The last time I went on a trip was to Las Vegas at the end of the summer 2014.
It was awful.
Really. (You can relive all of my trauma here)
Mainly I just remember being completely exhausted and in a ton of pain. And lonely. So lonely. Which is funny when you consider the fact that I went with several people. The Hubs and I flew out on Wednesday and spent a few days together and then we met up with several other people. Half of which I never even saw in person if I am being honest. By the time they got out there I was completely spent. Exhausted from sleeping next door to a room full of girls on a 21st Birthday trip who insisted on partying at 3am, and being in an endless cycle of pain from the nonstop pace of Vegas. It was honestly the worst trip I have ever been on, and has left the worst taste in my mouth about traveling since.
Last year my friend went on a trip to Tulsa to participate in an event put on for the fan club members of Hanson (Yes, Hanson. I am a Hanson fan. Mmmbop, long hair, girl voices and all. Moving on) and invited me to go along next year. I entertained the idea until Vegas happened. At which point I decided there was no way in hell I was ever going on another trip like that again. This Hanson trip would’ve been just that; 10 hour car drive one way, standing in line after line for hours waiting to get into concerts and meet and greets. Add into that the fact that these friends are particularly enthusiastic Hanson fans and would want to be involved in everything, I knew my body did not stand a chance.
Nope. Not going.
We had several conversations about the trip, asking repeatedly what the schedule would be like, trying to find down time opportunities between events and trying to tell myself that these girls where not the same people I tried to keep up with in Vegas. I knew from the get go I was not going to make it if we drove. I mean, c’mon, 10 hours in a car?!? One way?!??!? Are they trying to KILL ME!?!??
But then I started thinking about the warm weather, and the fun I could have on this trip and I desperately wanted to make it work. I reasoned if I flew I could cut out enough travel time to maybe make it work. When that became a possibility for some of them I started to get excited and started thinking I could maybe for really make this work. Then Vegas starting creeping back into my mind. The idea of being that far from home, in that much pain, with no one who knows all my little coping mechanisms and I started to panic a bit.
Nope. Still not going.
Then one day earlier this month I was cruising down the street towards home, sun roof open, sunshine shining, fresh air blowing and Sure About It (you guessed it, a Hanson song) shuffled through on my ipod and I thought I’m going.
We booked our flights a few days later.
Aaaaannnnnnd then the terror set in. What if my pain got bad and I had to go back to the hotel alone? I spent so much time alone in Vegas while everyone was out at night, hurting too much to go out and not able to bring myself to ask anyone to stay in with me. What if they get weird about my medications? Can I hide them enough that no one will even know? What if I can’t sleep and I keep my hotel mate awake flopping around in bed and she gets super annoyed and thinks “Why in the hell did I ask this woman to come on this trip with me? All I want to do is sleep!!!”? What if all I want is to curl up with my superhero blanket, hot packs, pillows and watch a movie? Will they hate having the broken girl on vacation with them?
Hmmm…. How can I get out of this flight?
I felt like such a huge pain in the ass. Constantly trying to map out the day to make sure I knew when I would be able to work in down time. I let them do all the standing in line and took the shuttle to meet them just before the doors opened so I could save my spoons for the actual events. Which seems genius I know, but memories are made standing in line and I was missing out. What if it was awkward when I got there? What if they silently despised me for making them stand in line without me? What if I got there and they were like “You have to go to the back of the line?” (Ha ha haaaaaaa I know. Anxiety much?)
Talk about being self-conscious right? It was like high school all over again.
Despite my Vegas PTSD I managed to have a fantastic time on the trip. It’s been probably close to seven years since I’ve seen Hanson play. Not so much because I don’t like them anymore as I just haven’t been given the opportunity to see them near home. This trip was the perfect combination of music, dancing, laughing and yes, resting.
I had a few moments when I was unsure if this trip would work out, and Saturday night was a bit too much towards the end but I recovered nicely in time for Sunday’s Hop Jam. Tulsa was definitely a different pace then Vegas, and I can’t say that I’d ever plan a trip to Vegas again but I can say that MOE 2016 is a must.
*I would hope that no one would find my sarcastic use of PTSD offensive. I am very aware that it is a real mental illness, and have suffered myself after many, many years in an abusive relationship. It is not a joke. Sarcasm is often my way of dealing with things that feel like weaknesses of mine, which is probably where this title came from. So, please, if you were going to spam my feed with comments regarding my callous use of the term PTSD-don’t.*