This is an excerpt from my diary of a year ago:
‘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!!