Tag: Anxiety

How To Fear Food Fight

 

Step One

Listen to your gut instinct. Not anxiety’s gut instinct. Yours. We’ve heard enough from anxiety. Is this food something you would like to eat? Have you eaten it before or want to try it? If you answered ‘yes’ move on to step two.

Step Two

Do it. Think no more.

… Okay, it isn’t quite as easy as that, but go for it. Find an accomplice to aid you in your tasty mission. Enjoy it. Don’t talk yourself out of it.

Step Three

By far the hardest. Do not let your mind fool you into believing this is a big deal. It isn’t. There will be things you regret in your life but in twenty, thirty, forty years time you will definitely not be regretting eating this. It will not play on your mind until your old age. The feelings you have now can be interpreted as anxiety… or excitement. You are rubbing anxiety’s face in the freedom you have found. And that is exciting. Either way this feeling is temporary. This will pass.

Distract yourself, listen to music or watch a film, read a book or go online. Do not waste a moment on anxious thoughts. If you find yourself getting anxious reread the previous paragraph.

Step Four

Later, record somewhere what you have achieved. Keep it and use it as evidence that anxiety is wrong. Nothing bad happened. Anxiety may have made you feel rubbish, but that is not the food’s fault! Your anxious reaction will get less and less if you keep fighting it. Keep challenging and gaining new territory from the anxious dictator and you will conquer. Some battles will be harder than others, but if you keep fighting you will come out on top.

Do What You Have To, Get Out That Door

At the bottom of the washing machine is a very unappetising pulp stuck onto the ankle of my jeans. It is one of those days where bailing on checking the pockets of my washing pile has come back to bite me. These sluggish remains of yellow paper have been hiding in the back pockets of my jeans. They are instructions for my brain.

It may sound bizarre but for the last few months when going out I have made myself a crib sheet to follow on how to function, like the kind you would need if you were using a very temperamental second hand computer. On some sheets are just the basics- “You need to get the number 6 bus before 5pm” or “return library books so they don’t fine you”. On others the detail is much more and without that scrap of paper I wouldn’t be able to get out of the door.

Take this weekend for example- Gay Pride. A familiar bus ride and then a one hour train journey to a familiar city. A whole day out, which I had been mentally planning for a fortnight. My yellow piece of paper is A4 and double sided. It gives a complete itinerary for the day with planned times to make sure I eat something to avoid blood sugar crashes. It even suggests what to eat and where from, avoiding foods which will trigger OCD thoughts and cause unnecessary stress on an already daunting day. There are multiple choice, step by step instructions of all the things I usually do without batting an eyelid; worst case scenarios, distraction ideas and helpful thoughts to tell myself. It all sounds odd. I know.

But actually this is a coping strategy that I have learnt and it works. It means I can get out and about and do things I want to do. Granted with limited spontaneity. It isn’t something that I have been told to do by any therapist, it’s just what I taught myself. There have been, and are, times where I need much more than my plans. Backpacks with enough water to end a hosepipe ban and enough hand sanitiser to supply a particularly hygiene conscious surgeon operating in a swamp. Sometimes just to go down to the shops I take half my sensory box and something to cuddle. I won’t use even a quarter of these things but it’s knowing I have them which allows me to go out.

My point here is do what you have to do. Survival, backpacking mode. At the end of the day nobody knows or cares what you have in your bag. No one knows how much you have planned the day or how many things you had to do things to make it happen. Do what you have to do to get out the door and have a good time. I had a pretty awesome time at pride, my plans worked fine and I didn’t use any of the listed distractions for train journeys or the second battery pack for my phone.

I repeat I am not a therapist, or qualified with anything other than experience. I just want to share what I have found to help my neuroboiler to keep ticking on. Maybe it will help someone. 

 

What to Do When a Mind is Struggling

It’s mental health awareness week! Wahoo! To celebrate, for the first time ever, I opened up my blog to my Facebook friends. I asked what they wanted to see more of- and I got a brilliant response! The thing I want to tackle first is how exactly people can help someone with a mental illness. It was in demand and it is so great that people want to help.

First, three important words:

“I believe you.”

Never underestimate this statement. It is subtle yet effective in the way that it works. You see, a lot of people with mental illness feel like they are misunderstood or not believed. Just these words can make all the difference.

