05-26-15 The Anticipation Phase

It started earlier this week, but culminated this evening… The Anticipation Phase.

If you know me well, or have been haunting this blog for awhile, you know that I deal with some lovely anxiety issues, mostly related to traveling (and things being unfamiliar or out of routine.) (If that’s news to you, then the backstory is for another day)

For years I had a pretty consistent MO for traveling, which was not traveling. Or- attempting to travel, but ending up not actually going anywhere. Or Tim’s personal favorite- actually getting on the road and then turning around to bring me home. 😦

It wasn’t until after C was born that we actually started to make some successful trips and the victories started to outnumber the failures. And that was awesome!!

And so while I travel sooooo much better now, I still have to deal with some of the issues that make traveling unpleasant.

Enter the Anticipation Phase. This is one of the lingering problems that has been the hardest to get over. It’s the phase where my mind begins to try to sabotage any upcoming trip. It usually starts 5-7 days before a trip and grows in intensity as I get closer to leaving. If I’m not vigilant, my mind travels dangerous paths of “what ifs” that can derail my progress. The first thoughts are pretty innocuous, but it doesn’t take long for worst case scenarios to start playing out in real time in my head. When I was in the early stages of my PTSD, I didn’t know how to recognize it for what it was so it would overwhelm me and I’d give up. After years of reconditioning that thought process I can now take each of those thoughts captive and dispose of them as necessary, but it is still very exhausting. However, if I can manage to navigate the anticipation phase and actually start on my trip, then for the most part it is smooth sailing. Anticipation is always the worst part.

A few weeks ago I realized that this was going to be a long weekend, so I got the brilliant idea to go out of town. And everything was going great until about Monday and that’s when anticipation kicked in and by tonight I am pretty jumpy. And while all of this is completely on schedule and not at all surprising, my poor children got the “traveling soon” version of Mommy, so I pretty much owe them a huge apology in the morning.

I haven’t packed a thing and I have decided to leave it until the morning. We aren’t leaving until mid day, so it will be good to have a large, active project to focus my pre-travel jitters on.

Meanwhile, the only photo of interest I took today was of this sandwich…

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My children asked me for Ranch Dressing Sandwiches for dinner and “traveling soon” mommy mind-numblingly made these disgusting sandwiches to compliment their pasta dinner. I’m pretty sure my kids would be happy living off of them. #Savages

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