It’s been almost five years since my SCAD and I wanted to let you guys know that things can, and do, significantly improve with the passage of time. If you had your SCAD in 2015 then you may not believe me, as the first year is the hardest. 2011 for me was a nightmare of A&E visits, hospital appointments, anxiety and a feeling that life as I knew it was over. Well, it was actually, but it turns out that it was no bad thing, as I’ve never been happier than I am right now.
The very best news in the last few months is that my wanderlust has returned. I really thought my globetrotting days were over, but just recently we’ve been looking at holidays in Costa Rica, and maybe even Australia and New Zealand is no longer out of the question. If you’d have told me this on my first post SCAD flight to Mallorca when I sat shaking in the departure lounge convinced that flying would stop my heart, then I would never have believed you. Well, since then, we’ve travelled extensively, but mostly in Europe.
So, the big trip for 2016 is a girls only trip to New York (shopping yay!!) with my best friend Linda. Following this, who knows where the new year will take me?
‘I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fly long haul again, or go to a country where I’m not scared of having a heart attack and getting the wrong treatment. I want to be fit and healthy, but getting my heart right is such an uphill struggle. The right way forward is to live in the moment , do the things I want to do while I can still do them, and not plan to be some fabulous version of myself sometime in the future. I have to be the best I can be right now because now is all we really have’.
Little did I know that a few months later I would win a holiday to New York! Seven and a half hours away flying across the Atlantic. Panic mode set in! There was no way I was going to miss this prize but could I do it? Would I run away when we got to the gate? Would anything happen to me on the plane?
I needed to access my inner strength. The only way to deal with this was ‘head in the sand’ mode. I just could not think past the holiday. I was focused on getting myself to the airport and not planning any further than that! I didn’t think about anything I had to do when I got home because in the back of my mind I thought I may not make it! I know, drama queen!!
So we got to Manchester airport and I felt sick with worry. To distract myself I bought a couple of magazines and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I refused to envisage myself boarding the plane or being in flight. I just took it moment by moment.
And guess what? I’m still here! The flight was bumpy as hell, but I didn’t panic, I just buried my nose in my book and mags and focused on just being me.
The relief when we landed at Newark was quite something! It was like a light had been switched on and all of a sudden I was the old me again, itching to explore. We had a fabulous trip and I feel I’ve overcome a major hurdle in my recovery. I would definitely consider another long haul flight – so roll on Barbados next winter!!