Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Lesson 1

(The car I am learning in)

This post shall be short and sweet. I am so tired. Speaking of which, has anyone tried Berroca? I think i need to give that a go, or a multi vitamin because I am just wiped out these days.

So this morning I had my first driving lesson at 9.30. I didn't sleep very well last night as it was playing on my mind. At 9.45 this morning my instructor called me and woke me up to tell me he was waiting outside for me. Oops! I had totally slept through my alarm. In a way this was a good thing. It meant i didn't have time to sit about thinking and getting myself nervous again. I literally had to get up and go.

I really enjoyed the lesson but it looks as though my plan to stay in my village isn't going to work. We drove around for an hour and then Alan, my instructor, told me my driving is completely fine. In order to advance and learn the harder points in driving I really need to go to a busier town. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand i completely agree with Alan. i felt comfortable today and also can see that i will be able to go further if i am the one in charge of the car. But on the other hand i expected to make this move after a few lessons, not just after one. Alan is coming back for me on Friday and that day he wants me to leave my town altogether and drive near where Gerry lives. In my head that just seems a little bit beyond me. It has taken me 6 months go get to where i am now but Alan thinks i should take the biggest jump ever within three days. i am not convinced really. I think it should be a natural progression i make on my own. Too tired to think about it at the moment. Will give it consideration over the next few days, but i can totally see it happening in the coming weeks which is very very exciting.

On returning home i was right back out in the car again. This time my own car. Again i loved it and seen a big improvement after just an hour with Alan helping me polish up on my old skills. I drove to the shops, drove my brother home. My head still finds all this new activity hard to process. The Lynn my brain knows, doesn't do these things. The Lynn in my heart does though and i am loving this new life of mine.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

A wee bit independant

Ok i am not quite independent. Today I was taking care of car duties. Insurance, and a repair to be exact. I sorted the insurance out pretty quickly and am now fully covered. I then spent the afternoon on yell.com searching for somewhere that can supply car parts. I knew when I got the car that it needed a little repair done which apparently wouldn't cost me much money. So today i was ringing places to find out if they supply the part...and then calling garages to see how much they charge to fit it. Oh i felt so proud of myself doing a job to do with cars etc haha. Don't i need my dad or Gerry for that? Anyway i got on with it and swayed from feeling independent to feeling little a silly little girl as I asked 'Do you have this part thingimy for my red car'? Ha ha Ok i wasn't that bad but hey I got the job done and the car is booked in for repair on Saturday morning and then I plan on driving everyday.

One problem though is cash. Insurance, repairs, petrol OH MY! Living on Benefits is not easy. Plus I'm a smoker and cigarettes in the UK cost a small fortune( yeh yeh i will stop eventually), not to mention the fact i need to money to live on. So my head is a little cloudy at the moment and the main image before my eyes is pound signs (or lack of them) ughh.

The good news though. The exciting part... today I went out driving with my occupational therapist, Karen. We drove my usual route and then I added another few roads. I felt pretty good. But then i told her to take a long road as i was determined to seethe sign ' YOU ARE NOW LEAVING LINWOOD'. Sadly this sign didn't appear. I thought that maybe I had misjudged it and the sign would be further up the road than I was, but we turned at a round-a-bout and headed back the way. Soon i noticed it. 'WELCOME TO LINWOOD' . YEY!!! So today i left my town for the first time in 5 years... even if only for a few seconds. Very very happy.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Taking more Steps

I am sitting at the window looking at my little car. Awww she is so pretty. I was talking to an agoraphobic friend the other night and we got onto the subject of driving. We discussed me taking driving lessons. This always seemed completely beyond me. Ok, i can drive around my village a little but anything else is a little bit too much at the moment. To learn to drive here we go to another town and the final test route is also quite a bit away.

Talking to my friend I realised that I don't HAVE to go into the other town. Why cant I learn to drive here? Surely we can drive around here and I can learn all the usual maneuvers like reversing round corners, parking etc.

