Monday, 29 December 2008

Christmas Round Up


Phew it has been a busy week! Obviously i couldn't wait to post and announce my engagement but I thought I would let you know about my Christmas in general. Firstly though i want to say thank you for all the messages of congratulations. It really made me smile and I love to hear from you. It is nice to know i am not talking to myself but to be honest i wonder how you all put up with me because when i read previous posts, i don't half ramble ha ha.
It has been a bit hectic, as will be the case for most of you i would imagine. For the first year ever i had been very well prepared and had been buying gifts since October! So on that front, things had been stress free. On Christmas Eve i spent the day wrapping all my gifts and planned a nice relaxing Christmas Eve with Gerry. Unfortunately Gerry was working on the actual day so we began our celebrations early. I think the plan was that he would propose to me at midnight but for whatever reason he couldn't wait the extra hour. We watched the 'Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special' and then headed out for a walk. As i said in my previous post, i thought Gerry just needed to clear his head from all the wine he had been drinking but he had other plans. In the summer Gerry had taken me a walk and produced a ring. At the time i had thought he was going to propose and although I hadn't been seeing him that long, I had thought he was about to pop the question. He gave me a ring that day, but not an engagement ring. It was an eternity ring (don't you buy those when you have been married for years?). Gerry actually only gave me an eternity ring as he liked the style but anyway.... This time he took me to the same spot and asked the question. Not down on one knee! Shame on him ha ha. OK i should give him a break as he was obviously nervous but he didn't get down on one knee he just stood there and blurted out 'Will you marry me' and obviously i said...emmm OK then ha ha. A pair of romantics eh.
Home we went and Gerry was faced with a mammoth pile of gifts to wade through. My gift was my ring and some new boots but a good hour was spent watching him opening his. Christmas morning he left for work and I spent the day at home with the family. Mum, Dad, Grandad and 2 of my nephews, with other visitors coming and going. Gerry came back home after his work and we basically chilled in front of the TV. It was a good day although slightly uneventful. What was I expecting? I don't know, but there is a whole build up for nothing really isn't there?
My head is still in holiday mode at the moment. Thing's have been so busy that it has messed up my usual routine or getting up, going walking, keeping my diary, listening to Paul McKenna etc, but I know i will get back into it. As the new year approaches i am sure i am not the only one thinking 'this year i will beat this'. I know i have been saying that to myself for the last 5 years lol. This time i have more determination though and also i feel i have a head start due to the last few months work i have been doing.
Now that I am engaged Gerry's talk has obviously moved to 'when will you be moving in with me'. This has always been the plan but now it seems more 'real' and I feel i really need to get my act together. I suppose it is pressure but then like i said, i always knew it was heading this way. He arrived yesterday talking about cupboard space in his home and needing to build me a wardrobe (have you seen Sex in the City? It reminds me of Big building a wardrobe for Carrie, although I'm sure mine won't be so grand, but hey I don't have 1000 pairs of shoes to take with me). So with this future in mind Gerry decided it was time for another drive. I was a little apprehensive as i haven't been sticking to the routine of getting out but i went nonetheless. We drove the usual route a few times adding a couple of new roads. I had also decided that when I am out in the car i would like to drive and stop somewhere and just sit for a while. It seems we drive in circles and we always stop when we get home. I want to practice stopping away from my safety zone and just sitting there for a while. Also i want to practice getting out of the car in lots of different places and walking away from the car, so this is what i did last night. I also parked up outside the local pub and took a walk in on my own. The only reason i did this is because we may be going there for New Year and i wanted to have a little practice run. I was fine! Finally my friend Laura called to say she was home and so we drove round there. This time i was determined to keep and even head and not be high as a kite. This time instead of running around Laura's house like a whirlwind and running back to the car again, we stayed for an hour or possibly longer. I sat with her daughter Neve and her son Korrie and we chatted away. It was her first time meeting Gerry too and they got on great. The above picture is Neve and I. I really get carried away with taking pictures when I am out. I get all excited and need proof as if to say 'Wow look at me, look where i am and i am fine'!! So i had a brilliant night and was really proud of myself and going through this with Gerry does make me feel closer to him. He has been a great support recently and I can only hope he stays this way and doesn't run out of patience. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I will be back to report on the new year.
Oh one last point. I know i have mentioned before that I don't like to take medications and that i think this is a control thing but this also applies to alcohol. I used to drink a reasonable amount on a night out and in fact I like being drunk! It does make me relax and i do get merry and have a laugh but these days i struggle with the control side of things. The last time i was drunk was May 2007! and I don't know when it was before that. My friend had turned up with vodka that night and although I really didn't want to drink i somehow ended up joining in and having a great night. I know the first reason i stopped drinking was because i ALWAYS had a panic attack the next day. I cut my drinking down so that once at the nice merry stage i would move onto water, this stopped me panicking the next day but eventually i stopped all together (very much like how i stopped going out). Now though i would like to have a drink at new year. I just don't know if i will manage it though. Can i relax enough to just enjoy a drink and allow myself to get Merry. Or will i constantly be thinking 'What if i lose control, What if i panic while drunk and cant calm myself'. With all the negative thoughts i have it is really no wonder I have ended up with anxiety issues. Even as i write this i am thinking 'give yourself a break Lynn'! Anyway, we shall see how it goes. I am optimistic though, i think we are in for a good night.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Decent Proposal


My boyfriend popped the question at midnight on Christmas Eve. So now i have a FIANCE which just sounds so funny but i am absolutly delighted. He took me a walk which i thought was to clear his head after too many glasses of wine, but it turns out the wine was to help with his nerves. Above is my ring, i think he chose well.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone xx


Tuesday, 16 December 2008

My Diary Part 2

Tuesday 16th December -

Exhausted today. Had a terrible night sleep. I have an awful cough which kept me awake most of the night so i was walking about in a bit of a daze. I still managed to get out for a while though. I went on my usual walk, taking my mum along too. I felt ok. No anxiety at all ( the other day's anxiety still playing on my mind). The walk went well. Home.. cleaning, laundry etc then cooked dinner for the family. My boyfriend arrived just after dinner and by this time i was dead on my feet. He suggested we go for a drive and i agreed it would be a good idea. As i hadn't gone out driving yesterday i was anxious that this would be like starting the process all over again. Would i make it to the round-a-bout again or would i feel more nervous? Well of course i made it there fine. I think he was ready to push me on further but to be honest i just felt far too tired to be able to take on the challange. At least i got out and have maintained that progress. Home for an early night in bed and Hopefully i will be able to tackle things on with a stronger mind on my next drive. However, i should note, i have had less of the negative thoughts today. Proving that i can have a day off from the driving and still get back out and do it later in the week has helped. I think i was too worried to stop going out driving incase i ended up back to square one, or lost my nerve! It looks like i will be ok.

Wednesday 17th December -

My plan was to really tackle my walking and driving this week and to report lots of progress. My plan has met with a problem. What i dreaded happening has happened. I have the flu. Boo Hoo Poor me!! I was up all night coughing till i felt my head was going to explode. Today my body aches and i barely have the energy to walk to the loo. Looks like i will be at home all day. No walk. No drive. And the worry ... will this have thrown a spanner in the works. Will i be scared to get back out there once this passes. Arrrghh the frustration.



Thursday 18th December -

Spent the whole day in bed. I should be out doing things!! Thankfully i feel far better than i did yesterday. Although i have slept most of today i am confident i will be fit for my walk tomorrow. I also have an appointment with my Occupation Therapist in the afternoon and hope i can go out for a drive with her and be in the same mind set as i had been in the previous week. Fingers crossed.

Friday 19th December -

Today has been the biggest challange. I woke up and immediately felt anxious. Too much time in bed and too much time to think has caused this. From 7am all i could think about was 'i need to go out, i havent been out in 2 days, What if i can't do it again'. I sat and thought about it, and thought about it and thought about it. In the end i was so worked up that i could feel the panic attack getting closer. I ran to my bedroom and got dressed and went out. I knew if i just faced the problem instead of sitting thinkin about it, i would feel much better. It worked. I went out and walked my usual route and felt fine. I enjoyed it actually even though it was freezing and pouring with rain. I ended up back in bed after this. Still not well at all and while suffering from the cold it is probably not a great idea to walk in the rain. But mentally i feel far better.

Saturday 20th December -

Arrrghhh maybe that walk was a bad idea. I. AM. SO. ILL!!! There is no hope of me leaving my bed today. But i can rest easy and not obssess about not getting out again. I also have the added joy of looking after my 3 nephews tonight. I can barley look after myself right now.

