Welcome to Anxious Wine chats, the blog where I drink wine and discuss things that cause me great anxiety!
As you can see, I’ve included an Anxiety Scale to determine how many glasses of wine are required in order to calm me whilst living through the following Anxious traumas.
Tonight’s topic of conversation:
Amusement Park Rides
Is accompanied by a glass of Sweet and Light Moscato, which was the cheapest Moscato I could find.
With its fruity and bittersweet aftertaste, it helped me to deal with the thought that I had survived the following ordeals.
To this day, I cannot understand the thrill of amusement park rides.
My everyday life battling with anxiety already feels like a rollercoaster; I don’t need to experience that for fun.
As I have explained to others, my body struggles to tell the difference between Anxious excited and Anxious nervous. For both, I get stomach issues, the sweats, a feeling of dread, and my body crumbles before me.
I could be getting ready for an overseas holiday, and you would think I was preparing for a lifetime in Azkaban (shout out to my fellow Harry Potter fans!).
This is why I rarely go on theme park rides.
Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster
Allow me to regale you with the tale of my first rollercoaster ride.
When I was 19 years old, I was dragged onto the Scooby-Doo Coaster at Movie World by a 10 year old. I thought “Well, if she can do it then of course I can!” Did I mention I am quite competitive? Anyhoo, I arrived at the front of the castle and read the warnings.
Must be at least 120cm high, must not be pregnant, some noises and sounds can cause seizures blah blah blah.
Yep, piece of cake.
Okay, so I was in the impossibly tiny spooky cart. I saw many children about, which eased my mind of the hellish ride I was about to embark on. As we took off, the ride seemed ridiculously childlike. There were a few jolty turns and a spooky mirror – pathetic.
Then we arrived at a mirror, which opened up and allowed the cart to drive through. Next minute, we ascended in a lift, up up up to the top of the warehouse. My stomach began to flip inside out.
We reached the top and halted. No movements.
I think “oh no, the ride is broken?”
Oh but something much worse happened. Something I could never have prepared for in the 19 years of my life thus far.
The cart reversed slightly.
Hmm, okay, it should spin around now.
And then before I knew it, the cart was moving…BACKWARDS.
HOLY MOTHER OF HELL AND ALL THAT IS HOLY I’M GONNA DIE!
Not only was I moving backwards, but I was FALLING backwards all the way to the bottom, screaming my guts out along the way. My soul ripped out of my chest, leaving a ghostly imprint at the top of the track. One of the most terrifying and emotionally scarring moments of my life.
I’ll admit, I have done it again a few times over the years, but I just can’t seem to handle the anxious and stressful side affects days later.
To think that is a kids ride?! Children be hardcore these days.
This next tale involves peer pressure, a waterslide, and humiliation.
For my nephew’s birthday, we were all coerced – um I mean invited – to spend the day at wet n wild. Waterslides had also freaked the crap out of me, because I believed I would get stuck and the water would fill up and drown me. So it’s fair to say my plan was to stick to the kiddie pools and watch everyone else be crazy.
However, there was one small hitch in my plan. My brother, my own flesh and blood, tricked me (I mean asked me) to go on a ride with him.
The ride he chose was called Mammoth Falls and consisted of a large yellow raft with handles to grasp whilst twisting and turning all the way down a giant open slide. I still don’t know how he convinced me to go on. Either he was very manipulative, or I just wanted to prove I wasn’t a wimp.
Making our way up the stairs, my anxiety greeted me like an old foe. I told my brother I was really scared and he told me everything would be okay and it would be fun.
Like one of history’s most esteemed scientists, equations and numbers flew before my eyes, calculating the perfect position for me to sit on the raft which would ensure that I’d be facing forward for the duration of the slide.
The time had arrived. I had seen many friends and families conquer this beast, all with wide grins on their faces.
Using one of my assumedly Nobel winning calculations, I took place at the bottom of the raft. Why do you ask? The staff member tended to swing the raft around to get it moving, which would mean I’d face forward going down the slide.
I held the handles with a shaky grip and waited to be swung the right way.
I think you know where this is going.
As if the staff member could read my mind, and had a problem with consistency, he did not swing the raft.
Oh no he didn’t.
He did not swing, and I remained at the bottom of the raft.
“Hang on, this isn’t right. Bro? BRO?!?”
My life flashed before me as I descended backwards down the slide. Visions of all the things I still had left to do in this world filled my mind, accompanied by the screeching shrieks escaping my mouth.
“I’m going backwards, I’m going backwards!?” I screamed repeatedly.
Rather than ask if I was suffering from cardiac arrest, my brother merely laughed the whole way down.
After what seemed an eternity of yelling, swearing, and cursing the day I was born, we reached an abrupt stop in a shallow pool. My family cheered me on, and laughed hysterically over my dying cat impression.
Does the humiliation stop there?
It does not, my friend.
Since my legs were completely paralysed with fear, I stumbled and fell not once, but TWICE trying to escape the river raft of death.
To this day, I am trying to find my sea legs.
Pirates of the Caribbean
To conclude this trio of tales, the most recent and terrifying experience of my life.
My best friend and I were in Europe and thought we’d visit the magical place of Disneyland Paris.
Before we even booked our tickets, I researched the rides to see if there was anything within my adrenaline scale. Let’s be honest, there wasn’t much I could handle.
Although, one ride stood out to me: The Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
My inner child squealed at the thought of releasing my inner pirate, and entering the world of a movie series I absolutely loved.
The lead up to the ride was beyond exciting. The mood was set with dim lighting and drunken pirates singing in the distance – I instantly felt at home.
We boarded the large boat, making sure to sit at the back and away from everyone else. The boat slowly took off, sailing through the historically tragic town of Tortuga.
I was so overcome with the joy of being within the POTC universe that I did not notice the impending doom about to descend upon us.
“Oh no,” my friend muttered.
My heart skipped a beat.
“Oh God, what is it??” I knew from her face it wasn’t good.
“There’s a drop coming.”
The air turned thick with the stench of fear. I tried to bolt from my seat and jump into the water, but I was restrained.
I quickly calculated if I had enough underwear to soil myself for the next 5 days from anxiety induced IBS.
My life was OVER.
Time froze, as we continued through the nightmarish labyrinth.
I sent a telepathic note to my mum that I loved her and I promised not to haunt her from the other side.
The boat landed on the track as we ascended to the heavens.
This is it, almighty God, take me now!!!
A ferocious sound erupted from my lips, and accidentally called upon the flying purple monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.
My stomach flew to China, and snapped back in a second. Nausea flooded through my stomach.
I touched every inch of my body, checking for any fatal lacerations.
After a moment, and a seriously worried look from my friend, I determined that I was alive.
I almost cried and silently prayed to the heavens; “Thank you for allowing me to survive such a fete!”.
Colours seemed brighter. The air tasted lighter, accompanied by the scent of heavily chlorinated water. My heart beat out of my chest, pulsing the blood throughout my entire body.
I was reborn.
I had barely recovered from this ordeal when I noticed something up ahead.
The boat before us had disappeared.
That’s strange, where did it-
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Have a lovely day,