Trying To Stay Calm (or Not Letting Panic Take Over)

Today, I’m heading out to San Francisco for the weekend. I’m going to be staying with my brother and his fiancée and the main event for the trip is my future sister-in-law’s wedding dress fitting.

This trip was planned back in August, so I’ve known about it for a long time. But over the past few days, I’ve been getting increasingly panicky about the trip.

I’ve talked about my panic attacks before. Many of them are caused by something that I don’t know. But besides going to the dentist, one of the main reasons I get panic attacks is traveling and going or doing something unknown.

When I travel to see my parents, I know exactly what the airport is like, where I meet my parents to pick me up, when I call them to get me. Everything is easy because I’ve done it so many times before.

But I’ve never flown into the San Francisco airport (I’ve once flown out of it). This time, I’m taking public transportation to meet my brother at a location closer to his apartment where he will pick me up and take me to his place.

These are all unknowns. I’ve done a ton of research on the public transportation from the airport so it will seem at least a little familiar to me, but I’m still freaking out. And I know that this feeling won’t go away until I do it (it will lessen a bit when I take my panic meds right before flying, but I’m waiting until closer to flying time to take them).

My poor parents have both already talked with me while I’m panicky (my mom got to deal with a long rambling phone call where I feel like I must have sounded drunk). I know that they are trying to ease my stress and fears, but I know from past experience that nothing makes this go away until I finish the task.

I felt the same way when I did the Hollywood Half 5K. I didn’t know the course going into the event. I researched it a ton online, looked at Google street view, but I was still so nervous and panicky until I crossed the finish line.

I’m starting to realize that maybe I should treat my panic attacks the same way I treat my eating disorder. I know that I will have my eating disorder the rest of my life, I just have to get used to managing it. I will most likely have panic attacks the rest of my life. Instead of trying to avoid them, maybe I need to accept them and work on overcoming each one as they come.

Even knowing that, I can’t wait until I can take my meds, get on the plane, and get safely to my brother’s place so this will all be over! Well, until Sunday when I have to fly home.

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