You can’t fix it

If you ask a mentally ill person what’s wrong you may get a variety of answers. Some of the problem might be abstract- dark feelings or hallucinations. If this is the case listen. You can’t get rid of these things but you can get rid of the loneliness that person has in the situation. Good things to say are: “That must be really hard”, “You do so well to fight all this.”, “I can see how hard it must be.” And “It will pass soon and I’m here until it does”. Notice there are no questions? Questions can make the person feel interrogated or judged. Listening is your best bet.

If there is a physical problem that is ongoing, making the person distressed, you may be tempted to leap on it. Just because it isn’t as abstract as the above it doesn’t mean you can solve it. If the issue has got the person to the point of complete distress then it is not something easily solved. Mentally ill- not stupid. For some of us logic goes out the window when in crisis, to you the issue may seem to have been completely blown out of proportion but be patient! I’d encourage you to think of what kind of situation would make you feel that distressed, and act how you would want to be treated. It might be that a mug has broken, but the distress may seem equivalent to how you’d feel if you had a near miss on a motorway. As a last thought on this- problem solving at its most effective usually takes place when all parties involved are dry-eyed and rational.

Distraction

Use with caution. Never give the impression that you want the person to stop talking to you or that you have heard enough. Hear them out and then, when things start to slow and calm a bit suggest doing something. “Shall we put a film on for a bit?”, “Is there anything that might make you feel a bit better now?”, “what should we do now?”. Preferably stay with them, do something else and try to promote different topics. If the problem does raise its ugly head, talk about it and then move on. Don’t make the person feel that the problem is being belittled.

Breathing

If the person is out of breath or has irregular breathing then try to encourage a calming breath. Use your voice to calm and instruct in and out breath to a slow count of three. Do it yourself. You can quietly do this without saying anything, just by beginning the exercise yourself and making the breaths audible.

Reassurance

Reassurance is always good. You might be asked for reassurance or you might feel like it is needed. If you are being asked for reassurance- don’t even think before giving it. Say what you have to to get the person to calm down but If the person needs reassurance a lot, and not just in crisis, think more carefully. Don’t use blanket reassurance. I’m going to use an example.

Emergency reassurance:

*person showing distress, irregular breathing etc*: “I won’t be sick will I?!”
Friend: “No, don’t worry you won’t be sick. You’re fine.”

This is the blanket method. It helps when the person is panicking about something very unlikely and the fear or panic is intense not ongoing. If by some chance the person’s fear actualises don’t worry about covering your back. When your friend has calmed down they will realise that you were trying to help and that if anything you were both very unlucky that on this occasion the fear actually happened!

Using this example, if someone is in need of regular reassurance because they have a phobia or perhaps OCD a different tactic is needed. You can’t assure someone they will never, ever, be ill because both you and they will know that that just isn’t true. It can also not be productive to treatment to rely completely on other people’s reassurance.

An Example: “Will this make me sick?”
Answer: “Well you have felt this way before and you are usually fine once you’ve calmed down. Even if you are sick- it’s fine. It happens.”

See how you are trying to make the scary a little less so? This also can become an internal monologue of reassurance.

Mood lifts

If someone is suffering from low mood or depression remember that it isn’t always a case of pulling yourself together and getting on with it. Anything you say to this affect won’t be taken very well by the person at all. This is by far the topic I find most difficult to write on because there is no clear solution. All I can say is try and think of it as like having flu. It’s one of those things, but you can help it get a little better by doing basics. Bathing, fresh air, healthy food and water. Keep in mind that all these things are probably not very appetising to your friend right now so coaxing and persuading might be necessary. Go back to the distraction section of this post and get something light going.

I hope this helps. This is all written from my personal experience so I can’t promise it will work for everyone but if nothing else it’s a start. Let me know if you would like to request any other topics or anything to be covered in more detail. Anyway- happy mental health awareness week!

Angels Can Have Four Paws

I thought I would share this post with UpsideDownChronicles readers as well as people who know me from elsewhere. It’s the next day and I have slept the majority of the day and have lots of aches and pains. Nothing more than what could be expected though. Noodle has waited for me to play all day. She gives me hugs and licks my feet as I sleep; she is never impatient with me. We had a play at lunchtime and she got a good groom and a game of fetch. Now she is sleeping next to me as we watch Mean Girls for what must be the 6th time this week… Night! 

