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Anxiety: The Boardmasters Edition

August 14, 2017

Something I absolutely hate is when people disregard someone's mental illness because they see them out having fun and actually living their life. Like we should all be quivering messes all the time. I don't understand where the need to prove yourself as a mental illness sufferer has come from, but it needs to fuck off, pronto. So, I've decided to write this post to narrate my weekend from a different perspective. 


Packing for a festival..easy right? Staying on a campsite for 3 days, 45 minutes down the road sounds like a doddle to most. And yet I was the person who started packing a week before the festival. I had 4 different checklists for what to bring, one on my mac, one on my phone, two in my notebook as well as a written plan of what I was going to wear. (Don't worry, I hear how stupid it sounds too.) On the Thursday I packed and unpacked at least 4 times to make sure I had everything I needed; toilet roll, snacks, soft drinks, pain killers, water, air bed...if I could fit my bedroom in my suitcase I probably would have. 


We had purchased a weekend camping ticket and were intending to buy an upgrade to have access to nice loos/hair washing etc. but the tickets sold out before we could buy any. This panicked me so much - mostly having to use portaloos in the mornings. So - I searched for tickets being sold but couldn't find any. Eventually I found some VIP upgrades for sale, so to settle myself we paid to upgrade our tickets. Nice toilets, showers, VIP parking, a campsite close to the arena with security, access to the VIP bar and chillout area (aaaaand relax.)


When Friday came, I completely lost my head. I had a banana for breakfast as I hadn't a hope in hell of eating anything substantial. I spent my morning pacing the garden and crying, and the worst bit was I couldn't pinpoint anything in particular that was making me feel this way. I'd been to the festival before so I knew what to expect, but the hammer to my routine was throwing me off completely.


I settled once we were in the car and on the way and I was starting to feel more positive about the whole thing. Everything went quite smoothly when we got there (except we couldn't put our tent up, so we paid a charity service to put it up for us, oops).


The weather started getting worse as the minutes went by, it was very windy and our tent was being blown all over the place. (Pitching a tent on the top of a cliff overlooking the sea definitely has it's downfalls.) We went out to have a look around the arena, listened to a few sets and came back the tent, just as it started raining. This worried me so much that I managed to talk myself into wanting to go home. So we packed up our stuff again and headed back to the car. We went back into the arena but we drove home that night and went back to the festival the next day. 


We did stay in the tent that night as we'd had a few drinks and the weather was pretty mellow, so that was good. But we chose not to drink the next night and drive home after we watched Stormzy. I love my bed way too much.


Overall, I did have a good weekend. But, there's always that moment before something like this where I ask myself why I do it to myself, and that if I just stayed at home I wouldn't have to endure these attacks. But I know that it's good for me. Part of my counselling is to incorporate exposure therapy into my life - so exposing myself to the things that make me feel anxious. This was very good for me in that aspect. Although it threw me for a week before, I did it and it was absolutely fine. I found it hard to relax at times but I did enjoy myself. 







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