Wednesday, 25 November 2009

OK, This isnt funny anymore!

It really isn't!

After my tarot reading on Friday I had a very quiet weekend. We are having the most horrendous weather here at the moment and Gerry was doing overtime on 'Flood watch' so i basically stayed at home with my nephews. Nice and relaxing.

On Monday i was back into my routine, sleep, gym, shops, home, dinner, maybe see Gerry. This i can cope with. This is normality for me at the moment. Remember I was saying that I don't really like to do things in the spur of the moment, how i like to plan things? Well Gerry rung me as I arrived at the gym on Monday and told me we were going for a drive. Yes, he TOLD me. Well being told what to do doesn't really bode to well with me. I need time to mentally prepare, so a big old domestic soon kicked off. I point blank refused to go for a drive. I told him that i had already made plans and I wasn't about to jump just because Gerry had decided he fancied a drive.

Sometimes i think i must sound like a total bitch. Poor Gerry. A year and a half he has put up with this crap and yet somehow hes still here. Anyway, on Monday night i took time to reflect and i felt utterly miserable. How frustrating that I want so much more out of life but just cant do it yet. The easy answer to that would be..... well just do it then! But it ain't that easy, as you know. I decided a bold gesture was needed. I text Gerry and told him that I would go and stay over night at his house this Saturday. I figured if i mentally prepared myself I just might cope. Yeh i knew that I may panic, but told myself that even if i did, i would ride it out. I also prepared Gerry for all the eventualities. I told him that if i really couldn't calm myself and HAD to leave then he must drive me home immediately. I explained that I may have to go into another room and be on my own and that i might be really rotten company. But Gerry was delighted, excited and talked about what we would do, what he would cook. I don't think I have really seen him so eager for any anything. All the while i was getting more and more nervous and telling myself that i could not let him down. I actually got really upset when i imagined telling him I wouldn't be able to go.

Tonight it is now Wednesday and its cinema night for Gerry and I. For the past 3 weeks we have gone to the cinema and each time we have seen a random movie that neither of us has been that bothered about but this week we finally had a movie we both wanted to see, 'New Moon'. The sequel to 'Twilight' looked quite good so we set off to the cinema and I was pretty happy. We got inside and found our seats and i was still nice and calm but prepared myself for the crazy thoughts to eventually come. I hoped that i would be so into the movie this time that i wouldn't even have those thoughts, but that wasn't the case. The thoughts came, the usual ones where i imagined panicking etc, but i sat in my seat and focused on the movie. Then the sweaty palms begin... hmmm OK lovely, eyes on the movie. Heart begins to pound!...Ok this is new, it hasn't gotten this bad in previous weeks. Panic Attack... and breathe. Now was a good time for me to go to the loo. I told Gerry i felt unwell and was going to try calm myself. I went into the loo's feeling very dizzy and that detached feeling was taking over, you know when nothing seems quite real. I ran my hands and wrists under the cold tap.... and breathe.

Feeling slightly less panicked I still didn't want to go back into the room yet. I needed to come down some more. So i went outside and had a cigarette. I looked at my car and reminded myself that if i really wanted to leave, i would be home quick enough. Still not quite calm i phoned a friend and as we chatted i seemed to come back to earth a little. I was aware though that i was taking quite a while by now and Gerry must have been wondering where I was. I stood in the lobby and chatted some more until i seen Gerry looking for me. Oops. This is exactly what I didn't want. I was annoyed at myself for missing the movie but no way did I want Gerry to miss out. Sadly Gerry didn't want to sit and watch it alone and said we would be as well just leaving.

The problem with leaving, was that I have constantly told myself that if i am anxious, i will ride it out. That the worst thing to do is flee the situation. That will only make it hard to face when u want to go back to that place. The other problem with leaving was the guilt. The guilt of causing Gerry to miss the movie. Well i think those thoughts were too much for my already anxious brain to handle. Panic didn't slowly rise from 1 to 10 this time. It hit me full on with a 10 on the arrghh scale. Gerry went to the loo and it flipped between a 9 and a 10 but never went below that. I was at the stage where if he didn't hurry up i was gonna have to shout on him.... no SCREAM on him!

He appeared phew and i marched to the car. Do i drive/do i let him drive/can i drive/what if its worse as i drive/i might crash/ will he drive quickly enough. I threw him the keys. He drove home at the speed limit but while in the passenger seat i composed myself. I realised that in a whole year and a half, Gerry had never seen me panic like this. It wasn't fun at all. I got home and settled quite quickly but the guilt remains. And i cant help being totally disappointed with myself. I haven't given up before but i know i have never panicked so severely recently.

