Wednesday, 28 January 2009

My Project

video

This is a very random post and in no way associated to my agoraphobia, but i recently tried my hand at making a little wedding DVD for a friend and I am quite proud of the results. The video itself is quite long so I don't expect you to sit through it, especially since you don't know anyone in it but i thought I would share it non the less.

I have tried to tell the story of Brian & Fiona's wedding day using pictures, music, titles and video effects. On the whole I think it works well and am now considering a career as a videographer haha Not quite!

Aww Just watched the clips and for some reason it hasnt transfered well at all. It shows pics upside down and only show 3 minutes, AND you didn't even see the bride. Oh well you get the jist.

Appointment Success & other news


Yey me!!! Today was doom's day. My first appointment anywhere in years. Anytime I have had an appointment in the past 3 or more years, they have been home visits. I don't seem to cope very well when I have commited myself to something. I guess it's just the pressure of knowing you HAVE to be there and also the days and days of thinking about it leading up to the date. In the past I always made appointments and either cancelled them or just didn't show up. A sign of my agoraphobia setting in i suppose.
Last night I was thinking about the dentist and I felt a little nervous. I really couldn't imagine going, sitting in a waiting room and it seemed completely beyond me that I would sit in a dentist chair after over 10 years since my last appointment. What if I am left waiting and the anxiety takes over?, what if i am too nervous and babble on about my panic attacks,? what if I just need to walk out? I told myself that if I needed to get up and leave, no matter what was happening, i would just go! This morning I woke up and I felt calm. I know that THINKING about something is usually much worse than actually doing it. My friend was driving me and a part of me was hoping she would sleep in so that I couldnt go and also couldnt be to blame for not being there. However, Angela was on time (for once haha)
I had the usual filling in of forms to keep me busy when i first arrived but on the whole i was totally fine. I sat chatting away with Angela and when my name was called I happily made my way to the dentists room. I was surprised the women remembered me but she did and took one look at my teeth and pulled a face. Not a good face! Well that was a confidence booster haha. I chatted with her and explained it had been over 10 years since i last seen a dentist and told her this was because I USED TO BE agoraphobic. It is weird because I know i still have my phobia but within my safety zone i am completely 'normal' and genuinely don't feel agoraohobic at all (this does come and go though). After our chat I let her get on with her work and I lay there thinking... I am in a dentist. I am lying here and I never thought i would see the day I could do this. Although today was just a check up i noticed lots of squares on the ceiling and thought...those will come in handy when i come in for my treatment, the real tough part, as i will be able to count them to distract myself if I get anxious.
I need A LOT of work done! I knew that would be the case. She X-rayed my whole mouth but i didn't find out the results. I was just told to make my next appointment and that is set for next Wednesday. As much as I enjoyed it, and felt proud, i did hope the appointment wouldnt be so soon haha. But i think i might actually be ok.
Tonight I went out in the car and I pushed myself further. I was with the beloved Gerry and we made it to the chapel again. This time instead of heading home we went in the opposite direction. I felt like I was miles away from home at this point but I would say i was still quite calm. We made it into the main part of my village and seconds away from that BIG round-a-bout that I am heading for. After that we made the trip a second time and I added another route on going further again. As i got to the furthest point I got uptight. I wanted him to turn the car and go back the way we had come, but in my head I couldnt see him turning quickly enough for my liking.... so i screamed LEFT instead. On turning left i calmed down. Even though i was on a new road and passing streets I havent seen in years.
In a way I think it must be fun for the person who takes an agoraphobic out. Not when they are panicking of course, but when they are seeing new things. When we turned left I suddenly shouted 'WHAT IS THAT'. I probably haven't been in this part of my town in about 5 years, now there are fancy new flats, a skateboarding park and lots of other new developments that I knew nothing about. I get very excited when i see this stuff and it must be like a child seeing snow for the first time!
Being agoraphobic has definately made me appreciate life a lot more. In the past I was forever taking things for granted. Now it amazes me how little it takes to amuse me on a day out. I went to the dentist today and i ENJOYED it. After that I went to the shops, the post office and ran some errands but to me this was just brilliant. I randomly seen a horse and cart go through our village, a very rare sight, but one that i appreciated and babbled on about when returning home.
I have spent so many years cooped up in my room looking at nothing but 4 walls and a television. Today I saw a horse! Am I making any sense? It just give's me such pleasure. The only thought's causing me anxiety are...what if i suddenly go back to how i was but more importantly...why didn't i do this sooner!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Mum

My Parents


Life has a way of landing all problem's on your plate at one time. Thing's have been tough this week as you know but I am very proud to say I am totally back to how i was. The anxiety has gone and I have been going on long walks and have been back out driving again. I think it is a great sign to see how quickly I got back on my feet.

