Being a person with anxiety and depression, I can be a little unpredictable. I do not always know when anxiety or depression will strike. I can do everything I should be doing, medication, coping mechanisms, self-awareness, but I can still have moments that catch me off guard. I can also surprise myself in my moments of happiness and bravery. Accomplishing things that I never thought I could achieve. Not having anxiety attacks when I use to. This weekend was full of those unpredictable moments, but it was still incredible nonetheless.
My boyfriend and his friend left Thursday night to Acadia. Myself and his friend’s girlfriend (also my friend) left on Friday. Now, I want to start this off by saying that on Friday morning I noticed that I forgot to take my anti-anxiety medication on Thursday morning. I honestly didn’t think too much about it. It was a six and half hour drive. On the way there, I felt fine, or so I thought. I had a moment of anxiety while driving in traffic in a small city, but other than that I felt pretty good. We didn’t arrive at our campsite until 10:30 pm. At that point, I was exhausted. When I arrived, I thought I felt okay. Soon enough, I become angry and anxious about staking the tent down, eating food, and other things that just weren’t worth getting anxious about and normally I would be okay. I remember crying in the bathroom and seeing myself in the mirror. I felt dissociated. The next morning when I woke up, the night before or more like the day before all felt like a dream. It was like I was living my life in a cloud of smoke. Nothing seemed right. Nothing seemed okay. I do associate this with forgetting to take my medication. I remember when I would change doses in this medication and my anxiety would heighten. I remember feeling out of it the same way I did that night. The next day I was great again. It just didn’t seem like a great start to the weekend, which made me nervous for the rest of it.
The next day we ended up doing the Precipice Trail in Acadia. Now, this hike is known as being dangerous and scary. There are a lot of climbs on metal ladders. Walking on small ledges. Usually, this would give me anxiety, but I was perfectly fine. It was fun. I was excited for it and happy. I didn’t have moments of anxiety or complaining. I was proud. I was brave. I was happy.
Then, things changed, well sort of. We ended up going to Otter Cliffs for rock climbing. So these cliffs are best to climb at low tide because they are oceanside cliffs. You have to be lowered, or you have to rappel down to the bottom of the cliff to start the climb. My friend did the climb first. He said it was fun and thought I could do it. So I gave it a go because when else will I have the opportunity to rock climb next to the ocean like this? As soon as I was being lowered, I was consumed with regret. I was terrified. I kept looking up at my boyfriend, who was lowering me, for reassurance. Once I got to the bottom, I just ended up going for it. Chalked up my hands and made the first moves. Then I got stuck. I didn’t want to move. I looked down. I felt my hands slipping. I ended up having an anxiety attack on the wall. I couldn’t breathe or think. My boyfriend and friend kept trying to offer me words of encouragement, but it didn’t help. Eventually, my boyfriend ended up lifting to my a wider ledge so I could stand better. I hugged the wall. When I calmed down enough, I finished the climb, with moments of anxiety. For a few minutes, I felt like a failure. I have climbed this type of climb before. I should have been able to do it. Instead, I let my anxiety get the best of me with my boyfriend having to assist me. Then I thought about it more. I ended up being proud. This climb was terrifying. I showed people it, and all of them thought I was badass for even attempting it. I had an anxiety attack on the wall but finished the climb anyway with a little bit of help. I am counting this as a victory.
The last day of the trip went smoothly. We did another non-technical climbing hike that was fun. We got beer and food in Bar Harbor then headed home. Usually, at the end of a long, intense weekend, I get anxiety. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened in a while and this past weekend was no exception. I drove half the way home. I was good. No anxiety. No depression. I even had a job interview the next day, and I still felt okay.
Even with the bad anxiety at the beginning of the weekend, I’m still counting this adventure as a success. When having anxiety or depression, can be easy to get worried about going on trips like this. Or taking risks. Or traveling far. Or trying new things. I get scared that I’m going to flip out at people around me because of it. Sometimes I try to stay clear. I don’t want that to hold me back anymore. You can have anxiety and depression and still have a fun, adventurous weekend. You can still try new things. You can still push yourself outside your comfort zone. You can still have moments of anxiety. The weekend can still be considered a success and a great weekend. Don’t let it stop you. Just keep moving forward.