My Mental Health: A Team Friday Linkup

I thought I should link up with Team Friday today for a few reasons. One, it’s been a while since I’ve linked up. Two, the lovely Stacey-Lee is gracious enough to host, the least I can do is support her. Third, and mostly, because the idea behind Team Friday has been such a massive part of my life the last 7 months, I need to keep this going.

People ask me if I am still on my “health kick” or still on my “diet”. I try to explain it’s not a kick, a fad, a diet, a passing phase. It is my life now. It is my routine, my regular, my habit. Physically, I comes leaps and bounds in the last seven months. Physically I am trimmer, stronger, fitter.

Mentally, well, that is another story. I thought I had come a long way. Turns out I’ve probably really only come a short way. I am happier. I tend to worry and stress far less about things out of my control. I think I have a much more positive and thankful outlook on life in general.

But I’m still suffering from anxiety. It started after my dad passed away, I think. I thought I had worked on it, made progress, but this week I’m severely doubting that. I have a phobia. A genuine, panic-inducing, fear. Of death. I thought I was afraid to fly, but I think that’s just a transfer from the true fear. I love my life. I don’t want it to be cut short. I want to grow old, be a grandmother, enjoy much much more time here. I wasted too much time not being happy. But the irony in all this is that my fear is stopping me from actually enjoying things. We’re about to leave on an 8 day South Island holiday and I’m so exhausted from the stress about flying, I don’t know how I’ll enjoy the actual holiday.

I have moments, brief and fleeting moments, where I am ok with it all. But for the most part I am gripped with fear. My palms sweat, my heart races, my stomach ties in knots and my chest tightens. My legs don’t want to work, I can’t focus on anything and I would do just about anything to NOT have to get on the plane. More irony. My father wouldn’t have been able to step foot on a plane even if it wasn’t going anywhere. Did his fear transfer to me when he died?

I hoped we’d be on a big plane, but we’re not. It’s the same size as the plane we went to Melbourne on. Surely a bigger plane would be needed for international travel? I think I feel safer on bigger planes. I don’t know why. But then how can I even start to question such an irrational fear?

The mind is a strange, strange and powerful place. For now I’ll attempted to subdue it with drugs (thanks Doc!) but maybe it’s time to start looking at a long-term, drug-free solution to this problem.

Linking up with Stacey-Lee at Get On With It Already for Team Friday
And Mama Grace for FYBF

16 thoughts on “My Mental Health: A Team Friday Linkup

  1. I have a massive fear of death too. Whether its the end of my own life or of those I love the most, I am terrified of the unknown. Of what happens after we die.
    But I think humans and life in general is too complex for there not to be something for us to just return to dust.
    I hope you do get to enjoy your holiday, though. You deserve it xxx

    • Thanks Grace, I did enjoy my holiday. I *hated* both flying segments, but enjoyed everything in between. I am with you, think it is fear of the unknown (and also for me, a little bit of not being in control).

  2. All I can say is that I know exactly how you feel – I am not too bad with flying but I am like that with heights – I wish I could wave a magic wand to make it better for you but I can’t and all I can tell you is that I am on this side of the ocean willing you safe travels and the very best holiday that you can have. Tomorrow morning will come and it will go and you will be in NZ having the most amazing time.
    With lots of love, hugs and positive energy !

    • Thanks L. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your fear of heights better, too. 😦 It truly sucks, doesn’t it? Thanks for your support. you were right – it came, it went, we were fine, and had a great time! x

  3. Thank you for supporting TEAM Friday! Whilst I am still struggling with the exercise part of my lifestyle change, food is not too hard but the mental health side of things – well that is the hardest part and I truly believe it is a long term process and whilst you have made a lot of progress in 7 months you should not beat yourself up at not having ‘nailed’ it. I hope the meds help with your anxiety about the plane flight, it would be a shame to not enjoy your holiday. Best of luck x

    • Thanks Stacey-Lee. The meds didn’t actually help that much unfortunately! I enjoyed the trip a lot and did manage to completely ignore the fact I had to fly again once we got there and just enjoyed the moments! I hate flying, but not going to let it stop me seeing and doing amazing things!

  4. i felt like that when I flew to Vanuatu – i was terrified for some reason. In fact, I flew to Paris via Jordan at Christmas and also almost had a panic attack. It was perfectly fine (on both occasions) but I summoned dutch courage by a few gin and tonics on the way over. Anxiety is an understated poison in our society. You are not alone in how you feel. Each step toward managing it is a step closer to being free from it. It’s ok.

    • Thank you so much. The flight attendants asked if I wanted a drink, but I’d already had 2 valium so that was a no-go! ha ha! I don’t think people really understand how bad anxiety can be. It’s not that I just don’t like flying, it’s that I am absolutely bloody terrified of it and shake/cry/freak out while doing it. It’s debilitating. Thank you for your support and lovely words.

  5. Hello there, you’ve got self-knowledge and that’s the most important thing. And you’ve been to the doctor. Have you tried CBT for the anxiety in the past? I always say I am NOT scared of death, but I say it from the position of health so who knows? But I have enjoyed a lot some books about Buddhism and death, the books talked very openly about it and there isn’t enough of that in the world. Happy holidays!

    • I haven’t tried CBT but the dr did recommend it for the long run. I would like to try it and overcome this fear. I’d love to be able to travel without getting an ulcer about it every single time.

    • I think mine has gotten worse since my dad and uncle both died. I started to feel like death was around every corner, just waiting, and I was so worried about who it would grab next. I also think it has a bit to do with being a parent, you want to always be there for your kids and worry about what will happen if you’re not.

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