Wednesday, 18 November 2009

please can you vote for my little girl in the NEXT competition

please clock on this link to vote for her to be a model for next thanks xx

Friday, 2 October 2009

Not sure where I am right now...

Sorry I haven't written for along time. The past few months have had two different stories - one of which is me beating anxiety and pushing my boundaries and the other is me feeling really low and having no motivation.

Good stories such as driving to different places with my children just to take the dog out to play fetch. The most I drove was around 18 miles to a big town :-) Bloody hell! That felt good at the time.

Walked down two streets in Clifton in Bristol with my friend Lorraine, and actually started my Christmas shopping.

Then the bad parts have been feeling really low and no motivation.

I haven't driven far for about 6 weeks or something. A couple of times when I felt up to fighting my demons of anxiety I drove to my local shop which took about 10 seconds in the car, to mainly buy junk food to make me feel better.

Or the other time I drove to the same shop and bought all healthy food as I was ready to turn my life around and start on a new healthy diet rather than eating crap everyday.

At the minute.. I'm feeling really down. And I know that I have been here before. but the anxiety that's in my head is really scary, and I just wish it would pass..

Will write soon Marie x

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Happy Wedding Anniversary - 3 years and going strong!

It was Robert and my 3 years wedding anniversary yesterday. We didn't do anything special. It would have nice to have gone out for dinner in the evening to one our favourite restaurants. We haven't been in some of them for a few years 'cos my anxiety got a lot worse, but now we can go there again. We were missing one thing - a baby sitter :-(

Maybe we will go another time and celebrate our marriage together in style ;-)

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

My Trip to Lynn's house

After setting off on the road to Scotland, I was buzzing with excitement but at the same time feeling very anxious about driving so far from home. I tried not to think about the drive as a whole and started thinking about the places along the way. The first city was going to be Bristol which is over an hour from home. Sometimes thinking this way helps a great deal and I became very settled in myself. Other times I had visions of me just screaming and having a panic attack that would never end and being taken into a mental hospital...not exactly a pleasant thought.

Through most of the journey I was able to kick these negative thoughts aside and started to concentrate on why I was making this trip, The reason was to meet my friend Lynn that I met on the internet over two years ago. Most of the time this thought made me smile and I couldn't wait until I was going to meet Lynn face to face and give her a hug.

The negative side of me was thinking, what if she doesn't like me? What if we don't get on?
etc. etc.. So my heart started to pound with all these thoughts buzzing round my head.

Apart from my anxious thoughts about being away from home I also had to deal with driving on the motorway. I hadn't really done this before, apart from 5 minutes here and there on occasional journeys with Robert. Robert nearly always does the driving everywhere we go.

The things I hate about motorways are-

  1. lots of cars going fast

  2. sometimes no hard shoulder

  3. a very wide road - sometimes 4 or 5 lanes

  4. If you don't want to get stuck behind big lorries you have to overtake them.

  5. You cant just drive off the moterway straight away

You can see that I had to deal with quite a bit from my anxious thoughts telling me that things are not safe. Even so, I kept on driving and the negative thoughts became less and less and I started to actually enjoy driving on the motorway overtaking large lorries and anything else that I had to overtake on the way. With my music playing lo

ud and Robert in the passenger seat with his swollen foot on the dashboard. passing me sweets and drinks when I needed them, it was like being treated like the queen – well, apart from she has her own chauffeur.

The journey from home to Lynn's house near Glasgow was about 9 hours as we stopped at a few service stations on the motorway. In total it was 430 miles give or take. So I was looking at the mileometer quite a bit. It was like watching paint dry, ha-ha. When th

e mileometer said 300 miles, I got rather excited as it was only 130 miles to go and didn't seem long after driving 300 miles beforehand.

When we had 70 miles left to do, Robert offered to take over driving as he said I looked tired and we already driven over the Scottish border. I was so pleased to let him drive

and sit and relax in the passenger side. I was ringing Lynn up every 5 minutes, screaming down the phone, telling her about every landmark etc. on the way. Poor girl, she must have thought she had a nutter coming to stay with her!

When we finally got to Lynn's town, it was 11:30pm and the sat nav in the car showed the little flag on the map to show we would be at Lynn's road in like less than 300

yards or so. At this time I felt like I was going to be sick with anxiety and excitement all in the same tummy with butterflies added. With a quick sip of my juice to make me feel less anxious, I grabbed my bag, ready to jump out of the car for when we reached Lynn's


We pulled into Lynn's road and I recognised it from all the pics and videos sh

e sends me. It seemed familiar already, which was quite nice, but also rather strange.

Stood by the house which we pulled up to was a very tall lady with

a big smile on her face. It was Lynn! I nearly screamed with delight when I saw her! Instead I ran up to her and gave her a hug. It was great to actually meet her fa

ce to face. I was shaking like mad but tried not to show it. We grabbed my suitcase and Robert and I went inside her house. I was still shaking like mad and when Lynn made us a cup of tea I had to put it down on the table

as I would have dropped it!

Lynn, Robert and myself

After a little while I settled down and we all chatted for ages. Then we went to bed. ;-)

The next morning at 5am Robert left and went to the Lake district to do his business course at a posh manor hotel. So for the next few days I was without Robert.

Lynn drove me around lots of the places in her town. We went shopping in the little Boots where I bought hair dye as Lynn said she would dye my grey hairs for me (lol). I haven't got lots but I do have some and hate the fact!!