Sunday 21st December -

I feel sooo much better! Got up and took 2 of the boys out a walk. We were out for quite a while. On returning home i learned my dad was heading out to do some christmas shopping. I quickly jumped in the car with him and asked him to take me a spin. I havent been in the car since Tuesday so i wanted to prove to myself that i can still do it. We went around the usual route and then for some reason my dad took a wrong turn. Well of course the panic hit me immediately. I shouted that he would need to find somewhere to turn. The panic really does come over me in waves. One minute i felt it rise from my tummy to my head and then it would go down again. I think if i can mentally talk myself through this i will be ok but when taking the wrong turn my head just went 'NO NO NO'. In future i would like it to think ' Ok this isnt where i wanted to be but relax, you can do it, this is a good thing, you are going a new way, its all progress'. I guess i have to work on that. The way he took me is somewhere i do want to do, but obviously it is very different when you are mentally prepared for these things than it is if you are suddenly thrown in against your will.

So today i feel good. Its nice to know that what i feared most has happened but its not been so bad. After getting out and about more i had the fear that i would get ill and all improvements would be a waste, that i would go back to being housebound. How the negative mind works. Instead i DID take ill but i didn't let it hold me back like i may have done in the past. I guess this is a sign of better mental health. Originally i had decided to write diary entries of me trying more and more. To really tackle this and show people it can be done. I still believe if i can do it, anyone can. Obviously it hasn't turned out that way. I hope it hasnt been a boring read. But maybe it can offer some hope to people to see that we can stay positive and although we may face set backs we dont need to let the agoraphobia win. When i felt those old familiar feelings of not wanting to go out i fought it and told myself 'No, i WILL not let this happen again'. I also know that i will face this time and time again and can only pray that i will remain focused and strong.

Now it is just days to christmas and i look forward to it very much. Unfortunately my boyfriend is working from 11am till 11pm on the day! So we will be swapping gifts at midnight on Wednesday instead, then i will spend the day with family. In the New Year i may actually be going out! It is planned that we MIGHT go to a nearby pub/bar where they are having a party for 'Hogmany' as we call it here in Scotland. This would be fantastic and i know it would be the perfect start to the New Year but i will just see how i feel on the day, I wont put pressure on myself. I hope everyone has a fantastic time over the holidays and that Santa brings you all you could ask for. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

My Diary Part 1


Saturday 13th December -


I sit here now and i am SHAKING. It is 10pm and i am just home from another drive. I had already been on a drive today and covered the same ground as yesterday. I have decided to do it in steps just as i did with the walking. Obviously you guys dont know the area but so far i have been going to a big round-a-bout near the end of my village. The stages from there are, petrol Station, another major round-a-bout and then McDonalds haha. When i make it to that major round-a-bout i have officially left my village for the first time in about 4 years, possibly more.


Back to tonight. My friend popped round and i suggested a drive... yes me! I suggested to go a drive. What is happening to me? Anyway, we went around my usual loop again and although i could say i feel 'on edge' i certainly wouldnt describe it as anxious. I described to Angela, who was driving, where i wanted to go. We headed to Laura's house again but this time my thinking was 'will i get out the car and go into her house'. Angela parked the car and i just got out and ran! She had no idea where i was going but i wasnt hanging around for explanations. I knocked on Lauras door and you should have seen the look on her face! Priceless. As i mentioned before, Laura has lived there for about a year and i havent been inside. Tonight i was there. She took me around the house showing me all her hard work and her house is beautiful. Laura was so excited byt the whole tour that she actually showed me the contents of her fridge haha. The pair of us were a sight. I ran around the rooms in a flash but i did notice that i felt ok... not anxious but very very hyper. Back into the car i drove around more, covered more ground again. We almost went to the petrol station but i decided thats somewhere to aim for in the week, i dont want to scare myself into a panic attack (negative i know).


Home now i am buzzing. I cant stop talking. It has taken me a while to come back down from the high. My friend has been texting saying she is still in shock that i was there and it does feel fatastic. I did actually take 2 photographs when i was out but unfortunately i was shaking so much they are awful ha.


My thoughts tonight... Nervous what if's. What if i panic, what if i get scared again and dont want to do it anymore, What if this is just a little phase, What if it all stops tomorrow? What if? What if? What if? Arrrghhh. However, on a positive note, i did it and i will push to continue this effort. I will work on doing it and not being so hyper! I have already noticed that just driving in the loop is completly comfortable to me. One of my nervous thoughts had also been, 'What if i never want to get out the car and walk' but tonight i got out and walked to laura's so i am getting there.

Sunday 14th December -

Woke up nice and early and planned out my day. I will go my walk, then a drive and tonight i will relax with my boyfriend. He has spent the weekend in Ireland on a stag weekend so it will be good to have him back. Started off on my usual walk, feeling a little nervous this time. I guess it is because i have been mentally more focused on the driving. Determind to do it though and i succeded. For the first time though i had a slight panic attack. I was walking to one of the furthest points from home and felt a bit dizzy. I didnt allow myself to freak out but it certainly gave me a little scare. I was with my mum today so i don't know of that helped but i just continued chatting and told myself i wasn't going to run from it. It was very breif and once it had gone back down i continued my walk and didnt cut it short like i might have done in the past. I had been dreading the moment i started to feel that way again but i am turning it into a positive by telling myself that although it happened, i braved it out and just kept on going. Hopefully my mind will have noticed that it happened, i was ok and i got home in one piece. Obviously with the way my mind works i will be a little more nervous about doing it tomorrow but i will go nonetheless.
Went a drive with my dad. It was the usual route to the round-a-bout and to the edge of town. Again i felt fine. I wasnt setting out to try anything new or to go further, i just wanted to prove to myself i could still do it and to maintain my progress. After that i had a busy day of cleaning and the usual jobs at home, quick bath and a relaxing night with Gerry who had returned home from Ireland. New perfume for me YEY!
Monday 15th December
I expected today to be a little tougher after my anxiety yesterday and i guess it was. It was only difficult as i wasnt as motivated as i ususally am. I was a little nervous and not looking forward to my walk as much, but of course i didn't let it stop me. Went the usual walk and i felt ok. When approaching the area where i panicked yesterday i was a little uneasy. I called my friend as i walked and used the phone call as a distraction. It was a dull and miserable day which never helps me on my walks and i was also very tired. Gerry ended up being very sick through the night and i was awoken constantly as he asked for drinks or food...or a bucket ha. So it was a tired Lynn who set off today. Having completed the walk i felt myself relax, i had done it! No anxiety and more to the point, i hadnt decided to take the easiest option and stay at home.
Today was also to be the first day that i probably wouldnt be going on a drive. I didnt think my dad would be home tonight and i wasnt meant to be seeing Gerry. As does happen, our plans changed, when Gerry decided to come after all. A good response in my head was 'Good, i can go a drive tonight, keep up the practise'. Unfortunately Gerry was still ill and not fit for driving anywhere but again it was a good sign that i was willing to get back out there.
It has been another good day but i notice my head is very messed up with all of this. I feel like my mind is very muddy. I dont understand where this improvement has come from and i am trying not to question it. I still have the negative what if's and i guess i am thinking about it constantly. Probably too much as per usual. But throughout all of this i tell myself that this is the best i have done in years and i canot deny that. I need to realise i have the strength in myself to do this and believe in myself.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Driving


I had to zoom out on google maps to show you the ground covered today. That red shape is getting bigger! I am soo excited. Back out again tomorrow.
Don't like to be negative but im worried that i HAVEN'T panicked. I have been so relaxed in the car and i cant help think... i should panic soon. Why can't i just accept that i am ok instead of asking the panic to visit grrr. Guess its force of habit. However i remain positive and wont let that thought hang around too long.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Taking on the Safety Zone


As i have said before, many agoraphobic's I know are able to travel in the car, but have issues when it come's to walking. On previous posts i have talked about how i am making myself walk everyday and have been going further each time. My confidence has been growing, i have been ENJOYING my walks and the most important thing i noticed is that i just zone out and let my thoughts wander. In the past i would have been fixating on what i was doing 'this is far, how long till i get home', 'What if i panic or fall and and can't get home' and so on and so on.


Feeling my new confidence i attempted to travel in the car again is this is something i never do. Obviously i have already written about the disaster which was my first trip with my boyfriend but today we attempted it for a second time.


