Saturday, 30 April 2016
I suffered a wave of anxiety yesterday evening that kept me awake for a fair proportion of the night. I was still churned up this morning so, despite being on a pretty idyllic mooring, after Bonny's walk, we moved on. I couldn't sit still for the day feeling as I was.
There was no one cause for my anxious feelings. The worries in the night included fear of the unknown canal ahead, what if I can't find food, what if Bonny runs off or gets sick, what if I can't manage the obstacles ahead. Deeper fears were about should I be doing this at all? What if I hurt myself, what if I run out of money, what if I am late meeting my friends near Napton, so maybe I shouldn't attempt Oxford?
None of these anxieties are particularly logical as there are fairly easy solutions to all of them. The real problem was I started looking down. Being a single handed boater (and liver) feels a bit like walking the tightrope. As long as I don't look down at the chasm of possible dangers, but keep my eyes ahead, then I'm fine. But just sometimes I take a quick look at the drop and then I am assailed by fears and 'what ifs'.
I felt fairly cowardly moving on as I had no proper reason to, but I am glad I did. The very action of cruising calmed me down. I got through the gathering at Braunston with no difficulty and then turned on to an entirely new canal for me... The Grand Union, stretching from London to Birmingham. I moored up between there and Napton and took a deep breath. Feeling better now.