Whenever I have had problem's in the past the first post of call has always been my mother. She is my mother, my safe person and my best friend. I am lucky in that I have a fantastic relationship with my mum and we can talk about everything and anything. Sadly though my mum is going through a tough time. This week I made sure that although I was having a problems, I needed to keep her completely out of it. For the past few weeks my mum has been battling with demon's of her own.

I think my mum has always struggled with her nerves and has had to deal with bouts of depression. If anxiety can be passed on in the gene's well I would say that I have taken it from my mums side. At the moment she is going through a major depression and I am doing everything I can to help. I used to make my daily walk alone but now i make sure that my mum comes with me. I think the walk and the fresh air does her good. It is a struggle, I want to lift the cloud that is over her head but right now I feel helpless. I suspect that all i can do is support her and give it time. I worry because the doctors are doing what they always do.... throwing all manner of drugs her way. She has her anti-depressants. They gave her a beta blocker, tamazipam and Valium. Some day's she is fine and seems to be coming through it and then on other days, like today, she just sits and cries.

I guess I am looking for advice. Is there something I am missing here? I tell her to rest while I take care of the house. I try to make the meals and settle her on the sofa to watch movies and relax. I take her walks, i sit with her, keeping her company when she doesn't want to be alone and I talk to her about what is causing her unhappiness. At the moment the source of the problem is a combination of things. Her step mother died a few months ago and although they weren't close, she worries about her father who has been left to fend for himself at 75 years of age. Her friend likes to have a drink on a Saturday night and sometimes turns up at our house. Being a non drinker my mum doesn't have issues with alcohol but she worries that on one of her friends walks to our house she might fall. Her friend is in her late 60s and can get into a pretty bad state when she's been drinking on her own. My mum takes on everyone problems and when she can't solve them she can get very upset.
The final problem is probably the one that has had a more lasting effect. My dad was made redundant a few months ago. We have never struggled so much with money in all our years as a family and this has been a tough time. It has gotten so bad at times that we have literally had no money in our wallets and have struggled to make ends meat. This week I have offered to pay for the family food shopping, which I have never had to do, but feel it is the least I can do to help. On a postive note I think that she may start to get better soon. My dad initally contacted the job centre when he lost his job and they told him that he was entitled to about £70 a week (around $50) to support himself and my mum. This doesn't even cover the mortgage. It has been an absolute joke to be honest. The good news is that the job centre have put him on a course where he will get his license for driving heavy goods vehicles. Having been in the building trade all his days, I think a nice driving job would be a welcome change. He is in his 50s now and the last thing he needs is the heavy duty back breaking work that he is used to. This also came as good news as we didn't really know WHAT he should do. Where does a man in his 50s turn when he has only ever known one career, has no computer skills etc. Something else i found very VERY difficult at this time was job hunting. Everyday I would be online looking for any new vacancies. I typed him up a CV and applied for jobs left right and centre. That was the easy part. The hard part was trying to convince companies that at 54 year old my dad isnt 'past it'. He has worked so hard to provide for us and ,in all his years in building, probably only had 2 or 3 days off due to sickness. This is my dad's role within our family. It may be old fashioned but he is very much the head of the house, the bread winner. To see him struggle was heartbreaking. He would go to the pub at the weekend and come home looking totally bewildered. I think it is the first time I have ever seen my dad looking frightened. Thank goodness he went on the driving course. The course ends in February and I have been online looking for HGV jobs already. And guess how many I have found??....None! I havent had the heart to tell him that yet. We will cross that bridge when February comes.

