Travel Anxiety

A family friend, Cory, was in town the last couple days to visit my dad among other things. I had hoped to get to spend more time with he and my dad while he was in town, but he had a lot of stuff to do so I only got to talk to him for 15 minutes or so. But he was kind enough to remove the hard drive from my dad’s old laptop, put in a fresh one, install the operating system and software, and transfer my files. All in about 3-4 hours. So now, I am typing this on what is essentially a brand new laptop. It may not be as fast as the ones made in the last few months, but then again, computers are outdated the instant you purchase them. This one is good enough to do anything I want it to do without any hassle. I’d have to say I’m not only very grateful to my dad and Cory (my dad for donating it to me and Cory for setting it up) but I’m also very excited to have this “like new” computer ready for me to use.

I have to mention, too, that my dad takes really good care of his things. The keyboard shows zero wear, there are only very very minor scratches on the outer casing, and everything works perfectly with the exception of the two USB ports on the left hand side. Fortunately, there are two on the right hand side that work just fine. It’s pretty impressive to me that he has had this computer for several years and it looks and feels this new.

So, this is a virtual shout out to my father, Rob and our friend Cory. Thanks for doing all this for me and making it much easier for me to work on my blog!


Speaking of my blog. I am a little nervous today. I don’t know why. Well, okay, I know why. It is because Kate and I will be driving up to the River House tomorrow afternoon. We are going up there (the house is on the Washougal River in SW Washington, secluded and lovely) to celebrate Richard’s birthday. He is travelling right now, but he will be meeting us there. Kate has already started packing and getting ready so that we will have all the food and other supplies we’ll need.

Now, something about travelling is making me anxious. I find that happening a lot when a trip is coming up or even if someone else is taking a trip and I know about it. For instance a few friends of mine will be travelling overseas a week from now and there is a part of me that feels some anxiety in response to that.

It isn’t that I am afraid of travelling. I actually really enjoy car trips, train rides, and airplane flights. So what is it?

I’ve been working that out all day long since I saw Kate start piling things she is planing on taking with us on the dining room table. And you know what I realized? I think that my anxiety about leaving the city is that in the past, if I was leaving the city, I had to prepare.

You see, it is hard for drug addicts to travel. It isn’t easy to both: A. Obtain a large enough supply of drugs to last you the entire trip B. Exert enough discipline on yourself to not use up that entire supply by the first night you’re gone. Every trip I took while I was using drugs was a gamble. I was always rolling the dice, wondering if I would have enough, if I would run out, and if I ran out, if I would be able to get more.

Many times, I did run out, and I couldn’t get more. A few times come to mind instantly.

Boston, MA – Thanksgiving 2007. That was before I had admitted to myself I had a problem. But I scared my poor sister half to death, and she sure as hell figured out there was something wrong.

Sunriver, OR – Christmas 2007/8 (not sure what year). I was going through the agony of withdrawl on Christmas day and had to hide it from everyone because they had no idea I was taking drugs. I didn’t go skiing (even though it is one of my favorite things in the world to do), I hardly spent time with my family. I essentially locked myself in my room and laid in bed trying to sleep or watch TV, just wishing it could all end and I could go back home.

Pullman, WA – Halloween 2009. I went to visit the girl I was dating at the time and I took what I thought would be enough drugs to last me for at least 5 days. It was gone in 2. I toughed it out for another day. But then my parents had gotten wind of where I’d gone (I’d left town without telling them, you see, and took their car) and called me to tell me if I didn’t come back right away they’d call the police. And, I went back. Not because of their threat, but because I needed drugs. Through all of that, I managed to ruin this girl’s (who’d had the kindness to stick with me even though it was clear I was having some major problems) birthday and Halloween and, probably, the next 6 months, because after that I never saw her again.

Yeah, not great moments in my life.

So in light of those examples (of which they are but a few drops in a sea of awful experiences) I have learned to be fearful and anxious about travelling because when you are tied to a pill or a drink or a needle, it holds you paralyzed. I was unable to travel, unable to be spontaneous whatsoever, unable to even stay a single night away from home unless I had planned and brought whatever I needed along with me.

You can see why there’s some anxiety in my mind surrounding this trip to the River House.

But you know what feels absolutely amazing? That I am sitting here, the night before I leave, writing about this, instead of  desperately trying to scrape together enough money to get enough drugs to not get sick during the trip. I have to say, this level of fear is much more manageable than the other.

I am immensely grateful for the support I am receiving from my aunt Kate and uncle Richard, my parents and sister Rachael, and my friends, both here in Portland and all around the world.

I just want to extend a special note of thanks to everyone reading this and everyone not reading this: if you are a part of my life, I thank you. You have undoubtedly gone out of your way to help me, even after many occasions when I have caused you harm. Because we are intimately connected through this web of divine energy that runs through us all, I consider you all my brothers and my sisters, and I send you my gratitude, my love, and my compassion.

Thank you all for making it possible for me to be alive today. For me to feel strength today. For me to feel healthy today. And for allowing me the opportunity to travel to a beautiful natural retreat without having to worry about how long my addiction will allow me to stay.

Thanks for reading. And if any of you knows any natural remedies for itchy, swollen eyes due to seasonal allergies, please let me know. My eyes are so puffy and read I’ve had a hard time focusing on this dang screen!




2 responses to “Travel Anxiety

  1. HI again Nathan,

    Perhaps you will be tired of hearing from me. I just finished reading your blog. Your understanding of travel anxiety makes total sense in the light of your previous need for drugs. Amazing how that need controlled you. You are becoming so much more free!

    Many people love you and are standing with you Nathan. Many have and continue to pray for your healing. As you open up yourself to your readers, we are having an opportunity to get acquainted with you in a new way.

    Be blessed Nathan!


    Aunt Laura

  2. Pingback: What We Leave Behind | The Wellness Quest

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