I wasn't thrilled with the idea but decided to go and i am really glad i did. Today in the car i travelled further than i have in years. It is actually shocking to say that since it is such a short distance but it was progress all the same. Last year i posted a picture of My little bubble (http://livingwithagoraphobia.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-little-bubble.html). Today i have posted a picture which shows the same bubble in Yellow, and where i travelled to today, in Red.
At first i was nervous, the negative thoughts came and my hands began to sweat. I focused on my boyfriend and our conversation and also told myself that I was going to be ok. If i really panicked i could close my eyes and be home really quickly. I didnt need to though. I was calm! We tried a few short drives around the block and then eventually i was telling him to go further and further. The best part for me was driving to my friends house. My friend Laura moved into her house about a year ago and i have never seen the house or been close! But today i called her and told her to look out her window and when she did i was sitting there waving. I ended the journey smiling and walked home chatty and upbeat. I look forward to our next outing. This is the first time i have truley felt that i CAN beat this. Its is actually possible

Monday, 1 December 2008

Award Winning & Getting To Know You

I have been friends with a lovely couple named Robert and Marie for many years now. Having met Marie online she told me about a blog which Robert writes telling the story 'My wife has Agoraphobia'.

I have always been a huge fan of his page, as i have forever been curious as to how the partner of an agoraphobic feels. Of course i have spoken to my own partner for his opinion, but i always wondered about those who have gotten married. Does it come to a point where they just accept their partners condition and stay with them anyway out of love? Would someone ever say to me, 'You may never go out, we may never go travelling, but i want to be with you for the rest of my life anyway'? That to me is love! I know that is a huge commitment but i also know i would be truley delighted if someone took me on 'warts and all'. Does the partner of an agoraphobic fully accept them and just get on with things, or do they always hope things get better?

I have also often wondered how i would cope if i had never become agoraphobic and had fallen in love with a guy who was housebound. I can honestly say with my hand on heart that i dont know if i could handle that. Am i incredibly selfish? It is only NOW having experienced it that i feel i could take on that relationship. I remember years ago, a long time before i ever had a panic attack or agoraphobia, i was told about a women who wouldnt leave the house. Unfortunately, my response then was... 'She needs a kick up the arse, tell her to sort herself out'. Well how wrong was i? I think about that statement a lot. You know i think karma may infact exist lol. But i have also said many times that living with agoraphobia, panic attacks or any other kind of 'problem' makes you much more sympathetic and patient.

Ok i digress, i mentioned Robert as he recommended me for a couple of awards. One is the Kreative Blogger and the other is the Lemonade award. I just want to say thank you very much and that i really appreciate it. It is always nice to know that someone takes an interest in my ramblings. Robert's blog can be found at http://mywifehasagoraphobia.blogspot.com/. I would recommend it as it shows the other side of the coin when talking about agoraphobia and just how much it affects the partner. Robert knows i have had nothing but respect for him for years as he looks after Marie, their 2 children, manages several businesses and has now just taken on a new family member, their puppy Blaze! And then you have me who struggles to just go a simple walk day after day. I think he deserves some recognition.





On a recent posting Robert answered the question, 'What are 6 things that make me happy'. I will also attempt this although to be honest it may be dull haha, but i think it may be a nice change to here these things than my views on agoraphobia all the time

  1. I have recently become very domesticated. I think it happened when i met my new partner and realised i may soon become someones...WIFE!!! Argh scary stuff but time to grow up. This has meant i have been learning to cook. I have always known how to cook but i mean i wanted to try more 'impressive' meals. As well as the cooking i have started to bake. My banana bread is very tasty and so easy to make but it is great fun as i get the kids involved too. My shortbread was like rock and could crack your teeth and my muffins were so burnt that the birds wouldnt even touch them but god loves a trier haha. All in all i am actually pretty good and take great pleasure in seeing people enjoy a meal which i have made.
  2. Music! I LOVE music and surround myself with it everyday. I like to listen to the radio, usually Radio 1 or 2 and i love to download the latest albums released. At the moment my current favourite is 'Day & Age' by the Killers but i enjoy listening to a very broad range. I can handle anything from Patsy Cline to Britney Spears (they are not my favourites, i do actually have good taste ha). Nothing pleases me more than singing at the top of my voice, even though i am terrible!!! You will often here the words 'Lynn WOULD YOU SHUT UP' being shouted through the house but hey i enjoy it.
  3. The internet. MSN, Bebo, Myspace, Youtube. Thank God for the internet. The world at your finger tips. My biggest vice is internet shopping, which reminds me i must go buy that lovely dress i just seen :)
  4. American tv shows. I can get lost in Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, you name it. It is escapism which i enjoy.
  5. Puzzles! Am i a geek? I dont know and i dont care but i love crosswords, suduko, codebreakers and find them extremly helpful when i am anxious, good distraction.
  6. Reading. I love to read. Similar to music my taste is very broad. I do enjoy a good autobiography but lately have been reading crime novels. Could be classed as murder mysteries actually. The author is Karin Slaughter and they were recommended to me by a friend but my favourties have to be books by Marian Keyes and Cecelia Ahern as they are light hearted and make me laugh.

I have ranted once again lol.

Seen the homeopathic women today. I do feel the remedy is working. She told me the name of my remedy, i should have written it down. It was Poly something or other but i have another 6 weeks worth. I am still determind and have been out everyday walking further and further. Had a small set back on Saturday where i felt anxious and thought 'Uh oh, here we go again' but thankfully it didnt come to anything and i felt much better the next day. I do have the fear though. The longer it is since i have had a panic the more i worry about handling the next one. Does that make sense? Silly question, i know you will understand that worry only too well!

My Boyfriend and i have made up since the disasterous drive. He knows he was wrong thank goodness. It was his frustration i suppose, but after a long talk i am confident it wont happen again (touch wood). Anyway i shall leave it there for now but will be back soon. Take Care all xx

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Difficult Drive

I am sitting here crying after what i would say was a horrible ordeal. Ok, maybe 'ordeal' is a bit strong but i will describe it anyway.

My boyfriend appeared as i was having a lie down. All the walking i have been doing lately is making me tired as my body isnt used to it. So i was lying relaxing after a busy and in my opinion successful day out. He arrived and since it is raining suggested that we go out in the car instead. I havent been on a long car journey in years. I know that a lot of agoraphobics can handle car journeys, but not walk much. I seem to be the other way around. I am never in a car. Anyway i had told him that i am up for trying the car now, my confidence has been building lately and felt i was ready to take on the challange.

I tried to explain how it would work, i need someone to be patient and support me, even if it means driving up and down my street just to get used to it. Right from the word go he was angry with me, saying i didnt trust him, he was shouting and this was BEFORE we got in the car.

In the car he shouted at me through clenched teeth telling me i am not trying at all. 'You are a 27 year old girl, it is time to get your life back'. We drove. As he drove he shouted and screamed. I looked out of the window and cried. I got further than i expected but eventually told him to turn back. He drove me home and we made off on the journey again. Again i was ok.... but when reaching my limit told him to turn back. As i write this my head is pounding so im not totally sure what he was shouting about but mostly it was about how im not trying enough, he said i couldnt go back home as we had only been out for 5 minutes. He said i need to keep driving to that point untill it doesnt scare me, and then go further. I totally agree with this....but how can you do it when someone is screaming at you??

Third time we drove there again and when i asked him to turn back instead of go further he lost it. 'So much for ******* progress'. I asked him not to speak to me like a piece of s*** and he told me to stop acting like it.

He dropped me at my house and said he didnt want to come in and sit around with me. His parting words were 'Go on... run along and sit in your bedroom because thats all your life will ever come to'.

So im drained. I wont let that happen to me. I KNOW i am doing well, and even though tonight was horrible i still did good. I am angry that someone could be that way. Im sure its frustrating for him but i dont think thats any excuse. Don't let anyone ruin your successes. I dont think he realised how much damage he could have caused tonight. I could not associate being in a car with fear, being upset and someone shouting at me. Hardly makes me want to run out and do it again. But i wont let that happen. Next time i just wont be with him.

Uh Oh its me talking on video

I decided to make a different update post and this time use video. I just watched it back and i do look horrendous but who cares, we are all friends haha...Hope you can understand my accent. Enjoy x

(Typical its sideways lol)

Monday, 3 November 2008

Homeopathy


On Thursday i had my appointment with the Homeopathic Doctor to see if there is any remedy that may help my situation. It was an interesting hour spent answering the most unexpected questions. As well as the usual questions about my anxiety and agoraphobia i was also asked things like, what do i dream about, do i like animals, what colours do i like?

I now realise that homepathic medicine is prescribed to suit the individuals health AND personality. The women explained that my medicines would be completely different from any other agoraphobic as they are tailor made to suit my needs.

