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?
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....