So what is the answer? I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, I do see her improving. I have explained to her that although she has bad days, the good days she is having are becoming more and more regular. Surely this is a good sign. What a pair my mother and I make haha. Both caring for each other. I just feel a little helpless.... suggestions???
********
Would you believe that about 5 minutes after I posted this my mothers friend turned up at the door pissed as a fart! She hasnt done this in weeks. What a day for her to choose. Thankfully it went ok. I actually find her very funny so we had a little drink with her then I walked her home and got her into bed. Now it is my turn to sleep! x

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

New Template

When women go through relationship problems it is common for them to change their hairstyle or to go on a diet. I have decided to change my template. Radical huh lol.

This is just a quick update really. After saying I wouldn't let the last few day's bring me down, I have to admit that they did have a negative effect on me. I have been feeling.... 'fragile', 'vulnerable'? Just a bit low really. I also felt anxiety but stayed focused and knew it would pass. Thankfully after a day of wallowing I feel my old confidence returning. I have forced myself to keep up with my routine, although in all honesty, I just felt I had no energy. Today I had a relaxing bath and then went a walk. Getting some fresh air really does help, and since then I've felt much better.

The dentist rang this morning saying there was a problem with my appointment and it had to be rescheduled for next Wednesday. This was a blessing as I was still feeling wobbly. The appointment was for 9.45 but I'm no use in the mornings. I need a good hour for my body to begin functioning so the appointment next week is a 12 which is a far more suitable time for me.

Thank you everyone once again for your kind comments and words of advice. The crisis is now over and I am back on form. I guess the fact I got through this in 1 day is fantastic. In the past i could have ended up wallowing in bed for 2 weeks! This time I couldn't risk that happening and needed to get back out there again.

I actually dread telling you this people and do feel ashamed, but after a long think, the ring is back on my finger. Gerry and I met today and talked thing's through. I am still not happy about what happened and there will defo not be a wedding date getting booked any time soon, but I am willing to give it one last try. G knows it is now make or break. If that same argument arises again it will be time to call it a day. We have planned several drives over the next week and Gerry has said that wherever I want to go is fine with him, he will keep his mouth firmly shut! I do feel a lot less pressure now and the argument had one benefit in that it made us really talk about my agoraphobia. I don't think i took the time to REALLY explain how it affects me every day of my life.

I know many of you will think I am making a mistake. Maybe i have even thought that myself. All i know is that i feel it is worth one more try. Our talk seems to have make him understand things much better and I think if i was to call it all off now, i could regret it in the future. At the end of the day I love him, he is good to me (most of the time) and we were happy before all of this. All relationships have their ups and downs and, at times, need to be worked on so we will see how things go from here.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Facebook



Hey guy's I have joined Facebook. I have been a member of these sites in the past and for whatever reason, deleted my account. Now I am back on facebook and would love to add you as a friend. I love seeing the picture's of people I spend time talking to and write this blog for. Obviously my name on their is Lynn Jackson but i am not sure If it is easier to search for me with my email address. The address I use for this is Lynn-jackson@hotmail.com. Leave me your details as a comment and Ill get on to adding you.

Oops

I am totally mortified about my last post! I think I was a tad emotional at the time ha. I considered removing it all together but I think I will leave it for anyone else you may be dealing with the same problem. I'm sure I am not alone in this. However, i was in a bit of a fragile state and probably not in the best frame of mind to go off on a rant. In saying that, I did have every right to be upset due to the treatment I had received.

Today I am ok. I eventually passed out through sheer exhaustion I think. I woke up this morning to several missed calls, texts and an envelope through my door. The envelope contained a letter, my bracelet and my ring.

I have always known that Gerry can be selfish, and stubborn....and rude, but I accepted him warts and all. Just as I myself would like to be accepted. He make me feel loved, happy, safe, content, secure... but that's on the good days. Unfortunately he has no idea how to deal with my agoraphobia. In his letter he accepts that he was wrong. He apologises and says that I have been doing fantastic regardless of what he may have said through anger. He has said that he would rather be with me than without me and that he doesn't want us to talk about me moving in anymore. He explains that he wanted me to move in with him so much that it became his priority, and although I was getting out, he just couldn't accept that i wasn't getting closer to his house. He now wants me to do it my way and for him to just support what I am able to do. He said he will be happy that I am getting out at all, regardless of where I go.

I feel bad that I have broadcast such a personal fight. Something that should be part of our private lives I guess. But as i said, i will keep it there. The emails and comments I have received since I wrote the post have totally blown me away. I am extremely touched and grateful for all the advice. Every single person who has left a comment has been completely right in what they have said and I agree with them 100%.

