Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone

Hello everyone, it's been a while.

I won't bore you with negative chat about how i have been. Sadly after the episode at the cinema I was a bit down. I kept up my routine but was feeling a bit blue. On top of that i was stressing about Christmas and not having enough money for all the gifts I wanted to buy. The stress finally got on top of me and resulted in the odd panic attack. I suppose it was inevitable after the amount of pressure I had put myself under but thankfully I have come out the other side. I am back to my happy positive self.

Today I enjoyed Luke's Christmas Carol concert and the snow fell heavily on my village. So I am feeling very festive now. I wont lie and say this is my favourite time of year, because it isn't. I breathe a sigh of relief when its all over, gifts are bought and wrapped and I can stop worrying about it all. Then the following week we move into a New Year and this is when I feel my best. New Year, New Start! Somehow it motivates me all over again to begin the year as I mean to go on.

I got a strange email last week from a man from Denmark. Having read my blog he wanted to offer me his help. He has a business where he deals with people who suffer from anxiety, phobias etc and felt that he could improve my situation. Obviously we are in different countries but thanks to modern technology Jorg and I have had our first session. It went really well and definitely perked my spirits. I think that somehow Jorg has come along at just the right time for me. With it being the holidays we wont have another session for a while but I look forward to seeing how it goes. I don't have any expectations or hopes pined on Jorg. I think I am doing pretty well compared to a year ago, but a little help never done any harm did it?

So this is short and sweet. I hope you are all ready for Christmas and are in good spirits. I wish you all the best for Christmas and New Year and look forward to another year together. May 2010 be YOUR year! xxx

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

OK, This isnt funny anymore!

It really isn't!

After my tarot reading on Friday I had a very quiet weekend. We are having the most horrendous weather here at the moment and Gerry was doing overtime on 'Flood watch' so i basically stayed at home with my nephews. Nice and relaxing.

On Monday i was back into my routine, sleep, gym, shops, home, dinner, maybe see Gerry. This i can cope with. This is normality for me at the moment. Remember I was saying that I don't really like to do things in the spur of the moment, how i like to plan things? Well Gerry rung me as I arrived at the gym on Monday and told me we were going for a drive. Yes, he TOLD me. Well being told what to do doesn't really bode to well with me. I need time to mentally prepare, so a big old domestic soon kicked off. I point blank refused to go for a drive. I told him that i had already made plans and I wasn't about to jump just because Gerry had decided he fancied a drive.

Sometimes i think i must sound like a total bitch. Poor Gerry. A year and a half he has put up with this crap and yet somehow hes still here. Anyway, on Monday night i took time to reflect and i felt utterly miserable. How frustrating that I want so much more out of life but just cant do it yet. The easy answer to that would be..... well just do it then! But it ain't that easy, as you know. I decided a bold gesture was needed. I text Gerry and told him that I would go and stay over night at his house this Saturday. I figured if i mentally prepared myself I just might cope. Yeh i knew that I may panic, but told myself that even if i did, i would ride it out. I also prepared Gerry for all the eventualities. I told him that if i really couldn't calm myself and HAD to leave then he must drive me home immediately. I explained that I may have to go into another room and be on my own and that i might be really rotten company. But Gerry was delighted, excited and talked about what we would do, what he would cook. I don't think I have really seen him so eager for any anything. All the while i was getting more and more nervous and telling myself that i could not let him down. I actually got really upset when i imagined telling him I wouldn't be able to go.

Tonight it is now Wednesday and its cinema night for Gerry and I. For the past 3 weeks we have gone to the cinema and each time we have seen a random movie that neither of us has been that bothered about but this week we finally had a movie we both wanted to see, 'New Moon'. The sequel to 'Twilight' looked quite good so we set off to the cinema and I was pretty happy. We got inside and found our seats and i was still nice and calm but prepared myself for the crazy thoughts to eventually come. I hoped that i would be so into the movie this time that i wouldn't even have those thoughts, but that wasn't the case. The thoughts came, the usual ones where i imagined panicking etc, but i sat in my seat and focused on the movie. Then the sweaty palms begin... hmmm OK lovely, eyes on the movie. Heart begins to pound!...Ok this is new, it hasn't gotten this bad in previous weeks. Panic Attack... and breathe. Now was a good time for me to go to the loo. I told Gerry i felt unwell and was going to try calm myself. I went into the loo's feeling very dizzy and that detached feeling was taking over, you know when nothing seems quite real. I ran my hands and wrists under the cold tap.... and breathe.

Feeling slightly less panicked I still didn't want to go back into the room yet. I needed to come down some more. So i went outside and had a cigarette. I looked at my car and reminded myself that if i really wanted to leave, i would be home quick enough. Still not quite calm i phoned a friend and as we chatted i seemed to come back to earth a little. I was aware though that i was taking quite a while by now and Gerry must have been wondering where I was. I stood in the lobby and chatted some more until i seen Gerry looking for me. Oops. This is exactly what I didn't want. I was annoyed at myself for missing the movie but no way did I want Gerry to miss out. Sadly Gerry didn't want to sit and watch it alone and said we would be as well just leaving.

The problem with leaving, was that I have constantly told myself that if i am anxious, i will ride it out. That the worst thing to do is flee the situation. That will only make it hard to face when u want to go back to that place. The other problem with leaving was the guilt. The guilt of causing Gerry to miss the movie. Well i think those thoughts were too much for my already anxious brain to handle. Panic didn't slowly rise from 1 to 10 this time. It hit me full on with a 10 on the arrghh scale. Gerry went to the loo and it flipped between a 9 and a 10 but never went below that. I was at the stage where if he didn't hurry up i was gonna have to shout on him.... no SCREAM on him!

He appeared phew and i marched to the car. Do i drive/do i let him drive/can i drive/what if its worse as i drive/i might crash/ will he drive quickly enough. I threw him the keys. He drove home at the speed limit but while in the passenger seat i composed myself. I realised that in a whole year and a half, Gerry had never seen me panic like this. It wasn't fun at all. I got home and settled quite quickly but the guilt remains. And i cant help being totally disappointed with myself. I haven't given up before but i know i have never panicked so severely recently.

Its just not funny anymore! How loooong is this process?? A year now i have been battling away. I try to remind myself just how far i have come but really its a struggle. 28 years of age and I am living with my parents. I don't want to be in this house. I want to be with Gerry, in our own place. Living our lives together. I am so frustrated but i am grateful for the frustration at times. In the past I wouldnt have had these ambitions, and i was happy to sit in my room week after week, year after year. But now i WANT a life. And i used to tell myself, so what if you panic, it will pass and you will stick it out. But tonight i didn't stick it out. Tonight my head was filled with total urgency. MOVE. NOW. MUST. GET. HOME!

