If you've never had to deal with anxiety, there's really no way for you to understand just how much it sucks. Unlike most other human emotions, anxiety can't really be "cured". You can learn coping techniques and have therapy, but it doesn't ever completely go away...at least for me.
Tonight was my first real anxiety attack pre-Europe trip. This is about how it looked:
5:30am: I wake up, panicked, my heart beating fast. I realize it's dark outside and don't even want to know what time it is. It's 5:30, and my anxious mind and body are up for the day. I lay in bed and watch movies for 5 hours until someone else wakes up.
12:35pm: Some nice girls at church befriended me when Chani was working and I had to go alone.
12:40pm: We're singing the hymn and these lines came up in the song I Know that My Redeemer Lives:
"He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart." And I almost lose it in the middle of the meeting. I've been distracting myself and just not thinking about this trip at all. I guess I suddenly realized I needed all of those things.
4:30pm: I'm home alone, look at my already packed suitcase and my eyes fill with tears. I've got a real problem with suitcases. I watch Seinfeld and take a nap to distract myself.
Then I spent the evening with my amazingly supportive family. I think there were 24 Nixons gathered for dinner, and it was nice to be distracted and to have so many people who love and support me so close. They are all surprised that I'm actually embarking on this adventure, but they're all super supportive.
9:30pm: On the way home from dinner at grandma's, I completely lose it. I happen to be driving past the temple, which I've visited several times since I bought my plane tickets. It was already closed so I sat in my car and cried/freaked out/prayed for half an hour. When I got there I felt defeated and weak, and when I left I felt confident that I can do this. But I was still crying. Once the waterworks start, it's like a ruptured dam behind these eyeballs of mine.
10:00pm: I listened to church music in my car on the way home.
10:15pm: I made mate' and took 2 melatonin pills...there's no way I'm waking up at 5:30am again.
10:40pm: I'm still waiting for the melatonin to kick in. I have lavendar oil on my wrists and neck, and I'm watching The Santa Clause. I plan to listen to my anxiety CD of whales singing while I fall asleep.
See what I mean? Coping skills. Lavendar. Mate'. Singing whales. Temple. Church music. I know this trip is supposed to happen and I know it will, but it will take a lot for me to get there.