April 2016, on the DLR train line on my way home from work, I’m between Greenwich Station and Cutty Sark station underground. The train comes to an abrupt stop and the lights dim, over the speakers I hear the driver say “unfortunately ladies and gentlemen we are suffering from a loss of signal, we are currently unsure of when we will be on the move again. Apologies for the delay and I will update you if I hear anything else” – Great, could this day get any worse?
Turn the clock back to the beginning of the day, I had been in meetings all day leading to a mountain of work from managers for an upcoming south east asia roadshow. I had just stopped seeing a guy who I thought was not only part of my future but also a very good friend. Then my computer system crashed for five hours causing the mountain of work to go from a snowdown to everest.
Due to the events of the day my anxiety was flaring by the end so I had decided to get the national rail and DLR home to have some daylight and a think. Little did I know that today would be the day that would change my anxiety and mode of travel completely. I had been underground for a total of 40 minutes before the train pulled into Cutty Sark station. I had also suffered countless amount of panic attacks and emerged from the station crying. After this day I couldn’t even go down onto the underground platform let alone get onto the train, I was unable to get onto the DLR as well as the National Rail.
Eventually with no other option I gradually got used to the National Rail again and DLR but the underground I still have not touched nearly two years later. Drunk yes, sober no. Over the last two weeks I have successfully completed my first two long distance train journeys, this consisted of York – Worcester and York – London. Although I still can’t go underground often on the DLR and can’t step foot on the underground sober I counted these two train journeys as massive accomplishments. I didn’t panic at all, I enjoyed myself and it was during awful weather conditions so woo!
I highly recommend reading the following link for anyone who is a fellow travel anxious person http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/17/how-to-travel-on-the-tube-if-you-have-anxiety-6855579/
No one should let anxiety stop them from seeing family, going to events or activities. It may have stopped me for a while but I’ve pushed through, stood up to anxiety and said no more. I’m fine.