And so Saturday night at Gerry's place is off for now :(. I just don't think its a good idea. I don't want to scare myself and end up suffering weeks of anxiety. I think i need to go back to the 'baby steps' approach. I was so scared about telling him and letting him down. I even feared he would call the whole relationship off. I just felt that I managed to JUST keep myself together tonight knowing that I could be home relatively quickly, but know i wouldn't cope quite as well being at Gerry's which is about 4 times further away than the cinema. And so i text him the bad news, asked him if he wanted to leave me and braced myself for tears.....

'I will never leave you Lynn. I love you. We will do this in stages and get there eventually'

So I cried anyway ha.

Friday, 20 November 2009

My Visit To The White Witch

I have just returned from an appointment with a white witch who read my tarot cards.

I know there will be a lot of sceptics out there, but I would say I am quite a spiritual person and this kind of thing has always interested me. I had a few readings in the past, about 10 years ago, and so I was eager to see what I would be told, since the past 10 years have been pretty eventful.

Eventful might not be the best way to describe Agoraphobia, because the past 10 years have involved a lot of sitting around doing nothing. A lot of boredom, and a lot of time in my bedroom. But on a mental level this was obviously a massive part of my life. I am going to write as much as i can remember from my reading, basically so i can remember it all while its still fresh.

So I sat down and Jackie told me a bit about herself and how she is a white witch, she explained the tarot cards to me, and before I was told to shuffle the pack, she immediately told me something. 'I am sensing that you are very empathetic, you can read people very well. But not only this. Other people's emotions affect your emotions, and this isnt always necessarily a good thing. It isnt always nice to walk into a room and know immediately what someone is thinking about you'. 'Do you know you are an empath'?

I have now googled this and here is the description of an empath.

It is the ability to not only read energy, but to literally feel its effects within your own body. In other words 'to energetically empathise with another'. In short when someone has an experience to which they have a physical or emotional reaction, you instantly 'get it'. When a person is said to be an 'Unconscious Empath', it simple means that they are not schooled in that particular psychic ability, and they are a walking 'psychic energy sponge'.

Hmmm ok. I did always think I was an excellent judge of character and that I can read people very well emotionally, but never thought there was anything psychic about that. Anyway... I shuffled the pack and Jackie dealt the cards. She then went on to say that my cards were showing lots of creativity. She said I am very artistic and I am bursting with creativity. I have never ever thought that I was artistic in anyway! She said that there are usually 2 types of people. Either you are very artistic or you are very academic. But that in my case my cards were showing a great deal of both. She said I am very intelligent (no laughing please). That's all very nice to hear but I really still didn't agree with the artistic thing but she kept on about it and all i could think about was.... my blog??? I really don't know what she was getting at.

It continued in this way for a while. Jackie saying that I am creative and that I need to express this in some way, and that I have an exciting offer coming my way regarding this. She mentioned a promotion but since i don't have a job, that seems unlikely. Whatever, she was telling me nice positive things so I wasn't complaining. Maybe something will come my way? I am certainly looking.

She showed me the cards which represented my past and I have to say they were the most dull and miserable cards on the table. Right at the bottom of them though was the death card. I have always known this card to be positive. The death card usually means the end of something and a new beginning. So it seemed the cards were saying I have had a hard time in the past, even an awful time, but that this is coming to an end. Jackie said she could see that I was working hard to better this situation and that I was continuing to fight. Well I can only assume this is the anxiety and she could see how hard I have been working to get over it. She advised me to keep at it because i will get where i want to be. Regarding my past she never mentioned any specific problem but said it seemed like a depression, but my lips were sealed.

On my personality she said I am a very caring person. That I am very independent and determined. In the past I wouldn't have said i was determined but i guess after the last year this has changed somewhat so maybe she was correct with that. She explained that I need time on my own and that I need my own space. Well this is very correct.

Love life. She mentioned a male in my life who was a fire sign i think. Leo, Aries or Sagittarius. Well as far as I am aware Gerry is none of those signs but everything else she said about the male makes me think that it has to be him. She also done a reading on Gerry, the basic theme being.....

Gerry and I are soul mates. We have finally met our match in each other. He can be a very positive person. He is very ambitious and wants to be the boss. He wants to provide for me and give me everything I want out of life. We will not part. We both want the same things out of our future (true) and we have a very happy future ahead of us. Gerry is very stubborn and doesn't like being told he is wrong. It is Gerry's way or no way at all (i laughed when she said that). She said he needs to understand my Independence and not take things so personally. She asked if something had happened in his past to make him so insecure (i asked him that exact question). She said he is completely in love with me. He thinks I am the best thing in the world and that there is no one better (i didn't really agree with that, hes certainly never told me that). She showed me a card with sticks and she said that is Gerry beating people around you away. He wants you all to himself. haha so true!!! She told me that he has a surprise planned for me round about Christmas time (emmm a gift maybe??) but she did say it was something special, so perhaps not just a material gift. She asked if we are trying for a baby and said she sees us receiving good news about this in August next year.

Emmmm i think that's about it really. It was a very positive reading and it made my future sound quite rosy. She did say if she seen anything bad she would tell me about it, but thankfully nothing was mentioned. We ended our reading with her again talking about my psychic ability. She told me to buy some tarot cards and practice at home. She said I will learn to use my ability better then and that I wasn't ready before (she somehow knew i had bought tarot cards in the past).

So it was a nice little night out for me and my friend Angela. I didn't learn anything very specific but its nice to hear that Gerry and I are good for each other. I know i don't need someone else to tell me this but its still nice to hear. Oh and obviously we are engaged but the 2 of cups was one of my cards regarding Gerry and apparently that's marriage...so it was all good.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Luke and Gordon Ramsay

Finally got a picture.

Apparently the meal was lovely but Luke went all shy and hardly spoke even though Gordon chatted with him for ages. Typical ha.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

An Eventful Couple of Days

The other night when i wrote my blog I wasn't very happy with it.

I thought it sounded negative. Maybe it didn't but i definitely felt negative! Since then I have really pushed myself and had a busy couple of days.

I have ran lots of errands and I'm happy to say that Gerry and I went to the cinema. Admittedly i did dread it at first but in the end I had a lovely night and really enjoyed myself. When we got home I told him what the trip was really like for me. On the outside I looked happy and relaxed but on the inside it was totally different. Probably for the first 45 minutes of the movie i have having really negative thoughts. My head was a roller coaster of 'What if i panic', 'Gerry will have to carry me to the car', 'What if i totally freak out and can't make it stop', 'oh no i need to drive home from here' etc etc. It didn't scare me, just really annoyed me. I was trying to watch a movie and this little niggle in my head was just inconvenient. I ignored the thoughts because I knew they were completely irrational. So what if I did panic? I knew I would be totally fine and that it would pass. My driving lessons have proved this. I have been much further from home that the cinema, panicked, and then been ok! Then something inside me just clicked into place and I completely relaxed. No more thoughts, just watched the end of the movie. (which was Jennifer's Body and just average).

