Sunday, 8 December 2019

Going public

You're probably thinking, what could be more public than publishing your innermost thoughts and fears on the internet for all to see? Well, you've got a point, but actually when I started this blog I didn't really tell my friends and family about it, but advertised it on my public Instagram page, which they didn't really follow. It seemed easier to open up to people I didn't know. But earlier this month I was approached by a fellow blogger, Jess Kitching from Thegoodineveryday blog, who asked if I was interested in being interviewed about overcoming my anxiety and starting my travel business. Of course I agreed, the whole point of me doing this blog was, as well as it being cathartic for me, if I could help even just one person then I'm happy.
I felt really nervous about it being published, but needn't have worried as the response I had on Facebook blew me away. Never before have I been called 'brave', 'strong', or 'an inspiration'. The comments brought me to tears and I felt very humbled that people who I don't see or talk to regularly or haven't seen since school, took time to read the interview and leave a supportive comment.
And as amazing as that is, me being me couldn't help but note who hadn't liked or commented on it. Why do we do that? You could have a million nice things happen and one rubbish thing and it's the rubbish thing that stays with you and chews you up inside! Or is that just me?
It's something that I am going to work on and try not to let it bother me so much. I am going to have a much more positive 2020 and things are already looking up with my new business venture. I'm happy to say I love my job!
I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Please remember 'it's nice to be nice'

You can find the details for my travel business at:
www.facebook.com/LynnePageTravelpa
www.Instagram.com/lynnep_travelpa
email - lynnep@travel-pa.com

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Big Steps

Well I've been quiet on here for a while. But for good reason and I'm not really sure where to start!

Firstly... I resigned from my job! A pretty big step for starters. And I am now retraining as an online travel advisor and am going to run my own business from home.

You might be wondering where this has all come from?

After being off work for so long there was no way I was going to go back, as I've said previously I'd tried twice before and it set my recovery back. So, after some lengthy discussions with Gary, a pro's and cons list and lots of tears, with Gary's full support I handed in my resignation after more than 31 years.

Why did I decide to go into the travel industry when I have zero experience? I love to travel and talk about holidays and look for deals online, simple as that really. I seemed to have a lightbulb moment and something just clicked in my head... this is something I wanted to do AND I could be really good at it.

The second big step was travelling down to Croydon for a 4 day residential course and staying in a hotel on my own! Luckily Gary drove me down there and stayed the night before with me and he then came to pick me up on the final day. But it was a huge hurdle for me to overcome, staying in a hotel, even eating breakfast in the restaurant on my own and then meeting new people on the course. But I did it!

In a previous post I wrote about the bad experience I'd had on a train, so my next big step was making the train journey down to London on my own for a meeting, and then getting the tube and a further train. I then had to stand up in front of strangers and do a 5 minute presentation. I am so proud of myself and how far I've come!

If this can give just one person that suffers with a mental illness hope that you can get through, then I would be so happy.

Until next time.....

Friday, 16 August 2019

Proud Moment

Following on from my previous post, you know my trepidation about going on public transport and particularly trains. Well I'm proud to say that a couple of weeks ago I went on a train journey and even more amazingly I went on the tube. I know....what an achievement!
The things that made it a bit easier were;

Being with my two best friends, who know and love me despite my mental illness, who have seen me at my worst and my best. They've both witnessed me have panic attacks and they can both spot the signs when I'm starting to feel anxious.

We were in First Class, it felt much calmer and quieter in there. It was mainly full of commuters tapping away on their laptops.

Prosecco! It was my friend's birthday, so we opened a bottle of prosecco (or 2) and just chatted and laughed for the whole journey, so it went really quickly.

Once we were in London, we caught a cab to Covent Garden for some brunch, so everything was fine with that. We then got a cab to our next destination and after that it was time to tackle the dreaded underground.
I'd already told the girls that I was feeling anxious about going on the tube, but they assured me they'd look after me and it would be fine. Of course, we got the wrong one, had to get off at the next stop and wait. They could see I was feeling anxious and kept reassuring me and chatting about other things to take my mind off it. We eventually got the right train and then hit Primark on Oxford Street! Why, why, why, why would I do that to myself?! Especially on a Saturday! It was heaving. I sweating, my heart was racing, I needed water and a sit down! Even my friends said it was too busy.
We then went on to Selfridges, which wasn't much better, but at least it didn't seem so crammed.
And after a couple of cocktails and a bite to eat, it was time to get back to the station for our trip home. We were in first Class again, but there didn't seem to be any air conditioning and it was so hot, I just wanted to be home. The train slowed down and stopped about 2 minutes before we were due into our station. That's when the panic started to rear it's ugly head.... what if there's something wrong with the train? What if something has happened on the track and we're stuck here for hours in this heat and I don't feel well? I won't be able to handle it, I want to go home.
Minutes later a train passed in the opposite direction and then we started moving again. We made it safely to the station and home.
So that might seem like just a lovely day out with friends to you, but to me it's an achievement that I wanted to share.
I don't want this blog to always be doom and gloom and negative. I want to share my positives with you too.....

