I’m actually writing this after just landing from a 14 hour flight, so this is about as honest real talk as you can get from a flight attendant who’s just finished those ULR (ultra long range for those not in the crew lingo know) duties across the world and back. WHO the hell invited this unwanted guest to the party. I feel that as part of the ups to our lifestyle there are a lot of downsides that of course as with anything if managed well, you can overcome but it doesn’t stop the buggar that goes by the name of ‘Anxiety’ from trying it’s best to rain on your parade.
Lack of sleep, lack of oxygen! Lack of exercise, too much time to think, too much time to fret, to worry, yada yada the list goes on. I find my way of dealing with these emotions is to tap away at my computer, usually emailing myself. I mean i kept a diary since the year 2000, im no stranger to find that talking to myself really is quite theraputic. Some go to the gym, others take a walk, some paint, I TYPE WITH CAPS LOCK FULLY ON TO EXPRESS MYSELF ON A DAILY BASIS.
What is it? Why does it appear like a thief in the night ready to steal your moments of joy, creeping up behind you wearing one of those shady white sheets with cut out eyes ready to frighten ‘Miss Happiness’ off so it can get to work. When you have been sleep deprived for several days sling slot from one continent to the next, for sure, anxiety gets to work in spectacular fashion, rubbing her hands in glee at it’s new found victim.
I am not placing the emphasis on anxiety disorders as such in this post, mental health issues are a serious topic that is not to be taken lightly, nor overlooked. But they also need to be discussed. Even by talking about them raises awareness, and spreads the word to those who may not want to speak out. Not everyone is so public with their emotions, i’ve always felt i have been, probably too much in the past sometimes (i mean not every single tom dick and harry needs to know my ex boyfriends names by heart i guess) but i also find that by writing these honest accounts down i’m sure there is someone out there who may read this one day, who may be able to relate. Especially fellow cabin crew.
It is so important in our line of work to keep ourselves nourished, watered, fed, (making us sound like my plant here) but it’s true. We talk to plants kindly and shower them with love to help them grow, so why therefore do we fail to do that to ourselves? I can’t even preach this because i certainly don’t give myself that love either. However, i am learning and taking those steps to change that too. Taking the decision to not stay up all night until 6am binge watching documentaries on life, the Universe, or whatever topic i’m currently obsessing over (okay, i’ve restrcited that to at least one day of the week) but to sign up to the gym, take fitness classes, YOGA, meditation (except im really not very good at that at the moment, are you meant to fall asleep every time?) and rather than keep my thoughts inside my head to fester and escalate, to keep a diary and write it all down. After a long flight i usually write my thoughts down, and the next day once i’ve slept and rejunevated my body when i come to read the notes, i cannot even believe its the same person talking…
Emotions are messy, they’re erratic, mostly nonsensical, and often unpleasant. Learn to embrace them, and utilise them rather than bottle them up like i have done on so many occasions! 4am is a beautiful hour to stay awake, but it must be for the right reasons…
ANXIETY, you’re barred.