I have since then researched homepathic medicine online and it seems there are some fantastic stories from people who have found their remedies very helpful. I recieved my pills on Saturday with the instructions on how to take them. It is simple enough, i have to take 2 a week. Thats it.

The problem here is my negative thoughts working over time. The women told me i can only take 2 a week because they are so 'potent'. Ok so now the word 'potent' is stuck in my head. If the pills make me anxious, are they so 'potent' that i will be anxious the entire week. I know this is totally irrational but tell my brain that! I have been reassured constantly that their are no side affects from homeppathic remedies, yet my mind wont accept it. I have even recieved an email from the women saying...

No, you will not feel more anxious but should find gradually and subtly you become a little easier in yourself and 'lighter' about life. Take the remedies and just let go... leave them do the work... we will catch up in about 4 weeks to discuss and see the changes.

I am just terrible at taking pills. I know this is due to the terrible reaction i had to my medication when i was 19. I spent a week like a zombie, my eyes were popping out of my head and i was panicking all day. I know this wont happen now but the thoughts are there. Anyway i know i will take my remedy. I actually have a feeling they will do me good. Ok, so its not a cure but if i can feel a little 'lighter' about life then i am all for it. I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Bike Ride

Thought i would try something new and show a video of my typical bike ride. This is me beginning at the shops and heading home. This will give you an idea of how small my safe zone is... and also the lovely surroundings i see every day..not! Enjoy.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Its that time of year again....

(Random picture of Luke, Nothing to do with this blog entry but he looked so smart in his kilt i wanted to include it)

(My Gothic Makeover recieved by mu cousin. Seems fitting in this gloomy weather)

Yip, it's that time of year again. The time of year that i dread the most. Its the beginning of a long, cold and dark winter. With all the progress i have been making i decided that it would be ideal to fight my battle in the winter season. If i can keep on improving through this season that i hate the most, then by the time summer comes i will have a head start to really kick this agoraphobias ass!!!

Why do i hate the winter?? Well there are things i like about winter. I like when it snows through the night and you wake up to a perfect blanket that no one has walked on. I like to play with the kids and make snowmen, have snowball fights etc. I like to walk when it's cold and crisp and BRIGHT. What i don't like is the dark nights. The rain, the general miserable weather that we have here in Scotland on a daily basis. Our clocks went back on Sunday meaning it now gets dark even earlier, soon it will only be 4 in the afternoon and nightfall comes... Boo hoo. Give me summer nights where the kids are out playing till 10pm and i can sit in the garden for hour after hour anyday.

Ok i digress.... but you get my jist. Winter ain't my favourite. I sometimes wonder if i would be as agoraphobic if i lived in Spain, or Australia, or the Caribbean. Surrounded by beaches and beatiful waters, would i realy want to stay at home? From where i sit now, in Scotland, i look out my window and see another house on either side. I have no beautiful view, nothing to make me want to go out there. However, i know that my life doesnt need to revolve around these dull streets and that there is so much more out there. I want to go out there. I want to see beautiful scenery with my own eyes again. Not through looking at books, using my memory or by watching television.

So back to my progress. I have been keeping it up. Each day is pretty much the same. I wake up as early as i can, trying to stick to my routine. I wake, i eat breakfast, i get dressed...and when my body catches up with my mind and actually starts to function, i go a small walk. Then i will clean the house, listen to my Paul McKenna download, cook dinner and then sit infront of the tv at night. Or read. Or go online. Whatever i fancy. I myself am quite happy with this. I see an improvement from they way i was a year ago. In the past i could basically sit in my bed all day. Laptop on my knee, id go downstairs for my meals which were cooked for me, then back to bed. That would be a typical day unless my boyfriend was coming over. When he was due my routine was pretty much the same accept i would have a bath and spend an hour making myself presentable.

The boyfriend - He's still here. Relationships for agoraphobics are tough. I guess it all depends on your partner and how understanding and patient they are. My boyfriend Gerry, is a hard nut to crack. Now we have only been together for 4 months but already i hear him say to me 'i thought we would have done more by now'. He is scared of nothing. He has no fear that i can compare my phobia too when trying to explain why i can't do certain things. He is of the opinion that i need to just 'get over it'. Don't get me wrong, he can be very understanding and EXTREMLY patient, but sometimes his patience wears thin, like it did today.

Today was a good day for me. I got up nice and early. It wasn't raining for once and went out a walk with my support worker Liz (who i still see once a week). We went further than i usually do and then when i came home i spent sometime with my friend Laura and her new little boy Korrie.... and then Gerry arrived. He was full of enthusiasm about wanting to go out. He wanted us to go out driving but my negative head was on. I didn't want to go. I was imagining all sorts of senarios where i would panic and tried making excuses. He wasn't impressed with me at all. Infact when he realised that i wasnt up for the drive he said he was just going to leave. He didnt want to be 'stuck in all day again'. I can understand his frustration but i don't think he realises that it is JUST as frustrating for me... probably even more so! I am very aware that my progress has a time limit. If i don't start to show major improvements soon, then our relationship will be over. I feel like i am so used to seeing my future as being agoraphobic that the thought of living a 'normal' life is totally impossible. I would love to spend the day not thinking about panic attacks. I would love to wake up and just go out shopping if thats what i fancied, or just going out to lunch with friends at the last minute, but in all honesty i don't see that happening. Maybe thats where i am going wrong. Maybe if i believed in myself and believed that i can actually have that life, i would do much better???

Anyway, the whole thing with the boyfriend got me uptight and i knew that there was no point in me even attempting the drive after all that, i was not in the right frame of mind. I started to think of new things i could try... what could give me the push i need. I have said before in my blogs that i dont believe in any quick fix, or any therapy that will cure you. I really do believe it is down to the individual to put the work in. So i was suprised to find myself looking online at Homeopathic Medicines. I just done a simple search to find which homeopathic remedies there were for anxiety. I found a few names listed but wasnt sure where to go from there. Eventually i found the name of a Homeopathic specialist who works near by. Basically the women advised me that since i have had agoraphobia for many years the medicines i had found wouldnt really help me. Instead i need something stronger, but would be able to use them along with my regular medication from the doctor. She explained that differences in using homeopathic remedies as apposed to the chemicals the doctor would prescribe. She said something like... obviously something inside you isnt working properly and the homeopathic medicine will give your body a kick start to heal those areas (dont quote me on that ha). Anyway she actually made me think i have nothing to lose, so i will give it a try. Have any of you tried this? Id be interested to hear some peoples opinions. I now have a home visit with this women at 2.00 on Thursday. She told me that she will spend an hour and a half with me discussing my issues, and then she will leave and after looking at my personal needs, she will let me know which medicine she recommends. Ah well... i will try anything! Even a little pick me up would be handy at this time of year.

The pressure is most certainly on when it comes to my relationship with Gerry. I love him very much and know i would be heartbroken should it not work. Maybe some people would say i am not trying hard enough. But standing looking out of the window today i just couldnt find it within myself to get into the car and drive. I do find i get on better when i am on my own and just do things at my own pace. When someone is with me telling me their expectations i struggle and usually just plain dont want to do it. But thats not really realistic is it?

Well its been a looong update but i do feel fantastic when i get everything off my chest. This blog is great medicine in itself i would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of writing one themselves. Finally i would like to mention an email i recieved from a girl who told me she had chosen my blog as the subject of an essay she was writing in University. I was totally flattered by this and have decided to show you her writing which was to be an online blog and 200 words long...


My blog is called Living with Agoraphobia and can be accessed at:
http://livingwithagoraphobia.blogspot.com/ and I happened on this when I was searching for something I might know about as my gran had agoraphobia, never leaving the house all her life even to go to the shops (though she occasionally went for 'runs' in the car with grandad).The blog is written in diary style by Lynn Jackson, a young woman of 27 who has had agoraphobia and panic attacks for 8 years, and, because agoraphobia sufferers are by definition housebound and isolated she is using it as a therapeutic tool to communicate with other agoraphobia sufferers and the world in general.Lynn says that she wanted to write in detail about what she's been through and how she has coped, to help others in the same situation or the loved ones of people dealing with the same kind of problems.
The blog stands out for the positive personality that comes over in the narrative style (better than many novels), on reading entries from 26/06/08 onwards I found myself wanting to know if she manages to triumph over the panics and goes out of the house, and also keeps her relationship going with her boyfriend!
Lynn describes all the treatments that she has tried and her lows and highs. The 7th October blog contains a link to her personal file-store where she offers to share the likes of Paul McKenna's recordings for curing Agoraphobia.A downside of trusting your thoughts to the world is that Lynn received an abusive email. Also Agoraphobia as part of a psychotic mental illness could not benefit from this story of a phobia.A brave attempt to give an insight into a baffling, but ultimately life-choice destroying condition that will be helpful to other troubled young women.