As always I have been to the gym, and today I had a doctors appointment. Feeling much more upbeat i headed to the doctors where i was due to meet my mum. Mum wasn't there. I do lots of things on my own, so i wasn't too worried. From there I went to the library to pick up some books. The anxiety hit me in there. The thoughts. Awww how annoying! I ignored them again and although I wanted to leave and go to the car I refused to allow it and continued looking for a good book.

Finally tonight Gerry and I went to get some take away food for dinner. I was driving this time. it was already dark out, and I managed to drive into a massive hole in the road. Gerry had a nice moan but I didn't see the big deal. 'It will wreck your wheels' he was saying. 'Whatever' i thought. We drove to the restaurant and then got back in the car to head home. My car felt very strange. If i had been on my own i would have just kept on driving. Just shows how much I know about cars. Gerry knew the probably immediately that I had a flat tyre! When he told me the problem I just kept on driving until he explained that i couldn't DRIVE the car any further...

Well isn't that just an agoraphobics dream? Fantastic. We were stranded. Gerry started pottering about in the boot looking for a Jack and getting out my spare tyre. Oh yeah, i forgot those were there and that they are used on this occasion. So basically I am stuck in a car park, in the dark, in the rain, with no way top get home and I need to stand here while he changes a tyre....'HOW LONG IS THAT GONNA TAKE'. Gerry and I had a few minutes of screaming at each other. Him blaming me for my rubbish driving and me screaming because?? I don't know, because it was my idea of hell i suppose. I ran over my options. Phone my dad and ask him to come get us, which would leave my car there. Or phone a taxi. I decided I would wait with Gerry while he seen to the tyre. I was actually really calm. Only a few times did I think 'oh crap this is so not ideal' but i was ok really. Now most of you will know the name of the thing that you use to unscrew the nuts on the wheel, i don't, but anyway, mines was rubbish and wouldn't work so i had to call my dad. At this point my mum answered and in a flash of anxiety I had a go at her. It went a bit like this.

Me - Mum can you get Dad, i have broken down

Mum - Oh your kidding, have you really

Me- (anxiety starts) YES REALLY can you get dad

Mum - What happened?

Me - Mum can you just get dad please, i need him to come pick us up

Mum - Oh i don't know, your dads a bit busy at the moment and hes not in a good mood


Dad came, type still couldn't be fixed. Got driven home. Went straight in and apologised to my mother and explained that I lost it due to anxiety. We had our food and then headed back down with the proper tools. Tyre changed and home safe and sound.

A couple of days in the life of an agoraphobic. Fun times.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

On the Road again

Hello to all of you, i hope you are well!

Whats been happening lately? Well its been a couple of weeks since I wrote and I had a lovely spell of anxiety for a while.

I think I know what caused it. I had mentioned before that my boyfriend and I have been house hunting, but we have discovered that its probably not the ideal time to selling his house and buying another, what with the credit crunch and all that. I was very disappointed as i finally felt ready to move out of the family home and get on with my future. It seems like madness that Gerry has a gorgeous flat sitting there, instead of trying to buy somewhere together, I should just live there! If only life was that simple.

I have said before that Gerry lives in a completely different town. It is beyond my comfort zone and I feel i would be stuck in this new town with nothing much to do. Since i still don't have my driving licence, i couldn't drive to and from my parents house in another town on my own. Gerry does love in an area that has better shops, parks, and pubs etc. But i still think i would feel nervous walking around this new territory on my own. Of course I would be with Gerry a lot but what about when I'm alone. Ok writing this now i realise i sound very very negative. But i think when I realised we couldn't simply buy a house in my town and have a lovely Christmas in our new home, i was very disappointed. But on top of that I started to feel nervous again. I realised that the pressure was back on! Now i need to try constantly to improve my driving and get myself over to Gerry's house as soon as possible. He isn't going to wait forever!

So yes it affected me in the form of anxiety and also a few panic attacks. I was in bed one night when i suddenly started to focus on my breathing. Why do we do this to ourselves? As soon as you start to focus on your breathing too much it goes weird. Before i knew it I was obsessing over the fact I couldn't get a full breath. This is probably because i was so uptight and tense but it made me panic. Luckily I talked myself down before the panic was out of control, but even a little attack like that can set you back a bit.

I would say I was prob anxious for a week after that. Thinking about my breathing more and more but reminding myself that I have the ability to fix my breathing should the panic happen again. I really had to force myself to continue my routine at this point. I still went to the gym everyday but i didn't really feel the same sense of satisfaction from things. It bothered me that although I was keeping busy the anxiety was still there. I hoped it would pass eventually and thank goodness it did. It always does! But sometimes it does take a little bit longer and I think we need to just tell ourselves to be patient! However, its not nice and i empathise with anyone who deals with this. I actually questioned if i possibly even had depression as I just felt so 'flat'. Anyway, like i said, it passed after about a week and things seemed a bit more positive again.

I had a nice Halloween with my nephews, only one didn't dress up as he thinks he is told old now that he is 11. I think hes at an age where he doesn't want to do anything that will make him look silly. But never one to take myself too seriously, i got dressed up for the night. Not a very original costume i must admit but i dressed up as my dad. My dad rides a motorbike and sings in a band so i was dressed in leathers, rock tshirt, his jeans, helmet, shades, gloves and even a goatee beard. The kids loved it and at the end of the day that's why i done it. My dad went to a party dressed as Gene Simmons from KISS and i done his face paint as you can see in the photo. I think it turned out well.

So after Halloween was another week of me trying to keep up with my routine, I went to the gym everyday and attended a body attack class with a friend at night. Gerald then told me i need to rebook my driving lessons to start driving back to his house again. I can admit that my driving lessons were a HUGE part of my improvement at the start of the year, but the thought still filled me with a little dread. I did was I was told thought and booked a lesson for Monday.

So yesterday was the day of my lesson and I was very nervous. However, I reminded myself that I was ALWAYS nervous before lessons but usually felt fine once we got going. As soon as I got in the car I made a big speech about how I was nervous and that I wanted it to be treated as my first ever lesson since I hadn't been out with my instructor for months. I even suggested that maybe we should just stick to my little village, just this once, so i could get back into the swing of things. Yeh i drive most days on my own (with another qualified driver) but its different when you are driving with an instructor who is telling you where to go etc.

We set off and obviously he didn't listen to a word I had said. Suddenly we were miles from my home and I was thrown into the deep end with parallel parking, 3 point turns, reversing round corners and so on. I was proud that I was in the other town, but i did get nervous. When I was at the furthest away point we were parked in a street while my instructor told me different rules of the road. At that point i panicked a bit. I visualised the journey back home and it seemed endless. I wanted to put my foot on the gas and speed home as fast as the car would take me. But i couldn't do that. Not with my instructor going on about speed limits. I thought of telling him the lesson was over and telling him to drive me home but obviously i didn't. I sat and listened and done what I was told. Turned left when i was told. Stopped the car when i was told. Every time I thought we were about to start heading home he would have me driving in the opposite direction. I always liked this about him. He doesn't take any crap from me. He wont listen to my excuses and pushes me to go further. At one point i realised i was outside Gerry's parents house. That made me happy as they have been inviting me over for ages and i just haven't faced it. At that point I was calm and realised I should really arrange to visit soon. Eventually i got home in one piece.