I decided that I would phone a few driving instructors, explain my situation and see what they have to say. If i found someone who sounded understanding then I would book them.

Firstly I had to arrange for my provisional licence to be sent out. I went to Spain when I was 19 and my purse was stolen, including my licence. I thought this would be a hassle but after 2 minutes on the phone I was told it will be posted out immediately. Then I called some instructors. I found a man named Archie, explained the way I am and he said it is totally ok. My area may not be ideal for learning to drive but it will do. He also said that hopefully as my confidence grows i will feel in control and will WANT to drive further because I enjoy it. This made me decide to choose him because that is exactly what I had in mind. So i am happy and proud of myself. Who knows how it will go but i am up for the challenge.

Lesson Booked for Tuesday at 12.30. Wish me luck!


Jade Goody died on Sunday. We all knew it was coming and some of us watched her final journey but wasn't it awful that she passed on Mother's Day leaving 2 beautiful sons behind. I always liked Jade. Yes, she had a big mouth and was very loud but she came from nothing and made a fantastic life for herself and her sons. I was very sad to hear of her passing.
For month now we have all known it was inevitable but i was still shocked. She is so young and we feel like we know her somehow. I write because Jade has inspired so many young women to go for smear tests and in the process she will, no doubt, have saved many lives. She has given me the push i needed to go get it done. I am now 28 and have only ever been checked once and I think i was about 17. I receive letters constantly telling me I am due for a test but I have never been able to get there. In the past my mother and I have fought to have a doctor or nurse come to the house and do it here. Unfortunately we were always told it wasn't possible. In the past this was available but the service has since stopped, the reason being that there isn't good enough lighting. Well i can provide a miners helmet or a torch lol. I just think that if the test is so important they should be able make some exceptions but obviously this isn't going to happen. Anyway... Thank you Jade. My thoughts are with her and her family and I will get my test done asap.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Feelings can be hard to explain

I wrote my last post pretty quickly as I felt it was time for a catch up but to be honest I thought it was a bit of a rubbish ramble. The car is good news, yes! Also for my first car i am extremely proud of it. It is old but when the sun is out and you take the top down it is quite impressive to me. I have been out washing and hoovering her. Making her look pretty, but driving it is still beyond me for now.

I say i am confused as this week I have been feeling a bit....hmmm.... flat?

I am doing well, this is true. But you know when you have agoraphobia you go out and do something new and you get that BUZZ! You feel so proud of yourself and your excited and buzzing and ready for the next challenge (well not at that point but soon you will try some more lol). This week though I have been keeping up my little tasks, walking to places I hadn't reached in years but the buzz has gone. I have noticed that when i achieve these things I don't get that BUZZ and its kind of disappointing. I know that feeling wouldn't last forever. Maybe I have taken the same routes so many times that it is no longer a big accomplishment?

After the panic attack I had when i was out the other day I was determined to walk to the shops again, to prove to myself that it hadn't put me off the way it would have done in the past. I have been there everyday now and I get no buzz. But then on top of this I have just felt a bit BLAH.

Perhaps it is hormones? I know some females say they can be more anxious at a certain time of the month (sorry guys), but it hasn't been anxiety just BLAH, boredom maybe!

I avoided talking about this in my last post as I didn't want anyone to think i am all down and depressed and on a downward slope. I am still very happy and positive but this weird thought comes into my mind. We live as agoraphobics and we dream of a better life. We dream of the day that we can get out there and live a life with no barriers, where we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. I think in our minds some of us may think that when we achieve this goal we will be completely happy. But what if we achieve all this and still feel a bit BLAH?

I think this feeling I am having is due to being a bit annoyed with myself. Although I stick to my routine everyday and never miss any of my tasks i am still not getting as far as I want to. I am still in my town. Still not at Gerry's house. But as the summer approaches I tell myself I will get out there in the sunshine and continue to fight..have some patience. Look how far you have come Lynn!... but BLAH!!!!

