Anxiety improvements

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.

Untitled

…I’d rather have my hands free for this bottle of champers!

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!

lovelauren

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49 thoughts on “Anxiety improvements

  1. apauper2 says:

    Lauren, Satan can always find a weakness in anyone to take to extremes, it’s what he does. The more we think about overcoming mental issues, the more they become ingrained because they remain in our conscious awareness even if our motive is positive by trying to get rid of them! Believe me I’ve been there and done all you speak of. Where I’m at now is using God’s enabling empowerment to maintain an unpreoccupied mind and trust in His omnipresence, and don’t let them tell you it’s psychosomatic self deception…God is real! Please Lauren, let God be your “bottle of water”!!!

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  2. Josh Wrenn says:

    Small steps can be huge steps. Don’t trivialize your amazing progress. It is easy to go in the other direction. I am so glad you are doing well. And darn it, you have just inspired my post today…great…not I have to write. Hehe. 🙂

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  3. Fannie Frankfurter says:

    Congratulations! Every little bit helps. Lately I’ve had more trouble than usual leaving the house. It’s bad for me and my dog too. The dog is probably going to be my biggest motivator for walking around the neighborhood or park.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. writerspilecki says:

    Hi Lauren, I thought you could use this poem that will be in my forthcoming book this summer. Peace.

    Dangerous Afternoon

    today is missing/the ground is missing
    Simon Perchik, “D180”

    This highway cuts like a razor
    through afternoon, just a hiss
    and a pulsating mutter drawing
    a line through the haze. Even
    the roadside daisies and asters sigh

    and deflate, stupefied by August
    heat. This perforation of a yellow
    line starts and stops and starts
    again like dictation, only to putter
    out on the blurred horizon. Yet

    even that is only astigmatism,
    the future disappearing in mist
    as the past is scoured from behind.
    Moving forward, the future resumes
    though today the tar is hot white

    and undulating, like a glacier
    seen through time-lapse photography,
    that pantomime of progress for
    the impatient. Afternoon bleeds here,
    slowly saturating sky like a much-needed

    drink of water spilled down a shirt,
    or gold decanted into a shallow bowl
    by an alchemist looking for lead.
    It’s hard to believe in causation on a day
    like today, when time is a slate

    tide, hard to have faith, impossible
    to pray. Your wheels spin like the move-
    ment of trance, a fog surrounding a stone
    precipice. Today is missing, the ground
    is missing. Sensation lies, if it says

    anything at all. The heat and its afternoon
    pallor are bartering for you, body and soul,
    charlatans promising oasis, insisting
    you won’t be harmed. If you believe
    them and step off the edge,

    you risk tumbling down, breaking
    yourself against rock and ridge.
    Better numbness than pain, however
    tremulous. Better to hedge your bets.
    August must end and September will

    come to you if only you wait for it,
    holding it in your memory like a single
    gold leaf or autumn star. On an after-
    noon like this, courage is patience. If
    you’re smart, you will stay where you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lifeofmiblog says:

    Well done. I am another with my water bottle attached…not as bad as you (I don’t take it to the loo with me! What the!) but I know that “where is it” feeling. I have a couple of times lost my bottle, yes with me it’s not just having ‘a’ bottle with me it is having the bottle I am ‘expecting’, anyhow I almost freak out and have to force myself to accept that if I run off and buy a bottle from the shop it will be ok. Most people when I tell them things like this just think that I’m crazy…..and they’re right 😃

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  6. Ross W says:

    Baby steps, I have OCD and my life is driven by numbers. I count everything, how many times the door knob was checked and is the stove left on for the millionth time. I count three paper towels when drying my hands. The number three goes everywhere with me like your water bottle. But… Sometimes I don’t count, sometimes I lock the door and just leave. I dry my hands and just grab a handful of towels. Each one of those moments I engage in what seems like complete mental deconstruction and calamity is a moment that tears me down a little. Then it builds me up again. Stronger than before and better able to resist the impending crisis of not indulging the numbers.

    You are doing awesome, I really hope that things continue to move forward in a positive way!

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  7. magickmogwai says:

    Well done hun that’s a big step to take and so glad you are going to push it further. As someone with similar agrophobia issues due to anxiety I know how big a step it actually is even though it seems so small. Keep up the good work and eventually you will beat this thing 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bleuchleo says:

    Thanks for “liking” one of my posts Lauren. It gave me a chance to visit your site and I have to say I really like it. It will take me time to read through everything. I love your attitude towards mental health challenges. I got hit with Agoraphobia two years ago and it almost destroyed my life. You go girl! Oh, and I love the pictures and all the art!

    Like

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