Posted in Agoraphobia, Health Issues, Life and Family

Fear Stands Behind

One of the things that bothers me about panic, agoraphobia and similar anxieties is that they are never far away. Even if you recover to a stage where you’re generally relaxed, feeling comfortable out and about, and you have been okay for a long while, you know it won’t take much to bring the bad feelings back. You are constantly alert, avoiding situations that might bring on a panic attack.

Well, today I had the worst attack for a long time, and still feel ‘off’. I was out with my mother and sister for coffee and shopping. The coffee shop was crowded and noisy, but that was OK. I found myself describing last night’s dream… in a crowded gathering, Boris Johnson approached and said “I noticed you and your mother both like word games!”

After coffee, I felt vaguely ‘unsafe’ as we walked in the streets. Perhaps the people round us were walking too fast? I wasn’t sure what was wrong.

We went into a brightly-lit Boots, and the feeling of unease increased. They had a ‘3 for 2’ offer on vitamins, so I picked up magnesium, Vitamin D and cod liver oil capsules. I recently watched a video saying calcium supplements are not only unnecessary, they’re potentially harmful, so I was irritated that the magnesium in Boots was mixed with calcium. I would have been stuck if my mother hadn’t found a small pot of plain magnesium. If there’s any calcium in it, it’s not in the label; it just says ‘contains sodium’. It was quite a bit cheaper than the other two supplements, so that’s what I got free… sigh.

Stop Taking that Calcium Supplement! (YouTube video)

But I digress…

Having chosen my supplements from the massive range in Boots, I was dismayed to find a long queue at the cashpoint. Other experienced anxiety sufferers will know why this is a problem. They used to have tills dotted all round the shop, but now the individual till points have been amalgamated into a single group of tills. You have to stand in one long queue, and by the time you reach the head of it, there’s a long queue of people standing behind you… which is worse than having a long queue of people in front, because they’re probably all staring restlessly at you and wishing you’d get a move on.

While waiting, I couldn’t even stand neatly in the queue… I stood to one side of it, which was kind of awkward. Why did I do that? It makes me stick out like a sore thumb, but I felt joining the line properly would somehow trap me. I considered putting the supplements back and getting them another time, but suspected I’d just find long queues again when I came back.

I won’t put up with panic any more. I want to do what I’m there to do, and get on with it even if I become visibly upset. That way perhaps I will learn to push through things, and the anxiety will finally go away and leave me alone. At any rate, that’s the idea!

I was shaking when getting my change and putting my shopping away, but I survived… and I don’t think the girl behind the till even noticed, as I was just scooping things up rapidly and bobbing down to my shopping trolley. Later I asked Mum if she realized I was panicking in Boots, and she looked surprised and said ‘no’!

I calmed down when we were walking around town and into other shops like H&M, but I still wasn’t happy. I think town was more crowded than usual and I instinctively sensed the change.

A day or two ago I was talking to Mum about calcium while in the middle of watching the video on the subject. She got hissy and annoyed, and I laughed out loud when Dr Berry said, “your mom is probably still taking it. Women have the habit of getting into the habit of things.” Yes, she is. She’ll probably keep taking calcium because she believes in it, but I’m happy with Vitamin D. I wasn’t taking calcium in the first place, or any supplements at all, but it’s true there isn’t an awful lot of sunshine around here. So Vitamin D it is!

On the subject of anxiety, I’ve been thinking about whether or not it’s affected by diet. If it is, how does the right diet stand between you and anxiety regardless of the personal stresses you undergo? Perhaps the wrong diet weakens you and you are less able to stand up to ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’? Perhaps the wrong diet puts you more on edge so that even small things stretch your nerves? If there’s a correlation, I’ve no idea what it is, but the following two videos made me wonder:

Jordan Peterson — The Carnivore Diet Changed My Life! — Joe Rogan Podcast

Mikhaila Peterson Diet (Arthritis & Depression Success Story)

I’ve been feeling pretty blue over the past while, along with an unfortunate tendency to eat things like Maltesers, swede & carrot mash, fruit and chocolate biscuits… Maybe if I cut those things out, the anxiety would disappear! Dare I put these chocolate biscuits in the bin? I hate wasting things, but should I…?

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Posted in Gender Issues, Health Issues

A Somewhat Feminist Issue

I don’t seem to be keeping up with ‘post once a week’… feeling tired at the moment. Hoping to improve in a week or two.

Here’s a subject I had in mind to bring up… it’s a bit risqué for me; on the other hand it strikes me as common sense and related to health. In fact, that is one of the points raised on the site I’m linking to… that some people might see it as a risqué subject, but it really shouldn’t be. Anyway, giving thought to this might make all the difference to the health of some women.

Why Wear Bras?