Today I am grateful for my furry colleague and partner in crime. How can this paw perfect little guide dog switch roles so fast? In church she was a guiding dream- she even got blessed. But this evening I had two major dissociation episodes and she turned into my own furry superhero! There was a short time when I came round and it looked like the worst of it was over, so the staff propped the door open with a chair and went to get me a drink. The gremlin gripped me again while they were gone and the last thing I remember was the sound of her scrabbling to get out, under the chair, to find help. If I was fine she would never dream of doing this, It’s against all her training but she knows she must do it if I am going to get help. She went straight to staff and brought them to me. Things could have got so much worse if she hadn’t.

The staff tried to make her calm down but she wouldn’t stop licking and licking me, putting her paws on me. She wanted me back! A member of staff took her out but still she wouldn’t calm. Had I been able I would have told staff that this was pointless- she only calms when she knows I’m supported and safe. Then it died and I was finally okay and she sunk straight back into being a beautifully behaved guide dog. No more craziness from either of us.

Now I’m as tired as if I ran a marathon- but if I stand up she will stand with me. I will slip a finger inside her collar and she will help me. One step at a time. I can’t express how thankful I am to have her in my life right now. I couldn’t do it without her and I certainly don’t say it enough. The nurses are now calling her ‘the super dog’. Anyway this has taken like an hour and a half to type but I just wanted to say thank you to anyone who supports guide dogs in any way. Every single guide dog is a super hero, they are our eyes and so much more. It’s incredible. I am also just so thankful that my little guide dog decided ophthalmology wasn’t enough, and took on the neurological too. Guide Dog of the Year Beyond the Call of Duty? I think it was very much deserved. Who knew angels could have four paws ey?

noodle and human snuggling
Old photo- “If I lay here, if i just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world”

To Anyone Considering Working with Mentally Ill Young People

Dear Doctor, Psychiatrist, Occupational Therapist, Nurse, Manager, Health Care Assistant. Or the soon-to-be any of the above.

So you want to work with young people with mental health problems? Or maybe you already do. Welcome to the wonderful world of child and adolescent mental health services.

You are likely to be, or have been, met by a group of young people. Some of whom will be kind and nice to you and some of whom will not. But don’t rule any of them out just yet. Because even the nicest, kindest and friendliest person on this ward will have days where their illness gets in the way of being just that. Mental illness blocks the light and makes pleasantries difficult sometimes. If you are boasting that your experience is all based upon having survived being a teenager yourself- stop. We are ‘average teenagers’ minus the ability to ‘get it together’. We are average teenagers with acute and chronic illness that -were it anywhere else in the body- would lead to hospital tubes and wires. Today the young people are ignoring you, but please don’t take it personally. They aren’t ignoring you- they’re trying to ignore the demons you can’t see. Some illnesses can’t be helped by tubes and wires.

You’re going to work long hours with, I won’t lie, people who will sometimes wish you didn’t bother. You’re an OT pushing a new group, a psychiatrist cutting a medication, a nurse saying no to leave and a HCA pushing dinner. You will be sworn at. You will be insulted. But we need you to keep trying because you can bet that of any group of kids we are the ones who have seen it all. Collectively we’ve had abusers, attackers, family issues, health issues- the works. And if nothing else we have stand alone mental health issues that have bulldozed our lives for a bit. Don’t expect to be told you are doing a good job everyday- but aim to be told you’ve done a good job when your patient goes their own way. You can’t cure us all but you can help us open the box, rearrange the pieces and fill in the gaps.

I wouldn’t fancy your chances in a debate. Especially over issues like suicide. We need you to keep us safe until we can do it for ourselves. One day at a time. If you say something wrong, apologise. If you’re going ‘tough love’ on us don’t be mad when we return it. We’re unreasonable, unlogical and sometimes painfully understanding. It’s you we need to annoy us but not hurt us. Our illnesses are consuming. We need to know that when we shout you will still be back in the morning. We need you to tell us that you are going to do your damnedest to make it okay. If you can’t do this, then you’re in the wrong job. 

… So… Are you in or out? 

If.

I am currently staying on a hospital ward, I’m by myself so my internet friends are the ones to keep me company most of the time…

If I had pneumonia I could curse my lungs in the comments of my latest status update.

If I had norovirus my friends would accept that it could get worse before it gets better.

If I had a broken leg most people would feel comfortable about asking how I am doing.

If I had cancer it would be despicable to say that it is my own fault that I am ill with the disease.