The lesson was a success and Gerry was delighted to find out where i was. In the end I was minutes from his house, but i can admit it did scare me. That rush of OH MY GOD LOOK WHERE I AM I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE AND I AM MILES FROM HOME WHAT THE FICK AM I GOING TO DO!!!!!!!!! That's not fun! No matter how short lived it is.

Gerry being happy with my progress started making arrangements. 'Well now that you have done that we can go to the supermarket tomorrow', 'We will go to the cinema on Wednesday Night, 'We can visit my parents at the weekend'. Wonderful huh. I agreed to all of this and told myself that i DO need to start doing this stuff more often anyway. Yeh i will prob be pretty uncomfortable as I drive to his parents house but i need to put myself in these situations. It will be worth it and I know i can do it if i focus. The cinema has never thrilled me to be honest. Not for agoraphobic reasons but i just don't enjoy sitting in an uncomfortable chair for almost 2 hours , in the dark, and not being able to talk. I agreed though.

So today I had a few errands to run. My car was in for its MOT and i needed to go pick it up, which i did. And then Gerry started talking about going to the supermarket. There is a supermarket right where I was picking up my car but Gerry wanted to go to one further away as he insists its much better. It probably is better to be honest but today i just didn't wanna do it. Last night i didn't get the best sleep and i think the driving lesson overwhelmed me a bit so today i felt like just taking things easy. Id get my car, go to the shops next to the garage, go home and have a relaxing dinner. Oh no... that's not enough for Gerry. He wasn't happy with me at all. I basically refused to go to the supermarket and told him I didn't feel up to it. I did feel a bit nervous and although i didn't mind driving to the supermarket, i didn't really fancy walking about inside while he done his shopping. On top of that the schools were just coming out and the roads were really busy, so i really just didn't want to go. Should I still have tried? Yeh i probably should have. but sometimes you just KNOW when its not a good idea, when its inevitable that you will panic for whatever reason. And i just didnt feel mentally strong enough to tackle it. I explained that I am doing good! I went on my lesson and will continue to go weekly, we are going to the cinema and going to his parents this weekend. Could he cut me some slack please?

No he couldn't it seems. He left in a mood and I have since had a text saying I need to sort myself out as he is sick and tired of doing things on his own. He made such a big deal about the supermarket though. And i think when someone builds it up so much like that it seems much harder! Anyway I'm home. Hes gone. We will be fine. This is just the sort of thing couple need to deal with when one of them is agoraphobic, isn't it.

Oh well, onwards and upwards. I am happy to have my car back and look forward of getting back to the gym. Now i just need to prepare myself for the other trips i will be making.
Oh i almost forgot, the magazine article. I don't think it will be going ahead. Basically they say they NEED a photograph of myself and Gerry. Gerry wont allow it. I think that's perfectly understandable. He is a very private person (poor boy must HATE my blog) but he doesn't like his life being broadcast. Yes he is on my blog but since no one here knows about it, it doesn't seem so bad. Its a whole different ballgame having your photo in a national magazine. He will not change his mind on this and i don't see why he should have to. The story is about me so they shouldn't be so desperate for a picture of Gerry and if they don't want to go ahead without his photo then that's fine with me :)
And the Time travellers wife was a fantastic book. Enjoyed it lots, but the movie sucked. Isnt that always the case?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Have I Done Something Wrong?

Guess who is unwell again? Yes, it's me!

Seriously this is just getting ridiculous now ha. For the last 3 days I have had the cold but I would rather describe it as the flu! I'm sure its actually the flu!

I have stayed in bed most of the time but obviously each day I've gone out just to keep on top of things. I haven't been sleeping very well, and when I do, I wake up soaked with sweat. At least my body is fighting it.

Oh well, its not got me down or anything, but since I am in bed resting up I figured I would write a little post 'cough cough'.

The reporter who wants my story has been in touch a couple of times and she HAS interviewed me. But my decision wont be made until she reads me her story. I sense that she is trying to go in the direction of 'meeting Gerry made me better' and i wont be agreeing with that because it isn't true and it would misguide any agoraphobics reading the article. Are they going to start looking for love so that they can be cured? That's not what happened to me, so I will see what she comes back with. I did write about the article in the comments of my last post and what would make me want to go ahead with it.

Firstly, there are agoraphobics out there who don't have access to the Internet and who might stumble across the article and find some relief. To discover they are not alone and to see that change is possible. Secondly, They HAVE offered me money for the story. To be honest this is something i would NEVER have agreed to but I have debt! The money would take care of this debt and would mean that I could move into my new home debt free. Many people are encouraging me to go ahead with the article but somehow a part of me cant help feel like a sell out and if i really think about it, i don't want to do the article. I should mention that the money i owe... i owe to my mother, and I cant bear it. I want her taken care of so that she no longer has to worry. Also the coward of me thinks negatively. I live in small village where a lot of people know me, but to them I appear 'normal'. They have no idea of my story. I am sure many people would think my story is interesting, they might even sympathise that Ive had a tough time, but what about the small minded people who could see it? What if i get people whispering or even shouting 'weirdo' at me in the street. Yeh I am probably over thinking things a great deal. Chances are the article will appear in some little obscure magazine that no one from here will see, but you never know do you. Also Jason hit the nail on the head when he said he isnt defined my his agoraphobia and that is exactly how I feel. Yes it has been a big part of my life but there is so much more to me than that. So do i really want that label attached to me. Even writing this now I wonder if this is really worth all the hassle?? Its not at all... but then there is mum.

Having being stuck in bed for a few days I have had time to think about the past few years and I remembered how i felt when this all happened, or when I was having a particularly anxious time. Has anyone else ever wondered 'Have I done something wrong to deserve this'? What goes around comes around is what people say. Karma and all that. I used to wonder if this phobia was punishment for being a horrible selfish child. Or was it happening because I had lied before. Or cheated on a boyfriend when I was younger? I tried to turn this idea into a positive and say that this is happening for my future. This horrible affliction is actually making me a stronger, more empathetic person. And hopefully in time it will have equipped me with the tools to help other people in need, maybe that's why it happened? Just wondering.

Oh and the clocks changing. Does this only happen in the UK? Does anyone else dislike it? I know with anxiety people can dislike change... not being in control. I think it messes my routine. Its actually ridiculous but i take my medication every day at 2.00 on the dot. So the clock changing means i have to rethink this. Do i take it a 1 (since the clock went back an hour). or do i stick to 2.00, which means it is actually 3.00. Confusing? Its a total pain! I now take my meds at 1.30 haha. More to the point the clocks going back means that it gets dark earlier now. Darkness in Scotland seems to set in about 4.30 now. Great huh! I miss the sun!!!