Now it is my time to think. Can I really see a future? At the moment we are no longer together, and i know that may be for the best but i also I know that I have to look at it from Gerry's perspective and realise how hard this must be for him. How frustrating! But I have taken the time to explain it better than I ever did. Gerry didn't realise the battles I face every day. He didn't know that although I might not have made it to his house yet, or any really great distance, that i have made progress on so many different levels.

Before I met him i was in hibernation...12 months a year. I had no routine. I could go days without bothering to wash or dress. I just existed. In the past 6 months I have gained determination and focus....could this be down to him? I think it is mostly me but I cant deny he has had an input. I am now up early everyday, I wash (thank goodness I hear you say), I don't just dress but make an effort with my appearance, I walk, I drive, I challenge myself and my life has improved a great deal. Could it be that part of our problem has been a lack of communication? I feel that after our talk he understands more but I have some decisions to make.

The ring isn't back on my finger. I have no idea if it will be but in the meantime I am taking some time just to think about what I want. I want you all to know that I am strong. Last night I was upset but I think we all breakdown a little now and then. Life is bloody tough! No matter what I decide i will never ever let anyone bring me down. I can say that with my hand on my heart. I might have a little wobble but i pick myself up and get on with it, i really don't think i will let myself go back to how I was. So thank you again everyone. I'm off to think...and perhaps get some sleep.

...

Ok didn't sleep. Instead forced myself up and out. Went a walk although today is dull and gloomy. Cleaned the entire house i think and now i can relax with a cuppa. I feel ok-ish. But on returning home was greeted to the bridesmaid dresses I ordered and wedding brochures haha. Talk about timing. A long bath later and the dentist in the morning, won't let last night bring me down. I have more important things to deal with right now.

In reply to the comments about this post... I know Gerry meant the things he said. I know that deep down he can't handle the way I am. I know he is frustrated. I also know that the progress i have made in the past 6 months is completely down to me...no one else! I have worked hard and will continue to do so. Maybe I don't explain thing's very well. I want everyone to know that I am totally aware that he has been waaaay out of order. I wont let anyone treat me that way, I wont let anyone affect my health and If i genuinly don't think he can be a positive influence in my life then I will say goodbye for good. I don't fear being alone. Being single does not scare me and I am totally aware that I don't deserve what happened. I am confident enough to say that I could possibly meet someone else this year who ticks all the boxes and completely accepts me. It is hard to explain things in a blog as I only really talk about Gerry in a negative way. This isn't fair as obviously there are many fantastic sides to our relationship or i wouldn't be with him. I do love him and without a doubt I know that he loves me. BUT that doesn't mean we will work out, and this is the crossroads we have reached in our relationship.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Wedding, Christening and Dentist Oh My


Hey everyone. So i turned 28 this week. I remember my parents telling me that life really does fly by and I can see what they mean. At times I genuinely do still feel like a kid, especially when I am around my nephews. Luke even tells me I am not a proper grown up just because of the way I act with him. Now here I am 28 years old, still young of course, but feel like I should be around the 23-24 mark ha. I have lost the greater part of my 20s to agoraphobia. I think I can handle the birthday not feeling down about another year wasted this time. As i make progress with going out I can see me getting my life back. Most women dread approaching their 30s or 40s, but I see my 30s as a new beginning. I have 2 years to fight back and give myself that freedom so that excites me.


I got lovely gifts on the day. My favourites being the sweetie bracelet above. Some of you readers probably already have one of these but I am quite a sentimental person and I like the thought of collecting charms over the years for different occasions or from different people, so i was delighted when Gerry gave me the bracelet with the heart attached. I also received the most beautiful bouquet of Pink Lily's from Marie (many of you read her husband Robert's blog) and also some yummy Belgian chocolates. I was very touched. Speaking of Marie I should also mention that she has begun to write her own blog now. Like with my blog I told Marie it could be a good way of dealing with some of her feelings. I know i find it therapeutic and enjoy all the feedback I receive, so if you would like to take a look at it you can find it at
http://angel-angelwithoutwings.blogspot.com/ . So far she has only written 2 posts. I don't know if it is because she is a friend of mine but I found myself feeling quite emotional when I read them, especially as Marie has been dealing with agoraphobia since such a young age.