Its just not funny anymore! How loooong is this process?? A year now i have been battling away. I try to remind myself just how far i have come but really its a struggle. 28 years of age and I am living with my parents. I don't want to be in this house. I want to be with Gerry, in our own place. Living our lives together. I am so frustrated but i am grateful for the frustration at times. In the past I wouldnt have had these ambitions, and i was happy to sit in my room week after week, year after year. But now i WANT a life. And i used to tell myself, so what if you panic, it will pass and you will stick it out. But tonight i didn't stick it out. Tonight my head was filled with total urgency. MOVE. NOW. MUST. GET. HOME!

And so Saturday night at Gerry's place is off for now :(. I just don't think its a good idea. I don't want to scare myself and end up suffering weeks of anxiety. I think i need to go back to the 'baby steps' approach. I was so scared about telling him and letting him down. I even feared he would call the whole relationship off. I just felt that I managed to JUST keep myself together tonight knowing that I could be home relatively quickly, but know i wouldn't cope quite as well being at Gerry's which is about 4 times further away than the cinema. And so i text him the bad news, asked him if he wanted to leave me and braced myself for tears.....

'I will never leave you Lynn. I love you. We will do this in stages and get there eventually'

So I cried anyway ha.

Friday, 20 November 2009

My Visit To The White Witch

I have just returned from an appointment with a white witch who read my tarot cards.

I know there will be a lot of sceptics out there, but I would say I am quite a spiritual person and this kind of thing has always interested me. I had a few readings in the past, about 10 years ago, and so I was eager to see what I would be told, since the past 10 years have been pretty eventful.

Eventful might not be the best way to describe Agoraphobia, because the past 10 years have involved a lot of sitting around doing nothing. A lot of boredom, and a lot of time in my bedroom. But on a mental level this was obviously a massive part of my life. I am going to write as much as i can remember from my reading, basically so i can remember it all while its still fresh.

So I sat down and Jackie told me a bit about herself and how she is a white witch, she explained the tarot cards to me, and before I was told to shuffle the pack, she immediately told me something. 'I am sensing that you are very empathetic, you can read people very well. But not only this. Other people's emotions affect your emotions, and this isnt always necessarily a good thing. It isnt always nice to walk into a room and know immediately what someone is thinking about you'. 'Do you know you are an empath'?

I have now googled this and here is the description of an empath.

It is the ability to not only read energy, but to literally feel its effects within your own body. In other words 'to energetically empathise with another'. In short when someone has an experience to which they have a physical or emotional reaction, you instantly 'get it'. When a person is said to be an 'Unconscious Empath', it simple means that they are not schooled in that particular psychic ability, and they are a walking 'psychic energy sponge'.

Hmmm ok. I did always think I was an excellent judge of character and that I can read people very well emotionally, but never thought there was anything psychic about that. Anyway... I shuffled the pack and Jackie dealt the cards. She then went on to say that my cards were showing lots of creativity. She said I am very artistic and I am bursting with creativity. I have never ever thought that I was artistic in anyway! She said that there are usually 2 types of people. Either you are very artistic or you are very academic. But that in my case my cards were showing a great deal of both. She said I am very intelligent (no laughing please). That's all very nice to hear but I really still didn't agree with the artistic thing but she kept on about it and all i could think about was.... my blog??? I really don't know what she was getting at.

It continued in this way for a while. Jackie saying that I am creative and that I need to express this in some way, and that I have an exciting offer coming my way regarding this. She mentioned a promotion but since i don't have a job, that seems unlikely. Whatever, she was telling me nice positive things so I wasn't complaining. Maybe something will come my way? I am certainly looking.

She showed me the cards which represented my past and I have to say they were the most dull and miserable cards on the table. Right at the bottom of them though was the death card. I have always known this card to be positive. The death card usually means the end of something and a new beginning. So it seemed the cards were saying I have had a hard time in the past, even an awful time, but that this is coming to an end. Jackie said she could see that I was working hard to better this situation and that I was continuing to fight. Well I can only assume this is the anxiety and she could see how hard I have been working to get over it. She advised me to keep at it because i will get where i want to be. Regarding my past she never mentioned any specific problem but said it seemed like a depression, but my lips were sealed.

On my personality she said I am a very caring person. That I am very independent and determined. In the past I wouldn't have said i was determined but i guess after the last year this has changed somewhat so maybe she was correct with that. She explained that I need time on my own and that I need my own space. Well this is very correct.