Am i making sense haha???

On Friday though I went and picked Luke up from school and the feeling passed. He smiled and i was happy again. I remember I am only 28, I have a fiance i adore, and hopefully I will have my own son or daughter in the next few years. There is much to look forward to, and if i fight hard enough then I have the world at my feet. My plan career wise is to get into Nursing. It may be a pipe dream at the moment but I have been told my so many people that I would be ideal for counselling or working in health care. It is good to have ambitions isn't it.

Today I was out all day in the sun. Walking and driving with Gerry and then he told me that I could drive us home. Well i drove in a straight line. Managed to stall the car twice, which i have NEVER done. He told me I drove worse than his granny and when I got out of the drivers seat i left the car in gear and it kangaroo jumped away from me. Is it possible that the more your practice the WORSE you can get lol

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

My New Car and other News

Feels like I haven't written in ages! Ive actually not been online very much which is why there has been a lack of blogging and 'twittering'.
Above is my new car and may i add, my first car. A friend of mine offered me it for free and I happily accepted. Its an older car as you can probably see but its shiny and convertible and mine mine mine! I do love it but there is a small set back... I don't actually have a driving licence. Perhaps i was a little hasty in taking up his offer but there was method to my madness. I have has quite a lot of driving lessons but unfortunately i was taking them around the time that I first started to suffer with panic attacks. Just as the time was approaching for me to sit my test I gave up the lessons all together. I often wonder if my life would have turned out differently if i had been able to drive, but my guess is that i would still have ended up agoraphobic anyway.
So with the new car i plan on getting back on the road. I will go out with my mum and get my confidence back up and hopefully ....eventually, be able to put in for my test. In the meantime i took the car for my mums benefit also. She past her test years ago and it gave her a fantastic life and she was often popping out here, there and everywhere. Then she got a new car which was an automatic. Unfortunately, after driving an automatic car for years she lost the confidence to drive a manual car. Now i think she has built it up so much in her own head that she gets very nervous at the thought of it. Now with the new car i am hoping she will get back out there and practice. I'm sure she will be out and about in no time.
I have been to the pub for the last 3 weekends in a row. I don't have much else to add about this. I suppose i should be proud and look at the comparison to my life a year ago... or even just at New Year. When I went to the pub at New Year i was quite uptight, but now when i go I am pretty calm. So this is good!
My walking is still going fantastically. I have walked to the shops regularly since i last post and I still cant believe some of the places I'm finding myself. Last week i got a bit of a scare though. While walking home from the shops i suddenly started to panic. It came out of the blue and caught me totally off guard. I was on the phone to my friend and suddenly felt really dizzy. I told myself to focus on her voice and just ignore these feelings but they got worse and i found myself thinking 'i am really far from home, it's going to take me at least 15 minutes to get back and i really don't like this'. I tried again to focus on my friends voice but as the anxiety hit me again I started to run. As I got closer to home it passed and instead of going home i took another route and continued my walk. It did scare me though. I have been back to the shops and have walked that way since. I wanted to be sure i didn't start avoiding it cause that is how the problems start isn't it. Anyway I have went walking everyday as per usual and tell myself that I will not let that hinder me. It is not always easy though.
I've been on more drive's, one with Gerry which resulted in ANOTHER fight ha, sometimes I feel like i am ready to take big leaps and other times I am not so confident but all i know is that i just have to keep on trying. Dentist tomorrow, Hairdresser Thursday, Kids at the weekend. Trying to keep busy but lately I feel completely exhausted. I am sleeping a lot but i could sleep so much more. Maybe I need vitamins??? Oh well I will go for now and Ill be back all upbeat and positive but right now i just need sleep. Hope you are all well x

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

I have had a very relaxing night and decided to spend it reading my new book. 2 Hours later I have finished. 'The Boy In the Striped Pajamas' was excellent. At first I thought it was a children's book because of the way it is written but i quickly realised this was because it is a child telling the story.

