Saturday 15 May 2010

I could worry until the cows come home.

Would I ever allow something to stop me doing what I want to do? Depends what that thing is. If it's transport trouble, or weather, or illness - yes, it may well stop me. But what if the thing which stops me is me? More precisely, what if it were my anxiety which stopped me doing what I've dreamed of doing since I was 15, since I saw the coverage on BBC Two, late at night, at that special extended weekend in some fields in Somerset?

Last year, in October, I bought a ticket to go to Glastonbury. I know I'm very lucky to have been able to get one. Luckily, so did a friend of mine, as we plan to go there together. We were both awake earlyish on that Sunday morning, waiting for the website to crash. It did, many times. Countless times. But we each succeeded in (not literally) getting our hands on a ticket.

When Radiohead played Glastonbury in 1997, and the coverage was, as ever, on BBC Two at something past 11:00pm, my lovely Little Nan was staying with us. She used to stay on the sofa so, I got the video set up to record the highlights programme and then get out of the way so she could sleep. I didn't mind. She was my Nan and I'd have done anything for her. I still would, if she were still here.
Thom and chums played that huge stage and the crowd was enormous, glowing and loud, full of life and joy. And I vowed I'd do that one day. I thought, "One day, I'll go there. I won't feel intimidated by my own fears, I won't give in to anxiety, I won't be scared of panic attacks."

And yet, here I am, having bought a ticket to fulfil my years-old dream of festival wonders, new places, a mini holiday with not much in the way of cleaning facilities, every chance of minimal sleep and lots and lots of people. All I keep thinking about is if I'll panic. "What if I can't sleep?" and "What if I feel sickly and anxious, and retch and panic so completely stupidly?" bounce around my mind like Tigger. Playing table tennis. On a trampoline.

How can I let these thoughts dictate my life? If I get anxious in a shop, or at my relatives' homes 200-odd miles away or at my "safe place", at home, I may as well be anywhere. I could become panicked about being so far from home. I could be unable to sleep properly or at all. I could get very cold at night. Equally, of course, I could not. All could be well and I may have a supreme time at an incredible festival with so much to see and do, more than can be experienced in three days.

The way my brain works annoys the HELL out of me, because it is my brain and I should be able to control it. Shouldn't I? If yes, why can't I, sometimes? Why does it cause me so many problems? Is it actually me causing the problems? Is it some subconscious defence mechanism? And, if it were, it's a rubbish one, because we're meant to move forward with life and do things we don't want to do, but by not doing those things, we become stagnant, and dull, and depressed. I'm already the latter; I don't want to the other two to happen to me.

Perhaps my previous blog post was more apt - ARSE.