Normally I wouldn't let anyone dye my hair as I can't deal with washing my h

air properly and the fact that the dye would change my hair colour. The thought that I couldn't change it back would normally freak me right out. But I managed to sit whilst Lynn dyed it all and washed it out for me over the bath.. Now I have no grey hairs - whoo hoo :-)

Lynn and I seemed to make a great team together. She was learning to drive and I have had my driving licence for over 3 years so I could go out

in the car with her as she drove me around. Actually she was a very good driver. All the time I was at Lynn's I didn't have much anxiety at all apart from when she tried

to get me to walk from her house one day. I think we walked 27 steps -

not sure – lol.

Lynn and I oustside in her back garden

I think I helped Lynn a little. I went with her to her doctor's surgery. She hadn't been able to go there for 5 years! I stayed in the car and as I saw her go into the building, I was so pleased for her that I cried.

This is Lynn and I playing silly buggers!! haha class x

Lynn lives with her Parents. I didn't get to meet her Dad as he was wor

king away, but I met her mum and she is really nice. I met a few of Lynn's friends and family members - which was great, as I heard a lot about them from her. I met three of Lynn's cousins which

was great fun and a few of her friends. One called Angela has a medium-sized dog called Taz which actually snogged me when he met me (lol). It was yuck!!!

This picture is of Taz just after he snogged me!!!

After a few days at Lynn's, Graham came back. We all had Indian take away at her house before we left. That was a great meal. It was time to leave which I wasn't looking forward to... So we said our goodbyes and I walked down the path to the car. Then I started to cry

. Lynn ran out and hugged me - awww - and said a few sweet words to make me feel better. Then off we went and I was crying for about 10 minutes after as I didn't want to be so far from my new Best Friend.

Our yummy takeaway

Saturday, 11 April 2009

The battle between anxiety and desire

Once upon a time, two young women in their twenties met randomly online.

The two young women were called Marie and Lynn, and the one thing they had in common was that they both suffered from agoraphobia. They got to know each other very well and became very good friends. The thing is, these two girls lived over 400 miles apart - one in south west England the other in west Scotland. The only thing stopped them from meeting each other was anxiety. This didn't stop them from talking each day through MSN and phone calls.

Over two years had passed and by this time they became very close friends. Marie used to wonder if she would ever get to meet Lynn as she lived so far away and 'cos of anxiety they both suffered which just made this rather an ordeal.


Marie's husband Robert had to go on a buisness trip to the Lake District which was about 5 hours' drive away. This gave Marie an idea that maybe she could go and stay with her friend Lynn if her hubby would drive her another 2 or 3 hours further to Glasgow. This meant Robert would have to drive for 2 or 3 hours more one way and drop Marie off at Lynn's and then drive all the way back to the Lake District.

Robert agreed to make the extra drive so Marie could go and stay at her friend, Lynn's house. Marie was very excited by this but also very, very anxious... The idea was fantastic but the anxious thoughts were constant and very negative.

She thought, Could she cope with traveling more than 7 hours from home? What if she had a panic attack so far away from home? Would she go and book into a bed and breakfast and just wait for an ambulance to come and sedate her? Just thinking about being in control of herself that whole time was just a dream at that moment, even though she had been to Scotland quite a few years ago. Then, when she still suffered from anxiety it was a very hard thing to cope with being so far from home. Plus she would be staying with a friend that she hadn't met in a house that she had never stayed in. And without her safe person, her husband, Robert.

The next few weeks leading up to that date where Marie had to decide if she could go on that 7 hour drive to stay with her friend for 4 days without her hubby were very hard, as she had to deal with all the 'what if' thoughts of anxiety about going away. It really was a fight between anxiety and desire.

The weeks flew past and it was just a week to go untill the big day arrived. At this time Marie had tried her best not to think about going to Scotland as this was an easier option as she was getting rather stressed about the whole thing. Part of her decided that she was going and nothing was going to stop her but she still had the constant negative thoughts saying that she couldn't go and that she was out of her mind thinking that she could cope with it.

Marie started looking online to buy a new suitcase and new pyjamas trying to make it all seem exciting so she would stay in positive mode about going away. Sometimes she would cry at night whilst going to sleep knowing it was such a big thing to her to go and meet her friend. And if she could really fight against those negative thoughts she was having, that seemed to be taking over every time she tried to tell herself that she would be able to go.

She finally told herself she was going no matter what. This was about 4 days before the planned date of departure.

And the next day Robert became ill.

The only obvious symptom that he had was a tempature and Marie just took it that it was 'man flu'. But the next morning, when Robert got out of bed and saw that his foot was very swollen his face just dropped 'cos he knew that he had the recurring cellulitis that he has had a few times before. This meant that he had to go on antibiotics straight away which was lucky as the doctor prescribed him an extra lot last time he had it so he could go straight on them next time he had it. Last time Robert had cellulitis he had to keep his foot elevated for over a week and he had high tempatures all time and was sleeping lots 'cos of the pain in his foot and the infection flows through his body causing pain everywhere so not a nice thing to suffer with.

After she knew what was wrong with Robert she felt really upset and she just thought that was Scotland over before it started. She just broke down and cried. Just thinking that all that time she had been fighting with her anxiety about going away and that just as she was starting to cope with the idea of going, it all had been taken away from her as Robert was poorly and it looked like going to Lynn's was cancelled. Marie felt crap as Robert knew she was upset as she was crying and really down so it made him feel very guilty. Marie told him that she knew it wasn't his fault. After a couple of days his foot seemed a lot better and he didn't seem to feel so ill or in so much pain but the fact they would have to drive for over 7 hours meant that the trip still seemed very unlikely. So in her head the trip was still a non-starter.

