Iminence

Firstly, thank you all for the comments and encouragement – it means such a lot, and is a terriffic boost. You lot are lovely 🙂
Anyhoo.
We set off tomorrow. TOMORROW. Eeeek!
Actually, I’m really excited – and hanging on to what D said about the physical responses to excitement and anxiety being exactly the same. Every time I get butterflies or feel my heart pumping, I tell myself it’s excitement. And so far, it’s worked!
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, I have a sleeping bag and various other bits and bobs, I’ve made lists, I’ve started packing. Well, to be fair, I started packing a couple of weeks ago. My excuse is that I didn’t want to worry the cat by getting my backpack out at the last minute…
My biggest worries now are the weather (we’re taking our spinning wheels, and can’t exactly spin in the rain) and my stupid spine. Lately, my neck has been playing up, and a good 60% of the time I have pins and needles in my right arm. My grip is shocking, and my shoulders hurt. It’s probably stress related tension having a knock on effect on the arthritis, but it’s annoying. Plus, it means that I’m not sleeping well, and as I’m Absolutely Shattered from the whole CBT thing, I’d planned on plenty of naps to restore my strength for all the running around and oohing and aahing at Woolfest.
I will be fine, except my left knee keeps giving way, like it’s “dead”. It’s hard to work it out, because I just don’t notice anything until the feeling comes back (by which point it’s too late), then I get that really cold pins and needles feeling, right under my kneecap. It’s made me fall over a couple of times, so I’m mentioning it here in case the Girls think I’m pissed. It makes no sense, it coincides with the neck thing, but I’d have thought that nerves in the knee originate from the lower back. I don’t know. Just let me know when they invent spine transplants…
This is probably going to be the last blog entry until I come back. The plan is to take a notebook and write stuff down, then let you all know the gory details when we get back on Sunday. Tonight, walking round Sainsburys and wondering what else I needed, I realised that this was the LAST OPPORTUNITY to get Stuff. I stopped myself from putting one of everything in the trolley, and got a couple of things I’d thought of.
I shall stop fretting any… second…. NOW.

Journey of the Something

I’ve fallen behind with the blog again. Not by much – not compared to my usual marathon sabbaticals, but enough to be sitting here with two or three half written blog posts in Notepad, that really should be published in order.
The truth is, I am mentally exhausted. I am trying so hard to go further, push myself harder, that I’ve tired myself out. I look at the text box on my blogging software and the letters turn to mush before my eyes. I write a couple of sentences, and my concentration wanders onto anything – usually nothing.
On Thursday 30th May, I walked to the corner shop by myself. I went inside, and bought a pint of milk and a rather delicious chicken sandwich. An achievement that warrants a blog post all of its own, and indeed, I had mostly written a blog post all about it. Then on Friday 1st June I did it all again, and waited at the edge of the estate for Becky to collect me for her knitting group. Monday saw another knitting group, followed by a grand outing with Becky and her two daughters to the Botanical Gardens. Another blog post. Somehow, I fell behind, and now I’m sitting here at 7am on a Saturday Sunday, thinking “Crap, I really ought to get my skates on and write”.
I need to write. I need to document all the things I’ve been doing, partly so I can tell D my psychologist when I see her on Tuesday. The plan had been to write about each outing in detail, because if I said, “oh yeah, I’ve managed to go to the shop then walk down as far as the post office, cross the road and walk back home” it sounds like I’ve not been doing anything in between and I could do this all along. I’m supposed to be trying to convey what it’s like recovering from agoraphobia. Saying “I went to the shop yesterday” doesn’t quite do it.
The plan was to do “graded exposure”, build up slowly with an eventual goal of going to the Post Office to post Something. I have been doing this, and managing well – thinking about what I’m doing, making a note of any negative thoughts, considering how I feel. On Friday, I walked to the shop and bought a sandwich again, then walked further down the road towards the Post Office. I felt like I was a million miles away from home, exposed, vulnerable. It’s a strange sensation doing things like this when you haven’t for so long. I know it will subside the more I do it, but right now, it feels weird. When I came home, I thought about when to post the Something at the Post Office. I decided against Monday, simply because it would be so busy, and I think the first time I do this, it needs to be on my terms.
So, yesterday morning as Mr D was getting ready, I wrapped the Something, put it in a jiffy bag, addressed it, and set off. Going with a purpose seemed better, somehow. I think this was partly because this was my End Goal – and I was doing it. When I’d mentioned to D about doing this before Woolfest, it seemed so distant and unreachable, but now here I was, striding off with a purpose. The more steps I took, the more I reminded myself that I’d already done this (barring going inside the Post Office) I’d gone this far, I’d managed and not freaked out.
I walked into the Post Office, and the chap behind the counter greeted me with a cheery “Good morning!” He’s a lovely bloke, with a wicked sense of humour and always has a cheerful smile. He weighed my parcel, I paid the postage, took my receipt, thanked him and went. That was it – my Something was on its way. Walking back, I don’t know if it was my imagination that I had a spring in my step. I’d done it – I’d gone to the Post Office, and no-one had died, the sky hadn’t fallen, and I hadn’t panicked.
I need to keep doing this, but there’s only so much I can do at the Post Office before the postmaster thinks I fancy him. I might chuck stuff on ebay, so my therapy is lucrative in more ways than one. Whatever else I do, I can’t stop now.