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


tashi said...

Hi Lynn. That was a fine post, not depressing at all. I liked your 'gothic look' in the first photo - good to see that the tough month hasn't damaged your sense of humor!

I've been thinking about your dilemma for days ... it sure is complicated.

I wonder ... if you were truly psychologically 'ready' to move out then wouldn't your anxiety tend to fade as your prospects unfolded? It'd be sort of like a tale of love and enthusiasm naturally triumphing over fear and doubt, wouldn't it?

On the other hand, if you're not psychologically 'ready' to step up to the change then would not your heart know this, deep down, with the effect that your anxiety would get worse the more you were confronted by the prospect?

I've noticed that underlying most anxiety is usually some truth a person is having trouble accepting ... usually because their conscious mind (ego) is thinking at cross purposes to what their heart* knows. For example ... the anxiety experienced by a naturally free spirited person who is trying to live up to the expectations of restrictive, conservative parents.

All the best with this challenge Lynn, I can see its a hard one. My advice ... listen to your heart. If it flutters with excitement then go for it but if it flutters with dread then step back for awhile.

* or 'heart', 'unconscious mind', 'soul' or whatever you call it.