pictures I want to share with you and so thought combining these two posts would be too long!
Leave a comment telling me about your worst holiday experience.