Well i guess Ill be off again. Im reading 'The time travellers wife' and enjoying it so much. Usually i race through books in a couple of sittings but I am actually trying to take my time with this since i am enjoying the story. Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

House Hunting and Gordon Ramsay

Hello Blogland! I feel my blogging is seriously lacking at the moment so once again it is time for a catch up. How are you all getting on? I hope you are well and anxiety free.

I have been doing ok I suppose. Considering it has been quite a stressful few months I am just relieved that I have still been going out everyday. Even if it's only a short drive or a walk I still make sure I leave the house. I have noticed though that I have just been maintaining the progress I have made. I still go to the gym, visit friends, go to the shops and things like that, but I haven't actually been pushing the boundaries. The one way I always got to push those limits was on my driving lessons and due to everything that has been happening I still haven't booked those! (Always procrastinating but I WILL sort it out).

It was Gerry's birthday and I decided that I would book us a table in a restaurant which we have both been dying to try. It isn't actually that far away really, but it would still be a bit of a challenge as I haven't really ventured massively out of my comfort zone in a while. For weeks I had known about it but it never worried me at all. I was confident that on the day of the meal I would just get in the car and go. But then on the day before the meal Gerry surprised me by suggesting that we give it a trial run to the restaurant. Well this didn't go down to well. Obviously Gerry just thought he was being helpful but I wasn't happy at all. To have it sprung on me like that, I suddenly felt like I couldn't do it. The drive seemed way too difficult. I don't actually know how to explain this....

I have found that making a plan in advance can be a good thing. I knew about the meal and I was mentally prepared to take that trip when the day came. I wanted to go, so obviously when you WANT to do something, it doesn't seem as difficult. But on the other hand when you want something very much, it becomes a bigger deal and therefor maybe your putting yourself under pressure??
This would make me think that making plans in advance is the best way to go. But then I contradict myself because I have often said I don't like plans. I don't like appointments. I don't like to be tied to something. For example a doctors appointment or a dentist appointment can have you totally stressed on the lead up to the dreaded day. Thinking about nothing else and in my experience, losing sleep over it.
Spur of the moment can work too. I can suddenly decide to go see a friend or go nip to the shops as they seem easy now. But if you suddenly ask me to jump in the car and drive 10 miles I wont thank you for it. In fact Ill prob shout at you.
I'm afraid I don't know which way is best. Maybe it totally depends on the frame of mind you are in... but I digress.

So after Gerry mentioned the trial drive to the restaurant (which i refused) I suddenly felt anxious about the following day. I thought about nothing else all night and built it into this huge tasks which i would have to undertake. To be honest, it had become to hard. I was gutted and totally frustrated with myself. But I told myself to at least TRY. Even if I had to turn back, i had to at least try it. I couldn't just rule it out, cause that would be the agoraphobia winning.

So Gerry's birthday arrived. I got up and got myself dressed to go for the meal. I was physically shaking and even thought of changing the venue and visiting a restaurant closer to home but I refused. Our table was booked for 4.00 so it was more of a Sunday lunch really but at 3.30 we set off. I chatted and tried to relax myself, in fact I was prob wittering a lot of rubbish but Gerry is used to me by now. Then disaster. Disaster for an agoraphobic on a mission. The road to the restaurant was closed. Big Diversion signs filled the road and I had no where to turn back. I don't really know what came over me but I just followed the diversion (not that I had much choice). I was nervous though and certainly not thrilled by it but i continued to drive. To Gerry the diversion probably didn't seem to long but to me, as you can imagine, it felt like miles. Thankfully we arrived at the restaurant in one piece. While eating our meal I did worry about the drive home. It wasn't going to be the straight road that I had initially planned, i had to take the long route again uugghhh! What if I panicked and couldn't get home quickly enough? Maybe my anxiety realised that I wasn't playing ball that day because soon I became really relaxed. When I thought of the drive home I actually looked forward to it. I would be driving through an area where I hadn't driven in years and I was happy to take a leisurely drive and just check out the scenery. But soon Gerry added that he wanted to go somewhere else. Don't you hate it when you think you have just achieved something major and then someone asks you to do more?? Being his birthday I felt I had to give it a go and after our meal we found a pub in a quiet old village and had drinks by the log fire. It was lovely but since Gerry was drinking alcohol and I wasn't, meaning i knew i HAD to drive home, i didn't want to stay for too long. The drive home was now going to take 3 times as long as I had first thought. Also I think it is sometimes helpful to leave when your on a high. Let your brain remember the good memories you had being out. If I had hung around too long I may have become anxious, panicked, and then wouldn't have ever wanted to go back there. So i was ready to go, knowing that since it was a success i will feel confident in travelling there again.

Gerry was a happy boy and I a happy girl. Last year for his birthday I set up a table in my bedroom and cooked him a meal, so things have changed! Happy with my success Gerry then told me 'Next week we can go have dinner with my parents'. Great pffft! (the pic above is the restaurant. The pic is from there website where there isn't a great deal to choose from. I did ask Gerry if I could take some at the meal but I know he gets annoyed with me because any time we go somewhere new I get the camera out ha. Its very much 'look at me, look where i am now!'

I have spoken before about my nephew Luke who was born with Spina Bifida. Words cannot express what Luke means to me, I would do anything for him. He was very excited last week to receive a VIP invitation to meet Gordan Ramsay. Gordon is the patron of the Spina Bifida charity, i think a member of his family was a sufferer. So Luke is going to meet the chef at the end of the month. I have always been a fan of Ramsay's. I know he is infamous for his foul moods and bad language but i have always liked him so I'm wondering if i should tag along ha. We are waiting for more details in the post.
House Hunting. Gerry and I are now desperate to live together. I do love living with my parents but we cannot wait to have our own place. We have been back out house hunting again and after viewing about 6 places we have chosen one which we both love. The only problem we have now is waiting for Gerry to sell his. Fingers crossed it wont take too long. Ideally it would be wonderful to have something and be moved in for Xmas. I cant think of anything nicer than waking up together and sitting around our tree opening presents but time will tell. I'm sure we have many Christmases ahead of us so I can be patient.
Finally, tonight I received an Email from a journalist looking to interview me about my 'story'. Having read my blog online the girl wants to know all about my life, how I became agoraphobic and how I am doing now. I don't know how I feel about it to be honest. I think it is good to raise awareness about agoraphobia but I'm not sure if I want everyone to know my business. Ok that sounds strange as I speak so openly in my blog, but no one from my town knows this exists. The only people who will know about this, are fellow sufferers who have searched for agoraphobia online. But to appear in a magazine, picture and all... I'm not really sure yet. Ill think it over.
So there is my catch up. My life over the past few weeks. I am happy and physically healthy (i think) but the mental health will probably always be an issue. I can deal with that though, I'm used to it now. My friends still suck ha, I havent really seen them at all. I have tried! But hey I am persistant so I wont give up lol.
Oh one more thing. Tonight i stumbled across a new agoraphobia blog by 'agoraphob' really enjoyed it and totally related with the author. If you fancy reading it you can find it by checking out my comments and clicking on Agoraphobs profile. She mentioned this device which apparently helps anxiety. Why did i not know about this lol??? If anyone has used this let me know your thoughts, and for those of you who havent heard of it, here is the link.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Panic Returns

