So, it’s been a week since my last blackout and quite a struggle at times. But I wanted to write this post to share my story with others and hopefully give someone the motivation to make a change in their life for the better. I’ll apologise now as this is a long one, but hopefully spreading awareness will help me on my journey to recovery!
Monday saw me in the doctors being signed off for a week with anxiety as I was terrified to leave the house and being prescribed some diazepam to see me through the following days.
I hate not working and being at home watching Jeremy Kyle each morning is not the life for me. But I spent Monday and Tuesday holed up at home, waiting for Aaron to finish work and keep me company.
Wednesday I had my first cognitive behavioural therapy session since my black out and I was shitting my pants walking outside that morning. I thought there was no way in hell that I would be leaving that building with my therapist and said so much to Maisie when she dropped me off that morning.
But of course, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is all about exposing yourself to your fears and facing them – so off I went, my amazing therapist behind me to walk through the town centre.
One of my biggest anxiety triggers is crossing the road – very bizarre, and extremely inconvenient I know (I’ve learnt since writing this post that it’s called agyrophobia) – and the first thing I had to do when I walked out of the building was to cross the road into town. And of course to make me even worse, there had to be a lorry waiting for me to cross the zebra crossing as I trembled my way across the road.
But the fact is, I made it. Nothing happened to me and I didn’t black out. I won’t black out anymore as I’ve been taken off of the tablets that were causing the blackouts and this is something that I need to keep on reminding myself.
And after that first step onto the road, I gained confidence with each step I took. I did a couple of laps of the town with Erica behind me and the final lap on my own. I felt like a totally different woman to the one that was terrified to leave the house that morning – I wasn’t wrapped in my own thoughts and was taking notice of my surroundings.
The amount of old people pottering around doing their errands, the colours of the clothes in the shop windows, the man with the largest feet I’ve ever seen and the shortest lady with the largest feet I’ve ever seen! It’s been such a long time since I took notice of these small things and I realised as I strolled through each negative thought, that I’ve been wasting life being so wrapped up in my anxiety and not taking on how great life really is.
We walked back to the centre where my sessions take place and talked about how much progress I’d made in such a short space of time. I crossed the road like a normal person and felt on top of the world!
There’s so much to be said for CBT and that single session made such an improvement to my mindset. Rather than having Aaron pick me up from the centre where my session was, I told him to pick me up outside Superdrug (I wanted to find the new L’Oreal foundation that I’ll be featuring in a post soon) and walked on my own – no phone to my ear, no headphones plugged in – through town to Superdrug.
I’ve even been for a couple of runs this week! Albeit I only ran around the block (not due to fear of blacking out, but fear of death as I’m the most unfit person you’ll ever meet) – but it was great!
And today will be my last day of smoking. I don’t think it’s helping me get over my jitteriness and I’m sick of roll ups staining my fingers. So Aaron carted me over to the vape shop to invest in one that’ll help me stop. We went for lunch, popped to Boots and found a cute little thrift shop with a couple of bits for the wedding!
Now, if you managed to read this right to the end – well done you! And if this nut job can cross a road, walk, even run through her anxieties, then there’s hope for everyone.
Until next time…