Departure is the time at Disney that can be the absolute hardest. I'd like to be able to stay that while I'm at Disney I'm worrying about home, about work, or even about my pups...but I don't. My Asper brain may be running full speed 24/7 while I'm there, but my life, the life of Keebles, stops completely and I'm able to shut off and not be "me" anymore. This is both a blessing and a curse. It's a breather from my life but, when it comes time to leave, everything comes flooding back a thousand times over! Suddenly, I have to not only deal with the upcoming flying departure (see Part 2: Travel), but I have to be me again. UGH.
Knowing I have to look forward to dealing with the whole airport issue has trapped me from leaving the lobby of the resort both times I went solo before. I am so worried and focused on dealing with the upcoming mind scramble, I can't go out and enjoy my last few hours in either the parks or at Downtown Disney. I just sit there, in a stupor, looking at my watch every 20 seconds, mind on hyperdrive. In 2008, I actually sat in the lobby for almost 7 hours!
Managing the airport on the return trip always seems to be a much worse experience. The town car driver (always the same jerk) is even more sullen than usual (probably because he's picking up on my vibe). It's hard for me to maneuver backwards from the way I arrived backwards through the airport. Orlando Airport is such a cheery place during arrival (excluding the tons of people), but departing, it's just a cluster-you-know-what. I'm tired, dreading what I have to go home to, and I'm once again dealing with one of my greatest fears...airport security.
Once I'm home, I'd like to say it gets better, but it doesn't...not for a long time. Zoning out at Disney may be good for me at the time, but once I get home, I'm just bitter and don't want to deal with anyone. It's usually why I take off more days after a trip than before, but the extra time to get acclimated to my life again usually backfires. The more I'm alone, the more I want to be alone and the harder it is for me to "play nice" with family, co-workers, etc (pups are excluded from this mix...besides, they are so mad at me for leaving them with Grandma, they won't come near me for days anyway - this upcoming will be Bam's first experience with Grandma housesitting...I sure hope he takes it better than Zach does!).
This behavior is not just a Disney thing...I used to do the same thing when I would go stay with my father. The longer I was away from my everyday routine, the harder it was for me to return to it. Although my Asper brain still functions in its usual, erratic way, it's a different kind of erratic and I kind of enjoy the change (in a really screwed up kind of way).
Since it has been so long since I've done Disney solo, I'm trying to make allowances to prevent the inevitable. I'm driving instead of flying, thus avoiding the airport and final hours debacle. I will have the 14-16 hour trip home to blank out completely for long periods (until I get into traffic or hit a city). I've also scheduled this trip more toward the end of my week off, so I'll only have a day before I have to return to work. I'm hoping this decision doesn't backfire on me. After picking a resort, it was the hardest to make.
Plus, I won't have Disney withdrawal for too long, since we are doing a full, "real" trip in December, family included. I'm hoping that by going to Disney World solo before December, will help with the stressors of the family trip. Hopefully, if all goes well, I will be able to do all the things that I like to do in October and not feel like I'm missing out on them in December if we don't do them.
I'll have to keep all that in my mind when, on the day of departure, I had to drive my own vehicle to Downtown Disney to get my stash of Earl Of Sandwich. It's the only thing I'm really dreading (so far) for October...manipulating my vehicle through the Disney streets. Is Earl of Sandwich worth it? You bet!! Does that make it any easier? Hell, no!
Next up is Part 8: Final Thoughts.