Since my little trip to hospital everything had been ok. Gerald and I had a fantastic 2 weeks with out relationship at it's best and I was one happy girl. We went to Luke's mum's 30th together and had a really good time (as pictured).
Sadly that's probably been the best bit of the past 3 weeks. I am sorry this is going to be another blog which will have some details of my 'womens problems'. Ok so I left hospital after being told it was my period. That was fine with me and I quickly continued my routine. I probably rested for 1 day but after that i was right back into the gym and also to my Body Attack class. I now go to body attack on a Wednesday night and wow it is HARD work. What bothered me is that there must be 50 people in the class of all different shapes and sizes, yet i am the ONLY one who seems to really struggle and have to take time out at the side. People tell me it might be because everyone else is used to the class, but there are constantly new starts arriving so i must just be really unfit! It is either that, or my health is still not right. I have now been bleeding for 3 weeks. I could handle that. I told myself it was just my body getting over the latest problems but on Thursday things took a turn for the worst.
I had been having cramp and it got worse and worse. The strange thing was that it came and went every 2 minutes. But it wasn't just a little pain , i would go as far to describe it as agony. I had hot baths, used head pads and took all the pain relief i could find but nothing was working. In the end i told my mother that if I didn't know any better i would have said i was in labour. Well i wasn't far off. I was having contractions! i now sympathise with all women who have had kids. Obviously the pain is worth while once your little baby arrives, and i wont be ignorant enough to suggest my pain was at the same level, but I knew nothing was coming at the end of my ordeal. What killed the most was the back pain! Every 2 minutes I was rubbing my back furiously while moaning and wriggling around trying to find a comfortable position. I called an emergency doctor for advice and was told to just keep on taking pain relief and make an appointment with my doctor. At 6pm on Friday I gave birth to a tennis ball sized lump. I guess many people would have been freaked out by this but to be honest i felt relief! I knew i was right. I knew my body was trying to get rid of something. Sometimes it is better to go with your instincts cause I could tell my doctor didn't actually have a clue what was going on. I had been prescribed antibiotics in case I had an infection. I am hoping soooo much that this lump was the cause of the prolonged bleeding, the pain and other complications. I want to say that this should be the end of a nightmare journey but I think this so often and then something else happens to surprise me.
Scarier than this was what happened at the beginning of the week. I had mentioned briefly that i was having relationship problems and those problems came to a head at the start of the week. I have been through a lot of stress recently but this seemed to hit me far worse than before. On Monday after a long night of arguments and discussions I went to bed exhausted. For the first time in years I woke up feeling very anxious and uncomfortable. I tried to think of other things as a distraction but it didn't seem to work. The anxiety grew and before I knew it I was in the midst of a terrible panic attack. The panic probably peaked at a 9/10 but thankfully it went away quickly. What scared me most was the thoughts i was having. Very suddenly the thought of going out at all scared me. Not just going to the gym, or going to the supermarket, but actually leaving my house. Just the thought of it seemed impossible. My biggest fear that I would become housebound again. Of course with this in my head I felt even more anxious. Gerry was with me and managed to talk me down a little, but it just shows how long it has been since i have had to deal with this as Gerry has never seen me take a panic attack in a year and a half!
I felt extremely vulnerable and really didn't want to be alone. I told Gerry that he would need to expect changes. I imagined I would be very needy and clingy for a while as I didn't think i could cope without him. I literally couldnt imagine him leaving and going to work, i think if it had continued I would have made him call in sick! I cant explain how it felt all i know is that I was utterly desperate. It just took me right back to those years ago when I was at my worst and it scared me so much. I also wondered how on earth I ever got through it before.
This all took place at night and as soon as i woke up in the morning i said 'we need to go out'. I couldnt stay at home. No chance. If I had stayed home i would have sat around and worried, thinking over and over again about how my phobia was returning. I had to get right back out and face it. I think we only drove to my local shops but it was enough. I was pretty comfortable and had done enough to ease my mind a little but i had to do it everyday untill the fears had passed. Thankfully i think the fear has gone now. It just gave me renewed understanding and sympathy for those who are going through it right now, or who like me, have gone through it at all!
My routine has been messed up due to my little relapse and then the tummy troubles but I am hoping that I can FINALLY get back on track. I have missed the gym this week since I think i need to give my body a rest. but i hope that when i write again i will have much more positive news to share with you all. x

Monday, 14 September 2009

WARNING : Not for the Squeamish!

It's been an ok couple of weeks since I last wrote. I've been trying to get back on track and I suppose its going well enough, maybe not as well as i would have liked. I've been having a few relationship problems, which i wont go into, but the stress definitely takes its toll. I have continued to go out everyday to the gym, or to the shops. I've been out for lunches with friends. I have continued with the pub quiz on a Monday. In fact I have been very social but aware that this all takes place locally and its time to start pushing outwards again.

Couple of new things I have done. I went to the opticians for an eye test since its been about 9 years since my last one. But no glasses needed (secretly hoped I maybe needed a pair because I think they are quite trendy). And at the weekend I went to see a play. It has been a long time since I have been to anything remotely like a play and i loved every minute. The play is called 'Singing, I'm no a Billy, He's a Tim'. I think you have to have some knowledge of religion and bigotry in Scotland to appreciate it but it was hilarious and i totally recommend it. The story is about our biggest 2 football teams. Here in Scotland, most people either support the team Rangers, and the others support Celtic. Typically a Rangers fan is protestant and Celtic supporters are catholics. This has caused huge rivalry for generations. Anyway, the story is about a Rangers fan named Billy, and a Celtic fan named Tim who are stuck in a prison cell together much to there outrage. At the end of the play I got my picture taken on set. So there you see me, Billy, Tim and the Turnkey Harry. A fantastic anxiety free night.