I have been doing well with my walking and driving. Also I have maintained my trips to the shops. I probably go their every second day to try and get used to it again. I make myself stand in queue's etc, when sometimes I do just want to bolt. With the driving I have also been going my usual route which now feels comfortable but making stops to pop into a shop, or pick up some take out and things like that. I feel proud of myself for this. It was only a few weeks ago that I was with my support worker and told her I would like to build up to driving to the chemist and picking up my prescription and as you know I have already been there when I went a little crazy with the shopping. I have been back there a few times now. I still feel the nerves in these situation but I guess that is natural and only practice will make me completely comfortable. Getting the take out on Friday night was interesting as it was dark, Gerry had to park quite far away and since his son was with us, he stayed in the car with him. So i set off for the chip shop alone and once I got there I was told my order wasn't ready. So i waited and waited for probably 10 minutes. I did get nervous. I did have negative thoughts, but i held out and felt great for doing it.


Friday night was one of the first night that I have spent with Gerry's son. I have met him before but my nephews were here too so he was more interested in them. Thankfully the night went really well. It is very important to me that we get on. Obviously I am planning on marrying his dad so I want him to be OK with that decision. We got on great and it went so well that he wanted to stay the night so I would say that was a good result. He's a fantastic little boy, surely he doesn't get that from my Gerry ha.


Oh the jealous ex girlfriend.... she has gone. We haven't heard a peep from her. She threatened to email me and stuff but the email never came. Gerry told her he would go to the police if she didn't go away and that seemed to be enough to scare her off. Hopefully that will be the end of that little problem.


Regarding the engagement i think I may have gotten a little carried away. The engagement is fine but I suddenly went onto looking at venues, picking a date, talking to priests, buying my bridesmaid dresses and ALMOST bought my dress. Thankfully Gerry brought me back to earth and told me the wedding is going to be a year and a half away so i can take it easy. I was having a ball though haha. Also he was very sensible in saying that we should live together for a year first. Ok i know that is the true way of finding out if you should get married but did he really have to spoil my fun :).

My homeopathic meds ended but I contacted the women again and had another appointment just to assess how I have been feeling. I noticed I had been a touch anxious again but wasn't sure if this was down to the fact the meds have stopped or the fact that i was THINKING 'oh no I'm not on those anymore maybe i will get anxious again'. I know this is not the right way to think but how the mind works! Anyway, I explained how i been feeling and that although I have been doing great, I still want a little help. So now I am waiting for my new meds. This is either going to be a completely new remedy in the form or drops which i take daily, or it will be the same meds but at a higher dosage. I really don't mind which it is as since it is all natural medicine it isn't going to do me any harm.



Ok another map. The red is my original safety zone. The Yellow is what I can do now. This includes being able to visit friends for hours at a time, go to the shops, the pub etc. The black dot is out local chapel and this is where the christening i am attending will be taking place. I have now made the trip there 3 times! YEY ME! I am amazed by this. Only last week that seemed like it wouldn't happen, but i am progressing, however slowly that may be. I am getting closer and closer to leaving my town for the first time in several years. This still seems like it will never happen but hey I have been doing lots lately that i never imagined so I know it will come. The bright blue line is a road that is causing me some issues. This is a long straight road that will take me out of the town but it makes me nervous. Once on this road there are no places to turn. So if i panic i cant just ask the driver to take me back. I know this is negative thinking but i can honestly say if i went onto that road, the panic would come. I have over thought it too much i guess. Anyway, the bright green is the other way of leaving the town and isn't THAT far from the chapel which i can get to now. The reason I mention this is because Gerry had a moan today saying I'm not heading in the right direction (towards his house). I tried to explain that although it might not seem it, it is a further than i had been going and once i get used to it i can be round that corner and out of the town in a couple of more drives. He huffed! Ok i may not think RATIONALLY like him. It may be quicker and easier to just go down that blue road and be out of the town without all the twist and turns.... but going the green route means I have plenty of ways to turn if i freak out ha. Typical safety behaviour but surely it makes sense to do what makes you comfortable at this stage....Surely it shouldn't matter which way I am going as long as I get there in the end! Men! haha
Oh and finally the dentist. It is on Wednesday. I am sure I will be a nervous wreck and since i am registering with them that day I doubt I will get any work done BUT i will STILL need to go into the dentist room and sit on that big scary chair. Daunting at the moment but a challenge i am up for. I will let you all know how it goes. Hope you are all well xx