So to Nicola, Thanks x

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Downloads for Everyone

I recevied an email from a girl who told me about a website where you can store all sorts of files. I have made an account on the site and added everything i have for anxiety. I have a few still to add but so far i have uploaded the following :-

  • My favourtie Dr Weekes recordings which comes in 4 parts. Very good for people with agoraphobia and/or depression.
  • Paul McKenna's download for Agoraphobia
  • Panic Away - A popular book only available online
  • One More Live - Not sure what this is, it was sent to me and i havent checked it out yet.
  • A relaxation download - 3 Parts (i havent tried this)
  • The EFT Manual
  • A book called Truth Misbelief
  • A book called Anxiey Give away.

If anyone would like a copy of any of these they simply log into the website and click on what they would like. I thought this would be good for people who want to try these files without having to pay for them, possibly they cant afford them. I know i couldnt at times.

All you have to do i log into http://www.dropboks.com/ and enter my email adress as the user name. Lynn_jackson@hotmail.com (thats lynn Underscore jackson at hotmail dot com, it underlines it in the blog so you may not see the under score) the password for the account is blogger. Enjoy people. If you have any problems please feel free to let me know. The Linden Method isnt on there at the moment but i will add it and will keep you up to date on anything else i put on there. Also if there is a particular download you are interested in which i dont have let me know what it is and i will try to get it and add it to the folder. Maybe you can send me things i dont already have by email, or put them in the folder, then we can all help each other and share what we have?

Progress for me is continuing. I am still going out everyday. Sometimes to the shops, sometimes only to the bottom of my street depending on my mood and the weather, but i am still very happy with how things are. Also had a little shot of driving again, if possible i was worse this time round but hey... ill keep trying ha. Hope this update finds you all well and positive and i hope this download information will be helpful to you.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

More of the same

Where has this sudden determination come from? Is it me or could Paul McKenna be working? Maybe its a mixture of both?? However, i thought i would do a short update to say things have been continuing very very well. I have been out everyday and even weirder i have been ENJOYING it. I have been painting, gardening (cutting the hedge was hillarious, didnt realise how big a wimp i am, my arms are aching!!) decorating in the home, cycling and pushing my boundaries, keeping on top of housework everyday. I dont understand the sudden change but i am making the most of it. I know i have been through times similar to this before and then the anxiety has come back and set me back but this time i refuse to give in. If i need a week in bed to 'sort out my head' ill take it but i wont beat myself up about it. I know the good days come back and right now im very happy. Today i was back at the shops. Thats now 3 times in one week after months of not going near the place, so i am very happy right now.

The other night i was very anxious. I knew it would happen. But i just rolled with the punches and let my body do it's thing. I will continue to update my diary everyday and listen to Paul McKenna.

I plan doing a task everyday, the weather has been good so thats certainly helped but even when it rains im making myself GO OUT. Usually i would just hide under the covers. I know the only way to beat this will be lots and lots of effort and only i can do it. No one is gonna wave a magic wand and make me better so i may as well get on with things. It could take years and years but i dont care. Tonight i have my nephew and then tomorrow my other 2 nephews are getting dropped off so ill be busy. Long may the progress continue.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Feeling very chuffed!


The last few times i have written i may have sounded a little bit down. I was feeling more and more agoraphobic and was anxious that i was slipping into being housebound again. I always told myself i wouldnt let this happen. But after a summer of little progress i was very disappointed with myself.


Lately though i've fought to get my determination back. As i mentioned before, i have downloaded Paul McKennas Agoraphobia recordings. I am listening to this everyday (when i remember). I have also been trying to sort out my routine and sleeping pattern. To be honest i am still up late at night but i am forcing myself to get up earlier and earlier each day. Having a longer day means i have more time to focus on things and attempt tasks. Along with this i write everything in my diary. I note down all my achievements for the day. This can be the smallest silliest thing but it makes me feel like i have acomplished something and gives you a sense of worth. Like... today i got up early, well done me. Then done laundry, cleaned the house, cooked dinner, had a bath etc etc. Obviously on top of this i want to write about going out.


I have been seeing my support worker, Liz, every wednesday. Mostly Liz and I just chat about my week and maybe plan somethings for the week ahead. To get me back into the habit of going out everyday we started with a small task which would be quite easy for me. The task is that i have to stand at my back gate for a few times a day. When i feel comfortable i will walk down to the next gate, then the next day i will try to go further and further and so on. This only began last wednesday but for the past 5 days i have done it. I have walked further than just the next gate and have pushed it each time.


On days when i have been up early i have thought... ok now what do i do? I have actually giving myself work. Instead of sitting in bed on my laptop or lying watching tv i am active. I am cleaning, i am painting! and even the other day i began stripping wallpaper in the spare room ready for it to be decorated.


For a while i was able to go to my mums friends near by or even to the local shops. It has been months since i have made it to the shops and the more i thought about it the more the task seemed way too big. Infact i was focusing on going out so much that it was feeling more and more impossible. Eventually Liz said maybe i am focusing on it too much. Its all i was thinking about. The task seemed huge and scary and i wasnt getting anywhere, literally. So i stopped. I allowed myself to chill out and not think about it ALL the time. It has defo eased the pressure and since then i have WANTED to go out more. I have had the urge.


Anyway this morning i got up, got dressed and cleaned the house from top to toe. Then i decided i would go out on my bike. I was on the phone to my boyfriend as i cycled. I had my earphones on so i must have looked like a lunatic cycling along talking to myself but i didnt care. Very quickly i was able to say to him.... i can see the shops. He made the mistake of asking the question 'So how do you feel'? I guess i dont like to focus on that cos suddenly u can think 'Well actually i feel scared so im gonna bolt'. I got off the phone and turned the bike around and headed home. After that i went in another direction and did ok. Didnt exactly push myself but my excuse is... well i am out anyway, this alone is progress as usually id be lying around the house. Then i decided to try and get to my mums friends. I did it! I went there said hi. they made me a coffee but i wasnt really up for hanging around haha. I was just happy enough that i actually MADE it there at all. When i left there i got back on the bike and the next thing i knew i was at the shops. As i said it has been MONTHS since i have achieved that. At least 4 months anyway. I am proud and i am feeling happy. So i am determind to keep it up. I will be back out on my bike tomorrow, but for now i am exhausted haha. The photo is me at the shops. I look rough and so do the shops haha.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Driving

Ok so i was a little down in my last post. I guess sometimes the negative thoughts can really take hold. Thankfully i am feeling stronger again. Since then i have gone out driving! This was fantastic progress for me. I sat driving lessons when i was about 19 but due to everything that happened i ended up giving them up and never sat my test.

Back then i was at a decent level. I felt quite confident and could drive with relative ease. I would like to remind any Americans reading that we all drive with stick cars and we need to go through A LOT to get our license haha. If we drove automatic cars i would be fine. I would be driving by now. I have driven automatics before and i love it, but some people seem to think it can be quite boring and like to drive a manual car.... anyway....

My boyfriend decided it was maybe a good idea to try going in the car instead of walking all the time. Obviously in the car you can get further faster, but also he thought i might feel safer in the surroundings of the car. So we went out and it was me who got into the drivers seat. I warned him that i would TRY to drive but i wouldnt be going very far. Being in the car i would reach the end of my comfort zone much quicker and this made me nervous. I told him i may only drive to the bottom of the street. So off we went and in seconds i was at the bottom of the street and just kept on going. I drove around the corner and into the next street where i then parked up, reversed around the corner and drove home. I was anxious but i was very proud of myself. I was also hoping this would be enough to satisfy my boyfriend that day but he quickly said 'well done... now lets do that again'. Arrrgghhhh!!! I wanted to bolt indoors. But instead i told him i would sit in the car for a while and just chat. See how i felt in a few minutes. So, we sat and chatted and all the while i was thinking 'ok that wasnt so bad, i didnt panic, but i dont really want to do it again'. Why are our minds like this!!! Finally i started the car again and made the same small trip. To be honest on the first attempt my driving was pretty shocking haha. I have lost the confidence i once had and was all over the place, but on the second attempt my boyfriend said i was much better and much more in control.

