Thursday, July 1, 2010

The sweet possibilities a passport brings

I got a passport today. I am almost 30 and this is my first ever passport. This is a big deal for me. I have spent a vast majority of my life bogged down with panic attacks. 1st grade started it. A boy threw up in my classrom. Instant panic attack. I thought my world was ending. I couldn't breath, I felt like I needed to run, I felt like I was going to throw up, or pass out or both! This started a long line of letting my disorder stop me from living life. I was not going on field trips with the other kids, I was ditching class to come home because I felt sick in class, I wouldn't travel, I wouldn't do sleepovers, I wouldn't talk to my friends about what was going on, I just learned to hide it, and deal. with. it. Life was fine, I didn't feel like I was missing out. I was content knowing that I had my home close by, and my mom close by the two things that could calm me down when I was feeling anxious. A turning point for me was when Al and I got married. His parents offered to send us on our honeymoon, no cost to us. Instead of being excited, I felt like I was in a tunnel! They told us to choose a place to go, I started saying "no no!!!!" We chose the bahamas. Our trip was all set. I was literally praying something would happen so I could get out of going! Something did happen. A hurricane came through and ripped the roof off the lodge where we were going to stay. We were issued rain checks. Life was busy and my avoidance technique made it so by the time we *could* go again, the rain checks were expired. I was so relieved. Until I realized what I was missing out on. A few years ago, I started Zoloft, and was really working on myself. I wanted anxiety to be a part of my past life, not my future. I was done letting it run my life. I started counseling and taking baby steps to achieve new milestones in freeing myself from the disorder. I was able to eat in restaurants again! Without feeling sick that is. I was able to go into a movie theater and watch a movie and actually ENJOY IT! I slowly was gaining my life back and because of that, I was feeling as though I was experiencing life for the first time! The cool part is, I am experiencing it through a child's eyes. My kids. If I was going to free myself from being tied down with all the habits of avoidance I had created, now was the time!! I needed to enjoy life so my kids could experience life!
Last year marked my 5th year of marriage. We went to Vegas for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. I felt my world open up! I enjoyed the trip so much and the freedom that I felt; it was amazing! I was instantly hooked!! I started listing all the places I wanted to visit, even fantasizing about my ultimate dream trip which I am bound and determined to make it for my 40th birthday. I want to visit Italy. I have a passport now. The sky is my limit!
Why did I get a passport? September my cousin happens to be getting married in a beautiful place in Puerto Vallarta. It's going to be a great trip! Al and I are bringing our 7 year old daughter along, we are staying at a resort with my brother and sister in law and one of their 4 children, who happens to be the flower girl in the wedding. I can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait, mostly because *I* get to travel again, but moreso because my daughter has a passport at the age of 7 and she will be leaving the country with her mom and dad to explore another country! It amazes me and I feel blessed that we can give her what I couldn't give myself at the age of 7.


  1. Congrats Karrie! Trust me when I say I can relate to many of your feelings. Way to go that you took those steps to work through your panic/anxiety!

  2. Thanks Colleen!! Anxiety is something that plagues way too many people in my book!! I am just glad there's so much more out there these days! It's a fixable problem for sure!!


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