Robert stayed positive and told Marie that he would take her to Lynn's even though he couldn't make it to his business trip as he couldn't drive all that way and not keep his foot elevated. Then Robert had a really stupid idea and said, "Marie, you could drive to Scotland...."

Marie just looked at him and laughed.

"Yeah right," she said, then a day later they both packed their suitcases and they were going to Scotland and who was going to drive?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Me... haha!

Hi Guys! xxxx

I actually drove all the way to Scotland. Hours before the drive I was shitting myself (excuse the French lol). But as I was packing I was going to tell Robert I can't do this but for some reason I didn't and oh! am I glad I didn't back out!

My next post will be all about my trip to Lynn's house....

So watch this space haha....

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

I went driving in my car broom broom!! whoop whoop

Robert was ill today, I think he has man flu bless him haha, so I decided to go and pick Joseph up from school
with Orla as Robert looked like he was going to pass out.

So off we went in the car off down the road, I was thinking shit I'm scared .. But I thought to myself Nope I can do this!!

so I did I drove about 5 mins to the school and picked Joseph up then I saw that they had a few stalls in the school with easter goodies and a raffle, so I asked the kids if they wanted to buy some cakes etc and they didn't say no lol.. So I went looking a proper mummy to the easter stalls, we won an easter egg too that was rather exciting lol, well I dont get out much do I...
We chose lots of easter cakes and went on a few games and the kids had a great time then we went home to show daddy what we won :-)

But one thing that was sad Orla said mummy can you come and see my teachers now, I just had to say that they was all gone home and maybe another day. bless her :-(

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

pushing things I can do

This weekend I stayed on my own at my friend lucys house which is about 2hrs away in Wales, we was chatting on msn on friday night and she asked what I was doing this weekend and I told her I had nothing planned so from there on we made random plans for me to go and stay the next day, Lucy also suffers from anxiety also her agoraphobia side isnt that bad but sometimes she can go on the train to her boyfriends house and then other days she can not cope with the train etc, so her brother met Robert and myself half way as Lucy was to anxious. she will come and stay with me soon sometime It depends how she is feeling at the time. I didn't get to take any photos this time as I forgot to take my camra biggest mistake but I have the memories which I will never forget.

This was a new thing for me to do to go and stay at a friends so far away without Robert or my family so I am very pleased with myself. I have lots of friends all over the uk and other countries I am going to push myself to go and stay with quite a few as I think it will build my confidence up.

I have other plans for this weekend too but wont tell you about that yet as that will be an amazing post :-)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

My holiday at my parents house whilst my family went to Disneyland

The day I left to stay at my parents
I was packed and ready to go and stay with my parents in Dorset for 5 nights whilst my husband and our two children went to Disneyland in Paris.
I had been anxious about going to stay with my parents for a couple of months now. My husband is my no 1 safe person, I spend most of my time with him.
Staying at my parents house is like staying at a hotel as they have a 7 bedroom house with a large garden, not exactly a agoraphobics heaven cos of the long hallways etc. but with my mum's home cooked meals and being waited on hand and foot that would be a holiday for anyone.
My parents were going to meet me in Taunton, so Robert and the two children and I went in the car to Taunton where we met my parents. On the way to Taunton I started to cry as the anxiety became strong the more I thought about the what ifs, what if I had a panic attack at my parents house, what if I cant cope without Robert, what if I start screaming with panic etc. etc.. so my imagination ran wild and feeling positive was far from how I feeling. I knew that there was nothing I could do in order to change Roberts mind in going away to Disneyland, I didn't ask him not to go as I knew it was for my children. We said our good byes and Robert drove of and left me in my parents company.

We then had to travel to Weymouth in Dorset, It's about an hour and a bit from Taunton, I was quite calm in the car as I knew Robert wasn't leaving on the boat until 4am the next morning so I felt calm, On the way home my dad stopped at a village near Bridport called Pilsdon to show me where my great grandma and Grandad used to live, Its called Pilsdon mannor.

After a hour or two we arrived in Weymouth at my parents house. Took my bags to my room and started to settle in and watch TV. I didn't feel anxious at this time still knowing Robert was still in the UK and I knew he could drive to me within a hour or so if I panicked.
The thing that was making me anxious was about going to bed and knowing at 4am Robert would be on the ferry to France. This was the moment I was not looking forward to.
Come 9:30 I felt so tired I decided to go up to my room and start to read and write in my diary and to settle in for the night. Followed by my hypnotherapy mp3 that I listen to every evening.
Waking every hour to look at my mobile to see what time it was, was getting anxious about how I would feel when I woke up or if I was awak at 4am how would I feel?

Well I woke up and looked at my mobile to find that it was 5am so I knew Robert was on the ferry half way to France, I felt no anxiety about him being so far way which made me rather emotional as I was so scared about being away from him and I was totally fine. I rang Robert up about 9am and he was on the bus from his Disney hotel to go to the disney park with the kids.
I started crying on the phone as Joseph and Orla was really excited and I was not there to share that with them, And then Robert started to cry to so we said our goodbyes quick.. aww

One of the days whilst I was away My friend Claire took me out in her car we drove to the New forrest which is about 46 miles so it took just over an hour or so.. we went for lunch in a pub garden it was lush. whilst driving there we had to stop for a few ponys along the road.
here are some photo's from our day at the new forrest in Dorset.

The last photo of me with the Linden method book I was reading it whilst we were out and about
I take that book most places now I find it helps to read it when I feel anxious.
After the New forrest we drove around Bournmouth then to Sand banks in Poole the 2nd most exspensive place to buy a house in England here is a House I liked so thought id take a photo to show you.. This will be my next house hahaha yer I wish

After we went to poole park to feed the swans and ducks, then we drove home to have a Indian take away yummy.. I had a great day out. I really enjoyed my time away with my family members and my friend I was out everyday and I felt bloody fantastic.. It could not have been a better week. all that stressing and being anxious for weeks before and I was tottaly fine.

