I have two goals I would like to achieve above anything else. 1.To travel on a bus without getting a panic attack and safely and calmly make it to my destination. 2. To buy my own house.
I am already saving up for goal 2 but I’m finding it very hard to overcome goal 1. The first time I went to Cork on the bus, I was completely fine. I went on the bus and went shopping in Cork.
The second time was for my 18th birthday . My friend and I had planned to go shopping in the city. That did not go to plan. We waited outside the bus stop for the bus to arrive and while we were waiting I got this overwhelming sense of panic. The bus arrived and I got on. “Come on Tara, It’ll be fine”. It was not fine.
I frantically searched for my earphones in my handbag hoping that the music would calm me down but my hands were shaking so much, I couldn’t pick anything up. There was another bus stop at the other side of town. My friend could see what was happening. I was having a panic attack. I felt trapped. I needed air. My friend turned to me. “Do you want to get off the bus?” Yes, I said.
I got off the bus. I watched as the bus drove away on route to the city as I stood there feeling ashamed and embarrased. Suddenly, I burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying. I was still shaking. “It’s okay, take a drink of water”. I reached for the water bottle in my bag and took a sip. I didn’t feel any calmer. I was still crying. My friend held me tight and kept telling me everything’s okay, everything’s okay.
My parents were driving in a nearby town. My friend called them. Tears were rolling down my cheeks.” I want to go, Please I want to go to Cork. Please.” We can’t go today. We will go another day I promise. You need to rest.”
We sat outside a small park. Several people past but I didn’t care that they saw me with my eyes filled with tears, my face hot with rage. I was angry at myself. I couldn’t manage to do one simple thing. My parents arrived around 10 minutes later. We got in the car. My parents turned around to look at me. They understood. Nobody was angry . They just understood. I went upstairs to my room. I took my antidepressant and rested on my bed. My mother hugged me while both her and my father said I needed to calm and rest for a while.
So ya it wasin’t the greatest 18th birthday but I realised something. I had people with me that day who I realised truly cared about me and loved me. They understood me. They made me feel safe and that’s all I needed to ease my anxiety.
Included picture of exact day I turned 18 ( not day I was going to Cork )