The anxiety is temporary, the memories are forever!

Written by Yasmin Alexandria

I’m currently writing this listening to the beautiful silky harmony of Lewis Hamilton’s 2013 Mercedes flying around Silverstone. It’s a real pinch me moment but then I remember everything I’ve faced in the past few hours that lead to this moment.

I waited tentatively for 2 months for the announcement that tickets to the 2023 Silverstone Festival were live. And December 1st during my very hated Game Design class my prayers were answered. The tickets were live! Did I know how I’d get to the event? No of course not. Did I know where I would possibly stay during the three days of thrill? Absolutely not! Did that matter? Have you met me?! All I needed to hear was Silverstone and Formula One! When I was planning this amazing trip I didn’t think of the little things that would cause that all too familiar gut wrenching anxiety. I didn’t think that since I was doing this by myself that I would have to walk through those gates, deal with security and other fans of motorsport all over the place. I just didn’t think, instead I was totally blindsided by the fact it was Silverstone!

In the past 72 hours (3 days) I’ve been challenged. Oh how I’ve been challenged! I’m talking almost crying in the company van repeating “I don’t think I want to go anymore” like a holy prayer. I mean after all it was my money, if I wanted to waste it because of the growing feeling of fear why the hell would it matter.

The list seemed small at first, but like a video game there were levels. Each time I thought I’d fought the big boss villain another entered in arena.

1. Dealing with the security at the entrance (with a little support on day 1)

2. Collecting my program (from a stall surrounded by strangers who seemed to know exactly what they were doing!)

3. Dealing with maps (I may have passed geography but map reading is not one of my skills)

4. Talking to strangers about the world of F1 based books (in fact my collection has grown by 11 in just 2 days)

5. Finally finding and collecting my radio on day 2 (after writing it off as a waste of £15 because I was too shy to ask)

6. Asking a family of strangers to look after my stuff for a few minutes (took over half an hour to hype myself up to ask)

7. Having to talk/maintain eye contact whilst ordering food or a much needed cider

8. Attending a concert and actually dancing and singing along without a care (because come on it’s The Sugababes)

9. Dealing with the stampede of people trying to exit at the end of the night. Very overwhelming not to mention it’s in the dark with only soft fairy lights to guide your way…. I’m clumsy enough in the day time!

10. Joining and waiting in a queue for the Ferris Wheel (Can now confirmed I am 100% scared of heights but the pretty race cars in the distance did help distract a little)

This list of ten doesn’t seem like a lot, but from an Autistic individual doing it solo I need to see it as a time of growth. A time of proving to myself I can do it!

So I’ll leave you with this… The anxiety is temporary, the memories are forever!

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