Last time I wrote I mentioned something about a job. Well unfortunately this didn't materialise. I had heard about a vacancy through a friend and was very interested but in the end the company didn't create the position. Shame. More and more lately I have been thinking about getting back into work. For 3 reasons i suppose. Firstly, it would be nice to earn some decent money. Secondly, it would be a healthy routine, a confidence booster, a step back into society. And Thirdly, because it would be a good place to meet people.
I have spoken before about how agoraphobia can affect friendships. I was lucky enough to keep 3 best friends throughout my housebound years. Ok, maybe I could walk to the end of my street for a few years, but social events were impossible. I kept my friendships going through phone calls or weekly visits from my friends. Perhaps not weekly, but often enough. I expected that when I got my life in order, and started to go out, it would be exciting and I would enjoy lots of days out with my friends. I would busy, socialising and living the life i had missed for the best part of 8 years. It hasn't really worked out that way. My friend's have made lives of their own now. They are living with partners, or working, or raising children and I don't fit into that on a daily basis. Yeh there are still phone calls but I have noticed that I am not invited to social events. Do they just forget to ask me as they got so used to me saying no in the past? I know there are more reasons than this, for example one friend has a controlling boyfriend who doesn't really want her to have friends and the other is a workaholic so rarely goes out anyway. But basically its been very difficult for me.
What can I do to fill my days? I call friends and suggest that I pop by for a visit, but i am met with reasons why i cant. I walk alone. I go driving. I cant keep going shopping as ill be left penniless. And so it seems that I am ready to look for a job. Easier said than done. In the past I always got any job that I went for. The problem at the moment is that there are no jobs available. No one is hiring. So i looked for another solution. I don't actually know what made me think of the gym. I successfully changed my diet about a year and a half ago which resulted in me losing lots of weight, feeling better and become much healthier, but I have never really been a fan of exercise. The gym to me seemed like my idea of hell if I'm honest. But last week I had the thought that it would at least give me something to do with my time, and ill be getting healthy in the process....and wow i might even meet people!
So last Tuesday i joined the local gym. I was given my induction and left to get on with it. I have been everyday since. I love it! I have gone alone, or Angela has come with me which is great. We have now both become members and are really getting into it. I am not going to become obsessed with it and will take days off when ever i feel like it, but at the moment I'm enjoying my day having a bit of purpose. It also feels good that I have done this for myself. I get up and get myself ready then head of to the gym. I feel independent and I like it. As for meeting people, well the gym is not the ideal place. Once inside everyone is so focused on whichever machine they are using, the kind of tune out to everything that's happening around them, i do too now. And so this might not be the answer to that particular problem but i enjoy it none the less. In the mean time whenever i see another girl my age working out i give a friendly smile, of course they probably think I'm strange or even lesbian but maybe they might just think I'm a nice person lol.
And so the job hunt will continue and i will obviously keep you up to date on that. I'm not sure if it would be too soon to take on work, but i tell myself that it only has to be a few hours somewhere. Break myself in easily.
Panic has still not returned. I actually don't remember the last time I had a panic attack. This doesn't mean i don't dread them. Yes i know i shouldn't live in fear of them, but you cant help worry. If it does come i think I am strong enough now that i will accept that it has happened and then move on, continue as normal. In the past a bad panic attack would have me locked in my room for almost 2 weeks until i was ready to face some sort of normality. The only time I have come close was on Friday when I took my mum for her weekly food shop. We were in a huge supermarket and I felt a little dizzy, but i get that often so didn't let it bother me. it was while waiting at the check out i felt the urge to leave and the wave of panic rise through my body. I refused to move though and told myself that this little wobble was a good thing. We need to feel the fear and stay put. Every time we do this, we become a little stronger. And of course it passed.
I wont be naive and think i am panic free. I accept that this may be with me for life. But i hope that I will deal with it far better than I did in the past and just keep on going. I think it is possible with a positive mindset and good support. Which hopefully I have.