On the back of the book it says 'Usually we give some clues about the book on the cover, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about'

So for that reason I wont say anything more about it, only that i recommend it... and don't go googling it to find out what its about either haha. I actually had an idea of the story before reading and I can see why NOT knowing would have perhaps been better. And now i am off to watch the movie lol. If you have already read it i am interested to hear your comments (though don't give the story away ha)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Response to my letter and Twitter

Within an hour of me emailing the letter below I received a phone call from the benefit agency. Was I a tad harsh? I actually feel a bit bad about it now, I hope i didnt come across as rude. The women basically apologised and fell over herself to help me. She admitted that they don't want to look as though they haven't handled this case properly and has now offered me a home visit. Honestly she could not have been nicer. She has now even said that the doctors letter isn't important and that we will 'work something out'. I just feel bad for the people who may not have spoken up and who may have forced themselves through a very uncomfortable interview. To the people who DO make themselves face those kind of situations, i have nothing but respect!

It seems there is a new internet craze in the UK at the moment. Twitter! I don't know if this is a world wide thing but i have seen it mentioned all over the place in the last few days. So jumping on the Twitter bandwagon I have signed myself up. If anyone wants to add me I am @lynnie81. I may write little updates about how my tasks are going or what I am doing, more so than I would on the blog. Wouldn't it be dull if i popped on here constantly saying.. i walked to a lamppost.. i walked to the shop...

So I hope to see you there, it will be cool to see what you are up to.
P.s = Twitter updates now appear on the right hand side of the blog, with thanks to Nechtan. Technology today heh!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Benefits Agency

I am a bit p*****d off at the moment. I just had the benefit agency back on the phone about my appointment. I explained the girl on the phone that I am getting a doctors letter and was advised that this would be enough, however, the girl on the phone was very rude and told me that this wasn't good enough. I basically told her that there is nothing I can do but send in the doctors letter but when i came off the phone i emailed the benefits agency direct....

I am writing regarding my appointment on Tuesday. I can't remember the exact time of the appointment. I think it is around 3pm. I explained to the women who called me that I would be unable to attend the interview due to my agoraphobia. Although she did try to arrange ways of me getting there I explained that, for the moment, this is beyond me. I haven't left my town in over 5 years. The only way I imagine being able to make the appointment would be in the company of a nurse or if i was sedated. I do not see myself being in a calm enough state to get to your office, let alone sit through an interview, no matter how quickly it was conducted.

I am however worried now. I have received another call and the girl on the phone didn't seem very pleasant. I know that many people don't have a great understanding of agoraphobia but I can spend a lot of my days very anxious and the phone calls have made me very uncomfortable indeed. I explained that my doctor is writing me a letter which will be handed into your office asap. I would have liked the letter to be handed in BEFORE the above appointment but unfortunately my doctor cant have it done so quickly. The first person I spoke to told me that this would be fine and would mean my benefits would not be affected. The girl who called today made it sound like I will probably lose my benefits as this letter doesn't cover me.

I thought that things were improving for people with mental health problems. I am upset and feel under a great deal of pressure because of all this. I understand completely that there are people out there who DO make fraudulent claims and that the benefit agency need to investigate everybody, but what can I do if i physically cannot get to the job centre. Who can I contact about this? Obviously I have spoken to the job centre and someone from your team but would i be better to phone Cadogan Street direct?

I look forward to any advice. In the current climate I cannot afford to lose my benefits which only just get me by as it is. I can provide letters from my doctor, my occupational therapist and other members of the CPN group. I am very upset on behalf of all agoraphobics who will be put through this and myself and my doctor are curious as to why a home visit hasn't been arranged? My assessment and medical took place in my home the last time and in the words of the man who carried out my medical 'I was completely entitled' being as I CANNOT go out (as much as i would love to) and CANNOT use transport to get me out of my own town, and haven't done for 5 years. Doing so would cause me a great deal of distress and I think it is extremely unfair that I am being asked to do this by someone who obviously doesn't understand the condition very well.