Love life. She mentioned a male in my life who was a fire sign i think. Leo, Aries or Sagittarius. Well as far as I am aware Gerry is none of those signs but everything else she said about the male makes me think that it has to be him. She also done a reading on Gerry, the basic theme being.....

Gerry and I are soul mates. We have finally met our match in each other. He can be a very positive person. He is very ambitious and wants to be the boss. He wants to provide for me and give me everything I want out of life. We will not part. We both want the same things out of our future (true) and we have a very happy future ahead of us. Gerry is very stubborn and doesn't like being told he is wrong. It is Gerry's way or no way at all (i laughed when she said that). She said he needs to understand my Independence and not take things so personally. She asked if something had happened in his past to make him so insecure (i asked him that exact question). She said he is completely in love with me. He thinks I am the best thing in the world and that there is no one better (i didn't really agree with that, hes certainly never told me that). She showed me a card with sticks and she said that is Gerry beating people around you away. He wants you all to himself. haha so true!!! She told me that he has a surprise planned for me round about Christmas time (emmm a gift maybe??) but she did say it was something special, so perhaps not just a material gift. She asked if we are trying for a baby and said she sees us receiving good news about this in August next year.

Emmmm i think that's about it really. It was a very positive reading and it made my future sound quite rosy. She did say if she seen anything bad she would tell me about it, but thankfully nothing was mentioned. We ended our reading with her again talking about my psychic ability. She told me to buy some tarot cards and practice at home. She said I will learn to use my ability better then and that I wasn't ready before (she somehow knew i had bought tarot cards in the past).

So it was a nice little night out for me and my friend Angela. I didn't learn anything very specific but its nice to hear that Gerry and I are good for each other. I know i don't need someone else to tell me this but its still nice to hear. Oh and obviously we are engaged but the 2 of cups was one of my cards regarding Gerry and apparently that's it was all good.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Luke and Gordon Ramsay

Finally got a picture.

Apparently the meal was lovely but Luke went all shy and hardly spoke even though Gordon chatted with him for ages. Typical ha.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

An Eventful Couple of Days

The other night when i wrote my blog I wasn't very happy with it.

I thought it sounded negative. Maybe it didn't but i definitely felt negative! Since then I have really pushed myself and had a busy couple of days.

I have ran lots of errands and I'm happy to say that Gerry and I went to the cinema. Admittedly i did dread it at first but in the end I had a lovely night and really enjoyed myself. When we got home I told him what the trip was really like for me. On the outside I looked happy and relaxed but on the inside it was totally different. Probably for the first 45 minutes of the movie i have having really negative thoughts. My head was a roller coaster of 'What if i panic', 'Gerry will have to carry me to the car', 'What if i totally freak out and can't make it stop', 'oh no i need to drive home from here' etc etc. It didn't scare me, just really annoyed me. I was trying to watch a movie and this little niggle in my head was just inconvenient. I ignored the thoughts because I knew they were completely irrational. So what if I did panic? I knew I would be totally fine and that it would pass. My driving lessons have proved this. I have been much further from home that the cinema, panicked, and then been ok! Then something inside me just clicked into place and I completely relaxed. No more thoughts, just watched the end of the movie. (which was Jennifer's Body and just average).

As always I have been to the gym, and today I had a doctors appointment. Feeling much more upbeat i headed to the doctors where i was due to meet my mum. Mum wasn't there. I do lots of things on my own, so i wasn't too worried. From there I went to the library to pick up some books. The anxiety hit me in there. The thoughts. Awww how annoying! I ignored them again and although I wanted to leave and go to the car I refused to allow it and continued looking for a good book.

Finally tonight Gerry and I went to get some take away food for dinner. I was driving this time. it was already dark out, and I managed to drive into a massive hole in the road. Gerry had a nice moan but I didn't see the big deal. 'It will wreck your wheels' he was saying. 'Whatever' i thought. We drove to the restaurant and then got back in the car to head home. My car felt very strange. If i had been on my own i would have just kept on driving. Just shows how much I know about cars. Gerry knew the probably immediately that I had a flat tyre! When he told me the problem I just kept on driving until he explained that i couldn't DRIVE the car any further...

Well isn't that just an agoraphobics dream? Fantastic. We were stranded. Gerry started pottering about in the boot looking for a Jack and getting out my spare tyre. Oh yeah, i forgot those were there and that they are used on this occasion. So basically I am stuck in a car park, in the dark, in the rain, with no way top get home and I need to stand here while he changes a tyre....'HOW LONG IS THAT GONNA TAKE'. Gerry and I had a few minutes of screaming at each other. Him blaming me for my rubbish driving and me screaming because?? I don't know, because it was my idea of hell i suppose. I ran over my options. Phone my dad and ask him to come get us, which would leave my car there. Or phone a taxi. I decided I would wait with Gerry while he seen to the tyre. I was actually really calm. Only a few times did I think 'oh crap this is so not ideal' but i was ok really. Now most of you will know the name of the thing that you use to unscrew the nuts on the wheel, i don't, but anyway, mines was rubbish and wouldn't work so i had to call my dad. At this point my mum answered and in a flash of anxiety I had a go at her. It went a bit like this.