Monday, 12 January 2009

My List


Ok I have completed my list. I have written some things on a piece of card and plan on taking this in my bag whenever I go out. I feel that, since when we panic the mind goes blank, this could help to remind you of what is important. Also I feel it might even simply act as a distraction at the time. My points are -
  • You CAN do this
  • Don't let it win
  • You are doing what you want to be doing
  • This will pass
  • You are bigger than this
  • Think of your future
  • You will be disappointed if you give into this
  • Tap (eft)
  • You will feel amazing when you get through this
  • Think of the blog (i like to report news of SUCCESS to show it is possible)
  • This is a stupid reaction. You can make this go away
  • Breathe!
  • You will be so much stronger if you push through this
  • This is where you want to be

For many years I have been good at making panic disappear when I am at home. I can relax in my bedroom or i can find some activity to take my mind off it. When I panic now i flee for home to the comfort of my bedroom again but now I want to learn to make that panic go away when I am outside. My mind was quite blank in writing the list but I think I have mentioned the basics, I can add to it later if I need to.

Jealousy


Thing's have been going well for me lately, so I guess it was only a matter of time before something went wrong. My boyfriend split up with his last girlfriend just over a year ago. She had been in touch and tried to cause us some problem's in the past but as time has passed I thought we had heard the last from her. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. For some reason, L i will call her, decided to search for me online. When she came across my profile she seen the photos I have of myself and Gerry and also the fact that it says we are engaged. Since finding this L has been texting and calling Gerry constantly. He has received shed loads of abuse and threats. Her latest threat came when she sent him a text showing that she has found my email address. L has decided that she is going to ruin our engagement and is threatening to email me things about Gerry. Thankfully I am not naive. I welcome the email and I welcome the chance to tell her that no matter what she has to say, she won't succeed in breaking us up. In the meantime we will just ignore her but we have said if she continues to get in touch we will contact the police as it is harassment. It is just a shame that these things happen but I think she has just gotten a shock to see that Gerry is getting married.
I mention this because today I haven't felt so great. I think it is just because the L situation has irritated me and to be honest It did cause a fight between Gerry and I. Tonight Angela popped round and she asked if I would drive to the shops with her and run in and get her a few pieces while she waited in the car. I said yes but this is the first time that I have been on the verge of panic. I got about half way and really wanted to turn back. I was arguing with myself telling myself to just ignore it and keep on going. I knew if I turned back it would make my next drive more difficult. Thankfully I made it to the shops and soon felt calm again. I got what she needed and then we drove home the long way. I feel happy that I went through with it and didn't turn back but it has also given me an idea. When out and about and you feel anxious, it can be very difficult to think straight so I am going to write some sentences on paper and keep them in my bag. For example, remember this is going to pass. You are doing what you want to be doing, work through it and that's more progress. You will be disappointed if you give into this, it is only a feeling etc etc. I thought of this because there have been times when I have been out and panicked and when thinking it over and home I have asked myself 'why didn't I think of that then'. 'Why didn't i tell myself that and I would have felt better' but sometimes your head is just too busy with the panic.
Now that I have come home I feel the most relaxed I have all day. I went out and was the most uncomfortable i have felt in a long time, but i fought it and I won.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ramble

Hey, I don't have anything major to talk about today but I just felt like saying hello. The weather is miserable and I don't plan on going out today so I have some free time. Having said that, I am considering even a small walk round the block, just to keep up with the routine of going out, even if only for a few minutes.


It was a productive week I guess. I went to Boots, went to the local shops and bank quite a few times alone. I also went to my friend Laura's again and spent a few hours there completely relaxed. Also while at Laura's the Ice Cream van came into her street and without thinking, I asked what everyone wanted and set off to buy our treats. It was only when I was at the bottom of her street that I realised this was quite an achievement as in the past I felt anxious going to the ice cream van in my own street. But here I was in a new place, walking further, In the dark and on my own.


In an email I received this week someone said to me 'Have you ever tried to think of yourself as not being agoraphobic and trying things as a 'normal' person'? To be honest I have been trying to change my thinking recently into that of a non agoraphobic. I have been doing more and more 'normal' things and instead of immediately saying 'NO' to anything I am asked, i am now trying to say 'yes' or at least to TRY instead of just dismissing the idea. I certainly feel a lot less agoraphobic but there is still a mountain to climb.


