Caribbean Cruise, Day 4: Seasickness as Anticipation

Here’s something that I found with my seasickness: a great deal of it was mental.

I’ve been seasick in the past, and for the first half of the trip… I was terrified of feeling that way again. The nausea. The queasiness that sticks around for hours. Every swell and drop had my stomach in a lurch, and had me worried I’d be bedridden for the remainder of the day.

But by the fourth day, Liz helped me realize that I was mostly fine. I felt a little anxious, but there was never any actual seasickness happening. I didn’t feel nauseous or queasy – it was always a general sense of anxiety, nervousness, anticipation.

I treated the waves much in the same way that I treat turbulence on a plane: I kind of braced myself, and figured on waiting it out. But unlike turbulence (which typically is short lived), traveling over rough waters can last hours on end. So I found myself in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Around Day 4, I found myself getting more comfortable with the ship’s movements. I don’t know how much of this was truly psychosomatic, and how much of it was just me getting used to the motion… but once I realized I was waiting for the nausea to arrive, I found I could force myself to stop waiting and relax a little bit. And as more time went on, I relaxed a bit more.

The first few days were rough for me, but it gradually got better. It went from “I can’t imagine going on another cruise” to “it’s not so bad,” within a matter of days. In the end, it felt more like a mental thing, as opposed to a physical one.

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