Graham came home with kids with lots of hugs and kisses and gifts for me, I think they missed me a bit as they said it about 50 times haha aww bless, and I missed them loads too. They had a fantastic time away but will let Robert fill you in about that on his blog.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Tomorrow my husband Robert and our 2 children are off to Disneyland Paris and as for me, I am off to my parents' house in Weymouth.

Am I upset that I am not going? Am I shitting myself about staying so far away from Robert for 6 days? scuba diving in Australia

Yes to all the above forum smileys

I am going to miss seeing those Disney gates with my children.. The ones that open and you enter into the most magical world!!

My Daughter Orla who is 3 she is going to see her most loved princess Cinderella. I'll be missing capturing one of the best photos I will ever take of her when she is still a little girl.

I asked Orla just then, What is she looking forward to the most about going to Disney Land?
She replied- I'm going to go and see Cinderella's Castle.
I asked her if she is sad about Mummy not going with her?
She replied with a hug and a whisper, I will miss you when you are at grandma's.

I asked Joseph the same questions.
He replied, I am looking forward to the rides especially the Runaway Train.
He said, I'll be sad because I'm going to miss mum going on the rides with me.

Same questions to Robert...
What he's most looking forward to is watching the kids having a good time. He's slightly excited about seeing Walt Disney Studios park for the 1st time (he's seen the Disneyland Park twice before).
He said that he always feels sad when something interesting is happening and he can't share it with me. He's sad that I am missing so much of my children's lives. Sometimes he feels lonely without me, even when there are lots of other people around. He will miss me most of all when he is in bed - without me...

My thoughts and feelings about staying at my parents' are-

Having a major panic attack and feeling it wont go away untill Robert gets on that train,boat or plane as fast as he can back to me. And other negative thoughts about me being taken in to hospital over the whole thing.

The good things about staying there will be me spending time with my Mum and Dad, them taking me out everyday. spending a day and evening with my best friend Claire, seeing my sister Kim and my nephew Sachin. Hee is 1 now, but soon will be 2. I may stay over at Kim's house one night, have a take-away and watch a DVD. Last of all, I'll have time to myself to hopefully think positive things, do lots of CBT homework and start on the Linden method. Charles is sending me another pack which will be arriving at my parents' by a courier on Monday. I used to have the Linden Method but as I didn't use it in the few years it was sitting on my bedroom floor. Eventually Robert threw it out.

So the best thing that could happen whilst staying at my parents' would be that I had no anxiety about Robert being away and I keep feeling confident.

There is no broadband at my parents' so I will have to use dial-up to keep in touch with everybody.

Honestly - I'm not looking forward to it at all. scuba diving


Thursday, 5 March 2009

A post for Lynn

I am having one of those soppy moments and wanted to do a post to tell my friend Lynn that she is a great friend!! most of you will know lynn through reading her blog

I met Lynn online two years ago and untill This day we have spoke nearly everyday either online or on the phone. In the past two years I have shared everything with her and trust her with my heart.

Its good that we are both really positive most of the time. when I do have a really bad day and end up crying on the phone to her or asking for her support through a panic attack she is there.

When I have had a set back in the past with anxiety and having a few crap days etc, Lynn uses the magic saying You have been here before Kate and you know it passes.. Lynn is probualy the only person who actually can make me feel hopefull after a set back.
I am writing this post just to say thanks for being a great friend.

I actually never believed someone could have more than one best friend and now I do.

Moving Forward

After having three sessions with my hypnotherapist I'm actually feeling a 100% more positive than I was a few weeks ago. So to me thats Bloody Great!!

I am still listening to my hypnotherapy mp3 every single night and I am making myself walk outside about three or more times aday and I am gradualy walking a few more steps each day. A few weeks ago when I had been quite depressed and my anxiety just seemed through the roof it was hard even for me to go outside my house and think about walking a few steps. I know that last year when I got my puppy I was walking further than I am now but some how it went back and then I stopped trying. Now I am making sure I am walking everyday and I am starting to see the results.

Walking outside every day is one thing I have never tried since having suffered from agoraphobia, but now I can see the benefits of doing it. It gets easier to do each day and some of the area which was outside my safe zone is now inside my safe zone.

Another benefit of seeing my hypnotherapist every week is the incentive to actually have some progress to report each time I see him. If I only saw him once a month, I might be lazy and not try to improve a little every week. As well as this, he gives me some CBT to do each week.

He doesn't want me to talk negatively to him, and he's told me that when I get negative thoughts, I have to change my thinking to something positive. It doesn't have to be related to my negative thought, it can be anything - as long as it's positive. In this was I'm training myself to have less negative thoughts.

I'm trying to concentrate on what I can do, rather than what I can't do. I'm trying to think of this thing as a process rather than a "cure".

I feel more hopeful about progressing now than I have for a long time!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Applied for a disable blue badge....I had my application refused

I applied to have a disable badge as I think it would let me try and get used to my doctors, shops,restraunts etc etc.. even if I had to go in hospital I wouldnt be able to park outside the door. As I have no disable badge even thou I cant walk more than a few feet.. cos of my anxiety

My letter stated I cant have a badge cos the somerset county council have strict adhererence to the policy and criteria means that badges are only issues to those people who would otherwise find it impossible to visit shops, public buildings or other places.

hmmm so I dont fit in that catorgry???? ffs do they understand agoraphobia?? did they even look at my aplication formn??

people who have disable badges some of them park in car parks along way from shops etc and walk there!!! so they find it impossible to get to public places so they? what an excuse!!
well Im going to fight for agoraphobics and mental health sufferers!! and get that badge.