I have none of these illnesses. But I am in hospital with an illness which makes me the odd one out on the ward. And so begins the most difficult and agonising blog post I have ever had to write…

I have a chronic and acute condition. It is there all the time. It dabbles around inside me and latches onto anything and everything. It makes me do things I don’t want to do. It keeps me up at night. It makes me painfully bony and my skin coarse. It makes it hard for me to do anything, because it hurts so much sometimes.

What is it?

No nasties are attacking my nervous system and no cells are concocting chaos. It is a disorder which is invisible to the naked eye, but shows up like wild fire on a brain scan.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression.

Why does no one ever mention that like a physical illness a mental illness can kill you if you don’t get the treatment you need? OCD has had several cracks at trying to win the tug of war for my life. But there is no way I will let it win.

So I am in hospital. I got rushed here in an ambulance. Not that dissimilar from a severe asthma sufferer my illness had stopped me breathing. On arrival I was assessed and told that I am too ill to return home. Just like the man in front of me in the queue who had just had a stroke. A normal heartbeat for someone my age is around 100bpm but mine spikes around 170 due to the anxiety which is coursing through my capillaries. My muscles ache from being forced to repeat the same actions again and again. My skin is full of potholes, where the wheels of the condition have dug in too deep for me to bare. My body is a puppet and my life feels like it has disappeared. Below all of the layers of this condition’s destructive attempt at self soothing is the girl who is left to write this post. Scared, Ill and battered.

I am in a paediatric ward at the moment; waiting to be transferred to an inpatient psychiatric unit especially for young people. I am lucky enough to be in receipt of an NHS funded place at a private hospital. I will stay there until I can move to a different unit closer to my own psychiatrist. I don’t know whether I will be able to blog while I am in there, and I don’t know how long exactly I will be there for. But when I come out of the other side I hope to feel a lot better!

If it is so hard, why am I telling you? Well I want to live in a world where people can go into hospital to regain mental health, just like they can physical health. I want people to see these conditions as a real threat to not just people’s happiness, but to their lives. Mental Illness is not something that just happens to the weak. It is by no means a choice. It is also not something that a positive mind alone can solve. My experience with mental illness is that it explodes, smoking in the most distant parts of your mind and rapidly growing outwards. But it can also lurk under a person’s skin for a lifetime. In my opinion, as far as bullies go, mental illness is the biggest coward of them all.

If you are judging me by making assumptions because you cannot see my condition just think: my eyes mean I don’t always notice when people are using walking sticks. But just because I can’t see the stick does it mean that the person can walk fine?

 

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Pick a Card… Of Diva Neuro-boilers and Long Metaphors

“Please try again later” – Welcome to my life. My body and mind suck from time to time.

I’m not talking in a ‘I lost every race at sports day’ kind of way, (I did) but I’m talking in a flat out, ‘forgotten how to function’ way. The most recent recording of this occurrence was in my Summer School post.

I’m not going to list fancy words here, if you want feel free to ask for the medical terms in the comments. But the way I see it; at times my mind just says “Nah-ah” to the world and walks away. *sigh*- what a diva.

This ‘diva’ situation is, of course, universally covered in medical handbooks. Short term solutions involve: talking, coaxing and cramming chemicals into the poor boggled neuro-boiler affected. My neuro-boiler isn’t just a diva, here’s a long winded metaphor to explain:

It’s like my brain is at work at its desk, it has a lot of things going on at once and many different piles of paper filled with information. Things are going on all the time in the office and the brain is chugging its way through the tasks happily. However, suddenly there is a fire alarm and the brain has to drop everything and dash out. The alarm could be a drill or a real fire, it doesn’t matter which because the brain still has to do exactly the same thing when the alarm sounds. It overrides everything else and getting out takes top importance, no matter what was going on before it started. It is no one’s fault the alarm went off and it is unpredictable as to when it will happen again. After a while, when the alarm has been turned off and the building has been given the all clear, the brain wanders back to its desk like nothing ever happened and nonchalantly begins to work again.

This is dissociation. It’s a bit of a nightmare and means I am completely cut off or ‘frozen’ for a couple of seconds or minutes at a time. It happens when my brain gets so anxious, for legitimate reasons or not, that it just shuts a part of itself off and runs away. Sometimes it can lead to my major OCD/Anxiety attacks and sometimes it just fades away as if I have shut my eyes for a few minutes. While this happens I am at a total blank, not really thinking and not moving. Although it is scary I am slowly getting used to it, though it can still be worrying for the people around me.

