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.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Tuesday 16th December -
Posted by Lynn at 22:56