I stayed in a hotel by myself last night. I felt like such a big girl 😉 This doesn’t feel like a monumental accomplishment, however my anxiety has been pretty bad lately. In fact, staying at the hotel was a way to ease my travel anxiety. I attended a two day training about an hour and a half away from my house and I knew there would be traffic on the drive home. I decided to stay overnight in the area to help alleviate the concern of getting stuck in traffic. I actually was not nervous about staying alone overnight, but I wanted to take a drive to a neighboring, popular town I have never visited. By the end of the first day of training, which included leaving my house at 6 am, navigating to the location I was unfamiliar with, sitting through the lecture-style format training which was SO boring, finding the hotel and checking in, I was emotionally exhausted. I admit I took Xanax throughout the day, which I normally try to avoid, but it did help a little. I was disappointed but decided to nix the drive to the other town and went to a restaurant as close to the hotel as possible. It is funny- I do not really have as much anxiety about doing things alone. My friend who also suffers from anxiety said she would never be able to stay alone in a hotel overnight and my boyfriend feels really uncomfortable eating in a restaurant by himself. Those things don’t bother me that much. After I ate, it was still pretty early and it was post-rush hour traffic and I spontaneously decided to take the drive to the town I wanted to visit and I did! I felt those tingles of anxiety as I drove, but I really tried to fight through it and I did!
It is so easy to look back on this little two day excursion and focus on the negatives and failures. I felt anxious pretty much the whole time I was in the car. As soon as I arrived at the training, I wanted to turn around and immediately go home. I felt disappointed with myself for deciding not to visit the other town. When I did go to the other town, it was raining a bit and so I never parked and explored. I took more Xanax than I normally would. “I want to go home” flitted through my brain about 200 times throughout the first day of training. It is hard not to focus so much on the weaknesses I have and the things I feel like I can’t do.
But I am going to try to focus on the things I did do- the successes. They may seem minor to other people. I am sure most people would not congratulate themselves for driving an extra 20 minutes out of their way or staying at a hotel by themselves. I am not patting myself on the back, but I do feel like I am often way too hard on myself and I need to be a better friend to myself instead of falling into the habit of being my own worst enemy. I didn’t fly across the country, but I did break out of my comfort zone, so I am going to chalk that up as a win.