I’ve suffered with anxiety for many years now, it’s been so bad in the past I literally couldn’t get out of my front door. Just opening the door to the hall would result in floods of tears, shaking, inability to breathe; a full blown panic attack. Fortunately after a course of CBT and lots of support I got to a place where I could get out on my own to do the shopping, go out with friends, I even made it to Cybermummy on my own. But still it’s there, in the background mostly, but affecting my day to day life.
Anyway, that’s the background, nowadays it’s a case of me going everywhere with someone, but little by little things are changing. The other day, for example, I took the dogs for a walk out of our complex and onto the beach. There were people on the beach, just 2 of them and a distance away, but I didn’t panic and run, I let the dogs have a poddle and a mooch and then we headed back to the apartment. It does make it easier having the dogs around, but still, it was a brave moment for me that I didn’t realise ’til later.
I’ve also been practicing walking by myself, away from my parents, when we go for walks down the prom. It’s not too busy down there because it’s low season, but there’s still a fair few people and lots of people selling things who want your attention. It’s good to practice saying “hello” and “no thank you” to people while I’m ahead of my parents and on my own.
It might not seem like much, in fact many of you probably do this stuff without even thinking on a daily basis, but I don’t. I avoid these situations because it’s safer. But the medication I’m on now has made me feel stable enough to work on this myself, to slowly head out of my comfort zone and now I’m most definitely on a roll!