After the second trip my boyfriend was satisfied that i had tried enough for the night. I was relived! but also i was still really proud of myself for doing it at all. He now thinks that this may be the answer. Maybe i should focus on the driving more and eventually i will be driving around without a care in the world. Ok... so maybe thats a little presumptuous but i can understand his way of thinking. I am certainly going to go out driving again and try to push the boundaries. However, i will also continue to walk as i dont want to end up relying completely on the car.

EMDR... well it didnt happen again. I feel bad as i know many people are waiting to hear the outcome of my sessions but Alison is a busy nurse and if often called into work at the last minute. Again, i am in no big rush to go through the second session anyway as the first one was a little scary lol. It will happen though... eventually!

I am basically at the stage of trying to make myself go out everyday. As the fall sets in and the winter approches, i am determind not to go into hibernation. Even if i only walk around the block each day, i will just be happy knowing that i did SOMETHING.

Another reason i wanted to write is because i have another download that i would like to share. Many people will have heard of Paul McKenna. He began in Britain as a popular hypnotist and had a show on tv. Since then he has moved on to using NLP and TFT curing people of phobias etc. He is extremely popular and his books and self help cds sell millions. I have recently purchased his download for 'curing' Agoraphobia. Like with many of these things i have no idea if it will work but i figure that anything is worth a try. It comes in 2 parts, firstly the Introduction and then the 'Mind Programming Technique'. He suggests listening to it everyday for half an hour and in 2 weeks you will notice a different. I only bought it yesterday so have only listened twice. Anyone who would like a copy please Email me. Untill next time... bye all x

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Long Overdue Catch Up


Well as the title says, i feel this update is long overdue. I have been meaning to write for so long but kept putting it off. The summer is ending. The season i love the most, the season where i always make most progress. Unfortunately i don't feel i have mad any progress at all. And i guess thats why i avoided writing. I like to come on and be upbeat and positive and show people that we can get through this. I guess thats not realistic though. We all know that with agoraphobia and panic attacks it can be like a roller coster ride of highs and lows...

The summer has been nice enough. I done lots of Sunbathing in the garden. Had the kids A LOT. And spent time with friends. In those departments i would say things have been good. But as for getting out and about... its just not been happening!

Again i am at the stage where i feel utterly frustrated with myself. I want so much for things to change and yet i feel i have no clue how to fix this. I mentioned before that i had split up with Chris. At the time i didnt want to go into detail too much, but to be totally honest it was because i had met someone else. This guy came out of the blue. I dont know if i believe in love at first sight but this came pretty close to that. He has come into my life and i have fallen in love. This should be a wonderful and exciting time but like everything else in life it brings its own problems. The relationship became very serious very quickly. We are already at the stage of wanting to live together.... but how can i???

I explained the agoraphobia as best i could but we have come up against some issues. OK so firsty he decided we should go walking every night we are together. I was scared but agreed. I told him not to have an expectations but just to see where we ended up... and that it may literally only be a few metres from my house. Although i dreaded it our first walk went well. We didnt do far but he was happy that i had tried and said he was proud of me etc. Since then different things have happened. I have had bad days where i dont want to go out at all... he doesnt really understand and has called me lazy (havent we all heard that before). Other scenarios... we are out walking and i tell him ive done enough, i dont feel great and he can seem a bit frustrated. So obviously then i feel crap. Or we are out and he will say.. lets go further and go into a big speech about how im not trying. Again i go home feeling defeated and weak. Its horrible. It has now got to the stage that i dread him asking if we are going a walk. I sat him down and tried to talk about this. I explained that putting too much pressure on me will only have a negative affect. He thought that maybe the pressure would give me a 'kick up the arse' but said he would stop. I have made him sound bad. That is not the case at all. He makes me happier than i have been in any relationship. I get so much affection and feel totally loved and its the most amazing feeling. But the agoraphobia is definately causing problems. My head feels so messed up with ALWAYS thinking about what i need to do. I need to see a doctor face to face, I need to get to a dentist, i need to get out socialising, i need to get to my boyfriends house, i need to go for drives with him. I want us to have a 'normal' relationship. A couple of weeks ago i had a low point where i felt depressed. It is very rare i get this way but i was feeling realy low and scared that my boyfriend wont put up with this and will leave me. I have lightened up a little and know that i cant control what will happen but the fear is definately still there. We havent gone out walking in a few weeks now. Firstly i was sick. I had the flu and a unrine infection so obviously i wasnt fit enough, and then he went on vacation for a week. Now he is back and turned up yesterday saying... what are you wearing, that doesnt look like clothes for a nice big walk... again the dread washed over me. I guess i am looking for advice. How on earth to i deal with this. How best can i explain this. In the past boyfriends have been fine with my situation and happy to lounge about at home with me. Its fantastic that i have met someone who wants me to get better and wants more for our relationship. He has talked about wanting marriage, holidays, weekends away. I want all those things too but it seems so impossible!!!!

Ok so thats the first problem constantly plaguing my mind. The next thing is that i feel my condition is getting worse. The negative thoughts are always there repeating themselves.. what if im getting worse? What if i go to walk out the door one day and literally cant do it? What if i have a major freak out when i am outside? What if, What if, What if!!! Tonight i have realised that the pressure is whats causing this. I want to get better SO MUCH that the task seems SO MUCH GREATER. It sucks! But i remain positive and i say this is a good thing. I am getting frustrated. I want to kick the agoraphobias ass and not let it beat me. I am so sick of it now. I am sick of people saying... aww you used to be so much fun, you were out all the time, or, Awww its such a waste of a life. (i dont think that way at all, but i have had it said to me). I used to have a determination that would come over me and and i would think 'OK i am going out'. I dont get that as much anymore, if at all! Tonight the ice cream van came into my street and i didnt even want to make the short walk out there. I forced myself. I was literally shaking but i done it. That would be easy during the day but somehow im rubbish at night. Is it just me???


I have included a couple of photos. Just to explain the bottom one is my cousin Siobhann and i. She was here for 2 weeks during the summer. Shivv, as we call her, is into Gothic Style and decided to give me a make over, hence the look in the top picture.

Ok what else has been happening... I phoned Alison the EMDR girl. A lot of people have been interested to find out how my second session went. It still hasnt happened yet. To be honest Alison has been busy with her own work, and away on Vacation so we havent been able to schedule anything. But admittedly i cancelled an appointment due to fear. I am dreading the session as it scared me the first time but it is now booked for this Friday at 1.30. Whether or not we just chat about problems or actually do EMDT remains to be seen.

I have now started to see a 'support worker' every Wednesday at 2.00. I see a women called Liz and she is really lovely. Most of our initial appointments were spent chatting about my thoughts, anxieties etc. We are looking to go walking each week and last week was our first walk together. It was once again a short walk, but i was glad i managed that. Liz was happy too and felt i had made a great improvement. The week before i had been far to anxious to go out and sat through the entire appointment in a state of panic.

Life has most certainly been getting me down at times. Wanting so much for myself and my boyfriend, the worry of getting worse, the fear of never getting better seem to constanly fill my head. Weirdly though i remain postive, and most of the time i am bright and happy. I tell myself that i wont let this win and that somehow the determination will continue to make me TRY. Try and try again. I think i mostly felt down due to the fact i am rubbish in the winter. I seem to go into hibernation. Its too dull and dreary to motivate me. I dont want to walk about in the rain. I feel more anxious i guess. And suddenly the summer has gone and the gloomy months are approaching. What if i revert back to my old ways or no routine... sleeping all day and being up all night. I only hope that i wont LET that happen this time.

On that cheery note i will say goodbye haha. I hope i havent depressed everyone. I needed to get everything off my chest. From writing this i actually feel so much lighter and less under pressure. I always kick myself for leaving my updates so long. I hope everyone is well. Christine, Jennifer, Lisa, Anna, Rachel, Tashi and the rest. Thinking of you all xxx

Friday, 11 July 2008

Progressing

Well its been a while again since my last post. Had an accident involving coffee and my laptop so im struggling to get online as much. At the moment im relying on the use of a friends laptop now and and then but hopefully i will have my new one some time next week.

It has been a hectic few weeks with the schools breaking for the summer holidays. My 3 nephews have pretty much became a permanent fixtue around here. Its great to see them but always tiring and i have lost count of the amount of spillages, breaks, snotty noses etc.