I ask for you help in this matter and really hope there is a solution. Any advice is very welcome.
Now having just written that letter the next part of my post may seem bizarre. I am saying to these people that I can't go out, which is true to an extent, but you guy's know I am working very hard at changing this. Unfortunately just because I can go a daily walk, or a drive around the local streets, it does not mean that I can now go out and get a job... wow i wish i could!!!
This is just a little update on my weekend. On Saturday night I did manage to get to the pub again. I went there with my brother and his girlfriend and ended up being invited into the function suite where a leaving party was being held. It was good i guess, i was proud and happy that I had made myself go instead of sitting at home, which i am much more used to doing. Of course I am trying to make this less of a habit. A few things i have noticed now though... I knew I had went off alcohol, in the past i enjoyed a drink and liked the feeling of being 'merry' but as the years have passed I am now less inclined to drink. I said before that I thought this might be because I don't like to feel a loss of control, but it is also because it would tend to guarantee a panic attack the next day. So on Saturday night i decided to face this little problem and got myself a vodka. I drank it pretty quick and felt it go straight to my head. I ordered the second and this time was more reluctant to drink it. I left it on the bar for quite a while, while i went and chose some songs on the juke box etc, but then when i finally went back to it my little anxious head wasn't up for it anymore. This time my mind was saying 'what if someone has put something in your drink'?. Young women are always told to keep an eye on their drinks, and it is probably unlikely that anyone would do that in my local pub but stranger things have happened and so the drink went untouched and I moved on to cokes. Has anyone else ever thought this way lol
The only other things i noticed on the night was that my conversation skills are seriously lacking! I used to chat away with strangers, made them laugh, i thought i was pretty funny before ha, but now i seem to dry up a bit. I guess it is down to years of being a home alone at the weekends. I am not worried about it though, as the night went on i did get a bit better at it and i think the more im in this situation the easier i will find the chatting. My only complaint about this night was when I bumped into people who DO know about my agoraphobia and the would look at me and tilt their head to the side and say 'aww its nice to see you, how are you feeling, are you ok'. I know they are only being nice but i felt about 10 years old. Inside i felt very strong and like i totally belonged there but then these people made me feel like i was a little delicate child who needed her hand held. Anyway thats not a criticism of their behaviour, just thought i would explain how i felt in case any of you had felt it too.
Anyway back to the above letter and situation, its really bothered me because now that I am going out I feel like I need to justify myself. 'Yes sir i can go out but only a little bit, Yes madam i have been out driving but im really not that good at it'. In the past I told myself.. ok I have only walked to the bottom of the street but WOW well done me!! Pat on the back. Happy face, i'd be bussing etc, but now im having to flip it round and made it sound like a negative to these people (where i know i am doing bloody well) . I think i may be ranting now and probably making no sense lol. Arrgghh, i am just going to forget about it and keep up with my work. If i lose my money so be it, my health and beating my agoraphobia is much more important. I have Luke's first communion coming up in future and am looking to book a meal in a restaurant for Gerry and I. Both big tasks which i am looking to take on over the coming months.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Agoraphobia Statistics & fighting my corner

My friend just brought the following website to my attention -

Apparently this shows the numbers of people who suffer from agoraphobia all over the world. I am shocked! Also he pointed out that this is just the recorded cases so imagine how many more there are!

Anyway thank you everyone for the comments about my new teeth. I have to say that Melissa shocked me by saying my picture made her want to get her teeth whitened again. I have never thought of my teeth as very white. I think the flash on that picture just done me a lot of favours haha. In the past i did use Crest Whitestrips for whitening and I would recommend them but don't think i will be able to use them much longer as they don't work on veneers and that's what ill be getting next. Oh well, no biggy.

