Sometimes there’s no good answer to “Why can’t you do that?” It’s not as simple as “My doctor told me not to” or “I’ll be in too much pain.” Sometimes it’s a gut instinct response. I just know it’s a bad idea, even though I can’t put into words exactly why.
That’s how I feel about traveling right now. I think I can do it. I tell myself I’m ready. But when it comes to it, I feel like I shouldn’t. For a while I thought fear was holding me back. And it is. That’s definitely part of it, but not all of it.
Last weekend was a good example. I did everything “right.” I packed my bag in advance as much as I could. I took an extra adrenal supplement. I took various other supplements and medications that I thought would help. And they did. That’s why I felt horribly ill, but not so bad that I started to think death might be better. That’s the difference: I didn’t think about death.
So it was an improvement, but it still wasn’t fantastic. I felt like crap for hours, despite being super careful. I monitored and moderated my activity levels. I did everything right. But it wasn’t enough.
Last weekend’s trip involved a 3 hour drive – and someone else drove.
What would happen if I flew 5 hours? A friend wants me to visit. They’ve offered to pay for the plane ticket for me. I’d love to visit, but is it worth it? It’s a long flight. In tiny, uncomfortable seats. It could be longer if the flight is delayed. There’s time in the airport, plus getting to and from the airport. There’s the time change – a 3 hour difference.
How would I feel? Worse than after a drive? Certainly. I wouldn’t be able to bring cannabis on the plane with me, so that would make the following hours significantly worse.
In the end, though, I’d survive it. I always have. So why not go?
Because my gut tells me not to. My instinct is that I’d feel horrible for at least a few days, and by the time I started to feel more or less like myself, I’d be on the plane back home. It’s not worth it. Not now, at least.
The problem is that it’s hard to explain all of this in a way that makes sense to other people. I try, and they say I should just do it and it will be fine. I’m letting my fear stop me. I’m thinking about it too much. I should just go and have fun.
That all sounds great. But they don’t live in my body. I know my body. And I’d rather follow my instinct.
Do you have times you follow your instinct and can’t put the reasons into words? How do you explain those things to people? Please comment and share your experiences!
The only explanation that I have found that makes sense is that I ask people to multiply an activity I do. If I walked a mile (ha!) they would have walked 20 miles. If I fly in a cramped plane they would have flown to Australia with stops etc. in a cramped plane. It doesn’t take into account sensory or fatigue issues but it makes people realise our life is that difficult. Hugs xx
That’s an interesting approach, Lorna. I really like that, and I think I’ll try it and see how it works for me. Thanks for the idea!
I don’t travel, “easy” as that. One hour by car or posaibly by train is my maximum atm. People keep suggesting flying, and I’ve had a hard time explaining why a one-hour-flight is too much. You put it beautifully into words, thanks for that! It _is_ more than just the flight duration, indeed.
Lina, this post of mine from a few years ago might be helpful. You could share it with loved ones and explain which parts apply to you and which parts I’ve forgotten. And then you can make your own list for travel. It might be illuminating for them.