The Occupational therapist has been out again and it was another session mostly talking. The next time she is here we will be going out walking. In a bid to prepare myself for this i have started walking everynight. The first night i was nervous. This is mostly because im trying to break bad habits. One of these habits is that i usually dont go out at night at all, apart from a walk to the ice cream van. Now though i am trying to go walking and taking it further and further each time. The distance i can travel from my home is still extremely limited. The first night i was nervous simply walking around the block.. but i am slowly pushing the boundaries. At the rate which i am going it will be a year before i leave my town haha. Who cares though, as long as im workin on it and building my confidence. It is still very frustrating though. One day i can be out all day, walking with no anxiety and really enjoying myself. And the next day i am struggling to go outside at all. I dont let it get me down though. I know this comes and goes and the important thing is to make the most of those good days. I am also finding it hard to push the boundaries. I can go a walk and my friend will urge me to walk a little further. I can stand there and look at the target, for example a lamppost, but i cant physically make myself go any further! Again there is only one word for this... frustrating. I could think of many other words but they are too explicit! ****!!!

I will continue though. I know in the end the result will be so much worth it. An exercise i done recently was to write the pro's and the con's of staying home all the time... and then to write the pro's and con's of going out. Obviously going out wins everytime, but it was interesting to see my reasons for staying in... I can be lazy, I dont need to get dressed if i dont want to, how ridiculous!!!!

Anyway hopefully i should be on more when new laptops arrives. Its all being taken care of by the insurance compant and to be honest its taking waaaay tooooo long! I hope everyone is keeping well and i hope you are getting better weather than we are here in Scotland. I just checked the forecast though and its to be a nice hot weekend so i will be sunbathing every hour possible.... in a kid free zone. Yey! Untill next time... bye xxx

Thursday, 26 June 2008

EMDR UPDATE

Hi all, i want to apologise for not writing sooner. Things have been a little crazy for me. My pride and joy my lovely laptop has died! Luke spilled juice on it and it no longer types so i cant get online as often as i would like. I have also split up with Chris. This was my choice and am totally ok with the decision so i will explain more in future.

Really i just wanted to let everyone know that i have not had the 2nd EMDR session as yet. Alison had to cancel our appointment and then i had to cancel the next one as i had an appointment with an occupational Therapist. The OT is called Karen and i will be meeting with her on a weekly basis. Today was my second meeting with Karen. The last two sessions have really been mostly talking and ive had the usualy homework like answering questions about my thought etc. Next Thursday i will be seeing Karen again and this time i think we will actually be venturing outdoors.

This weekend i have my 3 nephews and then the summer holidays begin so i will be out more running around after the kids. I will write in more detail about the Occupational Therapy next time and will let you know whats happening with the EMDR.

Sorry again for the huge gab in messages. I hope everyone is well x

Sunday, 1 June 2008

1st EMDR Session

I have been saying for a while that i can going to try an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) session. So here are a few facts quickly.

Key Benefits

  • EMDR often resolves emotional distrubances and trauma where other therapies have failed.
  • EMDR is effective for most anxiety based disorders.
  • EMDR should not be confused with hypnotherapy. EMDR is a client led therapy and always remains within the control of the client
  • EMDR is capable of rapid results

I found this description - EMDR® is a new psychotherapy used to treat troubling symptoms, such as anxiety, guilt, anger, depression, panic, sleep disturbance, and flashbacks that are the result of traumatic experiences. Traditional therapies have met with limited success in treating victims of trauma. Not only has EMDR therapy been proven effective in reducing the chronic symptoms which follow trauma, the therapy benefits appear to be permanent. Since Dr. Shapiro's first published research study in 1989, EMDR ® has developed and evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world. It now incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, it has helped an estimated half million people of all ages receive relief from many different kinds of psychological distress.

Ok so thats the basics. I was told about it in a far simpler form. You are asked to focus on what you would like 'healed' and as your body goes through different sensations you have to move your eyes to follow someones movements... usually a hand moving back and forth, sometimes the therapist uses a tapping maching.

Anyway on Friday i met with Alison and i was to decide whether i wanted to try the EMDR or go a walk. I have heard huge praise regarding EMDR and knew i wanteds to try it as soon as possible. It was a nice sunny day so we got comfortable in the garden and made a start. I told Alison i wanted to work on my general anxiety. I want to eliminate the daily fear of having a panic attack. So i was axked various questions, told to imagine various things and we got to work. In tha past i have tried therapies where you are told to imagine a situation that has made you panic. I can imagine the situation but i never experience the body sensations much to the therapists disappointment. I have even been asked to think of situations that would scare me, for example, travelling outside of my comfort zone. Once again i can picture these things but my body doesnt usually react unless i am actually IN that situation.

Anyway the session began and in my head i was focusing simple on the words panic, anxiety, fear etc whilst moving my eyes. Very quickly i noticed my body changing. I had gone from relaxed and happy to extremely uptight and uncomfortable. My palms began to sweat and my stomach churned. We stopped every minute or so and i was asked to explain who i wasd feeling. 'Go with that' Alison would say, and so we would continue. My hands began to sweat, My heart pouding, i became very dizzy and suddenly had the urge to vomit, yet we continued. Alison had always told me that these sessions are completely in my control and that any client can say stop if it gets too much. But i continuted as the sensations took over me and soon i experienced extreme depresonalization and felt utterly disconnected from everything. While this was happening i was so hypersentitive, the trees were blowing, people were walking past, my neighbours were pottering around in there gardens and it all got a bit much. I told her to stop!

I was desperate for it to end. I knew it was onviously working as no other therapy has made me feel anything like that before. Alison then helped me to relax with a few excerises and soon i was back to normal. She explained that this reaction is normal. I dont want to put anyone of in anyway but it has been known for people to cry , or vomit, during sessions. Our brains are processing all the supressed memoried and processing all our phobias. So i guess its understandable that its not very pleasant. Alison said though that the best thing to do is ride it out. Stay with the therapy and soon the sensations get less and less and when they have stopped completely you then move onto the important part of the process... the 'cure'.

I was disappointed that i said stop but the whole time in my head i was thinking 'this is too awful and how long do i have to do this'! i wanted it to be over. I had spoken to a girl in the past who had to stop her session as she said it had been too intense and now i can totally sympathise with her.

I have arranged my 2nd session and that is for this Tuesday. This time i am going to do it in the comfort of my bedroom, with the blinds drawn, with as little to stimulate me as possible. I hope i can ride it out. To be honest i dont know if i will, but even if i have to say stop again i will try and try again as i really think this could work, it was just so powerful!

So ill see how it goes on Tuesday. Please dont let this post have put anyone off, it wasnt all bad, the relaxation exercises are great and i felt totally fine within minutes. I think its a therapy that take guts to face, but one that could maybe the the answer for many of us.

Also i wanted to give people this link. Its for Paul McKennas web page. A women who emails me told me about it and i am so grateful, so thank you so much Christine. I havent yet bought it but i have heard a lot of praise for Paul McKenna so i would say its definatly worth a try.

http://www.paulmckenna.com/default.aspx?pid=5

Ill report back after Tuesday lol x

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Superheroes keeping me happy


It's been a while since i have wrote but i guess i've not had that much to talk about. I've been doing ok really. Not made any great progress but managing to maintain the progress i had made over the last few weeks. I am still going out everyday, even if i am only sitting in the garden. I feel i have been really busy lately which is bizarre. I have had the kids a lot so obviously they keep me on my toes. I am a moderator on a travel website and i have been seeling a lot of skin care products on Ebay for my friends shop. So all of combined has kept me very busy and very tired. This is a good thing of course as otherwise i would probably be sitting around over thinking things, and thats never a good idea.

I have been out walking more though. My friend Alison and i said we would try walking once a week and take it further each time. So i have managed a decent walk so far... further than i have been going lately and hopefully next time i see her i will go further again. Alison is the women who will be doing EMDR with me. She has completed the first part of her training but he tutor told her not to work with me untill she has completed the advanced part of her course haha. Makes sense!

As i mentioned i have had the kids alot. Only Luke but he has found himself a little friend called Lee who has attatched himself to my leg and doesnt leave me alone. He is a wee cutey but so full of life it is exhausting! This picture was taken on Friday night when they decided to be superheroes and 'protect the city'. It was a fun night. Things with Luke have been tough though. I have spoken in previous posts about him having Spina Bifida. He has no feeling in his legs from the knee down. As he is getting older it is getting much harder for me to deal with. My heart breaks for him as he is getting very frustrated with things. Like yesterday for example i took him out on his bike. His feet need to be strapped into special pedals but the bike itself doesnt go very fast. Lee wanted to race which meant Luke was always last. He ended up getting upset and punching the bike and driving it into walls. Its so hard to watch but what can you do?