I have had a fantastic week, well Sunday and Monday weren't that great actually. I was very anxious Sunday night/Monday morning. And my anxiety seems to be much worse if I don't know what is causing it. If i know i am over tired or have the flu, i accept the anxiety and can cope ok, but when it comes without warning (as it so likes to do) it can give me a bit of a fright. So that was the situation at the start of the week but luckily i forced myself out on my daily walk on Monday morning and it soon passed and so far has not returned.

The rest of the week was spent pushing the walks further and this has been a great success, once again I noticed that I am more and more comfortable doing this and can only put it down to the fact I do it daily and has become part of my routine. Now and then my old way of thinking kicks in when i attempt something new and tells me 'you shouldn't really be doing this' but most of the time I am able to ignore this and plod on anyway.

It is Friday night just now and I am pretty beat. I have had my friends dog everyday and as much as I love him he is very demanding. Our walks are great fun and I am enjoying the exercise but he is such a little attention seeker. He produces his paw constantly and gives me his sad eyes which tells me he wants petted and this goes on pretty much all day until he goes home. I admit i am getting pretty attached to him. Tomorrow night I am off out to the pub again. Is this becoming a regular haunt for me? Nah not really, it is just close to home and gets me out of the house. I am going with my sister in law and am actually looking forward to it. My confidence continues to grow.

This week i received a call about the benefit money I receive. At the moment I claim Incapacity Benefit and have done for several years. I think every year or so the big wigs have a look at your claim and want proof that you are still entitled to claim. I understand this and agree with it fully as i am sure there are many people out there with nothing wrong with them who are making fraudulent claims... but of course there are many people, like myself, who rely on this helping hand.

So this women called my house to tell me I need to attend an interview to assess my case. My mum answered the phone and explained that I was in bed and may be sleeping as I had just been to the dentist. Well this was a mistake. The women came on the phone and told me that since i had been to the dentist, I could obviously get out of the house and therefor i MUST attend my interview or my money will be stopped. I just went along with her and made the appointment with no intention what so ever of attending. The interview will take place in a completely different town from where I live. I was pretty tired when she called so I really wasn't in the mood to get into it. I did TRY to explain that i wouldn't make it but she just told me that I could get a taxi and they would pay for it. Oh well that makes it ok doesn't it. Ill be there with bells on... NOT!

So the following morning a bit more refreshed I called the women up. I explained that I would not be attending the interview, regardless of how quickly she can take me through it, regardless of her providing a taxi, what she was asking of me was NOT POSSIBLE. I explained to her that Yes, I HAD been to the dentist, but it is close to home, has taken me several years to get there and under no circumstances would i be putting myself in a hugely uncomfortable situation just for her to tick some boxes on a form. I also explained how i am trying very hard to get better, that I see an occupational therapist to get me used to going on car journeys but for the time being i would not be venturing to her office. I was angry that this women sitting behind a deak thought she could tell me what I am able to do. So because I can go to a local dentist, can I now travel the length and breadth of the country. No! Well she wasn't very impressed with me and she wasn't exactly pleasant either. She told me that I would need to get a letter from my doctor stating that I couldn't attend but she also advised me that my doctor probably wouldn't be willing to do this. I called my doctor and was asked why they are not willing to make a house visit. I told them a house visit wasn't offered and within 5 minutes my doctor had written up a letter to explain agoraphobia and say I wouldn't be attending. This letter was exactly what I needed and my benefit money will continue as normal. I hope no one thinks that I took the easy way out. I think that I stuck up for myself and felt really happy with the result. I am doing very well recently and the last thing i need is a traumatic car journey where I will associate being in the car with the panic i exterienced, i have only just began to associate being outdoors as being enjoyable again. I am not willing to sacrafice my hardwork for someone who knows nothing about our condition. But the moment I feel I am ready to attend such interviews, I will be there.

