Monday, 31 March 2008

The hunt for cigarettes

Today has been a productive one and i am feeling very pleased with myself.

A typical day lately has involved me waking up, grabbing breakfast then lying in bed on the internet all day. As i wrote in my last post this was starting to get to me and getting out seemed to be a worrying thought (more so that usual)

But today was different. I slept so much yesterday that today i literally couldnt sleep anymore. So i woke up bright and early to an empty house and got myself dressed. Cleaned the house from top to bottom and decided to sit in the garden. For once it was a lovely sunny day so i was happy getting some fresh air. Unfortunately i had ran out of cigarettes. I know, i know smoking is bad for you blah blah but at the moment thats the least of my worries.

Anyway i was sitting thinking of all the ways i could get some cigarettes. I could phone a neighbour, i could phone a cab and get them to bring me some (it has been known in the past). Eventually i called a neighbour who is my mums best friend. She said she had some spare so i walked over to her house and got them... felt quite pleased with myself about that. When i was there she told me that she planned to go to the shops at 2.00 and wondered if i would walk with her. To be honest i couldnt see this happening but i said i would give it a go.

So back in the garden i was still thinking about cigarettes and remembered that their is an ice cream van that goes to the local school at lunchtime. Since the vans in scotland sell cigarettes i decided to attempt to walk there and see if i could get them this way. The school is much closer than the shops so this was the easier option. I went to the van surrounded by kids and felt fine. But was told they dont sell cigarettes!! Argh annoying!!

It was approching 2.00 and my neighbour Jean arrived. Jean broke her wrist 2 weeks ago and has her arm in plaster so this was her first attempt at walking along to our local shops for some bits and pieces she needed. I told her i would TRY and make it... but it might not happen.

So we walked and talked... and the shops were getting closer. A couple of time i had negative thoughts. Visualised myself panicking etc. But i kept on going and chatting and distracting myself. Jean likes to talk and a couple of times we stopped to chat to passers by. I wanted to tell her to move her arse but i waited patiently. Then i was at the shops!! YEY ME!!!

Since Jeans wrist is broken i suddenly became her carer. I went to the cash machine and lifted the money she needed. I got her the grocerys she was after, and paid for them while she stood chatting again. I got myself some things i needed, you know essentials like magazines and finally the cigarettes hah. Having everything we needed we could have left.. but oh no i decided to go into a little shop that sells used books and other bits. Got myself some books and a little present for Jean. Then we walked home. Once we got to my house Jean said her goodbyes but i was still in carer mode and decided to walk her home. I got her home safely and sorted her bags in her kitchen then walked home slowley alone.

How happy am i???? VERY

I knew when the better weather came i would make improvemnts and today has given me the little boost i needed. Also at home ive generally been coping better with anxiety. I havent actually been anxious much at all. I get very paranoid about my breathing at times and sometimes i cant take a full breath. In the past this would have me panicking, even hyperventalating. But im fine with it now. Also Lukes back in hospital (nothing serious thank goodness) so my parents have been away a lot, including at night. But i have been cool with it. Ive always been fine alone but not so comfortable at night, thankfully this has gotten easier and i am quite content having the place to myself.

So there you go... Good positive news!!! Jean and i are going to walk to the shops together everyday. She needs the support since shes working with one hand, and i like to have someone there to give me a push sometimes. So its all worked out well :) xxx

Monday, 24 March 2008

Latest News & Free Linden Method

I wish i could come on here sounding happy and positive all the time but i guess that isn't reality is it.

I haven't been out. I have been spending A LOT of time in my room, on my own. When i wake in the morning i go grab some cereal and coffee and return straight to my room. It's where i am most comfortable, and it's where i am surrounded by the things i need, i.e my laptop and mobile phone. I can sit there all day, untill i go get dinner and then its back to my bedroom on my own unless i'm seeing my boyfriend.

This has been happening for a while and it started to get to me. I realised i NEEDED to get back out. I began to obsess thinkin... Oh no thats me back to being housebound, Is this me getting worse, am i never going to feel strong enough to tackle this.

So i made myself sit in the garden the next day. I wasnt there for long really but i think i just needed to prove to myself that i am not scared of being there. The next day my friend came round and when she left i decided to walk her home a little. I didnt get far, only about 5 minutes away when it started to pour with rain, and since i had no jacket i just headed for home.

I felt proud in having done it. But the negative thoughts are still there. I feel a knot in my stomach telling me i am not doing enough. On the other hand i tell myself that it wont ever get too bad because i clearly get to a stage where i MAKE myself get up and do something...anything. So i am having this little battle of postives and negatives a lot at the moment.

Obviously my problems are due to agoraphobia but i also think i am basically just stuck in rut! I have NO routine. I dont do anything outside my home. So its difficult to force myself to go out and do something different. My life is an indoor one. And i am perfectly happy that way. BUT i realise this life isnt for me. I want to be out socialising, shopping etc so this needs tackled. I have called my doctor to be re-referred to the commuinity psychiatric nurse for CBT and Graded Exposure. I think the graded exposure is basically what i need most.

Also i have a friend who is a nurse and she is now being trained in EMDR. This is the therapy i have been most interested in trying out. The women herself told me she watched a man performing EMDR for a few days in his surgery and she was blown away by the results. Now that she herself is training i am going to be her first patient. It could work or it could fail but what harm is there in trying? Her training will be rather long so it could be the end of the year before she is qualified to work with me. The women whose name is Alison is a nurse at present and she is interested in learning all sorts of therapies and she seems to have a genuine interest in how i am doing. She called the other night i and i explained i have been shutting myself away again and she has offered to come and go out walking with me. This is a great help. I am helping Alison gain experience in working with people with phobias and i feel better doing that than asking my friends or my mum all the time.