Reading another blog recently I saw the writer show comparisons to what his wife can do this year that she couldn't do last year and vice versa so i will try to do the same.


In 2009 I can :


  • Stay on my own all day and night, this is not so new although I used to feel anxious at the thought of a night with no one in the house.
  • Walk to the edge of my safety zone and work on pushing myself further. Although I could manage this in the past, i don't think i was able to do this much in 2008.
  • Go to the local shops, bank, chemist, chip shop. The shops i could do about a year ago but like with the walking this stopped. After fighting these last few months, I am able to do this again.
  • I can go drives with anyone in any car. I don't have to rely on a 'safe' person. I feel comfortable while out driving and this is completely new. I hadn't been on drives in around 4 years.
  • Walk at night. In the past i would make all my effort during the day but at night would feel OK that is enough for today' and I would happily spend the evening at home. Now i go walking at night and actually really enjoy it.
  • I can visit other people's houses and sit for hours feeling completely fine. Obviously I was able to do this in the past but compared to last year, this is new. Also this is very enjoyable and I find myself wanting to stay out for longer and longer.
  • I can go to the local pub. This never happened at all last year.
  • I make plans for the future. I will be attending a christening, a communion and hopefully more events over the coming months. I never made plans in the past but immediately dismissed the idea with 'No I can't do that'
  • The winter hasn't bothered me this year. Usually the dark nights and the cold weather depress me so much that I actually seriously thought I had SAD, but keeping busy through the past few months and not going into hibernation has made this little anxiety pass.

I Can't

  • Travel very far. This is what I am working on and this year will see me focusing completely on pushing the boundaries. I would say this is my only major problem now. Anything else would seem quite small in comparison. The original problem causing the agoraphobia still exists. I haven't been able to walk or drive very far from my safe place,my home, for quite some time. BUT.... this WILL change (positive mental attitude lol)

So i would say this is progress. Obviously this year started ended well with my engagement and started well with my night out in the pub, so my circumstances have also changed. My Boyfriend is now getting his house prepared for the day that I will move in. I know this is a few months off, but for the first time in years i believe I could have a future in my own home. Not living with my parents, but in my own home with a partner I love. Wow how 'normal' of me. I see this is achievable now whereas in the past it would have only been a dream. I do feel it is a long way off and that I need to be realistic... more importantly, my Boyfriend needs to be realistic. But I hope that, if i focus, i could be living a new life in the Summer and this is very exciting!

I finished my homeopathic remedy this week. The women who gave me it said if i ever felt like trying it again i could get in touch but that hopefully I wouldn't feel the need. I guess I don't feel the need but there is a little worrying thought in my head wondering if this is what helped with my progress in the past few months. I will see how I get on over the coming weeks and If i feel i need a little lift i will contact her. I had moaned so much about not being allowed coffee while on the meds but now that they are finished I am going to stay off the coffee. I still miss it massively but if cutting it out has helped me become less anxious, I may as well just leave it.

I have nothing else to report really. I spent a nice week both at home, and out and about. While at home i do the usual, watching TV, reading etc but i something new. My nephews brought over guitar hero. Well..... I got hooked. Not only would I play this when they were here, but found myself 'rocking out' when on my own ha ha. Call me sad but you need to have a go, it's loads of fun. Bad news though, I have broken it! I have no idea how I manged it but the disk won't play anymore. I considered putting it back and pretending not to have touched it.... but I am not that bad ha ha Looks like i need to go shopping for a replacement. Don't know what I am more upset about, the fact that I have broke my nephews game or the fact that i cant play it anymore ha ha. Oh well it was nice chatting. Hope you are all well x

