Hey, I don't have anything major to talk about today but I just felt like saying hello. The weather is miserable and I don't plan on going out today so I have some free time. Having said that, I am considering even a small walk round the block, just to keep up with the routine of going out, even if only for a few minutes.
It was a productive week I guess. I went to Boots, went to the local shops and bank quite a few times alone. I also went to my friend Laura's again and spent a few hours there completely relaxed. Also while at Laura's the Ice Cream van came into her street and without thinking, I asked what everyone wanted and set off to buy our treats. It was only when I was at the bottom of her street that I realised this was quite an achievement as in the past I felt anxious going to the ice cream van in my own street. But here I was in a new place, walking further, In the dark and on my own.
In an email I received this week someone said to me 'Have you ever tried to think of yourself as not being agoraphobic and trying things as a 'normal' person'? To be honest I have been trying to change my thinking recently into that of a non agoraphobic. I have been doing more and more 'normal' things and instead of immediately saying 'NO' to anything I am asked, i am now trying to say 'yes' or at least to TRY instead of just dismissing the idea. I certainly feel a lot less agoraphobic but there is still a mountain to climb.
Reading another blog recently I saw the writer show comparisons to what his wife can do this year that she couldn't do last year and vice versa so i will try to do the same.
In 2009 I can :
- Stay on my own all day and night, this is not so new although I used to feel anxious at the thought of a night with no one in the house.
- Walk to the edge of my safety zone and work on pushing myself further. Although I could manage this in the past, i don't think i was able to do this much in 2008.
- Go to the local shops, bank, chemist, chip shop. The shops i could do about a year ago but like with the walking this stopped. After fighting these last few months, I am able to do this again.
- I can go drives with anyone in any car. I don't have to rely on a 'safe' person. I feel comfortable while out driving and this is completely new. I hadn't been on drives in around 4 years.
- Walk at night. In the past i would make all my effort during the day but at night would feel OK that is enough for today' and I would happily spend the evening at home. Now i go walking at night and actually really enjoy it.
- I can visit other people's houses and sit for hours feeling completely fine. Obviously I was able to do this in the past but compared to last year, this is new. Also this is very enjoyable and I find myself wanting to stay out for longer and longer.
- I can go to the local pub. This never happened at all last year.
- I make plans for the future. I will be attending a christening, a communion and hopefully more events over the coming months. I never made plans in the past but immediately dismissed the idea with 'No I can't do that'
- The winter hasn't bothered me this year. Usually the dark nights and the cold weather depress me so much that I actually seriously thought I had SAD, but keeping busy through the past few months and not going into hibernation has made this little anxiety pass.
- Travel very far. This is what I am working on and this year will see me focusing completely on pushing the boundaries. I would say this is my only major problem now. Anything else would seem quite small in comparison. The original problem causing the agoraphobia still exists. I haven't been able to walk or drive very far from my safe place,my home, for quite some time. BUT.... this WILL change (positive mental attitude lol)
So i would say this is progress. Obviously this year started ended well with my engagement and started well with my night out in the pub, so my circumstances have also changed. My Boyfriend is now getting his house prepared for the day that I will move in. I know this is a few months off, but for the first time in years i believe I could have a future in my own home. Not living with my parents, but in my own home with a partner I love. Wow how 'normal' of me. I see this is achievable now whereas in the past it would have only been a dream. I do feel it is a long way off and that I need to be realistic... more importantly, my Boyfriend needs to be realistic. But I hope that, if i focus, i could be living a new life in the Summer and this is very exciting!
I finished my homeopathic remedy this week. The women who gave me it said if i ever felt like trying it again i could get in touch but that hopefully I wouldn't feel the need. I guess I don't feel the need but there is a little worrying thought in my head wondering if this is what helped with my progress in the past few months. I will see how I get on over the coming weeks and If i feel i need a little lift i will contact her. I had moaned so much about not being allowed coffee while on the meds but now that they are finished I am going to stay off the coffee. I still miss it massively but if cutting it out has helped me become less anxious, I may as well just leave it.
I have nothing else to report really. I spent a nice week both at home, and out and about. While at home i do the usual, watching TV, reading etc but i something new. My nephews brought over guitar hero. Well..... I got hooked. Not only would I play this when they were here, but found myself 'rocking out' when on my own ha ha. Call me sad but you need to have a go, it's loads of fun. Bad news though, I have broken it! I have no idea how I manged it but the disk won't play anymore. I considered putting it back and pretending not to have touched it.... but I am not that bad ha ha Looks like i need to go shopping for a replacement. Don't know what I am more upset about, the fact that I have broke my nephews game or the fact that i cant play it anymore ha ha. Oh well it was nice chatting. Hope you are all well x