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.