Yey me!!! Today was doom's day. My first appointment anywhere in years. Anytime I have had an appointment in the past 3 or more years, they have been home visits. I don't seem to cope very well when I have commited myself to something. I guess it's just the pressure of knowing you HAVE to be there and also the days and days of thinking about it leading up to the date. In the past I always made appointments and either cancelled them or just didn't show up. A sign of my agoraphobia setting in i suppose.
Last night I was thinking about the dentist and I felt a little nervous. I really couldn't imagine going, sitting in a waiting room and it seemed completely beyond me that I would sit in a dentist chair after over 10 years since my last appointment. What if I am left waiting and the anxiety takes over?, what if i am too nervous and babble on about my panic attacks,? what if I just need to walk out? I told myself that if I needed to get up and leave, no matter what was happening, i would just go! This morning I woke up and I felt calm. I know that THINKING about something is usually much worse than actually doing it. My friend was driving me and a part of me was hoping she would sleep in so that I couldnt go and also couldnt be to blame for not being there. However, Angela was on time (for once haha)
I had the usual filling in of forms to keep me busy when i first arrived but on the whole i was totally fine. I sat chatting away with Angela and when my name was called I happily made my way to the dentists room. I was surprised the women remembered me but she did and took one look at my teeth and pulled a face. Not a good face! Well that was a confidence booster haha. I chatted with her and explained it had been over 10 years since i last seen a dentist and told her this was because I USED TO BE agoraphobic. It is weird because I know i still have my phobia but within my safety zone i am completely 'normal' and genuinely don't feel agoraohobic at all (this does come and go though). After our chat I let her get on with her work and I lay there thinking... I am in a dentist. I am lying here and I never thought i would see the day I could do this. Although today was just a check up i noticed lots of squares on the ceiling and thought...those will come in handy when i come in for my treatment, the real tough part, as i will be able to count them to distract myself if I get anxious.
I need A LOT of work done! I knew that would be the case. She X-rayed my whole mouth but i didn't find out the results. I was just told to make my next appointment and that is set for next Wednesday. As much as I enjoyed it, and felt proud, i did hope the appointment wouldnt be so soon haha. But i think i might actually be ok.
Tonight I went out in the car and I pushed myself further. I was with the beloved Gerry and we made it to the chapel again. This time instead of heading home we went in the opposite direction. I felt like I was miles away from home at this point but I would say i was still quite calm. We made it into the main part of my village and seconds away from that BIG round-a-bout that I am heading for. After that we made the trip a second time and I added another route on going further again. As i got to the furthest point I got uptight. I wanted him to turn the car and go back the way we had come, but in my head I couldnt see him turning quickly enough for my liking.... so i screamed LEFT instead. On turning left i calmed down. Even though i was on a new road and passing streets I havent seen in years.
In a way I think it must be fun for the person who takes an agoraphobic out. Not when they are panicking of course, but when they are seeing new things. When we turned left I suddenly shouted 'WHAT IS THAT'. I probably haven't been in this part of my town in about 5 years, now there are fancy new flats, a skateboarding park and lots of other new developments that I knew nothing about. I get very excited when i see this stuff and it must be like a child seeing snow for the first time!
Being agoraphobic has definately made me appreciate life a lot more. In the past I was forever taking things for granted. Now it amazes me how little it takes to amuse me on a day out. I went to the dentist today and i ENJOYED it. After that I went to the shops, the post office and ran some errands but to me this was just brilliant. I randomly seen a horse and cart go through our village, a very rare sight, but one that i appreciated and babbled on about when returning home.
I have spent so many years cooped up in my room looking at nothing but 4 walls and a television. Today I saw a horse! Am I making any sense? It just give's me such pleasure. The only thought's causing me anxiety are...what if i suddenly go back to how i was but more importantly...why didn't i do this sooner!