I experience tons of excitement when I’m doing my research.
As most of you know, I have severe anxiety issues and often have major panic attacks. Not all of these panic attacks besiege me because of negative thoughts. There are times when I get really excited about something and my brain overreacts to the slightest positive stimulation.
That was the case last night.
Two weeks ago I requested to join an expat group for Egypt on Facebook. I waited patiently and of course I started worrying because:
- I’m not already living as an expat there and so why would they want me in the group?
- I didn’t get a chance to explain when I requested to join, why I wanted to join so what if they think I’m a fake?
- WHY HAVEN’T THEY APPROVED ME YET???
Of course I’ve learned over the years that this kind of negative thinking only fuels my anxiety so I calmly waited. That is until I received my approval to the group.
I immediately felt my heart start to race and in my usual style of going overboard I jumped into the group and started reading ALL the posts. There were so many ya’ll. (Yes, I’m squealing as I type this even now.)
Posts from people requesting roommates and pictures of flats and prices. There were questions about where markets were in particular neighborhoods. Of course I have no clue where these addresses are, yet, but I felt myself nodding “uh huh” as if I was planning on going to those vendors myself! (I’m totally in this for the long haul ya’ll, in case you haven’t noticed yet.)
By the time I had spent thirty minutes reading post after post and had made my own “thank you for adding me” speech, I was in full blown panic mode and messaged my friend on Facebook. It went a little something like this:
She’s right though. Even just joining a group like this helps me prepare and get a glimpse into what the expat life is like in Egypt. If anything I can network with people and possibly make some friends before my journey over there begins.
One gentlemen here in the US already PM’d me and offered any assistance I needed once I get there. He worked in Cairo for 4 years and now is back in the states. Yeah. That pushed my anxiety even higher. In a good way though, if there is such a thing.
I suppose the reason I’m so ecstatic about little things like this, is because it solidifies that much more that I do have a goal and a dream. And I’m working towards it by preparing myself. It’s not like I’m just sitting here reading travel brochures and wishing. There are many things I’m doing to make sure I’m as prepared as possible for when the time comes to transition to Egypt.
That brings me to another panic inducing moment from two nights ago. Of course I had to reach out again about that:
There’s a good thing about anxiety though. A little background on anxiety? In ancient times we relied on our brains flight or fight response to help us out in disastrous situations. There’s a T-Rex behind me wanting to eat the flesh off my bones? RUN!
Your caveman friend just showed his new invention, fire? It’s hot? BE CAREFUL!
Thing is, for some of us that part of our brains overreacts in normal situations as well. Specifically, those of us with anxiety disorders. My father used to always tell me that if a new endeavor didn’t scare you even a little bit then it probably wasn’t right for you. A little fear is good. It’s motivation to get things done. In my case though, I’ve got to learn to control this irrational part of my brain before I can embark on this journey. And I will. It’s all part of the plan.
In the long run, my anxiety will probably be a great asset to have while visiting Egypt and preparing for a possible move long term. There are a lot of things to be wary of when visiting foreign countries and I certainly don’t want to do this without a little bit of wariness. Keeping on your toes is important when experiencing culture shock. That’s for another post though.
So for now that’s it. A little background on the excitement that continues to unfold in my heart each day.
I just hope Egypt is just as excited to have me there as I am to embrace the people, culture and country!