An online friend told me about a website she had found called The website offers a recording that can be sent to you at a small fee. Like most of these sites there are statements on there from previous users who claim the cds have helped them to deal with their anxiety. My friend bought the CDs and sent them straight on to me. I would like to offer anyone who is interested in recieving the CD to get in touch. I am more than happy to forward this on to you. It is in 4 parts. 2 parts are relaxation and the other 2 parts are basically positive affirmations being repeated over and over again. Obviously the more you listen to the CD the better chance there is of it working. Like with any of these things i always say... it's worth a try!

I have said before that i am a fan of Dr Weekes, her books and her recordings. I have a 4 part recording with Dr Weekes talking about Anxiety and Agoraphobia and how she thinks it should be dealt with. I felt full of hope and excitment the first time i listened as Dr Weekes explains that no matter how severe your anxiety, or how long you have had your problems, you CAN beat it.

I have often heard of the Linden Method as a way to cure panic attacks and anxiety. U have even spoken to someone who claimed it worked on them. The Linden Method if avaiable online but is expensive to buy. Once again i have these recordings on my computer, including the manual and all that comes with it.

Finally i have a book called 'Panic Away'. Like all i have mentioned before this book is avaiable online at a price.

I am listing these recordings here as each of them have success stories behind them and it may be the one that works for you. I can't comment on them all as yet as i am still working with the 'Think Right Now' recordings. But i am more than happy to forward any of these recordings on to anyone who wishes to give them a try.

Homelife.... well it's ok. My mum is getting concerned about my hermit behaviour, which makes me feel guilty. I had the kids most of last week so that kept me busy. Luke is continuing to recover from his operation and its 99% better. Chris and i are great, he makes me happy and i love when he is here... i do still worry that he is gonna get bored of me soon though. All i can do is continue to make an effort so he can see i am at least trying! He is taking a week off from work in May and plans to devote that week to helping me. He wants us to go out in the car and try to drive past my safety limit. He realises it will be tough and we will be going back and forward most of the time but its great that hes willing to try.

Anyway i feel like i am rambling now. I hope that everyone is in good spirits. Sorry i am not inspiring people with news of an amazing recovery but i wrote this blog to tell the truth and i don't think it would be realistic to be cured over night. Once again feel free to email me if you want any of the recordings or for any other reason at all.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


My friend and i were talking the other night about our dreams and how they are affected by our agoraphobia.

In my dreams i am always out and really far from home. I am aware that i am not panicking and i feeling completely calm. I also feel excited and i'm telling myself that if i panic it is fine and i will not run, i will stay where i am and i will be ok. These dreams started last year and seemed to affect me when i was awake, i felt more relaxed and able to challange this. I just find it interesting to hear other people's experiences.

Last night i had a dream and a man approaches me and said '3 years'. When i asked what he meant he explained that i will be better in 3 years. I'm not niave i know it was just a dream and doesn't mean anything but wouldnt it be nice haha.

Monday, 10 March 2008

A Busy Week

The past week has been great. I have spent the majority of it with Luke, making up for the past month without him. We haven't done a lot as Luke is still recovering from his operation but just having him here has been fantastic. Anyone with kids will know that they keep you very busy which can be great for me as a distraction from anxiety, but also not so good in that i have had no time to read any of my congnative behavioural therapy books! So once again i feel like im not exactly on schedule. Also being more busy then usual has meant i have been really tired and at night when i go to bed i am exhausted and really not in the right frame of mind to 'study'.

Anyway... Unfortunately i have had a few anxious moments but these happened on the one night Luke wasn't here. I was in bed and it was late at night. I had spent the day totally relaxing from the previous week's mayhem and i think maybe everything just caught up with me. The strange thing was that the panic was different. It started with my heart. Usually my panic attacks begin with the awful churning in my stomach but this time i was experiencing chest pains. I found it really strange as i had been completely relaxed, i was chatting to friends on line and then it hit me. I felt the pains (which were only mild) and my heart began to flutter. Then the sweat was literally pouring from my hands and feet. Thankfully i told myself that this is just anxiety. And it past really quickly. It was enough to give me a scare though.

The next morning i woke up and panicked immediately. Morning panic attacks don't seem to scare me as much. I understand that it's my body just waking and warming itself up again, and the anxiety usually passes within ten minutes or so.

The fact that it happened twice made me edgy over the next few days but i have actually been ok with it. Even now as i write this i can feel my chest tighten and can feel a strange numbness in my left arm. Oh and not forgetting the sweaty hands! In the past this would have sent me into a frenzy and i would be convinced i was about to have a heart attack, but im ok. It's not pleasant ha and i would much rather not have it but i know it will probably be gone in half an hour. Anxiety!... Nightmare!!!

Luke is going back to school tomorrow and i have my days back to focus on me. I am feeling guilty now that i haven't read my books or ventured far from home, but i also know that i've felt stuck in a rut so many times before and always got out of it eventually. Even if i was to walk to the bottom of my street at some point that would give me a sense of achievement. So for the rest of the week i will be focusing on making a bit more progress.

Apart from the anxiety the week was also filled with visits from friends and of course spending time with Chris, so as much as the panic attacks weren't great i do feel it has been a positive time. My day has had more structure. I have been sleeping better as i have been busier and my diet is still going strong. I hope this post finds you all well...and relaxed. And i wanna say Well done to my fellow agoraphobic friend who managed to over come her anxiety to attend a christening where she was god mother.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

He's Home!

I am so happy it's unreal. I won;t be seeing him till the morning but i know when i do i will feel like a huge weight has been lifted. He's gone home to his own house tonight to be with his new Baby Sister Charis shown below.

So Welcome Home to them both