The majority of you know I’ve suffered with Agoraphobia for quite some time now, although not in the ‘traditional’ sense.
I can leave the house, but there’s so much more to it than that. I can’t travel, I can’t go in tall buildings, I can’t be in places that are unknown to me – I can’t be anywhere that I feel trapped or unsafe.
I also can’t be anywhere without my bottle of water. It’s my safety blanket and I literally couldn’t walk across a room without it if I’m not at home.
BUT (everyone likes a but!), at the moment, things seem to be slowly getting better.
I feel less anxious generally. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve jumped on a train and everything was fine – it still scares me and I’m a long way off that. But I feel more calm, I’m getting taxis to work when the weather’s rubbish even if I’m feeling anxious about it, and then it’s fine.
What’s massive though – even though I know it sounds so trivial – is that on Saturday I walked out of work and crossed the road to use the cashpoint with no bottle of water in sight. It was in my mind, but I was OK. I didn’t panic and rush back. I did what I needed to do and then went back to work.
That’s massive for me and a huge improvement. It might not seem like a massive problem to always have water with you. But it means not being able to carry much because I need it in my hand. It means not being able to go to the bar in a pub without taking my bag with my water in it. It means not being able to go to the toilet at work or out and about without taking it. It means constantly having it in your mind and panicking for the split second you can’t find it or realise it’s empty. To rid myself of that burden would just be fantastic. And I’ve conquered the first step.
Over the next couple weeks I’m going to try to leave the house and walk down the road without it a few times to push it a little more. If I’m not needing the water, I’m not nervous of the situation – resulting in a less agoraphobic attitude as well.
Things are looking positive!