Enter Stickman Communications!

Under the recommendation of a professional I bought myself some of these groovy cards. They explain what’s going on in very simple terms for friends or worried members of the public. I think they are a brilliant idea, especially if you are feeling too embarrassed to explain what’s going on to someone verbally. They cover all sorts of medical problems- not just fatigue and mental illness. They also don’t lead people into asking a zillion questions, which verbal explanations of complex things often do.

On my lanyard -bought by a friend for added comfort- I have cards for all occasions: when I ‘flop’, when I lose my voice and when my ability to think just disappears. I also have a very useful one which says “I really am OK, though a glass of water would be nice, if it isn’t too much trouble?” and also one that is matter of fact, saying that I have an illness and know that my behaviour is different right now, so please be patient. I think they are fantastically discreet and I am pretty sure they will save me loads of time spent worrying over ‘they think I was being rude’ moments.

The second thing I treated myself to was a pack of cards which are ‘traffic light’ indicators.

“I can’t cope”

“This is a bit much”

and “I am ok with this”.

I think they are brilliant as the first two are the phrases I find the most difficult of all to verbalise.

The lanyard lives in my handbag and it is very reassuring as it prevents people potentially calling ambulances unnecessarily. Which is very awkward.

I also couldn’t resist one of these fantastic ‘differently normal’ wrist bands. They are too cool.

Multicoloured wristbands which say 'differently normal'

In summary- Hannah Ensor is a genius and her company will be taking a lot of my money in the future!

I Am Exhaled: A Poem

I started letting things inhale me;
Books, films, documentaries and albums.
They restrained me from thinking for myself.
Entrenched me in the lives of others.
Whether they were humble,
Bewitched
Or powerful.
I was inhaled.

During this time it felt like my own respiration was at a stop.
I no longer took breath as myself.
I hid beneath duvets and learned the ins and outs of fictional character’s lives.
Until I knew them more than I knew myself.
Day turning to night, it kept me safe.

I was deprived.
I needed air.
My lungs like crumpled paper bags trying to inflate.
My feet pounding the fields and my heart ricochetting in its cage,
In an effort to self-resuscitate.
And then I could feel it,
Pounding in my ears and burning through my veins.

I’m running.
It’s behind.
I’m sprinting.
To the boundaries undefined.
I fall.
My lap is un-timed.

There it sits,
Over my senses like a mask.
Forcing the air into me.
Whether I want it or not.

The colours are bright and the smell embraces,
The petals kiss my hands and the herbs rub against my fingers like affectionate kittens.
I flop back on the grass and admire the nothing above me.
And how beautiful simple nothing can be.
And how lucky I am to have found it.

I can move.
I spin and walk and make my fingers dance on the surface of the pond.
I carefully stroke the baby apple tree and I can feel it respire between my index finger and thumb.

And then I had broken free.
And I was exhaled.

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The Day I Will Always Remember, Which Never Should Have Been.

Day Six:

After a leisurely breakfast we were ready and raring to go on our surprise jaunt to Munich. I had never been to Germany before, and though some would say that going to just the airport of a country doesn’t count as actually having been there, I would like to think that it does. The journey from Lyon to Munich was very pleasant with complimentary sandwiches and it was only an hour long flight. However it was slightly embarrassing when the plane was taxiing because over the tannoy the pilot apologised for the minor delay because there had been some “unexpected special guests who needed attention for safety reasons”. This gave me a hilarious mental image of radioactive blind people, though what they meant was that we were all shown the safety equipment 1:1 so that we could feel it. I think it was really great that the crew took the time to do this because it gave us that bit of extra reassurance just in case of an emergency.

On touching German soil I did two things: took a selfie with P to celebrate our first trip to Germany and realised that I was desperately in need of the toilet. On asking the assistance who was helping us to the connection flight if we could all go to the toilet C was told that we had only four minutes and that we could use the facilities on the plane. We then slowly went in what appeared to be a giant circle around the airport, up and down lifts and on and off minibuses. We had to be checked by German passport control where we were told off by a very stern lady who felt we were not taking the process seriously enough. This was because P and I had been smiling when she asked where we had flown from and where we were going to. She didn’t see the funny side of the fact that we had gone an hour in the wrong direction in order to get to our final destination. Eventually we got on the plane and by this point I was hopping and beginning to lose patience with friends who felt it was funny to make water sounds- I was very relieved to see that cubicle!

