Monday, July 03, 2006

Back we go

I am back there again. I was hoping that 'forewarned was forearmed’. I knew this week was going to be tough, but I was willing this knowledge to help me control the pain and the fear. It doesn’t seem to be working. My heart is racing, my hands are shaking and I am on the verge of tears. I am back where I was last September.

Yesterday I had my first panic attack for 6 months. I was in Cornwall with friends, staying in a beautiful house perched on the top of a cliff. The trouble is, I have been there before too. The evening after the bombings last year I drove down there with the very same friends. It was a surreal week end but I was glad I had gone. Cornwall holds a special place in my heart, we went on family holidays there throughout my childhood. It seemed like a logical place to be. Surrounded by clean, fresh peaceful air, away from the clogging smoke of terror struck London. We awoke in the morning to a bay filled with basking sharks. It felt like a special gift.

This time I wasn’t so sure. I had to take the tube on Friday morning with the same ‘trolley dolley’ full of luggage that I had carried on the 7th last year. When I emerged from South Kensington station I felt as if another journey had been completed. Cornwall was a different matter though. The views, the smells and even the beauty brought everything back. I was that shell shocked shadow of a person again, it all came flooding in.

I had anticipated this and taken the precious smattering of tranquilisers which I have been hoarding since I was prescribed them last year. Yesterday afternoon I took one. I am not sure if it was the panic attack I was afraid of or the prospect of having one in front of so many people. I didn’t want to cause a scene and spoil everyone’s week end, so I popped a pill and hid myself away with a newspaper for a few hours. For the first time ever I couldn't wait to get home. Back to the safety of my own bed.

Of course it may not have been Cornwall at all, it could well have been the fear of the week ahead. It was probably a combination of both. I know it’s going to be hard, I knew it was going to be tough, but it is still upsetting to find yourself taking such mammoth steps in the wrong direction. At least this time I know what is happening inside my mind and I understand why . I know I have the love and support of so many fellow passengers, strangers a year ago, who are all going through the same emotional mill.

Still, this week cannot be over soon enough.