This is some info I found whilst reasearching agoraphobia and disable badges.

I am going to get a letter from my doctor, therapist contact some mp's from the council etc and someone from the mental health team in my area and kick ass!!

This is the information that the blue badge scheme website gives you on mental health

People with mental health difficulties

Whilst driving was described as the only feasible mode of travel for people with panic attacks and agoraphobia, the following issues were highlighted:

  • Problems finding a parking space caused anxiety and panic. A person will abandon a trip altogether due to the inability to find a space.
  • Those with more severe agoraphobia will not leave their house due to walking distances. Even for those with a less severe condition, quality of life would be greatly improved if they could park close to their destination (all severity levels would benefit potentially).
  • Problems going shopping. Parking far away from shops caused a great deal of stress and often meant that trips were abandoned because the anxiety triggered panic attacks.
  • Multi-storey car parks were also difficult for respondents to face due to feeling of enclosure, which could lead to a panic attack.
  • Feeling of getting lost if car is parked far away and can't be found easily. A Blue Badge would mean that respondents could park next to destination which would reduce the anxiety.

Respondents with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) encountered a lot of problems in reaching their final destinations. The lack of normal parking spaces meant that having a badge would mean being able to park close to the destination. Problems also exist with objects such as barriers, bollards and signs being “dirty” – in addition, parking close to visible dirty objects (for example, litter) caused huge problems.

With Tourette’s Syndrome, repetitive behaviour can hinder the use of public and private transport. They might affect a person’s ability to board a bus. Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours may also distract a road user from the road (for instance, compulsive mirror checking)


This is what I found on the net that the house of commons said about people with mental health issues having a disable blue badge

It is clear that people with conditions such as agoraphobia and social phobia find travelling alone difficult and the risk is sometimes worsened by more serious mental impairments.

Each person who has a severe mental impairment or who have extremely disruptive behavioural problems, which affects their mobility, as in the case of agoraphobia or autism, should be given a badge.

The diagnosis should be irrelevant, but the impact the condition has on the person's mobility and ability to travel should be relevant, not every mental impairment will affect a person's ability and every person's experience is individual, so the criteria should be changed to reflect that.

Social inclusion, better quality of life, and independence are all factors which would be likely to help people who are severely mentally impaired or who have extremely disruptive behavioural problems, who are awarded a Blue Badge would be greatly enhanced by being entitled to the parking concessions.

I think I am in intitles to get that badge!!! do you?

Friday, 27 February 2009

had two hypnotherapy/cbt sessions - Feeling more positive but sleeping untill 1pm

Here are a few things I'm doing diffrent thease days

1, I listen to my Hypnotherapy every night.

2, I walk the dog as far as I can each day a few times a day. which is probualy around 13-18 steps at the minute lol.. but hey im trying .

3, I drive my car to the shop across the road to get my dog a bone when he needs a new one.

4, I'm walking as far as I can in our shop every day.

5, Ive arranged to start Pilates.. meeting the lady on monday. she does home visits also, but I have chosen to go to a class in a hall.

6, I'm thinking about learning meditation

7, I am feeling better in the car now so dragging my husband out in the car when I can lol

8, starting to try and go to cafes and Restraunts

9, I have sciatica quite bad at the moment Ive had it for over two weeks now.

10. I am sleeping untill about 1pm each day.. so thats something I need to change not sure if the sciatica is anything to do with it as I am in quite abit of pain etc,

In the past a new therapy has always made me positive and motivated at the start and it normally goes down hill after a month or so.....

One thing I have done diffrently so far with this new therapy is that I am listening to the hypnotherapy each night and I am actually doing the homework each day. which actually I have never done in therapy. so for that I give myself a pat on the back.

actually I am rather pleased with myself at the moment for all the thing I have written above.
and for me sleeping in untill lunch time is rather shit I must admit and I am relying on my husband to get the kids ready for school. I'm hoping that I will able to have a routine of my own and start to become a proper mummy.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

getting to know you

1 ... If you could have any superhero power what would you choose?

anything a magic wand could do

2 ... If you could relive one moment in your past, which one would you choose?

A Christmas with my sisters when I was young

3 ... What is your favorite movie?

Pretty Woman or sliding doors

4 ... What is your favorite comfort food?

Chinease or indian starters with mango or sweet chilli dip mmmm

5 ... What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone?

If I like them or not

6 ... Something you find fascinating?

peoples lifes and my own haha

7 ... What is something you are passionate about?

family and friends

8 ... How did you come up with your blog title?

my hubby and I worked it out some how

9 ... If you won the lottery, how would you spend it?

I would buy a really nice house, two cars, not sure what else Id pay off my parents and my sisters morgages also

10 ... What do you like about the opposite sex? Or what attracts you to someone?

I like personality, I look for a man that I know that can pick me up and rescue me from a fire lol

I look at mens chest and arms to see if they are strong haha god i sound odd

OOOh I fancie Simon cowel and my hubby

11 ... What do you know for sure?