a selfie of myself and friend P pulling enthusiastic faces

The take off of the flight from Munich to Birmingham sadly coincided with one of my panic attacks. I have had panic attacks for many years now and they take me by surprise and cut off my hearing, tense my muscles, cause heart palpitations, nausea and make it hard for me to breathe. I have been diagnosed with panic disorder and OCD and I am in the long process of learning how to manage these conditions. In hindsight it is rather darkly funny to imagine myself panicking whilst rocketing down the runway, supported by teacher C trying to keep me upright from behind and friend J reassuring me. Had what happened next not taken place I wouldn’t be telling you about this attack at all because I don’t like to talk about it. But I don’t think I should be ashamed, especially when something so inspiring occurred because of it. As I was coming out of the attack a very kind airhostess from the Czech republic gave me a colouring book (I hope she doesn’t mind I couldn’t stay within the lines) and a bracelet with a duck on it which rattled. I was aware of the fact that these were clearly the same things they gave to small children who were afraid of flying, but it felt rude not to accept. As the airhostess moved away I saw the lady in the green beret for the first time.

She was a fairly small lady with dark hair and glasses. She looked to be about the same age as my grandmother and I was surprised when she came and handed me what felt like some A4 paper. She explained to French teacher C in German that it was something her friend had made. She then returned to her seat a few rows ahead. On further inspection it was spiral bound and contained some photos of abstract paintings and some sheet music to what appeared to be some German folk songs. I first quickly flicked through the pages and then enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures in more detail- focusing on each colour separately and how they merged together. I was so focused on this that I barely noticed the lady had moved back towards my teacher and had handed her a book too. It was a German book on homeopathy and she was pointing out paragraphs describing treatments which she thought may help me. C has limited German but the lady tried hard to get her message across before returning to her seat. Towards the end of the two hour flight she came back over and gave my teacher a small tanned piece of paper. On one side was some very delicate german handwriting which she said was a poem for me. She then took another piece of paper and tried to write out an english translation. With her limited English she could only manage a rough translation of half the poem, but after I read it I was speechless. The full translation which I received later (courtesy of a family member) reads like this:

“I carry within myself
The force which makes me strong.
I want to fill myself with the warmth of this strength.
I want to push myself with the force of my will.
I want to feel peace pouring over me in all of my being.
When I can do this, I will find rest and strength through the force of my own striving.”

The two sheets of paper written by the lady

I was still speechless when the flight came to land and the lady moved towards me again. I didn’t know what to say so I just put my arms around her in a huge hug. She said: “I saw your pain and suffering and I could feel it. I was trying to think how I could help and this is all I felt I could do”. She then revealed that she wasn’t supposed to be on this flight either, she was due to fly from Munich to Birmingham the day before but had broken down crying in the toilets and was unable to travel. She said that she wasn’t sure why at the time, but now she knew. She handed me a small polar bear keyring and said she had bought it from the zoo in Munich whilst she had time to waste before her rescheduled flight. She had intentionally bought a toy penguin for her son who she was visiting in England but she had wanted to buy the polar bear keyring too, as she handed me the small white bear she said: “I think this is yours.”

By this point I had tears streaming down my face and I think C was welling up a bit too. Then the lady in the beret said: “You need to throw it in the bin. It is all in your head, and you can do this”. She is a retired kindergarten teacher from Germany who later went on to start a youth hostel and she currently works in a hospice. She said that it is the work she is doing now that really makes her understand people. I remembered how the day before an airport member of staff had said that our flight being cancelled was destiny, and I now agree. We parted ways when I left the plane with my group and she stayed waiting to be helped off so she could meet up with her son. I didn’t stop crying until at least several songs into our cheery French music CD on the minibus ride back to college.

We were two strangers who were not supposed to be on the Munich flight- we met by pure chance. The kindness of that lady, who’s name I think may have been Ann, has deeply affected me. Her insight, despite never having met me before, was amazing. I returned to college 24 hours later than expected, having touched ground in three countries, with a strange feeling. Having spoken to family about what happened I have decided to share this story though it is still very personal to me. Amongst the people I have told about my experience some say it must be spiritual or fate, whilst others just can’t believe it. But it happened, and her words I am sure will stay with me forever.

Thank you friend.

Music:

Lucy Spraggan – Mountains

View from plane window of patchwork fields in Germany

View from the plane window of the alps