Lynn 1 - Women on the phone 0
(isn't my art work fabulous, I'm sure those muscly boxers will love what i have done to them)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


So this was my teeth before. I know you can see some flaws here... and the hole at the front, but this picture actually doesnt make it look that bad. Believe me it was far worse. But today was the day of my final appointment. This is the day I had been waiting for, when she would work on my 'smile' teeth. For the best part of ten years i have tried my best to hide my teeth. I never show them when i smile and I would cover my mouth when laughing etc. You can see them really badly in my first video post. My teeth looked awful and i almost never put the video on my blog.

I was nervous about today. I panicked in the waiting room the last time and so I had it in my head that this would happen again. I was dreading the numbness and the sudden panic I get when I first get the injection. I did panic in the end, but it was only small and I managed to keep myself relitively calm.

Here is my new smile. It might look weird cos i am not used to smiling this way at all but I thought you all deserved to see the end result since i have gone on about it so much ha. I find it very hard to believe that I dont have to cover up anymore. They are still not perfect but they never will be, I left them way too long without dental care, but I am very pleased with the outcome.

11 extractions
10 Fillings later.....

So after the dentist I spent the rest of the afternoon in the pub. My brother was in there so Gerry and I popped in for a few hours. It was nice to be out with Gerry. Doing something together instead of staying in doors or going one of those stressful drives. Then when we did go home he had a lovely dinner. So it has been a good day.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Charles Linden Defends himself

Who out there has tried the Linden Method?

I have seen adverts online by people who claim it cured them but I am always sceptical. The main problem I have had with this method is that it is quite expensive to buy and so many people simply cant afford it. There are far too many people out there willing to take money and con sick people with the offer of 'a cure', but i would choose never to write something off unless I have actually tried it myself. Therefore i couldn't give an accurate opinion on the success of this program

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because I was told about a forum conversation which has taken place where Charles himself has made an appearance. This is basically a long conversation where people try to challenge Charles and Charles has tried to explain how his method does actually make people well again.

It makes for interesting reading and I can see both sides to the argument but I do find it a little annoying that Charles has offered to help agoraphobics for free... but they need to travel to him. Does he not understand the condition.


Having read the conversation, would you like to try the Linden Method? Apparently he offers a money back guaranteee, hmmm

Sunday, 1 March 2009


I have added a music player to the page which will list some of my favourite songs. At the moment the music comes on automatically so if it bothers you please let me know and i'll make it stop lol... still trying to work out how to do that x

Huge Thanks To Melissa

The title says it all. I owe a massive thanks to Melissa who made my new colourful banner. It always makes me smile knowing that there are people out there who go out of their way to help you. Melissa has clearly taken the time to make me a beautiful banner but also sent me step by step instructions on how to add it to my blog. So i am very grateful and I think you will all agree she done a great job!

See Melissa's blog by clicking HERE.

A Little Observation

Not sure if you will have read Marie's latest post about requesting a blue badge due to her agoraphobia? I am actually quite surprised that this was refused. I actually thought that we agoraphobic's are becoming more accepted. Maybe accepted is not the word, perhaps i mean recognised. I was under the impression that people seem to know more about the condition than they did in the past.

While filling out some forms for Gerry's work the other day, it came to the health section. It asked the usual questions, for example, any history of heart attacks, diabetes etc and then the final question on the questionnaire... Do you suffer from agoraphobia?

I have to say this is the first time I have ever seen it on this type of from.

A New Map & and my past week

I was trying to make another map for D showing where i live, where the shops are, where the dentist is etc etc and found a way of making quite a detailed one using GoogleMaps. If you are interested you can have a look by clicking HERE. This map shows where my targets are and also where Gerry lives... So this the furthest point i am aiming for at the moment.