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Shoppaholic


For quite some time I have been aware that i have a major addiction to shopping. I have recognised that when I am feeling down, I go and buy myself some goodies from various clothes shops online. I'm sure I'm not the only agoraphobic who has spent money on pointless purchases for example, many many pairs of boots! Where was I planning on wearing them back then, i have no idea, as I didn't go out ha. I also know another agoraphobic girl who would buy clothes for going clubbing even though she would rarely leave the house. When my addiction first begun i would buy clothes and never wear them telling myself... That's my good clothes, Ill keep that for a special occasion hahaha... what occasion?? Where was I planning on going?? Oh well it made me smile.
I mention this as today I took on another little challenge, a trip to the local chemist boots. The chemist has always been there but recently 'Boots' have bought it over so i decided I should go there and check out their make up and other goodies. I did actually need a new foundation so figured that this would be a nice little trip and since I was driving their with my friend Angela it seemed like a 'normal' girls day out. Well not a day out but a half hour lol.
Angela is the slowest person I know and is late for everything!! I relieved a text at 11 saying she was out of bed and would be over after her breakfast. At 4.30 Angela arrived! This meant I had spent the day sitting waiting instead being out walking and it also meant that I had too much time to sit around with my mind working overtime. However we drove to the chemist which isn't far and my nerves were all over the place. I felt very wobbly and not as calm as I have been lately but I put this down to hormones and the fact i had been 'thinking' about it too much.
Well thank goodness I had money in my purse because I went to town! Make up...I'll have that. Face Cream... I'll have that, Hair Clips... I'll have those. As the nerves passed the excitement took over. Well to be fair I usually only get my hair products etc at the local shop and they don't exactly have variety so it was fun to choose something a little more luxurious. That's my excuse. The bill made my eyes pop but didn't stop me from buying the pictured bag at the counter on my way out. I needed something to put my goodies in OBVIOUSLY!
We drove a longer route home with me feeling quite pleased. I know I am still doing quite well but there are plenty of things I still struggle with and my lovely fiance has made his feelings known that things aren't progressing quickly enough for him, give me a break!
Oh and today I received an email asking permission for an excerpt from my blog to be published. It will appear in a psychology text book for A Level Students. The post being printed is one of my diary entries from just before Christmas and the question put to the students is - How does Lynn's account tie in with what you know about agoraphobia? So i found this quite exciting and after granting permission I was told I would receive my complimentary book in May.
My dentist appointment is on the 21st January. Yikes!!!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Making Plans


I have got the New Year off to a good start by attending the party. The next night i hopped into the car and drove with Gerry to my brothers for dinner. I was a little anxious as we had thick fog, but as the drive takes only 5 minutes i was soon indoors again. We had a lovely dinner and it was great to spend time with my brother, his girlfriend and my nephews in a different environment. Again, it has messed with my head a little that it was so easy and that I was so comfortable. I try not to think about this too much though as i imagine that's where the negative thoughts could kick in. So i am trying to just enjoy these new experiences. We were there for a couple of hours and i honestly could have stayed longer but we headed home for a night with a DVD. Also in the past week i have been to the shops twice on my own. This is something i could do about a year ago but i want it to become very regular again. I had to wait in large queues both times and although I wasn't exactly comfortable, i coped OK.
I don't know what I will be doing from day to day or what challenges i want to face next but all i know is that i am up for at least attempting things which, as you know, is not like me. The one thing I REALLY want to do is make an appointment at the dentist. I never thought for a second I would be doing this. My teeth are a mess! I know i must need at least 6 removed and a lot of cosmetic work done too. To be honest the cosmetic work is my priority at the moment. I have a hole behind my front tooth which has left the tooth looking discoloured. I have been living with it for years but it looks like the tooth is about to give up the fight and crumble. I can't believe that i may once again be able to smile with confidence! I know i can drive to the dentist as it is within my comfort zone, but i think i will struggle with the process once i get out of the car. The waiting room, the dentist chair, the dentist.... this is all new and may be a bit too much. And on top of that I will have to sit there for about half an hour and let them do the work!!! It seems very hard to imagine that i would be able to do this but also i know that if i do, I will feel totally fantastic. I know that if i wanted to i could get medication for this. I have been offered Valium/Xanax in the past when attending the dentist but i don't really want to go down that road. However i am actually just impressed with the fact that I am even considering this! How things change. I called the dentist to make the appointment today but it was closed so i will be calling them on Monday. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

















I made it to my first New Year night out in 3 years!! The last 2 have been spent at home so this was a nice change. I was very nervous about the whole thing but determind to at least try it. We got there at 11.00 and to be honest i didnt feel that great at first but thankfully it passed. I had a good night with basically no anxiety and got home in once piece. Happy New Year Everyone. Lets all have a good one x



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