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?


Lisa x said...

I forgot you had your driving lesson! Glad it went well. Mine didn't the instructor had to take over at the end of the lesson, learned that it's quite hard to drive while having a panic attack haha. Ah well i'll just need to try again next week!

Yeah you should try going to supermarkets that make you a bit more anxious but throwing yourself in at the deep end when you know it's going to be busy won't help, it's all about gradual exposure! x

Anonymous said...

hi lynn - i understand the difficulties of being in a relationship when you're agorapohbic and your partner isn't. my husband isn't happy having to do things on his own all the time. at times, i expect to wake up and find that he has run far far away from me LOL. and yes, he pushes me too, and yes, i see the frustration and disappointment in his eyes when i say "i can't". but i have to tell myself that deep down inside, i know he loves me and he just wants me to get better and that is why he pushes me. and the truth is, i want to get better too. *hugs*

Caz said...

Dear Lynn,

I have just finished reading all your posts thus far and this is the first time I have commented and I have to say I love your blog. Its so open and honest and refreashing.

Keep up the good work & also I hope your feeling better.

I have recently started my own blog:


An account of my own battle with both anxiety & depression - Hope to speak soon & again keep up the good work with your blog! x

Lynn said...

Lisa, ill catch up with you on Msn hopefully.

Anonymous thanks for your comment it was very sweet and i love how you ended it. Positively!

Caz thank you too. I am glad you like the blog and I do try to be as honest as possible. I have your blog address and i am about to have a read xxx

Anonymous said...

Dear Lynn.

Hello i'm so tired my eyes are falling out of my face but i read your blog because being a former sufferer i went out my way to read other epoples experiences.
i got agoraphobia after i started to detiriorate from anxiety last feburary when i was 15. I only had mine for 6 months and that discusted me in so many ways,but then i think of you 8 years.
and i think i can't even imagine what that must be like. espescially if you're getting it like on and off. BUt at the same time (and i don't eman to be self centred talking about myslef ,its because i feel the need to share it with people with the same experiences because there arn't actually that many epople who i come across who actually KNOW what i'm talking about, yeah theres therapests but theres not exactly a comunity of agoraphobic people i don't think lol.- yeah. but at the same time its like i went to hell and back.
I also know what its like being in a relationship while your agoraphobic. I'm sorry but i think you're partner ..obviously doens't understand that being agoraphobic means you can't do the simplilest things. I mean when i say i was agoraphobic for 6 months i mean litrally that, i couldn't step out of my door for 6 months .i mean in early stages. if you told me to cross the road Pfft i would have laughed in your face.
I'm lucky i had a boyfreind then..but we split up in august becasue i thought id din't love him..Aw i'm so happy for you you're pushing yourself with your driving lessons even if it may seem like nothing to your instructer,because it is hard and i know exactly what its like when you have that i quote "OH MY GOD LOOK WHERE I AM I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE AND I AM MILES FROM HOME WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO!!!!!!!!! " :). I don't think its all good that he pushes you . sometimes that used to annoy me and you're like, for god sake, i can't do it right now. I think it was bad he didn't listen to you and didn't ask you where you felt comfertable driving.
I ahven't been in a car for months now. and before 2 weeks ago i hadn't been in a bus since febuary. I get tense on double decker buses ( its a shame there the ones that take you to better places lol). the most i've done is 5 stops on a little bus that takes me home.

What was hard to believ was when epople us dto say to me oh it will pass. and if you thought i would laugh at you telling me to cross a road i'd feel like i was in a sort of dismal stand up if you told me it would pass back then :p.

but it does. and ..we don't even know each other at all but everytime you've made an atchievment with you're anxiety,know i'm proud of you. (even though i can't know everytsingle tiny thing you do , but i'll save this wbesite actually so i can read :) because although when you search for it there are a few people with this anxiety disorder but..still not enough people to give you comments just incase you might read it to give you not pitty but support. but ofcourse i pitty you i pitty myself..still and look at me i'm doing a course in btec art and i'm going to colege everyday :). i'm happy but..i miss louis (my ex). In my colleg it it is hard for me to


Lynn said...

hwy anonymous, thanks for your message. Its great to hear how much you have improved. it sounds like you are doing really well and its always fantastic to hear stories like yours. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.... you will meet someone else in time x

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I had to cut loads out because it wouldn't let me and also sorry for going on alot Thank you for listening though, i apriciate it you answerd. its not that no one else will listen i just thought you might ..need to feel less lonely? i know i'm not the first and i don't know how all the ins and outs of how you're taking it . i jsut know how i was like and i know i;m complete stranger but its the least i could do i guess. i didn't mean to be intrusive or anything. i know what its like to not want help either so, if you'd like me to go away ,say. i don't mind. i was just trying to help; Exactly what i used to hate lol. sometimes it feels like you're being crowded with people trying to help.. and it can be daunting. I kind of got into the sick role though. i miss it sometimes to be honest, i could joke about the sick role thing and how i orderd my mother around to get me chocolate and tiny thinsg i like that mena thinsg. but it seems almost deadly how un amusing it is