04 April, 2011

excited but also freaking out a bit

This weekend J, Chickie and I are heading to Sydney for the Terry Pratchett convention Nullus Anxietas 3 and I am so excited!

Terry Pratchett is one of my all time favourite authors. I just love the Discworld series. The list of events sounds like so much fun and having the actual Terry Pratchett there as well.. icing on the cake!

On the other hand, I'm also dreading it a bit. One of the reasons I left work, was that my supervisor moved me to a different desk and I discovered that I have a bit of a phobia of being surrounded, or being in a crowd. I found I can manage for a while but the thought of being in that mindset 8 hours a day, 5 days a week was just a teensy bit overwhelming.

For years I sat at a desk on the outside edge of the room - windows behind me and most of the time no one in the desk next to me (with barriers between the other desks around me). I also found that I have hearing loss in the upper and lower registers that made it difficult to hear when there is a lot of noise around me (and in my old position the barriers, and having windows behind me meant I didn't notice it so much). I asked to be moved back, that request was declined, so that (and several other reasons) gave me the impetus to leave after eleven years.

I always had a problem with Christmas crowds and tended to do it in dribs and drabs (and then having to courier presents to my family because I took too long to send via Aus Post!). Not sure why I never did more online shopping (I think I will this year). Anyway, last weekend we went into the city centre to check out Angus and Robertson and Borders (to see if they had any good closure sales) and it only took a couple of hours until I started feeling a bit antsy. That was a couple of hours in a crowd, the convention is three days with heaven knows how many people (I'm thinking a lot!).

Anyone deal with similar issues? Any tips on how to deal with feeling freaked out?


Zazzy said...

Yes, I have a bit of a crowd phobia. It's different, for me, based on whether I have a clear escape route. I don't mind, for example, being at a large concert where people are pretty much staying in one spot - but I prefer to be on the aisle. I do much less well in crowded shopping situations where the crowd is moving around me. It also seems to depend on my mood somewhat as to how much the stress of the crowd will bother me.

Not sure that I have really great strategies for dealing with it. I just try to make sure that I don't feel boxed in and that I have time in quieter areas when I need it. I haven't absolutely panicked and ran out of a crowd in many years - but then, I'm kinda thinking this morning that I have also been avoiding such crowds for a long time.

I hope you and Chickie have a great time!

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