Some things remain hard…but I can do hard things…

We went to see Tool last night. It was a sold out show. 

Honesty, tool is a bit heavy for me…I like lyrics, and less head banging,  but it was interesting. I never once wished I wasn’t there. 


going to the concert meant leaving work early, an hour flight to a different city, renting a car, a hotel I have never stayed at and finally an arena I have only been in once.

For me this amount of change in one day results in amped up generalized anxiety. By the time we got to the arena I would say my anxiety, which is usually around a three was up to a six. Then we had to take a very steep and long escalator to the second level…and out seats were in an extremely steep section.

That was about it for me. Looking down I almost panicked. Sweating, heart racing, feeling ill. Somehow I made it to my seat…after a serious consideration of running away and going back to the hotel.

I don’t like heights. And when I am already off kilter this was too much.

A few years back, while drinking, we went to a comcertand sat in very high up seats. I couldn’t get to the seat. I couldn’t go back down to the ground. I ended up sitting  in a different row for part of the time. Booze trapped me there. I was paralyzed by the fear that day. I didn’t cause a complete scene, but it was bad enough. I wanted an ambulance. It was very scary.

Yesterday no booze meant I was still panicked and scared, but I managed. I would have killed for some Ativan, but I’m afraid of it. I am concerned I would like it too much. 

It took about a hour to finally relax. I never left the seat once during the concert. I didn’t think I could walk down the stairs again.

But I enjoyed myself and I managed.

My anxiety still exists. Medication, yoga, sobriety, mindfulness. They all support my mental health, but some of it is just how I am. I don’t like it, but I managed. That’s the best I can do!

We flew back home today. I know know to never, ever book seats in the second level of a stadium!

Stillness and peace


Ps. The stadium was full of drinkers. Not many looked like they were having fun by the end. They mostly looked tired. That’s how concerts always see, to me. People going hard and then slowly petering out before he show is even half done. What a waste.

29 thoughts on “Some things remain hard…but I can do hard things…

  1. I always find it funny that you start of posts with ‘went to this or that hard rock concert’ (of which I need to look up the vids on YouTube if I want to understand) and you end the post with ‘stillness and peace’. 🙂 By the time I finished the vids on YT I want that too!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    And yes to heights and to the drinking and not really enjoying anything really. Anxiety is soo much bigger with alcohol. I still have difficulty with it but I guess that in due time I’ll realise how to prevent / deal. I can do bigger things now with the same amount of fear as I did tiny things last year.
    On going places: I have a 3 places a day rule. I noticed that my system does not handle more places well. So work, plane, hotel is ok. Adding a concert = stress. I do not understand how other people do that. This is where not having a family or being in a relation makes things easier: I can decide that for me and nobody expects anything other from me. 🙂
    Wishing you stillness and peace. Guess you might need it after one of your concerts. 😉
    xx, Feeling

    1. Without knowing i had rules like your 3 place rule, I realized through reading this that I too have rules to help with my anxiety. For me it’s not placing more than 2 to 3 major responsibilities a day. So for example, if a child has a doctor’s appointment in the medical center, that would be just 1st major responsibilities, the 2nd would be to care for said child, nurse him back to health. I wouldn’t dare add going to the grocery store! I would be done with. Instead, I can stay home and care for light house chores and that would be the 3rd. Nap is a most to keep my anxiety low

  2. This 3 a day rule is very good – thank you. I have anxiety also and it’s a giant pain in the arse.

    I do love Tool. I have too much anxiety to navigate going to a concert though – crowds would activate the 3 a day rule instantly.

    Good on you Anne – thanks for being such an inspiration.
    Michelle xx

  3. I saw TOOL in Calgary many years ago, it was okay. Not the best of memories for me. Went drinking and stoned so don’t remember much, other than we were far away and the lights were cool. I’m happy you were able to get through the anxiety. I look forward to my first sober concert, hockey game (or any event really). I do recall seeing everyone all drunk m wasted at the end, tired and not even paying attention to the show. Actually I’ve lived it with certain a certain “friend” you know I’ve mentioned before. Always so focused on drinking and it ruined my time. Never again! Hope you’re having a good day xo

  4. Staying grounded, managing is very possible when one does not drink, especially going to a concert under the circumstances you did! I am just learning this. Glad you ended up having a good time.

    1. Thank you.
      The funny think about anxiety is I think I’m “past it” and then it flares up.
      I’m getting better at rolling with it and not becoming disappointed in myself.
      That is a good change.

  5. I would have been the exact same. I really don’t like heights and have sat up top in a stadium before. I just imagined myself losing balance and somehow toppling off the edge. I also don’t like flying or driving in cities I don’t know. You did really well! You are right you can manage it now. So good!

    1. Thank you. It’s strange how that feeling like you are going to fall is so strong.
      And then some people run up and down the stairs without a care.

  6. Hi Anne!
    I think you are tight…there are some things in my makeup that are not going away, but I can manage them. Very wise.
    I keep thinking I can get rid of all the things I don’t want.

