Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Fall in love with life again

I got a lovely email the other day from a recovered agoraphobic. After telling her story she said she has now fallen in love with the world again, and i can totally relate.
Ive said before that if you've suffered panic/anxiety/agoraphobia, i think it makes you a far more patient, understanding, APPRECIATIVE person and i stand by this. I remember when i was at my very worst, i would have given so much to go a simple walk. Something that most people will take for granted. And although i wouldn't wish this condition on anyone, i do feel quite lucky that i appreciate the simple things, and that i definitely fall in love with life all over again.
Im back on track! After the hospital episode i gave myself a good shake and started to work harder with my issues. One thing that had riddled me with guilt is that I wasn't doing enough for Nathan with regards to play dates and other social activities.
Well i found a suitable class and told myself we were going. I was nervous and many times could have backed out but i was adamant that we were doing it. He deserved it and i needed it! I told myself to stop putting it off, if i just DO IT, i will be happier, I'd feel less guilty, ill be getting myself out and mixing again and a ton of other reasons.
So the morning of the class came and my little legs were like jelly. I was on and off the toilet all morning and generally just wanted to call the whole thing off. I took the journey in stages. If i just made it to the building i would decide then if i could actually go into the class, but just get there at least.
Well i got there and entered the building. The class was at the back of the building AND up the Stairs (Typical, no fast escape route) but we did it. The room was filled with gym equipment and other fun things for Nathan. Slides, swings trampolines. He was so excited and running about crazy wanting into anything but the class does have a structure. So firstly we all had to sit in a circle, about 30 of us, and sing songs, do actions etc. Then free play where the kids choose from a massive toy box, and finally they are let loose on the equipment. Since Nathan is so small i had to take him round the circuit helping him. It was more of a work out for me than for him but this was probably better. If i had been sat at the side watching i would have had time to think, but instead i was so preoccupied with that i was doing i was totally distracted. There wasn't one point in the entire class that i felt nervous. I didn't want to run. I loved it! I was so proud i had got there and took Nathan myself. No one else. I wasn't relying on anyone else for a change and i was buzzing. I got to watch my son and play with him and i loved every minute of it. Don't get me wrong, when i first went into the class my legs were ready to give way on me, but i kept on going and soon forgot about the nerves. Nathan had an absolute ball and i told the women running it that we would be going every week from now on.
From there i had to meet my support worker and due to my confidence boost i went a huge drive. We went further than i have in the last year of meeting her. We went into shops, i casually browsed the shelves and then drove the long way home. She was impressed and i was buzzing.
The entire day PROVED once again that i can do it. That Ive wasted so much time sitting worrying and imagining the worst. I was actually annoyed with myself for not doing it sooner but i cant change that. For whatever reason, i didn't do it before but there's no point dwelling on the past. I can just concentrate on improving the future.
Its hard to break out of your routine. To do something different, especially when the thought of it makes you nervous. But when you do it the rewards are so worthwhile. Pride, happiness, a self of achievement, confidence. And from there it changes your future too. Since that day i literally lost a ton of guilt and i also lost a lot of the fear id built up since Nathan was born. When i was almost rid of my agoraphobia before i had a certain way of thinking. I was always positive. I frequently told myself 'I'm doing this, and so what if i panic. If i do i will cope'. And in that one day my thinking has become far more like that again, much more confident.
With a huge amount of fear gone i have been driving more and more. Walking further with Nathan. We've been back to the class, and will continue to go every Thursday. And i set all sorts of play dates with lots of other mothers. Nathan and i are meeting a lot of new friends. This means driving to new houses where i am not familiar and maybe not too comfortable, but i keep on going. And ill be setting myself all sorts of other challenges. Im excited!
The sun is shining more often and its very true, i fall in love with life all over again. I want to do more and more and i dont want to waste any time. But what i know is that i APPRECIATE these things. I enjoy them more than i ever would have before. And i get a huge sense of achievement from every little trip we take together. Life is too short to keep putting things off and i need to remember this. Looking forward to a fun filled productive year!


Sarah♥ said...

Massive thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

Well done ~ what an inspiration you are, and Nathan is SO lucky to have a mum like you!!!

Nora said...

She's brave! I want to go out today.. Do a little gardening am terrified of people seen me then discussing me.. I can't avoid it my boy is ay home today an noone to take him on an activity.. I hatw these days and myself.. Am so jealous of people walking around outside... I don't want much.. Jus to sit on my front door an plant a few plants.. Am teriffied..

Lynn said...

Sarah and Anonymous thank you loads xxxxx

Nora - i dunno what to say. Your message makes me so sad. I know how your feeling and had days like that too, but i was lucky that those days were before Nathan came along. I can imagine how much your beating yourself up, but please dont! IS there anywhere we can chat?

Cloudy said...

That's so good you went to a playdate. I so desperately want to take my girl to one. I don't have the confidence to drive anymore so am really stuck. I have a neighbour with a daughter the same age and I faced going to her house last week just so I could get my 5 month old daughter to finally play. Unfortunately she was too tired to really enjoy herself.

I am beating myself up everyday over not socialising her enough. I have hit a rough patch the last couple of days. Am going through some sort of down hormone patch. I think it's from breastfeeding. Just feeling extra depression and anxiety so it talks away all my confidence to get out, even for a walk around the block.

Hera K said...

Hey there Lynn,

I was so thrilled to see your post today. I didn't get time to visit the blog earlier but today I happened to drop by and was so uber happy to see this post. Yes its so true. Once you start healing then its like you're new to everything in life. Every single thing fascinates you. Its like previously I was living in a bubble that was tinted so even though I could see through it yet I couldn't grasp the colors, the sounds and smells of the world outside. Then the bubble went *pop* and there! Every sunrise every sunset every single step makes me happy.

You are so so right that we agoraphobics become so so accommodating of others and their drawbacks which to me is a blessing cause otherwise I would have been a really proud soul and would have hated that.

One thing I used to get myself out of the bubble was this one fine day I decided that I will from today do everything to please God. It doesn't matter what your religion is but it always works. Just think when you will do something for someone else then that means you are making God happy. And if you're out to make Him happy then how can He ever let anything bad happen to you? I just kept it in mind that okay I am going to visit so and so today cause she used to call me over but I never met her. Meeting her would make God happy. So during my way over to her place I would in my mind think that okay God is all around me and protecting me so nothing bad will happen nothing bad CAN happen. Hes there! It worked. I was so shocked.

:))) Just keep thinking that He cannot let anything bad even touch you because in your heart you are doing this to make Him happy. Its a warm fuzzy feeling. All the best to all of you guys. I have never met you guys but I love you cause I have been there and I feel so so close to you all. :))

mental health girl said...

Im glad it was a nice busy class where you both gained something from it, your son really enjoyed himself and you made your self proud and proved you can do it, it's how we know what we have to do to make ourselves happy yet we're scared to do the things which make us happy, but we want to happy, it's like a vicious cycle but it's all about brealing that cycle aint it, well done xx