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Assault on a train

Like most people, I don't like going on public transport. This was made worse for me back in January 2012 when I was assaulted on a train after a day out with my friends.
There was five of us going to Nottingham for an afternoon of shopping and cocktails, to celebrate Gary and I getting engaged.
We'd all had a lovely day and caught the last train home, which was about 8.45pm. The train wasn't busy so we managed to get 2 tables of four, 3 on one table and 2 on the other. We'd not long set off on the journey, when a lad (in his lates 20's) plonked himself next to one of my friends', right on top of her shopping bags and said "my name's Daniel and I'm hilarious". I begged to differ!
One of the other girls told him we were having a girls' day out so could he go and sit elsewhere as we hadn't invited him to join us. He started getting a bit rowdy, so we called the train guard over. That's when the verbal abuse started, first at the poor train guard and then at us. I was just trying to ignore him, hoping he'd get bored and leave. But this seemed to wind him up even more, and out of nowhere he punched me on the side of my head! I yelled out with shock and pain and he was right up in my face saying "yeah, what you going to do about it"
One of my friends was already on the phone to the police, who had the train stopped at the next station, while we waited for them to arrive.
Meanwhile, I'm stuck on the train with the man that just assaulted me, as he paced up and down the aisle shouting obscenities right next to me.
I know I was in shock, I really couldn't believe what had happened. I faced the window and text Gary to let him know what had happened.
The police arrived along with a police dog, but Daniel did not go quietly. One of the transport police came on to the train to ask if I wanted to press charges. I asked what that would entail and he said I would have to go to the police station with them now and make a statement. That immediately made me say no, I just wanted to go home. He had a word with another officer and said I could go home and they'd ring me later to get a statement. Thank goodness.
Gary had been out with his mates too, but raced home to meet me and give me a much needed cuddle. The police rang shortly after I'd got home and I gave my version of events over the phone. They offered to send someone out to photograph my injuries and gave me a number for Victim Support.
The next evening the same police officer came to the house to take a victim statement off me and get all mt friends' details so they could give witness statements.
Luckily our statements were so detailed and the CCTV on the train was so good, that none of us had to appear in court. He was found guilty of assault, which was great, but it certainly had a lasting effect on me....

Monday, 3 June 2019

A Bad Day

I'm going to try and describe what a bad day looks like.
Easter Sunday was a bad day for me. I woke up feeling anxious for no apparent reason. I just had that feeling. I had heart palpitations, felt on edge and then the tears came. It didn't take much to set me off. I think I just took something Gary said the wrong way and the crying started.
So, even though it was a beautiful, hot, sunny day, all I wanted to do was stay in the safety and comfort of my bed. I text my mum to let her know I was having a bad day, we were supposed to be going round to my parents for a roast dinner later that day. And my lovely mum text back saying she understood that I probably didn't feel very sociable and that was absolutely fine. she would prepare dinner, text me when it was ready and Gary could go and pick it up.
So for the rest of the day I stayed in bed crying on and off and sleeping.
Luckily the bad days aren't as frequent as they used to be, but a bad day is still a bad day no matter how infrequent.
I had a couple of bad days on holiday, and its hard to comprehend how anyone could feel down or depressed and want to stay in bed when, essentially they are in paradise. But sometimes, in fact most of the time, there is no explanation. I just feel that way. I need to cry, I need to sleep and I usually need a cuddle.....

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Guilt

I don't know about you but I feel guilty about everything and I mean EVERYTHING.
I feel guilty for having this illness for so long, for Gary having to work overtime because we haven't got as much money coming in, for being tired when I've not been to work and he's just done a 12 hour night shift.
I feel guilty for not being at work, for cancelling plans because of my anxiety, for not seeing my parents more often when they only live down the road, for not spending more time with my nieces and goddaughter.
I feel guilty when I haven't ticked anything off my 'Things to do today' list, when I haven't made a home-cooked meal, when I haven't done any housework, when I haven't left the house because I just can't face it.
I feel guilty for spending money I haven't got on clothes and makeup I don't wear because I hardly go out anywhere.
I feel guilty for going on holiday when I'm signed off work, for going out with friends and looking like I might be enjoying myself.
You get the gist, I feel all of the guilt all of the time...and I'm not even Catholic!

Monday, 8 April 2019

Childless or Child-free?

Before Gary and I got married we discussed having children and whether we were too old or too selfish to be parents. I'd seen how Gary was with his nieces and nephew and thought he'd be a great dad. I've wanted a baby since I was about 25 but as I'd been single for so long, had given up any hope of becoming a mum, until now. so we decided we wouldn't put any pressure on ourselves, if it happened it would be amazing but if it didn't then we would accept that it wasn't meant to be and be grateful that we have each other and have a great life.
We were 41 when we got married and after a couple of years there was no signs of any babies. I'd also not been feeling myself, my periods were irregular and very heavy, I was having hot flushes and night sweats and my mood sings were getting worse. I thought Id better get myself to the doctors and get checked out. I had blood tests and the results were I was peri-menopausal. This was the beginning of the menopause and I was only 43. My mum had gone through the menopause early so the chances of it happening to me were pretty high.
I was devastated, I went back to work in floods of tears and rang Gary to try and explain, but couldn't get my words out because I was so upset.
So that was it, the decision to have a baby had pretty much been taken out of our hands. If it hadn't happened by now, the chances of getting pregnant in the future were greatly reduced. We didn't want to go down the route of IVF because we know so many couples that had tried it and seen what they'd gone through. I personally know I couldn't have handled it and have so much admiration for the people that do. And we decided we were too old to go through the adoption process.
So that was it.
We were going to be a childless couple.
That's when I was first prescribed Citalopram, as it helps with hot flushes. It did for a while, I also tried soy tablets, changing my diet, black cloche, herbal teas...all sorts.
I'd seem fine but then I'd find out someone was pregnant and, although I was happy for them, I was also upset that it wasn't me. And the tears would flow. As much as I love being an Aunty and a Godmother, it's not the same.
Five years on and people have stopped asking when we're going to have kids. I am now on HRT and ,yes, I am grateful for the life I have. And now I think of us as a child-free couple not childless. We have our fur babies and, although there will always be that emptiness that can't be filled, I've come to terms with it now.
This has been a really hard post to write. It's probably the first time I've properly thought about how I felt.
I've got a lot of love to give and so my friends, family and cats have it all.
much love....