    We went to a basketball game way up high, and I felt like I was going to fall down!
    I don’t have big anxiety up high, but it is disconcerting! It’s a strange sensation.
    I hold onto the railing for sure!
    I am not big fan of things in a big place anymore. I’d rather be in small places.
    That said, hubs just booked us tickets to see U2 when they come.
    I think the tickets are up high!

    1. I keep thinking I can get rid of them as well. I know the true lesson is allowing them to happen and not being mad at myself after…and not refusing to ever go anywhere because of fear.

      I guess, like yoga, this is a lifelong practice!

      U2 will be amazing! Definitely worth the stress!

  7. I also get overwhelmed with too many new things in a day, the 3 a day rule sounds interesting. I had a wobbly heights moment yesterday too, walking out onto a see-through grid metal walkway over an old quarry which has been turned into a nature area. No matter how much my brain argued that the structure was solid, because I could see the drop below my legs were being less than cooperative and my head felt spinny and weird. It’s definitely not just you x

  8. Very true about what one of your commenters said – you start most post with “We went to see ______ last night and…” lol! My brother-in-law sees about 30-40 concerts a year, if not more. I don’t know how he gets away with it with his wife, but it’s his passion, so why shoot that down?

    Pretty much every concert I have ever seen (I never went to many, to be honest – hate crowds) I went hammered or at least on the way to hammered. And yeah, not a fun thing to do. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I couldn’t remember all the shows.

    Anyways, glad you made it through the anxiety. I have a fear of heights too and that would have freaked me out too!


    1. There was a point a couple years ago where it became clear concerts are Craig’s sober passion and I had a choice. I could let him go and stay home and feel hard done by, or I could go too.

      I never expected it to become my passion too. I hate crowds and noise. But music inspires me. It connects me to others. It energizes me.

      And I am happy to be with Craig. It makes our life a little more fun.

      His love of tattoos has also rubbed off on me. I’m embracing my wild side!


  9. Along the lines of the 3-day rule, I joke with my family that I only have so many words in me a day and then I go quiet. I can handle 2 ,maybe 3 outings/events a day and then I’m done. Good for you for persevering. I don’t like those ” nosebleed” seats either, I feel so confined up there.

  10. Yes, yes, all of this. I too have been trapped in a steep upper level seat and UNABLE TO GO PEE FOR HOURS because of the fear of drunkenly tumbling onto the next row. I would like to chastise the designers of these fucking arenas. We are not mountain goats.
    And yes, the drinkers, omg the drinkers. People squeezing by with two $15 beers in their hands, those impossibly tiny plastic cups of wine (pointless) , only to get up and do again 30 minutes later.

    The take away here is:
    -no more upper level seats (for me either)
    -it’s easier to go pee at a concert when not drunk
    -you probably paid for your flights and hotel with the money you DID NOT spend on tiny cups of wine
    -you managed your anxiety because you were able to talk yourself down (good job!)

  11. Gosh – glad you enjoyed it! I’m with you on those seats. I’ve sat in the top row of a steep theatre before and spent the whole of the first half staring at the ceiling! When I went to see ‘the wall/roger waters’ I found out my mate had bought us the top tier tickets and I looked at online videos and knew I couldn’t do it! Ended up having to buy another ticket cause I wanted to go so much. (Strangely, For less, and much closer?!) Xx

  12. How beautifully courageous that you got through the entire thing! You can move mountains:) you’re inspirational and your posts help me. Xoxo

  13. Tool! Wow. A little intense for me too. I’m more an alt rock, alt country guy. Still, something about live music would attract me in general.

    How was itnobserving all the drinkers at the show? I never went to a concert sober until I got sober. It was one of many things on the list of things I thought I could never do.

    1. The drinkers got pretty messy. I expect there was a lot of drugs as well.

      We go to a lot of concerts, but for some reason this was one of the worst for drunk people. Maybe because I was trapped in my seat and didn’t move around!

      It looks so tiring to me. When we drank we couldn’t be bothered to plan trips like this.

  14. Yes to anxiety. Yes to “I’m afraid I’d like it.” Isn’t it wonderful to find so many imperfect people we can commiserate with? Good for you for hanging tough!
    (Tool sound like it would have given me a tension headache within 15 minutes.)

  15. Oh Anne, I feel you. I’m slowly learning to say “xyz is making me feel anxious” and try to change the situation where I have the power to do so. It happened a couple of times on our trip recently and I was embarrrased to admit it but once I did things were so much better. My poor husband just thought I was cranky for no reason until I explained what was bothering me (ie hiking in an area where cyclists kept rushing up behind us, having to jump out of their way). We took a break, had a snack, changed course. So much easier than suffering in silence and hating myself for reacting.

  16. A flight out of town? I think those dominoes would’ve set anyone’s teeth on edge. Proud of you for not drinking! And keen of you to notice just how HaPPy the drinkers got. If you got the email on tapping/EFT I sent, that can set you on a whole new path. It’s for all sorts of challenges, including emotional ones like anxiety.

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