While we were out with the bike the boys decided they wanted to go to the shops and get sweets. Well this can be a challange for me at the best of times but with 2 kids in tow i didnt think i would cope. I didnt say anything to them but headed towards the shops and hoped for the best. I got really close but the little thoughts in my head took over.. what if i panic when im with the kids? Will i freak out in front of them? What if i can't get home quick enough? How will i cope with Luke? He cant walk so id need to carry him. He weighs a ton.. then id have to unstrap him from his bike and restrap him in etc etc. So the thoughts won. I did try twice but Lee was constantly telling me to hurry and i guess i was under too much pressure haha. I took the boys home as Luke was exhausted from the bike ride. When they were settled in the garden with my mum i grabbed my mp3 player and got back on my bike. I headed to the shops again just for me this time. I got metres away. I could see the shops but i just couldnt face getting off my bike, going to the ATM, waiting in queues etc so i turned back. For a while i was overcome with frustration and had to sit and chill out. Looking at it now i know i stil did well. Anytime i have been going to the shops recently i have had someone with me so i have felt more able to push myself. Maybe i wasnt strong enough yesterday to attempt it alone? But that wont always be the case. Plus i still TRIED! I wont beat myself up about it.

Then there is Chris. Things are still going great and i am very happy. However, its not summer and i told him that in the summer i would do more with him and that i would eventualy move in. A couple of times he has commented that he hasnt seen any progress. He knows i am doing more everyday but he is working then and doesnt get to see that for himself. It is his birthday on the 15th of June and i have been buying gifts hoping to make it a nice day for him. Now though he has said the gift he would like is for me to book a table somewhere nice and for us to go for a meal. I know he would never pressure me and if i dont book it he will be fine with that. In fact let me be realistic here... i wont be booking it lol. I will get us take out no doubt but i will set the table and light candles haha. But seriously the worries are there again that he is gonna get bored of me soon. Hes has been so patient with me but it must be hard for him. He has taken a few days off work at the end of the month and thats when we are gonna attempt doing somethings, mostly just driving together though. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

I havent seen the therapist again but we are going to arrange a date. Last time i spoke to him he was gonna check his diary. The nurses who came to visit me having got back to me to let me know what will be happening with them. Probably CBT i would imagine.

So as i said its been busy busy with one thing or another. No major panic attacks, the anxiety has been pretty much gone too. I do have my wobbily moments but i guess i can live with those. My diet is still going relitively well. I have gone from a size 14 to almost a size 10. I have actually ordered a pair of size 10 jeans which will arrive this week so i am hoping i can get into them. It would feel totaly amazing if i did. If i don't though it will give me something to aim for... and then i will stop. I'm pretty tall at 5'9'' (and a half ha) so any thinner i think i would look silly. I dont want to look like a lolly pop! I hope everyone else is doing ok and if not just remember that 'this too shall pass'. Things can only get better is what i tell myself.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Apology

Ok i just received an apology from the person who sent me the email i discussed in the previous posts. This may sound a bit bizarre but i was wondering if the sender could email me again but not anonymously. Id like to talk and i cant reply to anonymous emails.

Thanks

Friday, 9 May 2008

Summer is here!

It has been a hot week! I have loved every minute of the good weather spending all of my time in the garden. Along with being outside all day i decided i should push myself further again. I have gone a walk everyday. The book i recommended has really helped to change my thinking on these walks.

Yesterday i made it back to the shops again, i had made this trip before but yesterday i was suprised how calm i was. So today i went back and i'm feeling great. I do have a new confidence and i am hopeful this will stay. I have also went walking with friends and am planning a long walk this weekend with Chris. I am just slowly trying to build on my progress i guess.

On top of this i have managed to sort out my routine. I had completely turned night into day but suddenly im back to normal. I am struggling to keep awake after midnight and im waking every morning before 9. This means i can make more of an effort to actually DO things with my day. Long may it last.

I want to thank everyone who either commented or emailed regarding my 'hate mail' haha. I appreciated what you all had to say and it was nice to hear from people i didnt even know read my blog! It always amazes me the amount of people who seem to get help from reading this. I always knew that i would get some form of abuse about the blog. Like Chris said to me, If you put yourself out there you've got to expect it. Unfortunalty as much as the internet is a great place for people like us, i guess it can only be accepted that there will be 1 or 2 bad eggs.

I would like to clear one more thing up. This person seems convinced that the therapist i am seeing now is the same one i seen in the past. I would like to say again that this is not true. They say i 'slagged' this person off and yes i guess this part is true. The man i mentioned charged me a lot of money, seen me a few times then vanished. I also spoke to several people who had also used him and had the same experience. It was sad really, upsetting and more than anything it made me really angry. I don't want people being conned like i was. Especially when it costs such a huge amount. This man tells people they can be cured in ONE session. It was brought to a head when a friend i met because of this blog told me she too had seen him. So yes i complained. And i had EVERY reason to. It is soul destroying to meet someone who will promise you the world and then gives you nothing. When i wasnt 'cured' i felt like i was weird. How come it wasnt working for me? Am i beyond help. And speaking to the other people who had the same experience i realised that they too had been extremely depressed after their session didn't work.

Yes the therapist i am seeing now is one from the past. He is one who helped me but due to circumstances at the time our appointments stopped. I have seen MANY therapists in my 7 years with agoraphobia, anxiety and panic attacks. I have seen people who do EFT, TFT, NLP, CBT, Hypnosis, Meditation, Life coaching etc etc. I dont know any therapist who offers every one of these services in a package. You get to learn who you can trust and who you cannot but the most important thing is to find a therapist that you have faith in. I guess i can handle emails about anything, my looks, my personality, my opinions.. people can slag off any of these things but i dont like to be called a liar.

Thankfully though the emails don't dampen my mood. Things are going fantastically well. I am feeling happier than before and this makes me more confident. More up for a challange. So i really think after such a busy week i can only to progess as we go into the summer months. I know from personal experience that with the good times, the bad can follow. We can make huge leaps then suddenly be scared to cross the door again. I am not niave and i know this could happen again but i always remain positive and that those bad times always pass and we always come out the other end. I also feel that when those times come, If they do.. that i will be able to cope with them better with my new way of thinking. Fingers Crossed. Once again, i hope everyone is well and thanks for your emails and comments. x

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

My E Mail

I just recieved this email. At first i chose to ignore it but then i decided to let people see it as i found it quite amusing.

'Coupla things about your blog - you seem to really fancy yourself, lots of high resolution images of your "gorgeous" self for the boys to download and look at, especially the one where your showing your fanny, with your poor innocent nephews. Come on - stop being such a fucking slut. No-one cares. Another thing - your English is really bad and as for no-one emailing you now - well DUH! People aren't interested in your daily life, dear. They are far too into their own lives to pay too much attention to yours, no matter how out of the ordinary and eenteresting you think it is. And, now you're desperate for email friends, makes you wish you hadn't ignored those people, doesn't it? Beggars can't be choosers, Lynn. And you went to see the guy you already slagged off on your blog? Yeah, you're nice...what do think he would say if he knew'?

  1. I am searching and searching for a picture where i am showing my 'fanny' but can't seem to find one.
  2. I never claimed to have fantastic spelling, or to write well, but how can this person say my english is terrible and then use words such as 'eenteresting' and 'coupla'?
  3. I don't love myself. I put the pictures on as the blog is about me and those are recent pictures OF me.
  4. The therapist who i 'slagged off' in the past is a completely different person to the one i am seeing now.
  5. I am not desperate for new Email friends.
  6. I have never ignored a single email from anyone who has contacted me regarding my blog.
  7. This person says that no one care what i am doing on a daily basis but he or she has obviously read a previous post i made WEEKS ago regarding an old therapist to make the comment above. This person will also know that i have seen a new therapist. Looks like someone has been reading what i have been doing day to day... strange.
  8. I never claimed to be out of the ordinary or interesting, i never thought anyone would want to read about my daily life, im sure it would be very dull to hear what time i got up, what i ate for breakfast or what programs i watched on tv. But some people DO want to hear from someone who suffers from the same problems that they do and if they find comfort in reading my blog then i am delighted with that.
  9. The sender decided to keep their email address anonymous. Coward anyone?

Usually i would tell people to rise above these kind of insults but i just wanted to get a few things straight. I hope i have and rest assured if i recieve an email from the same sender they will be ignored in future.

This blog is meant to give a personal account of how i deal with my problems. If i have ever upset or offended anyone then i apologise. But the only advice i can give to the person who wrote this mail is very simple... If you dont like me or my blog, then don't read it.