I’m going to start off by saying, this won’t seem like a big deal for everyone. But for me it’s huge. And also, this is a lengthy post.
I can’t count the amount of times in the past 5 years that myself and Chris have been to London for events. Sounds weird as I’ve pretty much hated london for 1o years+ but concerts and stuff in London are just better.. or is that just us? Anyway I’ll get into it.
For me London is just an anxiety enduced, crowded, scary place. Even last month I would never have expected myself to be doing ANY of these things, let alone all of them. If anyone struggles with anxiety you’ll understand when you physically can’t do something even when it sounds so simple, like getting on a train. Which leads me on nicely to, I WENT ON TUBES! Multiple. I think the fact I couldn’t physically make myself go on a tube was what made London so much harder for us. I refuse to pay hefty parking prices, but I couldn’t go on a tube. So we just never did anything other than the thing we had gone for. Some would say this was a waste of money and time, but really it was just something I had come to accept and Chris just dealt with (because he’s the best).
I’d spent the week previous to our trip trying my hardest to psych myself up to going on a tube. Chris was getting excited and planning where we could go and I was getting annoyed with myself when I went through days where I felt sick at the very thought. So as came our 4 and a half hour drive to London and I’m sat in the car looking out the window like I was in a music video, just repeating in my head that I could do it, what was the worst that could happen?
Not only are tubes and crowds really not my cup of tea, but unfamiliar places. What if something happened and I didn’t know where I was? What if I lost Chris? What if, what if, what if? Screw what if’s Helen!
We got to our hotel and our room was faced with a wall literally cms from our window, so after we changed room 3 times we finally got a room with a view! Of a road none the less but at least I could breathe! We spent our first evening in our room, we ordered Papa John’s (why had no-one told me about cinnapies before?) and we planned how we would get into the centre of London and what we would do.
Next comes Sunday, the dreaded/hopeful day we would go to central London. With Google Maps by my side, we found our way (a 5 minute walk that felt like hours) to the tube station. Chris had asked the receptionist at our hotel which stop would be the best to get off for Oxford Street so we had all avenues covered. We were ten stops away, I got on the tube, and thankfully was still above ground, I think this helped alot, even though I was still panicking. I don’t think I could have moved any faster out of the station at the other end, but I was so happy I’d done it, to the point of holding back tears.
First stop Primark on Oxford Street, on a Sunday. Not the best idea I’ve ever had but an experience none the less. We swiftly headed out of their, selfie stick in hand. Not even sorry!
We sat in a little grassy area to catch my breath after what I had just done!
‘Testing’ our selfie stick, shameful
After a ten minute sit down, we tottled down Oxford Street, Chris wanted to go in Hamleys and we knew we wanted to head down towards Trafalgar Square but I’ll get onto that. Hamleys it was!
This place is insane! After Chris and I having to stop each other buying everything we headed further down Oxford Street, at least I think it was? It was such a nice day we wanted to grab a Starbucks and sit outside but everywhere was so busy, we grabbed a cold drink from an ice cream man (classy) and tried to find Trafalgar Square to grab some food.
Our reason for being in London was the Playoff Finals, not for everyone, but when your local team plays at Wembley you’ve gotta go! We knew on the Sunday evening all Boro Fans were gathering in Trafalgar and after tackling the tube I wasn’t saying no to that atmosphere! We decided to grab some food in a restaurant called Garfunkels.
Not the nicest food I’ve ever had but it did the job. Luckily we got to the restaurant just in time as it poured down for around an hour. At this point, knowing we were going to be outside most of the evening, we chose to grab some jackets from Primark, as clever us didn’t bring coats.
I got another tube! Or three. Now crowds to me are horrible, and I don’t like being around drunk people either (not in a mean way, they’re just unpredictable and it scares me) so mixing this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. But we had an unbelievable night, and it’s definitely a memory I will never forget.
Now the next battle, a tube, full to the brim, with drunk rowdy football fans. Oh lord. But I did it!
Finally back to the hotel, make up off and relax. Ready for another day of tubes, crowds, and all the emotions.
I get weirdly enthralled into Football games if I have a tiny interest in them. You should see me when Balotelli plays! So I was so happy that Chris said I could wear one of his old Boro tops, as I don’t have one (soon to be changed I hope). Off to Wembley we go! Grabbing a burger and drink before heading in! This place is huge. We were there last year for One Direction but it seems so much bigger when you’re sat at the top and can actually see all the seats! There’s also something really homely about 38,000+ people singing Pigbag at the top of their lungs.
Unfortunately we lost, no Premier League for us. But I conquered so much personally in only 2 days. I kept just saying to myself “If you have a panic attack, you’ll get over it” and I didn’t!
Now for the smushy bit. I know he will more than likely not read this, but I can’t thank Chris enough. For being patient with me, for always knowing what to say. For pushing me enough but never pushing me too much. For understanding when I just can’t do something. For helping me through times when I have an anxiety attack and just being calm and knowing what to do. I never knew what it would be like to have someone that cared for you as much as you cared for them. And it’s for him that I strive to better myself with anxiety little by little, because even though he wouldn’t say it, he always misses out on a lot of things for me. We have a lot going on in our lives but he never fails to make me laugh and cheer me up or just cuddle me and let me cry. He’s my absolute hero and I will never be able to thank him enough for just being him. And that’s why this weekend was for him, to do what he wanted to do and not worry about me. I hope I did that.