A quick introductory note: I openly struggle with anxiety and perfectionism (recovering perfectionist, in the words of Brene Brown). I know that I am not alone. I also know that my struggle and voicing my journey has helped many people. It helps to be the voice for those that cannot and to help someone realise that there is help/hope and that we are not alone. Also, I am a researcher, with a focus on mental health so it is easier for me to get people help, if they ask. Either way, I have been a great support and voice.
How Arizona changed my life, in facing my fears (false evidence that appears real):
I had never gone on vacation alone before, let alone travel to another country alone. I’m afraid to go on my own, a single woman travelling in the middle of no where. Yes, I am in my 30’s, but still, my anxiety. I don’t know how dangerous people are there and what if my rental car goes down? What if there is no cell signal or roaming? These were a few of the excuses that I gave to myself when my friend backed out of a planned trip to Arizona. However, I needed a break, a spiritual break. I was going through A LOT: over-worked, burnt out, tired, recovering from a bad break-up (another story) and needed to get away. My American friend/colleague told me about Sedona, it was a retreat, and encouraged me to “see the Grand Canyon at least once in your life.”
Long story short, I faced my on-going struggle with anxiety and faced my fears over travelling alone in the desert. I had to eliminate the non-existent “The hills have eyes” scenario and meeting one of America’s active serial killers on the road.