Travelling with Depression and Anxiety

I’ve always maintained my blog, and any posts I write about travelling will be the real deal. No glossing over the struggles, no “Oh my god my life is perfect” – THIS is how it really is to travel with Depression and Anxiety.

I’ve suffered from Depression and Anxiety since around three years ago; it’s weird at first because you don’t recognize the signs and – being a man – my attitude is to never go to the doctors unless my limbs are falling off – and even then someone still has to drag me down (bandaids fix everything right?).

For anyone that has never suffered from anxiety, let me tell you a story of what happened the other week while out at a bar with my best friend. I was out with George and his girlfriend Emily; for some reason Emily was trying to “wingman” me, but it wasn’t going very well. Then this girl started talking to me, bear in mind MOST of my friends are women and I’m far more confident with women than I am with men – in fact, one of my friends, Sarah, describes me as the biggest Queen she’s ever met! Anyway, all of a sudden, in the middle of a QUIET bar, a panic attack sets in. I can’t breathe, I feel incredibly hot and claustrophobic. I HAVE to get out and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I mucked up a conversation with the first woman to have shown an interest since me and my ex split up!

Back to the point of this article, if anxiety makes you incapable of making eye contact in a bar, how on earth do you travel? This is going to sound so hypocritical, I really need to start living by my own advice. BUT when you don’t think about it and just jump in, you don’t have time for the panic attacks to kick in. Live for the moment; ironically it’s this piece of advice from my ex that helped pull me out of the pit I got into a while ago.

You’ll have your good days when you’re on top of the world and want to go skydiving with everyone you’ve ever met, before hitting the karaoke bars and painting the town. Then, there will be the other days. You’ll sit in a corner with your hoodie over your head, with a look on your face that says you’ll straight up bite someone’s head off if they speak to you. If you have one of those days, take some time to go out for a walk. Find something beautiful – it could be anything from the waves crashing along the shoreline, it could be a stray dog that comes over to say hello. Use this to ground yourself – take a seat, look at whatever it is and just breathe; in for 4 seconds through the nose, hold for 2 seconds and breathe out for 4 seconds. When my Doctor told me this, I thought he was mad but it helps!

Always remember, you’re part of a bigger community. Personally, as I’ve been through it, I’m always happy to speak to someone if they’re struggling. If any of you want any advice, or to just rant about something (which is INCREDIBLY useful) don’t be scared to reach out.

Look after yourselves.

19 thoughts on “Travelling with Depression and Anxiety

  1. Thank you for your honest words…what a weight to live with anxiety and depression…it certainly cannot be an easy thing to do at all and must drain so much energy out of a person. But, you give good advice…to take a moment for ones self to find and concentrate on something and just give yourself time to breathe. Sometimes, it is the simplest, littlest things that can get us through the most difficult of moments.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I understand so well. I feel it is because of those low moments during travel I’ve so often opened my eyes and appreciated the little things, like you say, taking a walk and sitting down in a park or at a hill top or on some rock at the beach… Just breathing and then watching my surroundings. Starting small and then taking a step forward and trying to open up to people the next day. Or not, sometimes it’s the solitary moments that we cherish most, too. Take care! And thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s great to read something so honest! I find travelling (physically moving from one place to another) fills me with a lot of anxiety but once I’m there I am often better than at home, it’s strange but that’s why I’m going to Australia for a year to Travel!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I don’t have panic attacks, but I do experience a wide shift in well being depending on the day. They always say that our “happiness” only depends on us. In a way it’s 100% true. But it’s certainly not an easy process. We cumulate wounds, we change through them in time, and we arrive at some point when (hopefully) we realise we need a change. And we start the process back. A lot also depends on people around us. We’re not all compatible with each other. Living more freely in my mind without worrying of what people would think of me helped. It takes a careless approach that can be practiced until it becomes natural.
    Hope it can help!
    🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing! I love your post and I can as well relate for it. I may only add my owb advice here in the comments which helps me – be thankful! Remember happy moments, achievements, people you love abd people who love you! Try it twice a day – before and after work. It is so healing. Also take care on yourself – eat healthy and workout. Stay healthy and live yourself! 💙 These truly help!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Last year I was invited to go on vacation with my boyfriend’s family. We went to Banff, Canada, which was one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, the positives of that trip ended with the scenery. I was anxious enough to even go on the trip, given that I am not super comfortable around his family, but then everything just got 100x worse once we got there. They’re really big on hiking and outdoorsy stuff, whereas I like to sit in bookstores where it is safe and quiet. On the first day of the trip we went hiking for 15 freaking miles up a steep mountain and over some glaciers. I was NOT prepared for this and had a full blown panic attack in front of my boyfriend’s entire family and a group of strangers. (And that was just day one.)

    I’m glad you posted this. It’s nice to be reminded that other people get super anxious when travelling, also. I was so embarrassed for the way I responded to that trip. It’s somewhat comforting to know that I am probably not the only one who’s panicked on that same mountain before though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Some really meaningful words up there.

    I too have suffered depression for a substantial period.By God’s Grace, I eventually came out of it and so for all my friends experiencing any sort of depression , I just want to say that Sometimes, we think that we have been buried when actually we have been planted .This I learnt after having won over a chronic disease after years of struggle.we just need to hold on a little longer, just never give up.

    I would like to share my complete story here , how I battled with an incurable disease.I wish It helps at least 1 needy person out here.Here’s the story (Not a sad one I promise 🙂 ) https://the-passport-souls.travel.blog/2017/09/04/how-i-tamed-a-monster-called-vitiligo-just-never-give-up/

    Like

  8. Thank you for sharing this piece from your life. I was moved by the phrases, “live for the moment”. I might seem to be so simple but is really hard to follow. Definitely worth sharing, can I?

    Like

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