Due to living with quite severe anxiety and agoraphobia and trying out everything I can possibly get my hands on to help me out and even just get outside the house for ten minutes, a walk around the block with my dog or to hang the washing out to dry (when it’s not raining I live in Scotland) I eventually ended up seeing a therapist every few weeks.
Going to see her was hard going everything I tried to shut away and not feel so I wouldn’t take a panic attack or go on a downward spiral again she brought all out in the open and by the second week had me talking away like I had known her for years.
I am by no means ‘fixed’ but I am on my recovery journey and starting to have a lot more better days than bad ones. I still haven’t quite got the grip of getting out the house myself just yet but I wanted to share with you all my plan of action for the week ahead.
Weekly schedule ahead:
Day 1: Go out the house for five minutes and walk around the block and back home using no safety behaviours ie phone, music, something to read or take the dog. Just me myself and my thoughts. Do this 5 times split up during the day.
Day 2: Go out the house and walk a different way around the chapel that is outside my house for six minutes and then home. same behaviours as before no safety nets. Do this five times during the day.
Day 3: Go to the local bridge at the river just by my house just that little bit further and walk for seven minutes no safety nets five times during the day.
Day 4: Go to the local park and back which will take around ten minutes with no safety behaviours. Five times during the day.
Day 5: GO past the park to the local church and back home walk for fifteen minutes with no safety behaviours. Five times during the day.
Day 6: Go to the local shop past the church again for fifteen minutes and back home with no safety behaviours. Five times during the day.
Repeat days 5 & 6 from them on.
Each day record in a journal my thoughts, feelings and how I coped while doing each days exercise to keep a record of what I have achieved.
Each time I go out I have a list of coping statements I can tell myself over and over if I feel anxious or panicked some of these are:
I have done this before and I can do it again!
These are just feelings they will go away!
Short term pain long term gain!
I can feel bad and still choose to take a new and healthy direction!
I don’t need to rush, I can take things slowly!
I feel this way because of my past experiences. But I am safe!
I can use my coping skills and get through this!
This is my plan to overcome my anxiety issues starting from Monday morning I will beat this and I will overcome this because I am strong enough to do so. I hope that this post may help someone in some way even just to know there is someone in the same position as you mental health issues are real and nothing to be ashamed of and quite frankly more people should be talking about it so it isn’t a taboo issue.
If you may have any tips or think of ways you have overcame this I’d love to hear from you in the comments.