The following night i was sitting in bed relaxing when suddenly I felt Very wet down below. Hmmm I really thought I had wet myself although I have never had this problem before. Unfortunately when I looked down I realised I was sitting in a huge pool of blood. I stood up slowly as the blood continued to pour from me and made my way to the bathroom. As i sat on the toilet the blood rushed from me like a tap (faucet). I knew this was far from normal and quickly called on my mum. My poor mother. She wasn't prepared for the carnage in the bathroom. It was literally everywhere. So of course my mind went into overdrive. What was happening to me? This has to be connected to the miscarriage but what on earth is it? But what worried me most was the amount of blood I was losing. I cannot describe it and I'm sorry if you are squeamish but it really seemed like pints. So i began to go into shock.
I dragged myself back onto bed and began to shake. Suddenly a cold swear covered me and the panic began. Oh it was awful. Then I thought I was going to vomit. but no doubt about it, i needed to get help and FAST! Mentally I was preparing myself for passing out. Losing that amount of blood would surely mean that i was going to lose consciousness at any minute. We rang the hospital and I explained the situation, but focusing MORE on the agoraphobia. I guess i wanted them to fix me at home but I knew myself that I had to go to hospital immediately. I thought about how when I'm going somewhere i NEED to be the person driving, but i knew it probably wasn't the best thing at this time so I asked them to send me an ambulance. I felt that in the back of an ambulance, where i wouldn't see the outside, i would handle the journey better. Even though the whole way there i knew exactly where i was as I know the roads so well. But then another thought came which you might understand. Bizarrely i thought i would maybe find it hard to deal with. The fact that one minute i was in my street and the next when the doors opened I would be somewhere completely different outside of my comfort zone. Does that make sense?
The paramedics arrived to what looked like a crime scene and they couldn't have been better with me. I was put into the ambulance and hooked up to the machines. My blood pressure it seemed was fine. Also at this stage the panic attacks had died and I felt surprisingly ok, although i was still thinking that if the bleeding was continuing I would still pass out. Mum came with me in the ambulance and Gerry, who i called, followed us in his car.
I was fine during the journey. I wonder if I had too much on my mind to think about the agoraphobia. But i felt that i really had no choice this time. I had to go to hospital regardless of the panic. I was admitted into hospital and put in a room. While there I felt ok. I did worry a few times about the journey home. I wouldn't be in an ambulance where I couldn't see my surroundings. I would be in a car and more likely to panic since the journey home would take a while PLUS i wouldn't be the one driving. I imagined the journey taking forever with me curled up in a ball in the back seat freaking out. I tried really hard to ignore that feeling resigning myself to the fact I would probably be kept in hospital for at least a day and would most likely be having some sort of operation or blood transfusion. Another worry was, what am I going to do if they send my mum and Gerry home. Yes i could beg and plead for someone to be able to stay with me but I doubted very much it would be allowed. I ignored it though and figured I would deal with that should the situation arrive.
And so i was put into a room with my mum and Gerry to wait on the gyno doctor. I was terrified to stand up as I didn't know what the heck would fall out of me, but lying down seemed to have calmed the bleeding. We waited from 3am till 9 am for me to finally be seen by the right person. in between that time I had to tell my story over and over to several different people. Very frustrating. Also to be honest i didnt think much of the service lol. I was in a room where i was hooked up to some machines, but after a trip to the toilet I wasn't attached to anything. I was alone (with my mum and Gerry) but with no medical people. I could have been bleeding to death! Dramatic? Maybe, but that's how I felt. I actually added the pic of me in hospital because the whole time i was so calm and actually cracking jokes. I was only kidding when i took the picture and said it would be going on facebook but its come on handy for this post all the same. The only feeling i really had was guilt. My poor mother. I woke her from her sleep and obviously she wouldn't have stayed at home while i was going through that but I felt guilty as she looked awful and a few times i thought she was actually going to be sick. I even told her to go home and id be ok with Gerry but she refused.
So i was finally seen i was checked inside and out. The Doctor checked my heart and lungs and then said this. 'We think this is your period. Since you haven't bled since the miscarriage, we think its just very severe as its your first time'. I couldn't believe it. 'You can go' She said. Surely that wasn't correct. I have heard horror stories about things going wrong in that hospital before so I needed to be certain she was right. but apparently it does happen and they have seen it before. I protested that even the paramedic admitted he had never seen so much blood. But she seemed to think i was OK to leave. And so i did. I bared myself for the panic that was about to come. I had sent Gerry home for a shower thinking i was going to be there for hours but suddenly i was standing outside of the hospital ready to leave. There i was with no car, no money, and no one to take me home. Thank goodness my mum was there or I don't know what i would have done. I rang Gerry and he made his way to come get us. We travelled home and i waited for the panic, but it didn't come. I even told him to stop at McDonald's and get us some breakfast, so i was in no rush to get home. Still cracking jokes I told Gerry that he isn't allowed to complain at me for a week. He cant moan and tell me that I haven't gone anywhere with him because we had just spent a night out in another town together, and even had a meal after it ha.
The situation was scary, but in a way it has shown me again that I can cope. I have it within me to calm myself. I had been worrying a lot about distance again, and although I'm not ready to travel for miles and miles, it has made me confident enough to get back out and start pushing. Also Gerry was fantastic at the hospital, I don't know what I would have done without him. It put or relationship problems into perspective and I feel very grateful and very happy now. Every cloud...

Monday, 31 August 2009

Time for a Ramble i think

Hmmmm whats been happening with me? Not a lot is the answer to that!

Ok so i joined the gym, which i told you about. Really got into it as well and then i got the flu. Seems to always be something stopping me in my tracks these days. All the baby stuff seemed to go on forever and to be honest it was STILL on going for a long time. I have an confession to make. I was bad. Well you know I was at the hospital for my scans etc etc. And the last time I was there I had the miscarriage confirmed and felt really anxious and scared? Well I was told to go back for a scan again to make sure everything had gone naturally.... and I didn't go back. Agoraphobia really is a total nightmare. Even though you KNOW you need to go somewhere, it can seem almost impossible. Obviously the last time i was there had really put me off going back. Where was brave Lynn who was up for tackling anything?? Well she was hiding for a couple of months. Totally in denial.

So weeks past with everyone on my back saying 'have you made an appointment, have you made an appointment'. It was too much pressure. So i lied and told my parents I had been to the hospital and been given the all clear (they were away for a few days so i could have gone while they were away). Eventually the stress and guilt got too much and I called my doctor.
I thought that if i went to see her she would just say 'Ah well lets send you for a scan' and i was dreading it because I really didn't think i could manage it but luckily she didn't do that this time. I should mention that I was worried something wasn't right as my pregnancy tests were all still saying i was pregnant and i new that wasn't right. So I finally seen my doctor last week and was given a thorough check over. She took bloods, she done swabs, she ran tests. And the result? Well my hormone levels are dropping, but very slowly, hence the positive pregnancy tests. That should sort itself out. And yes I did have an infection! Oh Lynn Lynn Lynn Lynn. Burying your head in the sand does not work! Luckily all i need to do is take a course of anti-biotics. It could have been worse though. I could have been left infertile so I know I cant be taking risks like that in future.