That I need to sort my life out im fecking 30 now

Attached or Single? Attached/married

Best Friend? Claire/Lynn

Cake or Pie? Cake

Day of Choice? friday

Essential Item? my bag

Favorite Color? cream

Gummy Bears or Worms? both

Hometown? is where ever my home is

Indulgence? hagan daz ice cream
January or July? July. Summertime :)

Kids? 2 of my own and 5 step kids

Life Isn’t Complete Without? laughter

marrage date 29th april 2005

Number of Magazine Subscriptions? One.. none

Orange or Apple? Apple I want a apple laptop

Phobia(s)? Agoraphobia of course. Fears.. , heights, spiders, snakes

where ever you are let your wind go free

Reasons to Smile? friends

Season of Choice? Summer.

Tag Two ... kaci sarah

Unknown Fact About Me? My Dad calls me Vera as he had a bossy auntie called vera he thinks I take after her

Vegetable? pea

Worst Habit? agoraphobia haha

X-Ray or Ultrasound? ultrasound

Your Favorite Food(s)? indian, wotsits, cereal, fruit corners

Zodiac Sign? Capricorn

Friday, 13 February 2009

feeling down

I have not written in a while.

I've been feeling depressed lately. I don't know what is causing it. I haven't had the motivation to do much more than get out of bed during these past 3 days.

I was feeling quite positive before this phase.


I feel like dead weight. What is it? I wonder.

I have a few theories but I don't want to publicly debate through them. Sometimes, we all just need time to ourselves. I'll be fine.

We all go through these gloomy days.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Down the therapy road again.....

This afternoon I decided to google therapies in my area in the south west. Haven't a clue why. Because I really don't know if I believe in therapy anymore. When I have seen a new therapist in the past it normally makes me really confident for a couple of weeks or more and I start to believe in myself. Which is good.. But never lasts!

Could it be the same as buying new clothes? Having new clothes to wear gives you confidence doesn't it? Then having anything new like a new car, a new puppy, or even when you have a new bf or gf gives you that confidence buzz.. So does therapy work?

Going private with therapy can cost hundreds of pounds or more. I told my sister on the phone today how I have been thinking that therapy may be a confidence booster, she said well if you think that you may as well spend a few hundred pounds on clothes and get confident that way!
Which is true really. That would make me feel great for a while.

My sister Kim works in the mental health team in her area. She helps people to get back into work or tries to get them interested in a college course etc. Kim goes to a number of meetings and courses which she learns more about my condition. I know one meeting last year she got very upset about what she heard about how hard it is for someone to live with a mental health illness. Agoraphobia came up as one of the hardest things to deal with. This hit home for my sister as she has seen her little sister grow up with this condition.

I started to write down the diffrent therapies in my area.. and I have decided to go with hypnotherapy again. I last had this properly when I was 18. It worked rather well then, but something happens in my head that my agoraphobia gets worse again after a few months of doing well. So I am willing to try it again.

I rang a few therapists around my area one is quite far from me - still in the south west but the traveling time would be an hour and a half.. This man is a hypnotherapist and he does EFT also.
He sounded really nice on the phone and I felt at ease but I think he is to far away to see each week really, so I will put him on hold.

Another therapist I rang - he lives about 6 miles away from me. He concentrates on NLP
but he sounded a very strict therapist and takes you out walking etc to make u face it!
Which is probably the best way to deal with my issue but seemed too scary talking about it!
lol.. so I haven't chosen him. Saying that, he is coming to my house on Tuesday morning for a one to one first session to find out my problem.. that can't hurt can it? So we will see..

The last therapist I had on my list I had found on the internet was a nice medium built man with grey hair and a grey beard.. I know this as he has a pic on his website lol
and on the phone he seemed a very sweet and gentle man. He is a hypnotherapist and a pshycotherapist. He lives actually 4 minute walk from me lol what a find!! whoo hoo.
He is coming to my house on Monday evening at 8pm so I will let you know what happens.

Here's a hypnotherapy visual aid. Concentrate on the centre circle. What do you see?

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Seven pounds

I just watched the film Seven Pounds. I cried most of the way through it.
When I sat and watched this movie I started to think how my life was. How can I start to change the way I am? It is up to me to start thinking positive and begin to think what I want from life.
I know I can start to change the way my anxiety controls my mind. To start doing this I have to tell myself I am in charge!! I hope anyone reading this can start to believe they can too.
Life starts to change the day you want it!!

Marie x

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My magic bag and OCD

It all started when my sister Kim gave me a new school bag as a present. It was a bright yellow Benetton duffle bag. I was very pleased as they were the rage at the time.

I put all my school books etc. into the bag ready for school the next day. This was probably the first time I had ever been organised for school with my bag packed. Having a new school bag even made me set my alarm clock 2 hours earlier than normal. Which was totally not me, as I normally jumped out of bed about 20 minutes before I had to leave to catch the school bus.

My alarm clock was very annoying and very loud. My parents had bought me it one Christmas, thinking it may be the the answer to me getting up for school on time. Boom Boom, get up! it shouts. Then, if you don't turn the alarm off, it gets even louder. BOOM BOOM time to get up!! You can see how annoying this is. But it didn't make the slightest difference in me getting out of bed.

This particular morning I did get up early. I had an extra two hours to get ready so I could look my best with my new bag. Maybe I should have bought a new bag everyday (lol). I had breakfast, a bath, did my hair and did my make-up. Looking good!! ;-)

I was so impressed that I was ready in time. I put my coat on and went out the front door to wait for my friend Leanne. I started to play hop scotch on the front path outside my door. Not exactly the coolest thing to be seen doing when you are 14. I got bored of hopscotch after 10 minutes. I decided to try and walk to Leanne's house by myself to surprise her that I was ready on time. I didn't tell my mum that I was going to try and walk there on my own. So I just shouted through the letter box goodbye. I put my bag on my shoulder and started to walk across the road and down the lane. I was totally fine. There was no feeling of fear or anything. I got to Leanne's house and rang the door bell. She came out with a very surprised smile and then we walked to the bus stop together.

