For as long as I can remember I have had a fear of being in public places on my own, particularly if there is a crowd. These days, I cope with familiar places fairly well, such as the local shops, the park where I walk, and the beach. Any where I haven’t been causes me anxiety, unless I have someone I know with me.
My anxiety is related to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms of which tend to cycle through better times and bad times. While there has been a general improvement of my symptoms over the last two years, the last six months has seen my anxiety levels steadily increase, and a return of flashbacks and nightmares in the last few weeks.
My natural reaction has been to withdraw, as much as possible, and stay well within my comfort zone. Awareness of my withdrawal has been highlighted by the recent anniversary of making a conscious decision to face my fears and push myself to extend my life beyond my comfort zone to ensure that I live and make the most of every moment, instead of just existing.
I am very lucky and blessed to have some amazing friends, who are aware of my recent ‘bad’ habits, and have set some challenges for me to help overcome my fears, and ensure I remain committed to living life to the fullest.
So, here I am, completing Weekend Challenge #1 – take myself to the drag racing.
I’m a speedway girl. I was brought up regularly attending speedway meetings – my father raced saloon cars when I was very young, my uncle raced go-karts, my brother raced junior solos, and I did a stint as a swinger on sidecars – so essentially, speedway is in my blood. But I have never been to the drags.
It is slightly ironic going to the drags is my first Weekend Challenge, because it was making a conscious decision to face my speedway demons twelve months ago that started a year-long journey of staring my anxiety and fear in the eye, and choosing to live life anyway.
And here I am, alone, in the middle of a crowd, in a place I’ve never been, having a total blast!