So then I began the drama of taking the pills again. We all know how much i LOVE pills. Not!! I shouldn't bother reading the leaflet that comes with pills, but i always do and it scares me every time. Usually if they say it can effect my breathing I wont take it. My breathing is how i keep myself calm so i don't like anything that messes with my breathing. This one, however, said it would make me drowsy. Well fantastic! I don't DO drowsy. I don't want to feel any way but alert. So that was off putting. But the clincher would have been when i seen that it could cause hallucinations. We all want that don't we? Especially when we suffer from anxiety. Well it took a couple of days for me to suck it up and take the damn things. OBVIOUSLY I have had none of the side effects, even though i knew i wouldn't have any, i was still stressing. Now i take them every time I am meant to and I even look forward to taking them because I feel them working and feel my body healing!

So i spent last week with the flu. It was a struggle. I felt VERY agoraphobic one day. In fact that's not true. I felt very ANXIOUS. I am telling myself that i am no longer agoraphobic. I stuffer from anxiety, this is true, but i don't fear going outside anymore. I don't fear supermarkets, big buildings, crowds, and i can handle queues to a certain extent. My only agoraphobia moments are traveling a big distance from home, but i think that's more about habit. I haven't been travelling far for so long that the thought does scare me. And I am certain that if I went far I would panic about it but I wouldn't necessarily flee for home like I would have in the past. So last week I was feeling anxious. I was feeling frustrated too that I haven't been travelling as far as I was when i was taking my driving lessons. I hadn't been close to Gerry's house or into Paisley since the visit to the hospital. but to stay sane I tried to cut myself some slack. Ok, I hadn't done those things but I had still been going out everyday. I still went to the gym which was new. I still went out to lunch, seen friends etc. I was pretty much still doing everything, apart from driving a little bit further. The pregnancy, the miscarriage, the flu all affected that, but it doesn't mean i wont do it again. In my head I remembered back to when i was housebound. I was really worried that U would end up that way again. I was avoiding the hospital, avoiding my driving lessons, and it was avoidance that caused me to be agoraphobic in the first place. The thought of ended up stuck at home again terrified me so i decided to act. I got my diary and wrote a plan for the week. There were silly things i was avoiding but I decided to write them down and make myself achieve them over the next 7 days.

  • Book driving lesson

  • Phone Doctors

  • Drive round town everyday

  • Walk every day

  • Listen to Paul McKenna every night

  • Phone Aunt (i had meant to visit her once but didn't go and hadn't been in touch since)

  • Book Dentist

  • Phone Occupational Therapist Karen

  • Phone Hairdresser

  • Make Fiona's invites

  • Go to Gym 4 x

Ok Fiona was having a party and asked me to make her invitations. I had put it off and put it off thinking the party was months away but received a text asking if the invites were ready. Ughhh. Finally I spent a full day making 70 handmade cards for her. Very Fancy the were and I was very pleased with them and surprised how well they turned out. I ticked that off. I got my hair cut, ticked that off. Dentist grrrr, booked it, went, had a root canal. Had avoided it so long, even sitting in the waiting room i wanted to bolt, but I didn't. Got it done, no pain relief, but none needed, it was fine and I was told I don't need to go back now for 6 months YEY! Ticked it off. I had got a bit lazy with Paul McKenna. When things are going good you can let these things slip a little but I felt I needed that wee routine again so hes been coming to bed with me at night. Driving lesson is booked, been to the doctors like i said. Phoned Karen the occupational Therapist and had a meeting with her. That had all stopped due to the pregnancy/miscarriage/flu, but now we are back on track.

So basically i done everything on the list. I think the list was a great idea. My head was all over the place with the things that needed done but that helped me to see more clearly. Then you have the sense of achievement when you have ticked everything. Once again I tell myself that agoraphobia will not win as long as I face up to things and don't be AVOIDING again.

I also went to the local pub quiz with my brother last week and really enjoyed that so we are both going there together every Monday that we are free... I am always free obviously but he might have to work. We will see how that works out. My other brother is planning to move to New Zealand for a year with his girlfriend, so in an effort to save his pennies he has moved back home for a while and renting out his house. His dog George has been staying between our house and his girlfriends house and im enjoying that. He is such a miserable looking thing but i love him to pieces and I think he likes me cause he follows me everywhere and likes to sleep on my bed (although Gerry says hes not allowed on the bed, i actually dont mind and what he doesnt know doesnt hurt him. Dont tell him lol)

Finally, today I visited my Auntie. I was meant to go a few weeks ago and missed it (that's when I was having the car trouble). I kept meaning to phone her then forgetting so was feeling VERY guilty about it, but today i finally dropped by for a visit. I am ashamed to say I also have an uncle who lives in my town and also I see him now and again when he is with my dad, i never see his wife or his daughter, my cousin Olivia. Today though when i went to my aunts she phoned them, told them I was there and they popped by. My uncles wife, Linda doesn't feel like my aunt. They only met in my teens so she seems more like a girlfriend, and the fact she is only 34 makes me feel like she is more of a friend. Anyway, it turns out that Linda doesn't have many friends in this town and since i too have been moaning about my friends lately it seemed like a good idea that Linda and I should meet up. So, being a member at the sport centre, we have arranged to meet on Wednesday for a body attack class. Linda tells me this is like aerobics or something but i am game. I will be awful no doubt. Last time i went to a class the pensioner in front of me completely showed me by dancing away while i was collapsed on the floor looking like i was having a seizure! So I am happy about this. A new friend. I think it sounds like we both need one. And little Olivia. Well she isn't so little anymore. She is now 15 and I was so angry to hear that she is starting a new school tomorrow. Angry because she is making the move due to bullying. I hate bullies, i really do. Olivia's best friend suddenly turned on her one day and beat her up in full view of the rest of the school. Other people decided to get involved and also get some punches in. And so it went from there. She has been receiving threats via text, has been hit several times and finally it got too much when they started making knife threats and even taking knives to school. I am so angry but what can you do? They have told the teachers and they don't seem to be very helpful at all and so now she is moving school. It is probably the best solution, taking her away from them completely and now she can get on with her life. her new school is in a better area so I really hope it works out well for her. I will be checking on her in future now. I feel so bad that all this was going on and I knew nothing about it.

The same things happened to my nephew Riley. Since he was moving into high school after the summer holidays he went for 2 'taster' days at what would be his new school. On the last day he was walking home and was beaten up by 3 boys. It turns out that the leader of the little group is from a well known family in his town. The family are notorious for causing trouble and being in prison etc. To put it politely they are a family who you don't mess with. Over the summer break Riley's parents had to search for a new school who would take him on at such short notice. He just couldn't go back to the school originally planned. Its so sad. Riley is the most amazing little kid and he wouldn't harm a fly. Bully's eh! Well he has now moved to his new school and made a whole bunch of new friends and I just pray it works out for him.

Anyway i have rambled enough for tonight. I hope you are all well, relaxed and happy. Catch up again soon xxx

Oh and if anyone remembers reading last year about Luke's mum being attacked while driving her car one day (in front of the children) well i am happy to report that it went to court and the women was found guilty. She was charged with assalt and made to pay a fine. Justice!