Sunday, 1 March 2009

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.

10 comments:

Jason said...

Good job lynn. You can only measure your progress against yourself. What might be tough for one of us, is impossible for another.

For me, those distances are within my new comfort zone. I'm not sure how you did that map, or I'd show you the drives I've been making lately. But the thing for me is the social stuff on top of being away from home. The church for instance, would be well within my comfort zone, but I'd really struggle with sitting there for a long time selling things.

diver said...

" ... people are thinking to themselves ..."
--------------------------------------

Errr. The only thing your post made me think was that you're dealing with the core of your agoraphobia marvellously ... by which I mean that pesky conditioned irrational anticipatory anxiety that makes you 'automatically rule things out'.

It's as though you now know you can handle the outside if you stay within reasonable limits and not get bullied into doing things you're uncomfortable with ... these fits of spontaneity you're having seem to be reinforcing your confidence time and time again.

As Mr Burns would say, "Excellent ..."

Lynn said...

Haha 'excellent' i like that diver. I actually pictured him rubbing his hands! Jason i know exactly what you mean. I feel like i could work on the distance but there is more than only that which needs to be worked on. Its like you said, there are places that are within your comfort zone that you can easily travel to, but the touch part is staying in thee for a few hours. I guess its like everything , practice makes perfect!

Jason said...

Oh, well said diver! I was trying very hard to find those words. That really is the heart of it.

Lynn said...

Jason do you have your own blog? WOuld u not consider making one. You always sound quite positive. It might benefit you, i know mine gives me a reason to try a bit harder. Plus you could draw up some maps. I could explain it to you, its pretty easy.

Jason said...

Heres a quick map of my area if it interests ya. The grass is obviously greener over there.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&msa=0&z=13&msid=117939634046990600085.000464056750f8856633f

Lynn said...

Jason that didnt seem to work for me. Where are you from? I dont know why but i thought u were in the states. That map took me to England.

Jason said...

bummer. Yeah, I'm in the states. And I have thought of doing a blog, so maybe I'll look into that tonight.

Nioniel said...

Looks like you've had a fantastic week overall. The distance will come over time, but your confidence is growing and that's the important thing right now.

Martha Langley said...

Anxiety disorders are astonishingly common. They include Panic, Phobias (including Agoraphobia and Social Phobia), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. For many people self-help is a viable way forward and this is why we wrote our book Free Yourself from Anxiety. We aim to show you, step-by-step, how to set up and follow an individually tailored self-help programme.

Part one looks at lifestyle, because very often the way you live is contributing to Anxiety. By making simple changes you can get yourself fit and ready to tackle your Anxiety driven behaviours.

Part two shows you how to challenge your Anxiety in a safe controlled way, by setting small goals that take you gradually towards letting go of anxious behaviours.

Part three shows you how to recognise your anxious thinking, challenge it, and ultimately change it.

Part four explains how to delve into some of the deeper issues that may be driving Anxiety. We also suggest where it might be appropriate for you to seek professional help.

Our aim in this book is to be as comprehensive as possible. Each reader will be able to decide which aspects of the recovery programme they need to complete and which are not relevant to them. In addition we have only discussed proven safe techniques.

Throughout the book we have used the words of Anxiety sufferers who are in various stages of recovery to illustrate our points

The authors

Emma Fletcher is a UK-registered counsellor with 20 years experience of helping anxiety sufferers and of training counsellors and volunteers on anxiety help-lines. She remains firmly committed to the self-help principle and believes that much of her work consists of giving her clients the tools to enable them to live more effectively. This book is an attempt to bring those tools to a wider audience.

Martha Langley is a professional writer and journalist. She has more than 10 years experience as a volunteer on helplines for people dealing with Anxiety and has also been a one-to-one mentor and recovery group leader. This has given her an insight into the difficulties faced by people trying to put self-help techniques into practice. Her aim in Free Yourself from Anxiety was to explain these techniques, to explain the reasoning behind them, and to make practical suggestions that will give every reader the best chance of recovery.

Free Yourself From Anxiety ISBN 978-1- 84528-311-7 is available from bookshops, book websites and Amazon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Free-Yourself-Anxiety-Self-help-Overcoming/dp/1845283112/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233135806&sr=1-1