Me - Mum can you get Dad, i have broken down

Mum - Oh your kidding, have you really

Me- (anxiety starts) YES REALLY can you get dad

Mum - What happened?

Me - Mum can you just get dad please, i need him to come pick us up

Mum - Oh i don't know, your dads a bit busy at the moment and hes not in a good mood


Dad came, type still couldn't be fixed. Got driven home. Went straight in and apologised to my mother and explained that I lost it due to anxiety. We had our food and then headed back down with the proper tools. Tyre changed and home safe and sound.

A couple of days in the life of an agoraphobic. Fun times.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

On the Road again

Hello to all of you, i hope you are well!

Whats been happening lately? Well its been a couple of weeks since I wrote and I had a lovely spell of anxiety for a while.

I think I know what caused it. I had mentioned before that my boyfriend and I have been house hunting, but we have discovered that its probably not the ideal time to selling his house and buying another, what with the credit crunch and all that. I was very disappointed as i finally felt ready to move out of the family home and get on with my future. It seems like madness that Gerry has a gorgeous flat sitting there, instead of trying to buy somewhere together, I should just live there! If only life was that simple.

I have said before that Gerry lives in a completely different town. It is beyond my comfort zone and I feel i would be stuck in this new town with nothing much to do. Since i still don't have my driving licence, i couldn't drive to and from my parents house in another town on my own. Gerry does love in an area that has better shops, parks, and pubs etc. But i still think i would feel nervous walking around this new territory on my own. Of course I would be with Gerry a lot but what about when I'm alone. Ok writing this now i realise i sound very very negative. But i think when I realised we couldn't simply buy a house in my town and have a lovely Christmas in our new home, i was very disappointed. But on top of that I started to feel nervous again. I realised that the pressure was back on! Now i need to try constantly to improve my driving and get myself over to Gerry's house as soon as possible. He isn't going to wait forever!

So yes it affected me in the form of anxiety and also a few panic attacks. I was in bed one night when i suddenly started to focus on my breathing. Why do we do this to ourselves? As soon as you start to focus on your breathing too much it goes weird. Before i knew it I was obsessing over the fact I couldn't get a full breath. This is probably because i was so uptight and tense but it made me panic. Luckily I talked myself down before the panic was out of control, but even a little attack like that can set you back a bit.

I would say I was prob anxious for a week after that. Thinking about my breathing more and more but reminding myself that I have the ability to fix my breathing should the panic happen again. I really had to force myself to continue my routine at this point. I still went to the gym everyday but i didn't really feel the same sense of satisfaction from things. It bothered me that although I was keeping busy the anxiety was still there. I hoped it would pass eventually and thank goodness it did. It always does! But sometimes it does take a little bit longer and I think we need to just tell ourselves to be patient! However, its not nice and i empathise with anyone who deals with this. I actually questioned if i possibly even had depression as I just felt so 'flat'. Anyway, like i said, it passed after about a week and things seemed a bit more positive again.

I had a nice Halloween with my nephews, only one didn't dress up as he thinks he is told old now that he is 11. I think hes at an age where he doesn't want to do anything that will make him look silly. But never one to take myself too seriously, i got dressed up for the night. Not a very original costume i must admit but i dressed up as my dad. My dad rides a motorbike and sings in a band so i was dressed in leathers, rock tshirt, his jeans, helmet, shades, gloves and even a goatee beard. The kids loved it and at the end of the day that's why i done it. My dad went to a party dressed as Gene Simmons from KISS and i done his face paint as you can see in the photo. I think it turned out well.

So after Halloween was another week of me trying to keep up with my routine, I went to the gym everyday and attended a body attack class with a friend at night. Gerald then told me i need to rebook my driving lessons to start driving back to his house again. I can admit that my driving lessons were a HUGE part of my improvement at the start of the year, but the thought still filled me with a little dread. I did was I was told thought and booked a lesson for Monday.

