Anxiety · OCD

Let’s talk about London…

… And first of all how proud I am that I didn’t freak out.

… well… not much anyway.

That might have a lot to do with the fact that the doctor upped my dose, (did I write about that here? Well anyway I’m now on 40g Fluoxetine instead of 20g)

In fact it probably has a lot to do with that. (I’m still going to celebrate it as a victory though and you can’t stop me!)

I can honestly say that I’ve been petrified of this trip for months. Obviously my brain couldn’t resist throwing everything that could go wrong at me. All the ways I could embarrass myself and never live it down. The ways I could freak out, the ways I could die, the ways I could be injured, maimed, end up lost and alone in London.

The what if’s were on an endless loop and for a long, long time. I tried to ignore it. Harry Potter became an amazing distraction. It works like magic. Even when I plummeted back into a low, (and I did plummet – I think changes and stress at work set it off.) Harry Potter was there to keep me somewhat level – or at very least to drown out and somewhat stop those thoughts swirling around my head.

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Here I am at the studios. Can you tell I was very excited?

To other people going away for one night doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Going away is always a big deal for me though. I think the only way it wouldn’t be a big deal is if I went to the middle of nowhere in a little house. Where it was nothing but calm and quiet. What can I say? I feel more safe among the wildlife, the trees and the stars than I ever will in the city.

Of course that wouldn’t stop my brain from going crazy in the woods. I’d still be thinking about murderers and zombies and poisonous spiders but at least I’d have other things to offset it.

Anyway going away is mostly a big deal for me. No matter how hard I try not to freak out, it’s going to happen somewhere along the line.

This time things weren’t so bad though.

I arrived at the train station in Manchester to find the place a lot busier than I’d ever thought it would be for 9am on a Sunday Morning. Initially when I went down to the platform I started to get nervous. There were too many people, too many hazards, too many things that could go wrong, what with trains being late and all that. Then my friend (Kay) text me to let me know that in actual fact her train was coming through my station. An unexpected bout of good luck.

I had to wait an hour at the station but, surprisingly it got quieter and quieter as 10:30 rolled on and not a single flicker of fear seemed to enter my head. Occasionally there would be a fleeting thought of what if her train doesn’t stop here. I managed to mostly ignore these though.

The train ride was easy because it was quiet. Even the manky toilets couldn’t knock me off my game.

I didn’t panic when we couldn’t find anywhere to eat either and settled on a strange burrito place. In fact I actually bought and tried something, no rice or beans of course but at least I tried something. (Which if you know me and know how fussy I am and how allergic to stuff I am, you will know that’s a big thing.)

I didn’t panic as we made our way to the train and almost missed it (in fact that was quite thrilling).

I didn’t feel uncomfortable around the masses of people in the studios, sure they got a bit close and I got a bit pissed off from time to time but nothing on the scale I feel sometimes.

The Studios were amazing. I’ve been once before, last November. The first time was magical and emotional but this time I felt like I let my hair down a bit, this time I was unafraid to look a bit foolish taking silly pictures and getting in amongst the fray. This time I stood for a while just taking in the sheer amount of detail on the special effects. In awe of the forbidden forest and just so in love with the magic around me.

The biggest test for my not-freaking out came later. After the studios, the gift shop and the train ride back to Euston and out to Leicester Square.

We went to a restaurant. Quite a well known chain for something to eat. Nearing the end of my first drink I felt something sharp in my mouth. When I pulled it out it was what looked like a piece of glass. After about 30 seconds my brain immediately started to go to all the worst places. There was no phone reception so I couldn’t begin googling what happens if you swallow even the tiniest amount of glass. I was going to have to wait it out and hope I didn’t die.

My OCD went from zero to 60 in about 30 seconds.

To be fair to them the restaurant and their staff were pretty damn good. They gave me a free drink, which ended up as two because of a mix-up. Then they took my meal off the end of the bill.

The manager came straight over, checked I was okay, that there were no cuts or injuries and then showed, and told me that it wasn’t glass but plastic. It didn’t cut him and to be honest, I realised then that glass would have shattered against my teeth.

Even so my brain was screaming that he was lying and I was fooling myself and that I might just die. I definitely didn’t want to die. I wanted to get home and add my newly bought Hermione wand to my growing collection.

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My newly bought Hermione’s wand, the box isn’t as good as my others but that’s okay! 

Even when we got back to the hotel my brain was still firing off thoughts about consuming glass and checking the internet for what to do. I kept myself calm though and I resisted the urge to Google. Instead I went on Pinterest which is quickly becoming a great way to take my mind off things at times.

I felt none of the apprehension I usually feel about sharing a room with someone who isn’t my other half. I slept pretty well (even if I did wake up with a tiny hangover). I didn’t feel awkward on the train back when me and my friend were doing more sleeping than talking. The station wasn’t very busy and neither was the train which was a good thing.

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Goodbye London!

After this trip, looking back over previous trips, I should really apologise to my boyfriend. What a nightmare I must be like to be around when it kicks in. I’ve never really realised how much joy Pure-O has been sucking out of my life for such a long time.

I’m on the road to recovery though and the tablets are a start.

One things for sure though.

The next couple of holidays and trips are going to be amazing. They’re not going to be filled with dread and worry and intrusive thoughts.

Do you know why?

Because I’m not going to let it. 

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