• Michelle Partington

One day at a time.

Sat on the train en-route to the airport and my heart is pounding like mad!! Knowing what im currently going through inside today I look around at the others in this small section of the carriage. There are so many different people in here, each staring into space with their own thoughts. I know what’s going on in my world yet on the outside I look like nothings really wrong. To others I look like I’m sat reading my kindle with my bag taking up the seat next to me. What people dont see is that im anxious as hell and my bag is there to stop me feeling too closed in, an escape route if needed. My eyes keep darting around at every noise that is sounding and every movement made. That is what happens for the remainder of the train journey.

In readines for this trip I prepped everything even down to the very clothes I’m wearing for comfort. I was nervous enough without being uncomfortable with what I am wearing. I wrote down the timings for each element of the journey. I ensured I caught the train direct instead of having to change at a busy station. I wrote all the flight times down, which terminal I would be going from etc. That didn’t stop me randomly checking my paperwork though. Sad or what!!!

The railway station was attached to the airport which was fantastic. I had already checked in so just my bag to pop in and jobs a good un. The airport was fairly quiet which also helped somewhat. I sat down in Starbucks as it suddenly came to me that I hadn’t eaten!! I get so anxious that food is the last thing I am thinking about. I was absolutely fine sat in my window seat looking out at the busy airport when I heard the click of a workmans radio which I have to say really freaked me out for a moment or two. I finally settled back into the here and now and thankfully no one saw me freaking out. Those of you who have been following my blogs will understand why I had a little wobble.

Finally it was time to board but once our passport had been checked we had to queue in a stairwell until they opened the door to allow us to walk across to the aircraft. I was becoming a little agitated as people’s voices grew louder and the stairwell became busier. My hands were beginning to sweat and my heart was racing. I was digging my nails into my palms which is a coping strategy I have to distract me! Thankfully the doors were open and off we went for boarding. I had booked my seat right at the front….

The flight itself went fairly quick but that may have been due to the fact I had fallen asleep reading my kindle. I was exhausted. It was so very weird coming in to land because it was dark and they had dimmed the light. Being in the dark on the aircraft made me feel like I was flying into Bastion. I went to reach under my seat for my body armour and helmet to put on for landing. I was totally in that place for a few seconds until the guy next to me asked if I was ok. I just replied that I’d just had a random dream and woke with a startle.

The remainder of the journey to the hotel was great. My bag came off the carousel second and my taxi driver was there waiting for me. I’m now lying in bed as I’m pooped. Whatever the day brings there is always anxiety and hyper vigilance in varying degrees. Like today there will be triggers that no matter how much you prepare, some will catch you out. It’s learning to cope with them that’s the trick. I have learnt to just get through one day at a time and not worry about what might catch me out the following day. Sometimes this is easier said than done but I am trying.


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