So yesterday was the day of my lesson and I was very nervous. However, I reminded myself that I was ALWAYS nervous before lessons but usually felt fine once we got going. As soon as I got in the car I made a big speech about how I was nervous and that I wanted it to be treated as my first ever lesson since I hadn't been out with my instructor for months. I even suggested that maybe we should just stick to my little village, just this once, so i could get back into the swing of things. Yeh i drive most days on my own (with another qualified driver) but its different when you are driving with an instructor who is telling you where to go etc.

We set off and obviously he didn't listen to a word I had said. Suddenly we were miles from my home and I was thrown into the deep end with parallel parking, 3 point turns, reversing round corners and so on. I was proud that I was in the other town, but i did get nervous. When I was at the furthest away point we were parked in a street while my instructor told me different rules of the road. At that point i panicked a bit. I visualised the journey back home and it seemed endless. I wanted to put my foot on the gas and speed home as fast as the car would take me. But i couldn't do that. Not with my instructor going on about speed limits. I thought of telling him the lesson was over and telling him to drive me home but obviously i didn't. I sat and listened and done what I was told. Turned left when i was told. Stopped the car when i was told. Every time I thought we were about to start heading home he would have me driving in the opposite direction. I always liked this about him. He doesn't take any crap from me. He wont listen to my excuses and pushes me to go further. At one point i realised i was outside Gerry's parents house. That made me happy as they have been inviting me over for ages and i just haven't faced it. At that point I was calm and realised I should really arrange to visit soon. Eventually i got home in one piece.

The lesson was a success and Gerry was delighted to find out where i was. In the end I was minutes from his house, but i can admit it did scare me. That rush of OH MY GOD LOOK WHERE I AM I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE AND I AM MILES FROM HOME WHAT THE FICK AM I GOING TO DO!!!!!!!!! That's not fun! No matter how short lived it is.

Gerry being happy with my progress started making arrangements. 'Well now that you have done that we can go to the supermarket tomorrow', 'We will go to the cinema on Wednesday Night, 'We can visit my parents at the weekend'. Wonderful huh. I agreed to all of this and told myself that i DO need to start doing this stuff more often anyway. Yeh i will prob be pretty uncomfortable as I drive to his parents house but i need to put myself in these situations. It will be worth it and I know i can do it if i focus. The cinema has never thrilled me to be honest. Not for agoraphobic reasons but i just don't enjoy sitting in an uncomfortable chair for almost 2 hours , in the dark, and not being able to talk. I agreed though.

So today I had a few errands to run. My car was in for its MOT and i needed to go pick it up, which i did. And then Gerry started talking about going to the supermarket. There is a supermarket right where I was picking up my car but Gerry wanted to go to one further away as he insists its much better. It probably is better to be honest but today i just didn't wanna do it. Last night i didn't get the best sleep and i think the driving lesson overwhelmed me a bit so today i felt like just taking things easy. Id get my car, go to the shops next to the garage, go home and have a relaxing dinner. Oh no... that's not enough for Gerry. He wasn't happy with me at all. I basically refused to go to the supermarket and told him I didn't feel up to it. I did feel a bit nervous and although i didn't mind driving to the supermarket, i didn't really fancy walking about inside while he done his shopping. On top of that the schools were just coming out and the roads were really busy, so i really just didn't want to go. Should I still have tried? Yeh i probably should have. but sometimes you just KNOW when its not a good idea, when its inevitable that you will panic for whatever reason. And i just didnt feel mentally strong enough to tackle it. I explained that I am doing good! I went on my lesson and will continue to go weekly, we are going to the cinema and going to his parents this weekend. Could he cut me some slack please?

No he couldn't it seems. He left in a mood and I have since had a text saying I need to sort myself out as he is sick and tired of doing things on his own. He made such a big deal about the supermarket though. And i think when someone builds it up so much like that it seems much harder! Anyway I'm home. Hes gone. We will be fine. This is just the sort of thing couple need to deal with when one of them is agoraphobic, isn't it.

Oh well, onwards and upwards. I am happy to have my car back and look forward of getting back to the gym. Now i just need to prepare myself for the other trips i will be making.
Oh i almost forgot, the magazine article. I don't think it will be going ahead. Basically they say they NEED a photograph of myself and Gerry. Gerry wont allow it. I think that's perfectly understandable. He is a very private person (poor boy must HATE my blog) but he doesn't like his life being broadcast. Yes he is on my blog but since no one here knows about it, it doesn't seem so bad. Its a whole different ballgame having your photo in a national magazine. He will not change his mind on this and i don't see why he should have to. The story is about me so they shouldn't be so desperate for a picture of Gerry and if they don't want to go ahead without his photo then that's fine with me :)
And the Time travellers wife was a fantastic book. Enjoyed it lots, but the movie sucked. Isnt that always the case?