Soon I am off to New York City to attend the Annual Familial Dysautonomia conference. I attended my first conference in 2010 and my second in 2012. In 2010 I went on my own and in 2012 I went with my parents.
When I went in 2010 I decided to go on my own because I thought it was time to travel independently. In 2012 I went with my parents because they were able to meet as they were already overseas at the time. I wanted them to experience FD Day first-hand rather than through my own eyes.
Last year when I decided to attend the conference this year, I was planning on going on my own. I thought that if I’d done it once I am sure I can do it again. However, events occurred and at the beginning of this year I was feeling vulnerable.
Over the Christmas/New Year break I spent two weeks watching reality television and listening to an addictive podcast. I did go out with friends and saw my family but most of the time I was sitting on my very, very comfy couch. I think I needed a break as 2014 was a busy year for me.
Have you heard the expression “if you don’t use it, you lose it”? Well, that’s what happened to me. I became a little slack those two weeks and took time off from exercising. When I went back to work I was having difficulty walking from my car to the office and I had to take a lot of breaks. I avoided parking in certain spots and tried to park as close to the office as I could.
Slowly, slowly I got back into a routine and after a month or so I was feeling a lot better. However, that experience got to me and to be brutally honest, I got scared. It then led me to think about the impending trip to NYC. Was I up for it? Could I do it on my own?
At that time when I asked those questions, the answer was “No”. I couldn’t see myself going on my own. I still wanted to go but I knew that I needed to go with someone.
It’s not so easy to find a travel companion, even when it is to NYC. People have families, responsibilities, lives. They can’t just drop everything and jet off. Travelling overseas is a big deal.
However, I have found someone. One of my oldest and dearest friends has put her hand up. While we won’t be spending every minute together, I feel like I have support available if I need it.
Sometimes it’s important to realise that I can’t do everything on my own. It is important for me to remind myself that it is ok to ask for help every once in a while.