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Ariana Grande Tweeted About Her Anxiety Returning to the U.K.

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Ariana Grande returned to the U.K. on Tuesday as part of Capital FM’s Up Close series, marking her first time back in the country since her benefit concert after the Manchester bombing at her performance in May 2017. While Grande said she was excited to perform for fans in London, she also noted how difficult it was for her to return to a place she associates with trauma.

• What is PTSD?

Grande shared how she was feeling after a fan asked why there weren’t photos of her out in London. She tweeted, “sry i’m really really anxious and really exhausted and jus trying to get thru the trip. hope that’s ok. hope you enjoy the performances. my priority is giving u the best performances i’m capable of.”

Grande has been open about her experiences with anxiety, which she sings about on her latest album Sweetener, and post-traumatic stress disorder following the bombing. In a follow-up tweet, Grande called the trip a “huge test.”

It isn’t easy to revisit a place of trauma or confront other triggers. Sometimes it’s possible to avoid the area where a trauma occurred, but that isn’t always the case. To show that Grande isn’t alone, we asked our mental health community how they’ve handled returning to places associated with trauma.

Here’s what they had to say: 

  1. “I have flashbacks and a panic attacks. My mind just goes straight to what happened there, even when the trauma was over 20 years ago. Some of the best things that help me cope during that time are breathing exercises and taking the time to identify five different things in the room.” — Moon N.
  2. “Returning to those places is like stepping into a warped time field, like watching an incomprehensible horror movie starring me as the main character. I dissociate almost immediately and am thrown into a downward spiral for days afterward. I rarely go to those places alone anymore, and I be sure to have time to decompress after the fact and follow a structured safety plan.” – Alyssa K.
  3. “For me the event happened while in a car so for a long time I avoided taxis and taking Uber and would prepare to be with my family while in cars. I would get flashbacks and shut down. I would be frozen going back to the flashback and my heart would race and I’d get shaky hands. Therapy helped me, and now when I notice it, I do some deep breathing and look around me noticing I’m no longer in that place. It helps most when I’m with people because it helps me see that I’m not there and my family is with me and will keep me safe.” — Clarissa P.
  4. “Tell myself I’m stronger this time around. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and when it don’t I get sent into a panic attack.” — Sasha C.
  5. “If I could avoid at all cost to go back, I most certainly will. If I see no reason to go back, I won’t, yet, I’ve had no choice at one point. I shake, I cry, I stumble, I try not to have a panic attack along the way, and make sure I’m not alone when I go. When it’s time to leave the place, I bolt away from the place, until I can’t run anymore and just sit and cry. If I have no words, I keep it to myself quietly. If I can talk, I cry it out while I’m shaking, and keep talking until I find a new subject to talk about.” — Tatauq M.
  6. “I have physical flashbacks where my heart races and my skin crawls and then becomes numb. Sometimes I see little movies of what happened. Even when I’m able to stay in my body and recognize them it takes days to get back to being completely in me. I have just started to recognize them, and now I repeat to myself that I am safe. I am no longer in that moment. I am an adult, I have control over my body and my words. And I get to choose what happens, I get to leave. I get to fight back. I am safe and I am in control.” — Kristy G.
  7. “After my first car accident, I avoided the road where it occurred whenever I could. I was in an abusive relationship. Now, whenever I see my ex or his family, I avoid him at all costs. I have flashbacks, and all of the feelings I experienced back then come flooding back. It gives me extreme anxiety, panic attacks and depression. What helps me is knowing that I have overcome so many obstacles and that I am doing very well. Being able to cope every day is a victory for me. I can’t give up, and I won’t.” — Jessa P.
  8. “It brings on sadness and flashbacks but makes me wish things could’ve been different. It was a very isolated place, so I was usually up in my room trying to get away from the abuse and read my childhood away. I also wish I could show my husband how it was without dealing with my abuser again.” — Janelle G.

Image via Creative Commons/NRK P3

Originally published: September 7, 2018
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