Traveling and my mental health
Yesterday we took a day trip to the Isle of Skye. It is somewhere I have always wanted to visit, but I just never had the opportunity to do so. Life sometimes get in the way no matter how well we try to plan and when you live with a mental health condition your inability to venture away from home and especially into the unknown becomes debilitating. When my husband suggested taking a trip to Skye I was a little apprehensive as it meant having to leave the safety of my home. The familiarity that it brings makes me feel safe and secure, but I thought I would go as I am armed with my meds and surrounded by those who love me the most: my husband and kids.
It was a big step that required some courage. Actually a lot of courage. The drive there was about three hours from our home. It is a scenic drive, but I slept for the most part as my anxiety started to rear itʼs ugly head, but I was determined not to allow it to ruin the trip for us. The temptation to turn around was overwhelming and I know had I asked, my husband wouldʼve turned the car around and driven straight home without question. I knew this would be the furthest I have ventured from home since July 2018. Although staying at home provides me with a sense of security and makes me calm, going on this trip has made me realise just how long I have been a prisoner in the place thatʼs made me feel the safest.
Exploring the Island with my family was just what I needed. Whilst enjoying the beauty of the island I made a promise to myself, that I will start doing the things I love most again and that is traveling and taking little trips like this with my family. Watching the joy it brought them once again made me realise how pivotal it is to work on my mental health recovery. For most part I focused my recovery treatments on the pharmaceutical and psychological aspects such as cognitive behavioural therapy and medicine. I now realise just how important it is to start other forms of treatment such as exercise and actually leaving the house for enjoyment and not just when I have too.
There is so much beauty in the world and for months anxiety and depression has stopped me from seeing just how much beauty surrounds me. Iʼve come to realise that I need to start facing my demons and change my routine. I have a fallen into a rut and routine where I stick to the same things. My anxiety leads me to isolating myself which in turns triggers my depression and when Iʼm depressed I stop taking care of me. Life becomes all about my mental health condition and I have no energy to take care of myself as all of my energy is spent on taking care of my kids and just getting out of bed in the morning.
Our first stop was coffee in Portree and the little town
was buzzing with tourists. I could feel my anxiety starting again. My heart started racing, but I never told a sole. As we sat having a coffee my husband suggested driving to Dunvegan and when we got there we parked the car and walked for about 1.5miles to coral beach. It was absolutely breathtaking and being on the beach took me back to my childhood. The fresh air, the smell of the water all reminded me of growing up near the ocean and took me back to a time where I felt most at peace. My anxiety disappeared as quickly as it started and I felt at ease. My kids and I were running on the beach and I was truly happy. Laughing without feeling that I have to fake it, playing with my kids and holding my husbandʼs hand brought me a renewed sense of peace and I felt even more determined to beat this.
As the sun began to set over the Island we left and I felt like a new person. I felt a confidence I have not felt in a long time and this morning I woke up with a renewed sense of pride. Proud of myself that I did not allow my anxiety to ruin our trip. Proud that I was able to silence the demons. This is another small victory for me and my new goals are to keep exploring and to start taking better care of myself regardless of how I feel. I have a new sense of determination to beat this illness and this trip has made me realise just how complacent I have become in my recovery. In order to get better I need to start taking more risks and open myself more to other forms of treatment.