Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Christening & Relying On Others

(Me, Laura, Angela and Lynne. Old picture but one with the girls together)

It was the christening of my friend Laura's son on Sunday. Beautiful Korrie is about 6 months old now and since he was born Laura has been planning this day. Finally (very quickly) the baby weight is off and Laura was keen to get out, looking good and have a big celebration for her little boy. Before Christmas I mentioned this on a post and said that i would be attending the christening. This was something I was really looking forward to. Finally I would be spending time with friends in a new setting, i would get to share Laura and Korrie's day and also it would be a personal challenge against my agoraphobia. Being at the christening would prove to me how much better I am doing and it was something I was very keen to do.

Originally it was supposed to be Gerry & I going as a couple but unfortunately he had been asked to work, so instead I invited Angela along. On Saturday I had mixed feelings approaching the big day. I was both excited and nervous but decided to break the day into sections, as i had done with my dental visit the previous week. I would get up, see how i felt, get dressed and see how i felt and so on. I spent the Saturday evening at home organising myself. I got my new dress, New Shoes set out and ready to put on. Made sure my camera had enough battery, and the same with my mobile phone. I felt quite prepared and decided I better text Angela to make the final arrangements.

I tried texting a few times but I got no reply. Knowing Angela could be busy with other things I waited a few hours but still had no reply. Angela's parents were flying to Australia in the morning and it was decided that Angela would arrive at my house once she had dropped them off at the airport at around 10.30am. I guess I just wanted to make sure everything was going ahead as planned. I thought it was strange that Angela hadn't been in touch for the usual conversation between girls 'what are you going to wear'. So the feeling stayed with me, something wasn't right. I suddenly had a feeling in my gut that Angela wouldn't be going. Finally after midnight I got a text telling me that she would phone me when she dropped her parents off. I found this a bit strange. Why would she need to phone me when she drops them off when she should be heading straight over to my house? Hmmmm was i just being paranoid? Anyway the texts went back and forward with Angela being very vague until eventually I just asked her if she didn't want to go. Soon she told me that she wasn't looking forward to it. She didn't have anything to wear.

I went to bed and set my alarm anyway, hoping that in the morning it would all work out. I woke up at 8 and text Angela to make sure she had found an outfit but I got no reply. At this point I just felt completely depressed. I KNEW Angela wasn't coming. Gerry was working, my parents were away out. I had no way of getting to the christening. I don't know if i should have just got myself dressed but i didn't even bother. I didn't see the point. At 11am, 15 minutes before the ceremony began, Angela called me to say she would just go. She was dressed in her jeans but we could still make it. Should I have gone? Obviously I wasn't dressed and being a big day out for me, I had wanted to look my best. I would be seeing people I hadn't seen in years and wanted to make a good impression. 15 minutes to get myself dressed and to the church seemed unlikely to me and so I told Angela I wasn't going to bother. I will admit I did blame Angela.

I spent the rest of the day feeling down. As much as Angela not seeming that interested and me being left in the lurch was the main reasons for me not going, I felt as though I had failed. The day I had been looking forward to for months had come and I wasn't there like i promised I would be. I text Laura and explained but I was worried she would be thinking 'Oh well Lynn isn't coming just as i expected, Just as she never comes to anything', but it hurt because i REALLY wanted to be there.

Why didn't I get a taxi? Well simply because I am not 100% comfortable with using a taxi yet. I would be ok using a taxi in different situations but on this day I was taking on a challenge that would make me extremely nervous. I wanted a safe person. I wanted someone with me so that if the anxiety got too much I could simple say 'I have to go now'. With a taxi I couldn't do that. I would have to call a taxi, WAIT on the taxi, while feeling awful and it just didn't seem like the best idea. Also since the snow was particularly bad it is possible to wait for an hour on a car.

While on the road to recovery this is one of the most difficult things I face as an agoraphobic. Relying on other people. I fully understand that Angela wasn't that interested in the christening. Laura isn't a friend of hers. But even day to day i still need to rely on other people for certain things. To really work on my driving I need someone with a car to be available every day. It's just not realistic. Most of the time people are working during the day, and those who are available in the daytime don't drive. At the moment i probably get out for a drive once or twice a week, which makes the progress much slower than it would be if i could be out every day.

Then there are the days when someone IS available with a car and yet I don't want to ask them to take me a quick drive because you feel as though your putting them out. Who wants to drive around and around in a circle with me? Or the other example is that someone may pop over with a car and sit for a cup of tea then announce that they need to leave because they need to go to work, the gym, shopping etc.

I totally understand people have there own lives to lead, I am no ones responsibility but my own, and so I walk. But it is times like these when i feel like a prisoner again, and also I can feel like a child. Its like a need a babysitter to take me on an outing and its not something I enjoy. Unfortunately that's how it is at the moment. I am lucky that I at least have Gerry and my dad to take me out when they are available so I don't want to sound like i am complaining. I'm just explaining the difficulties we can face. What is the solution?

Then this problem snowballs and creates another issue. My drives with Gerry can be quite stressful, as you know. Everytime we go out in the car Gerry needs to see progress or i am met with a huff of breath or a roll of his eyes which make me more stressed and also pissed off to be honest. I explain to him that i need to drive in my safe zone over and over again to get 'comfortable'. If i was driving that loop everyday it would already be comfortable, but unfortunately since the gaps in between my drives can be quite long, it can take a while for my nerves to settle, even when im just driving in my 'safe zone'. I don't always feel comfrotable enough to 'push it' further. Sometimes i feel i am doing enough by just doing the drive at all.

I don't really see a solution other than paying a taxi driver everyday, which could become very expensive very quickly, or to start taking a bus. Like with the taxi, i dont relish the idea of standing outside of my comfort zone and waiting for my bus home to arrive. So in the mean time I will just have to keep taking drives when they are offered but more likely I will have to get over the embarrassment and just ask people to take me out more often. Ah dillema dillema.

Lastly, the dentist... thank you all so much for your messages. I still cant wait till my next appointment and the good news was the pain after the appointment was totally bearable. Of course it was a little sore but i never had to rely on pain releif. One bad point though is that one of the fillings has already come away slighty, so my ordeal seems a little tainted now ha. Im sure she can fix it when im back in a week. My walking is great, i have pushed it further and further and really enjoy it so i will continue this. Gerry is off to Canada on Wednesday for a week, i will miss him (and his car), but since he is a keen snowboarder im glad hes getting away to the snowy mountains to de-stress. Anyway thats all for now. Take care x


Jason said...

I'd gladly drive you around and around in a circle Lynn, since that's pretty much what I've been doing lately anyway. Too bad you're thousands of miles away. :(

Anyway, hang in there. You have made progress in spite of your situation.

Lynn said...

Thats the problem isnt it Jason. We agoraphobic's are helpful and sympathetic. Unfortunately we cant get to each other to help out ha.

diver said...

Interesting post Lynn, lots of aggie issues. I so sympathise with the way you have to rely on 'middle men' for the driving. I know myself how trapped I'd be without my own car and driving licence. I think I understand what you mean about taxi's too : they're expensive and they drop you off at a distant place with no easy way home ... a tenuous position for any agoraphobic! Much better to have your own car or chaffeur I'd reckon.

You said, '... Gerry needs to see progress or I am met with a huff of breath or a roll of his eyes ...' I guess Gerry is just trying to help you out here like a mentor or a Personal Trainer or something, right? So the intention is all good? It just seems a pity he can't manage it without the huffing and ridicule though :(

Enjoyed your commentary on the videos ... just love your voice, it's so melodic :)