After that day I started to notice that if I had this big bag on my shoulder I could walk on my own. I didn't feel light. I felt confident and in control. If I tried walking on my own without this bag I just felt all funny again. A smaller bag was no good. This made no sense to me at all and still doesn't now.

It felt great that I could walk on my own again to and from the bus stop. I have never been able to walk out my house without a big bag or a oversized handbag since. Plus it has to be a certain weight. This doesen't really bother me. As it doesn't affect me in the slightest. Until the day comes where I want to go swimming, I can't see it being a problem. It will have to change then as I would look rather odd in the pool with a handbag!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

My best friend Claire and Anxiety

My best friend is called Claire. I met her when I was 11 and she was just 7. Her family had just moved into the house opposite where I lived with my parents. I remember being quite excited watching a removal van arrive at the house opposite with a family also getting out of a car in the drive. Two children got out. One was Claire and the other, her sister Racheal aged 4.

It was later that day I was riding my bike along the pavement outside my house just trying to be nosey. Then Claire and her sister came out on their bikes and started to ride around and around the lamppost. We were all quite shy and didn't speak. I decided to ride around the lamp post also. I guess we were playing the children's game follow the leader. We started to smile and giggle amongst ourselves. Then it went from there to following each other around the paths and lanes.

Since that day we have all been good friends.

We went to different schools so when we got home we were straight round each other's houses.
A few of my friends thought it was bizarre that one of my best friends was only 7 but this didn't stop me being friends with her.

At the age of 11 there was no sign of panic attacks or agoraphobia. Looking back I can see how free I was. Just taking playing with my best friend for granted. Having fun making dens, riding bikes, round the village, playing chase for hours. All this started to change at age 13 but as long as I was with someone I could still play.

We loved playing tennis but this is one game that was the hardest for me to play. We played it outside my house on the pavement. I must admit I was that good at tennis that when Claire served the ball I mostly missed hitting it and off it went down the road behind me. It was fine if the ball was about a few metres away from me but further than that Claire ended up running down the road for the ball each time I missed it. I can see how frustrating this must have been for her but she didn't show it.

One day I went over her house to play and she showed me what she had bought in town. It was a badminton set. She said that she bought it for us to play instead of tennis as the shuttle cock just lands if you miss it. We still giggle about our one-sided games of tennis. This is just one of the examples that Claire was a great friend.

Walking across the road to each other's houses started to get more difficult with the anxiety getting worse. It started off with me starting to get scared of the space between our two houses and I began to dread it. Claire started to walk me to and from her house so I did not get scared. But it got worse. I started to be scared walking with her sometimes.

I'm not sure if she understood how I was feeling but she never really asked. She just accepted that I had a fear and tried her best to help. As it got harder walking to and from our houses, we would leave our front doors and Claire held my hand and just said RUN!! and we both laughed and ran. This actually helped somehow.

This was all a small part of our friendship and how my anxiety started to effect what we could do.
I'm sure I will write more about Claire later in my blog.

Claire now is 26 and she works in a home for children with autism and other problems. She is one of the most caring and patient people I know. I'm glad that we are friends.

Anxiety at School

In my last post, I wrote about being scared walking to the bus stop. After this, my anxiety started to change my life.

I had a best friend at school called Leanne. She lived half way down the lane on the way to the bus stop. I told her about the way I was scared about walking to the school bus in the mornings. She was very sweet and told me that she would call for me so we could walk together. This made my anxious feelings lessen as I didn't have to worry about walking on my own and freaking out.

Every morning Leanne called for me and we walked to the bus stop together. If she was ill my mum would walk with me and when I got to the bus stop I was fine. Coming home from school I got off at a different bus stop and I felt fine walking home on my own. There were kids walking the same way so this made it easier. There came a time when this started to be a problem and I had the same strange feelings of fear, heart beating fast, and that terrible feeling that everything around you doesn't seem real. I really didn't understand what was happening to me. Why was I feeling this way? After this Leanne would walk home with me or else my mum would be waiting for me at the bus stop to take me home.

Anxiety started to take over how I was at school. Leanne started to walk me to my classes and then meet me when they had finished. I didn't feel anxiety in the classroom. It was just walking to and from classes on my own. When I was walking with people I just felt happy and content. It was like nothing bothered me. The only subjects at school my anxiety started to interfere with were PE and games. So playing tennis outside on the large courts would start to bother me. I felt light and scared. I dealt with this by playing on the court near the steps of the school and no one knew any different. I just looked like a normal 13 year old school girl. When we were in the main hall in the school, playing badminton or doing gymnastics, it was just the same. I had to try and stand nearer the exit. I didn't have to tell the teachers about these feelings as I seemed to be dealing with them enough to be able to carry on with the sport activities.

As the years went by the fear grew worse. I had to tell my teachers about the situation I was in. When playing in the hall I could only cope with some of the activities if I could stand near the exit of the hall. Some teachers got rather cross with me and just told me to get on with whatever the activity was but my fear was more scary than them!! So I would spend a lot of my PE lessons sat on the wooden cold bench on the side of the hall.

My concentration started to be affected in class by the fearful thoughts that would come like how am I going to be walking home? etc.

When I was 15 it was that most important year at school. The year I would do my GCSE'S. This made me even more anxious thinking I had to sit in the large hall having to spend two hours or so doing exams and not being able to escape. I was hoping I wouldn't have to sit in the middle of about 80 kids. I discussed this with my Mum as I was getting upset about it, so she phoned the school to discuss it further with the head master. They organised that I would be able to sit at the front of the hall each time I had an exam. So that was another thing I didn't have to worry about so much.

