Wednesday, 6 May 2009

New Download Available & More News

Last Friday I met with my new Occupational Therapist David again. I was giving LOTS of paperwork and a relaxation cd. I haven't listened to the CD yet but I am going to put it in the download folder if anyone wants to try it out. Just click the username is and the password is blogger. Also for those of you who don't know there are other downloads available there like Paul McKenna and the Linden Method.

So it was last Tuesday when i last wrote and I have more to tell. Gerry and i had been out for a meal, which i told you about and on the Wednesday we went out for food again. We went to the local pizza hut first but we had missed the buffet so Gerry wasn't a happy chappy haha, so we went for a pub lunch near by. It was delicious and i had a nice day out with him. Thursday was quieter. I went for a drive and popped into visit a friend but it was the weekend that was most exciting for me.

On Friday I had another successful driving lesson. We headed into Paisley, the place i used to dread most of all, but i drove there with no question and enjoyed my lesson. On Saturday we ventured back to Pizza Hut and this time we stayed. It was enjoyable but more of a challenge as it was VERY busy and we had to wait 15 minutes for a table. Queues and waiting have never been a strong point of mine but i just tried to read over the menu and talk to Gerry as distraction. It worked and the meal went well. From there I went back to Asda the big supermarket. It was less than a week ago that I had gone there with my dad and felt a little nervous but this time i wandered around happily with no nerves at all. I do think that positive thinking helps and obviously building your confidence.

Sunday was the big day. Sunday actually blew me away and by the end of it my head was all over the place. I got up and decided to take Luke swimming. I was excited at the thought of doing something for him as there have been so many years we have just spent time together in doors. He was thrilled at the idea so i packed our bags and headed for the pool. Luke didn't have him swim shorts so I had to drive to his house in a different town. He has lived there for 8 years and I have never seen his home! So it was very exciting to me to finally see where my brilliant boy lives.

We got to the swimming, again in this completely different town, and i was ok until we got pool side. We walked in and I was hit with this heat. It was very humid and it took my breath away for a second. Also since Luke is disabled i had to undress him and myself, so knew that If i felt panic and the need to run it was going to be awkward. Thankfully once i got out of my heavy clothes i cooled down and was able to breathe easily. We splashed around together for about an hour and had a total ball. I did notice my co-ordination in the pool was shocking. I didn't have the chance to go for a proper swim because i had Luke but i am definetaly out of practice!

From the swimming we drove to Burger King for a drive through meal. What a very normal day. Hmmm.... but it goes on.

Back at home i got myself ready and decided to go a drive with Gerry. The sun was shining and i was feeling good from the mornings swim so we headed off and before i knew it I had driven to Gerry's house. I think you all know how important this was for me. I really wanted to get there for so long, well it is almost a year since we met. Gerry was very very proud and was even more surprised when i told him i wanted to go inside. I spent sometime in his flat, rooting through his cupboards and drawers, learning about where my fiance lives. It seemed so bizarre that I had never been there before and it was nice to see where my other half spends his time when we are not together. After a while I said we should drive around town, it was time for me to see whats changed in the past 8 years.

I have noticed that my new problem is that I need to be the one driving the car to go anywhere. It means that I'm the one in control and the driving acts as a great distraction from the places my thoughts can sometimes go. But on Sunday i told Gerry he could drive for a change, i wanted to drive around the town and relax, enjoy the ride. We drove around and to be honest not that much had changed a great deal. Obviously there are new buildings here and there, shops with new names etc but my own village has changed more than Paisley.

I then suggested it was time to meet his parents. Yip I hadn't met them yet. I had an idea where they lived. I thought it was close to where I had taken some driving lessons but i was wrong. We seemed to be driving for a long time until we were in part of the town that I didn't recognise at all. I actually don't think I have ever been there and eventually i completely lost my bearings. But it was so bizarre because i just didn't care, I just got on with it. And so finally i met Gerry's folks. A really lovely couple who gave me a warm welcome and made me feel completely at ease in their home. They have no idea about my agoraphobia, Gerry has never told them for whatever reason, but they wouldn't have known anyway as i was relaxed and chatted away easily enough.

We left there late in the afternoon and Gerry asked if i would like to go meet a couple who he is friends with. I said Yes with no hesitation at all and even though the day was already going well i think he was a bit surprised. I did ask how long it would take to drive there so i must have been a little more anxious at this point but he said they lived 2 minutes away so i was fine with that. Well he lied lol. The drive took longer than that, or maybe an agoraphobics 2 minutes seems longer? But it felt like 10 minutes to me. Finally we got there and i met Andy and Fiona, a lovely couple who had been looking forward to meeting me ever since Gerry told them about me a year ago.

It was now dinner time and i was starving! There was somewhere I have always wanted to go for dinner but had never managed before. A small village called Houston in the opposite direction of Gerry's house. I drove there and did feel more anxious by now but was determined not to give in and just go for it. We had the more gorgeous meal together. Gerry enjoyed a few glasses of wine and some of there own brewed beer. When we got home i was totally exhausted. I was happy but as i settled into bed my mind started racing. Its as though it just doesn't understand whats going on. It is struggling to keep up with me. When that happens I do start to feel anxious again, but i just remind myself of how far i have come lately and if i had the strength to get out there and fight once, then i have it in me to do it again.

I'm sorry if this blog has been long winded but i wanted to show people just how much progress has jumped lately. I would say Sunday was the first day where I have travelled with no limits, no majorly negative thoughts, no anxiety and no worries since i first became agoraphobic. This has happened totally out of dedication and perseverance. Someone recently asked me how Gerry has been feeling about all these changes and thankfully he has been superb. He supports me 100%, is very proud and tells me this often and also we argue much less as our relationship is basically working the way he always wanted it to. He said he feels like part of a 'normal' couple now. So i am happy that he has been patient for a year and I think he is too, it seems that his patience had paid off. On Saturday I have the first major family day out to attend. Well the first in about 8 years, Luke's communion, So i will let you know how it goes.


Louis said...

Hi there from Tennessee and congratulations again. It seems to me that you could start saying you have a slight problem with panic now because i do not think you have agoraphobia any longer.
In case you have not tried it yet you may want to make a new effort on identifying triggers to see if you have any subconscious ones like I do. They are a real irritant until you get them under control. And you are obviously ready to get everything under control. I am proud for you.

Nioniel said...

Wow! Well done! I know how much it must have meant to you to finally visit Gerry's home and meet his parents, not to mention all the other things you have managed to do!

I'm so pleased for you, all your hard work is paying off, and it gives the rest of us hope that this really can be overcome in time.

diver said...

Hi Lynn. Interesting what you said about driving, control, and distraction. I used to be like that too; also a total chain smoker while driving ... must have been burning nerves or something?

I had to read the part about going to Gerry's house twice - thought it was a misprint at first; and meeting his parents and friends too ... wow Lynn, all this normality is so exciting I think. I'm very happy for you and so glad to see you enjoying it!