The most magical place in the world…also the scariest place in the world.
Recently I returned from Orlando, Florida where I went on vacation with my family to Disney World. Let me say right away, I was very excited for this trip. This was my third time going to Disney World, in the past I have gone when I was around 8 years old and then again when I was sixteen and now twenty five. I know Disney World will always have a special place in my heart and I will never be to old for it. However, I may one day be to anxious for it.
Over the years I have slowly begun to have more and more trouble with crowds, being around large groups of people and sometimes even being around people for too long. I’m not completely sure whether it seems like it’s gotten worse because I’m older and understand what’s happening to me better than when I was little or if it is actually getting worse. Whatever the case, my “social anxiety” is definitely higher than most. (I put social anxiety in quotes because I hate to simply label myself that way because I know it’s a very complex issue. I just don’t know what else to call what I have) However, I am fairly good at hiding my anxiety and that is what I did on our trip because there really was no other way.
When my family goes on trips we don’t really relax. I don’t think we know how to. All of our vacations have always been very activity heavy. We always pick a place that has lot to do, so we’ve never vacationed in like Ohio or Indiana. From the minute we arrive at our resort or campground, we are doing something. Every day is planned out ahead of time and there is little room left for anything but sleep and sometimes very little of that. Now I’m sure most people who go to Disney World know their days are going to be very full and hectic and don’t expect much relaxation, but that can be a problem. Especially if you have someone like me in your family.
By the end of our 9 day vacation I was ready to go home, I think a part of me was ready to go home about halfway through but I also still really wanted to be. By the end of each day I was exhausted both physically and mentally. I started to notice halfway through that I was snapping with people more and wasn’t always in the brightest mood. Despite that I was really enjoying myself, because I really do love Disney World but it was still tough.
The worst reaction I had was on our last day there. We had gone to Magic Kingdom. For most of the day it was actually pretty good, it wasn’t super crowded. The park was at a 5 out of 10, on their crowd rating thing. However, once it got closer to the park closing things took a turn for the worse. We had gone on the day of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. So as we were headed to the exit people were pouring in. By the time we reached the monorail to leave the park I was a mess. I didn’t tell my family but as we were waiting for the monorail I suddenly felt sick to my stomach, and was feeling short of breath. My hands were shaking and I just kind of felt panicky. Although I’m not sure if the panic was like a side effect or if I was panicky because I didn’t want anyone else to notice.
I’ve never really experienced anything like that, not that I can remember anyway. It was kind of scary. It really made me realize though that I need to be more aware of what I can handle and not be ashamed that I can’t handle as much as other people. I know that my trip would have been way more enjoyable if I had been able to take time to myself when I needed and had a break in between each visit to the parks. Now obviously I wouldn’t have been able to do this on this trip because I was with my family and was kind of stuck with their schedule but I know if I ever go to Disney World again it will have to be on my terms. Which also means I will be going on the Tower of Terror multiple times!