I got through the exams but only got D grades (C is considered by employers as a pass), so my future did not look that good.

It was time to start a new chapter in my life.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Reflex anoxic seizures and anxiety through the years

Me at age 13

As far as I can remember I have always had anxiety and fear. First there was the fear of blood. I used to pass out with the sight of blood or if anyone had hurt themselves. or if I saw an ambulance or I was visiting someone in hospital etc. This began to affect me in other ways. I did not like to put myself in a situation like being in a pub late at night as a fight may happen or a drunk would end up throwing glass bottles at someone.

Before my fear of blood, I used to suffer from seizures. These started from age 2. I would have a seizure in a situation where I was scared, or if I had a sudden fall where I would be in a state of shock. I would turn blue and go limp. My heart would shut off for a while then start up again.

From seizures then on to anxiety. Maybe it went on to anxiety because I was expecting to faint or to shut off when I got scared about something and then I started to feel out of control as I have never had to deal with it before. I found out about a year ago my fear of blood and passing out may be caused by the seizures.

The next thing I remember is when my panic attacks started :-( There are a few moments in the past where I can remember that feeling of a panic coming on but I can't remember which of my memories come first. Here is one of my memories, I first noticed the signs of panic.

Age 13 -One day I left my house to catch the school bus. I then walked across the road it is in front of my house onto the pavement, then down this wide lane which is as wide as 2 roads. Trees along the sides with some fences where some back gardens ended. Just walking along like normal thinking of what the school day would bring, and then suddenly this horrific feeling came from nowhere - feeling of fear, dizzy, felt lost. I didn't know what to do. Carry on? Go back home? Well I chose to walk to this high wooden fence and just stood there for a moment. I then noticed a boy walk passed that was from the same school as me. I started to feel fine. Then walked the rest of the way to the bus stop following behind him and carried on like nothing had happened.

Next time this happened I walking to the same bus stop some time later. The same thing happened again. This time it scared me a bit more but then saw the same boy walking to the bus stop and followed him and felt fine. From that day I started to wait for this boy to walk down the lane before I left my house. as I noticed this feeling only happened when I was walking on my own. This helped for a few days but then one day I waited for this boy as I was looking through my living room window sat on my Dad's leather chair. He did not show that day and I knew I was going to be late for the bus if I didn't leave. I remember the feeling of dread at the thought that I had to walk to the bus stop on my own.

But I picked up my school bag and coat and said bye to my Mum.

Went out the door.

Crossed the road felt fine and started to walk down the lane.

I started to look back at the house seeing how far I had walked and I started to have that feeling again, but it was worse than last time. I felt that I was going mad, my thoughts were going all round the place, I could not focus, I was shaking, heart was beating, so I to ran towards where I had to go, to see if the feelings would just go.

They just got worse.

So I started to run back to the house and my bag fell of my shoulder and I just dragged my bag all the way home and ran through the front door! Mum was stood in the dining room. wondered what I was running in for. I told her I couldn't walk to the bus stop any more and just broke down and cried. She wanted to know why I couldn't, she asked me to explain and the only way I could describe it to her was that I felt faint as I was walking. She then said to me "I told you that it's important to eat breakfast." I did think, Oh maybe she's right, it's just that, and I had that day off.

And Mum walked me to the school bus the next day and I was totally fine.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Hi, I'm Marie

Hi, I'm Marie.
I am 30 and I suffer from agoraphobia.. Hmm great I already gave myself a label. Some people maybe thinking oh god another anxiety freak!! she should just understand, it's all in her head and stop trying to get attention bla bla bla..

Well for one I do know it's all in my head, and sometimes I do feel like a total freak But a couple of questions that id like to know is.. how do I start thinking I am in control of my life, to tell those fearful thoughts to FUCKOFF!! quite a few of my therapists have said they are only thoughts! Yes they are but they control me, well I guess I let them as I don't want to find out if I can suffer any more anxiety and fear than I already do, I should just ignore them and Run..

I do run but from the fear not through it!!

OK lets try and make me start sounding like someone with a life hey :-)
I am married, to a man that I love so much it hurts, I really didn't think Id ever feel the way I do about him.. He is called Robert. Plus I never thought anyone could love me the way he does either,
I have been with him 9 years this coming march. And married 3 years this April 29th
We have 2 children together Joseph aged 7 and Orla aged 3.
Robert also has 5 other children from past relationships and also grandchildren, I must admit having been 21 and going out with a man about twice my age with 5 children and grandchildren was hard to deal with, plus I know it was extremely hard for his children to have their Dad to be dating someone half his age plus the fact she was agoraphobic. But after 9years his children /Grandchildren feel like family to me and I can truly say I love them to bits.

Before I met Robert I lived with my parents.. I also have two sisters Kim and Karen
They now have children.. both little boys which makes me an auntie. Yey :-)
The other people that are special to me are my Auntie Joan and Uncle Ray, they have got to be the best auntie and uncle in the world!! then there's My best friend Claire, we have been friends since I was 11 so we have shared a lot. I wouldn't swop her for anything.

And last of all my new friend Lynn that I have been friends for about 2 years now, She also suffers from agoraphobia she lives in Scotland so we live miles apart as I
live down south. We met through the internet randomly she had written a letter
about herself living with agoraphobia... so I replied!!
Probably the best email or letter I have ever written as it got me a friend that I never thought id get, she has been like an angel since.. and I love her to bits xx