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Anxiety in Action

It seemed so important to me at the time to pick the perfect chair in the airport to settle in for a six hour layover. I wanted to be at a phone charging station but not too close to anyone else, perfectly central to all the gates so I didn’t have to take a hike when my gate was eventually announced but relatively hidden so I could get on the ground and do some yoga without drawing too much attention to myself. There was also a deeper urge to be close to someone that was likely to speak English or maybe someone who had arrived on the same flight as me. In searching for the perfect airport spot I realised that in one notion I was attempting to avoid all human contact in a public space contrastingly, I was yearning for human connection amongst crowds of loneliness.

So this, visually, was me in motion, pacing up and down long lengths of the airport convincing myself that movement was good after a long haul flight and I was just 'stretching my legs'. I recognised that I felt more comfortable moving than standing still although both actions were fuelled by the same mental state “where the f**k do I sit?” My psychologist once told me that people with anxiety are generally higher functioning people, in that we like, nay, feel a deep urgency, to get. shit. done. This was so apparent in this moment of uncertain pacing. I wasn’t making the decision I needed to make but I was putting one foot in front of the other and getting somewhere and analysing something. Right?

Now I’m sitting and WiFi is not good. I can send a few messages back and forth to family but really no other webpages and apps will load. There are so many things I could do but with my laptop open and no internet I start typing. I couldn’t write for a while and that’s because writing about my experiences and my feelings is so foreign lately. Although now I’ve thought about my mental state enough to put it on the page in front of me, I feel better. I was only moments ago consumed in my anxiety and now I’m sitting here cooly, laughing at how stupid I must have looked walking laps of this single strip of airport retail trying to 'be chill'. Life ain’t too bad when you laugh at the shit that makes you feel isolated and recognise that that is what brings us all together.

Sit, breathe, laugh, write.

Written by co-founder Monique in transit to Europe for her first time travelling solo, June 2019.

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