I was feeling a bit guilty at the start of the week. I had been walking but not often enough and not far enough for my liking. I think it is a good thing that I get guilty about this now, it gives me the push to get back out and do more. Monday and Tuesday I went on my usual walk but since Wednesday was the day Gerry would be returning from Canada I spent the day at home waiting for him. It was a waste of a day and I ended up spending way too much time on my own just thinking! He didn't arrive until the evening so really I could have been out and about before he arrived. On Thursday I slept till 2pm!! Again the guilt kicked in. I am in quite a good routine at the moment and am used to waking up early and going out, so waking up at 2 kind of wrecked my day. I did managed to pull myself together and make a quick trip to the shops but that was all for that day. On Friday feeling like my week was wasted and I hadn't made much progress I went out a massive walk. I pushed at several places and once again I took on streets that in the past I had avoided or been too nervous to face. My happiness returned.

It gave me my buzz back and I had been lacking that on the previous days. Gerry had a party to attend on the Friday night and so I sat at home alone and felt thoroughly bored! In the past I would rarely get bored at home and found many ways to entertain myself but this time i felt totally fed up. When I mentioned it to my dad he casually asked 'Would you like to go to the pub'?

I returned to my bedroom and wasn't sure what to do. As an agoraphobic I am so used to ruling things like that out. I'm not very spontaneous and it would be far too NORMAL for me to just decide to go out. That goes against my way of thinking. I thought about it for a while and eventually he shouted on me and told me he was leaving. So I basically ran after him and jumped in the car.

We went to the pub where I had to socialise with his friends. I didn't mind at all, it was nice to get out of the house. I was nervous though and for about 5 minutes I was very quiet and a bit wobbly in the legs. My dad wasn't drinking alcohol and since i am basically a non drinker now i opted for a coke. I was introduced to my fathers friends and said my hello's to people I already know. I then received a text from my brother who lives near by and it gave me the idea that I would just visit him. I explained to my dad and walked off alone for my brothers house. In there I had a nice time with him, his girlfriend (who is a close friend of mine) and my 2 nephews. By this time I was fully relaxed. On returning to the pub I was far more chatty, social and decided... well i think I will just have a little vodka. It didn't happen though, my dad wanted to move on to alcohol which meant taking the car back home and so he drove me home. I wasn't ready to go home though and so I walked to the house of a family friend. I sat there for an hour or so and when she was ready for her bed I went home. Well i was buzzing. Look at me spending a night like a 'normal' person. Doing 'normal' things. And look at me basically doing it on my own with no one to rely on but me. It was nice to know that while Gerry was off out having fun, i wasn't stuck indoors waiting on him. I was out having fun of my own.

After very little sleep i went straight to the local church in the morning. As i have mentioned before My mum makes handmade cards and sells them once a month at the church sale. This time i went to help out and set up a little table of my own full of old books, DVDs, Cd's etc. The sale only lasted about 3 hours but i stood there and felt fine. I was very proud, as was my mum.

I got home and slept for 3 hours. I was totally beat. I had thought I would be seeing Gerry but he called saying he had a hangover and wouldn't be over. So i sent a few texts to see if anyone wanted to do anything. I got a reply from my sister in law saying she was home and would like me to go round. So i got myself in a bath, got dressed and called a taxi!!! I went round to hers and was there for about 4 hours. While there i decided I would like something to eat so just walked to the local chip shop, on my own. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when i realise what i have done. Once again an enjoyable night. She dropped me off about an hour ago and that's me all snug in bed.

I know most people who read this have problems with panic attacks or agoraphobia. I sometimes wonder if i am doing really little things and people are thinking to themselves... well she isn't actually doing anything that great. I just have to say, as I have done before, that although these trips and things may be small to some people, they really are a huge achievement to me. My agoraphobic brain still tells me i shouldn't be doing this stuff, that it should be too difficult or that I should just stay home. So it is a bit of shock when I see that after my years of sitting in my bedroom wishing i could do these things... it is actually happening.