Monday, January 23, 2012

Vacations & Fears

During the summer of 2009, my boyfriend and I went on two mini-vacations.  We ended up going to Cedar Point twice during that summer (it's just so big that you have to go twice!).   We also went hiking to McConnell's Mills several times that summer.   I had never vacationed with a boy before, so the Cedar Point vacations were pretty significant to me.  

While we were there, I promised him I would go on every ride.  I wouldn't chicken out on any of the rides/coasters.  Then I saw the Top Thrill Dragster and I regretted my proclamation and tried in vain to take it back.

From Cedar Point's website:
Zero to 120 MPH in less than 4 seconds. A few seconds later, you’re 420 feet in the air. In the race for pure adrenaline thrills, there is one winner: Top Thrill Dragster. Nothing else compares to this high-horsepower shot into the sky. From a standing start you’re launched forward, then straight up, then straight down and back to the finish line. The ride may be over in 17 seconds, but it’ll stay with you forever.

This ride frightened me.  It made me scared in a way I never knew before.  My boyfriend was really enthusiastic about going on this ride, while I was consumed by my anxiety.  The line in the queue house was long, which is common and to be expected at a popular amusement park.  We had well over an hour wait, meaning I had 70 or so minutes to think of all the horrible things that were about to happen.  My body was tense.  My heart was pounding.  My boyfriend was annoyed.  Ha.  

"Look over there.  That kid has to be 13 years old or even younger.  Be braver than that kid," he said in an attempt to comfort me.  

Anxiety and fear isn't always rational.  I was just scared out of my mind.  When we got further into the queue house where we were 15 or minutes away from our turn, I saw a warning: "Caution: sometimes the ride doesn't make it over the crest and goes backwards.  Nothing to worry about."  Something like that.

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" I exclaimed to my very annoyed boyfriend.

Then after what seemed like forever, our turn was up.  My boyfriend was giddy, and the smile on his face was huge.  I was shaking.  




I screamed every one of those 17 seconds.  It was a deep, guttural, "OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE" scream.  My throat actually hurt from that primeval scream after we got off the ride.  Not once did I feel that amazing high after you do something thrilling.  I felt like I had just been emotionally violated.  The Top Thrill Dragster had to have been the scariest 17 seconds of my life (until, of course, I got the can-suh, tm Jo).  Summer 2010, the one before my diagnosis, I went white-water rafting, jet-skiing and para-sailing - all for the first time and all involved me conquering fears.

I am looking forward to future vacations with boyfriend.  Now that I'm feeling well, both physically and sometimes mentally (haha), I want to go to the beach. and more amusement parks and sky-diving and white-water rafting.  All these things.  Oh, I can't wait until the spring.  I am going to kick so much butt - just you see.

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