Last Tuesday I wrote buzzing with the excitement of my latest driving lesson. I was so thrilled that I had finally made it into Paisley town centre, and minutes from Gerry's house. I noticed that although the panic does come, if i ride it out and not bolt from it, it soon passes and i feel ok. I was filled with confidence and looking forward to the next few days or getting out and about and doing more and more. It didn't work out like that. Once again I am left relying on other people and i realised that i was still stuck. As i don't have my full driving licence I need to have an insured driver in the passenger seat. No one was available. Wednesday and Thursday I was so down. I was frustrated and even slightly depressed. I was sitting around the house itching to go places but with friends and family all at work or doing other things i wasn't able to do anything. I knew it wasn't always going to be like that though. I continued my walks, my daily routine but i wanted more.
On Friday I had a meeting with a new Occupational Therapist called David. It was your typical first meeting, lots of chatting and going over my history but i have a lot of confidence in David. As much as my usual OT Karen is helpful and patient, we don't actually do anything together. We go a quick drive, within my limit, and then i get dropped back home again. Karen doesn't really push me and i think in the past this might be what I have needed. Although to be honest i probably wasn't ready to be pushed and would have just avoided seeing her. David told me how we will be approaching my issues over the next few weeks/months. He said the first few meetings will be purely educational. Although i know about anxiety and agoraphobia he wants to cover all the bases so he knows we are on the same page. From there we will head out. David will take me to places where I will panic. He said that if we do something and I am not nervous during it, then it means that the task is too easy and I need to do more. In the past I would have been terrified by him, but now i am ready to take it on, i look forward to trying even more new things and having his support when i do so.
On Saturday morning i got up early and headed off to our local church. Once again it was time for my mums card sale which I have mentioned in the past. She hasn't been very well the last few weeks so asked me to do it for her. Off i went with a suitcase filled with cards, set up the stall and got to work. The sale is extremely busy with people packed into this hall and trying to grab a bargain. I managed to get a bargain for myself. 4 handmade rings from Kenya made of fishbone. A little unusual i guess but i love them and they were so cheap.
Sunday was spent with me working in the garden but that night my mum asked me if i wanted to do the weekly shop on the Monday. Hmmm our local Asda is a little bit away and also I wasn't 100% sure how i would feel in a massive supermarket. I was worried and I did fret about it the night before but I knew that no matter how i felt i wouldn't avoid it. I would at least drive to the supermarket and see how i felt once i was there. My dad came with me and once i parked up i thought 'well I'm here now, i may as well go on'. I was shaky, a little hyper too but i soon calmed down and enjoyed the shop. To be honest I let my dad get on with the food shop and I set off on my own to see the clothes or other goodies on offer. I tried to think of things I have needed or wanted but have never had the opportunity to try. And then i remembered Sushi! I have never tried Sushi! and so i set off and got it and, well sorry sushi fans, but it wasn't really to my taste. And wow the Wasabi, nearly blew my head off!! I went home and dropped of the bags and then took my mum to her doctors appointment. Once home Gerry came over and decided he was hungry so i took him for a McDonalds! It was easy. This is all so bizarre. I did take a pic of Asda but it doesn't really show its size. This place is massive. I don't think you can even see half of it in this picture. My nerves were very up and down but i guess this is what we need to go through to prove to ourselves we can handle these situations.
This morning i set off on my 6th driving lesson. This time as my appointment approached I wasn't as nervous as I was last week (still nervous!!... only not as much). I drove directly into Paisley town centre without mentioning where we were going once. Even Archie the instructor said he couldn't believe the change in me and that he noticed we drove there without any complaint from me at all. In past lessons i have moaned, suggested turning back...and even cursed at him. I'm sure he enjoys our lessons haha. I drove further again and before i knew it we were miles away in a completely different county. When there i felt my hands sweat. I knew that if i panicked i was now miles away from home and it would take me a fair amount of time to get back, but i just tried to put it out of my head and focus on the driving. It worked.