mental health and travel
This is an extract from my book, my mental health memoir that is nearly finished.
Chapter 15 - The mental health writer’s guide to anxiety – don’t panic, Earth is mostly harmless
Note - this describes a part of my life in 2004 when I had cannabis induced psychosis with delusions of a grandiose nature. I thought I was telepathic, and this contributed doubly to the excruciating experience of having panic attacks.
I don’t remember my first panic attack. I’d had something similar on the ward at the general hospital, an isolated incident. Actually that happening on ward D4 was probably my first, but I don’t remember the first of the others. They were frequent, long and excruciating, but it was a couple of months before I started to categorise them as panic attacks. It seemed to me that there were no words that could describe them, to define how shit they were.
Well I call it a holiday, it was for me. It wasn’t a sunny clime (it pissed down mostly) but we did see a real Concorde (no, not in the air unfortunately, they haven’t done that since 2003) at the British Aerospace Museum. We ate at ZaZa Bazaars, my second favourite restaurant in the world, literally. We stayed for two nights in a four star hotel, where my mum and I were constantly picking faults. I’ll explain that in a bit. And the reason we went – my Brother, Will, lives there.
Most of us are lucky enough to know the joys of having infants in the family. Every single one of your ancestors had children. Much less of us know how great this can be for recovering from mental illness! For me, my nieces being born helped my anxiety in a rather special way.
So part two of this epic series (note to self – calm down Pete) is about being further along my anxiety recovery journey, when things were already moving along towards being over my anxiety and panic attacks. I’d learned that I could go out of the house and do general life stuff already, and that I would probably not panic (unless it was a bad day or a big event) and that sometimes doing life stuff was a necessity. But I wasn’t enjoying it. I wanted to learn how to be able to enjoy it.