The thing that keeps me toeing the line (when I go out) is knowing that people do seem to watch women, and they know when you’re not wearing one, and insult you behind your back. You see it on blogs all the time: that’s how you know it happens! But maybe such attitudes should be challenged?

Posted in Current Affairs, Political and Social Issues

Things I Meant to Blog About

There’s so much I keep meaning to blog about, but time moves on and things fall behind. These are three things I’ve had in mind recently:

Micro shoplifting

We’ve had recent brushes with a particular variety of shop lifter. Not the type who will take an entire packet of something and walk out with it, but who will take something out of the box and leave it to someone else (us!) to buy.

My mother bought 5 or 6 small bottles of a refreshing juice from the local supermarket. At home she found the top of one of them was loose, and the level was lower than in the other bottles. Someone had taken a swig of it and put it back on the shelf.

I told her about buying a couple of pads of lined A4 paper from Woolworth. Got them home and found someone had torn a sheet out of one of them.

Then Mum bought me some hayfever relief tablets in Boots… you would think that would be pretty safe, but a tablet had been pinched out of one of the foil strips.

Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve not come across this before; it’s like a new form of shoplifting that targets other customers more than the shops themselves. I said to Mum that maybe the people who do it will have it done to them one day, and will find out what a kick in the teeth it is… though I would prefer if they understood this already without having to experience OR do it!

Trans fats must go

I know I don’t think a great deal of some ‘nanny state’ laws and attitudes, but I would back a Scottish ban on trans fats from food. To me it’s like smoking… there’s far more harm than good in it, and it doesn’t make sense to me that it’s offered as a choice.

More lovin’ needed

Town is quite busy with holidaymakers now, but our favourite coffee shop in town has lost trade. Our initial suspicion is that the students who usually go there (and sit around with their laptops) have gone home, but I’ve been realizing that a lot of the locals are on holiday (not just students), whereas the holidaymakers don’t know the smaller coffee shops and probably just head straight for Starbucks and Costa’s. It’s got so that there’s a blackboard outside the smaller coffee shop saying “Looky here, we need loving ALL the time!” You go in, and there’s nobody else there.

My suggestion is: look out for the smaller shops, even in an unknown town… they need your trade and are probably quieter and friendlier than the chain stores. They aren’t all tables and chairs; the smaller shop we’re talking about is predominated by padded chairs and sofas, whereas the Costa’s here only has one sofa in the corner, and Starbucks has a couple of cushy areas (generally with someone else in them already) and that’s it. I love Costa’s coffee, but to me there’s no contest about which shop I would rather be in. The little one that all the crowds are walking past and not loving.

Posted in Health Issues, Political and Social Issues

A Faceful of Spring Flowers

If I don’t smother my face with a nice moisturizing cream after showering or having a bath, my skin dries out and is quite tight and sore. I finished my pot of L’Oréal Hydrafresh – the name inspires an image of beautiful soft tentacles… because we’re worth it! So then I went to town to buy more.

Do you have any idea how confusing that is? There are whole racks of lotions and moisturizers and toners and gels, and you have to decide whether you want a day cream, a night cream, an anti-wrinkle cream, a hypoallergenic cream, a barrier cream, an eye cream, or…? You find yourself tempted by the anti-ageing creams, and then you look at the price and it says £12.99 (or something similar). The cheapest pots of cream I could see were around £4, but even then I was hesitating. I actually left the shop and came back later, and stood staring at this wall of oils, greases and unguents. Mum found a huge pot of Cyclax Vitamin E face and body cream – it was either 99p or £1.99. After all that hesitating (and recent splurging on books), this was a clear winner!

It smells lovely – of spring flowers. I keep reaching out for extra dabs of it, the same as you would return to the bowl for another handful of popcorn. The cats like it too, but they love anything I use after showering. If I stroke them, they clamp their noses to my hand as though magnetized, and take deep, blissful breaths.

Talking to Mum afterwards, I was complaining about the cost of these face creams, and she said some of the ones advertised on TV are about £20. What?! If this stuff really works, all the wealthy will be wrinkle-free whereas the struggling… oh, that’s true anyway. So what the hey.

Off to see if there’s anything on TV apart from adverts for things I can’t afford. Talking of which, it always seemed mad to me that if you pay to get rid of the ads in your software or blog space or whatever, you must have enough money to be able to spend on things like that. The ones who continue to receive the ads are the ones who can’t afford whatever’s being advertised anyway. Haven’t the sponsors realized that yet? Maybe I shouldn’t shout it too loud…

Edit Feb 2008: Comments I received when this post was hosted by Blogigo:

drifting wrote at May 29, 2006 at 00:44:
Face Creams – yes I know exactly what you mean. I sometimes feel I should be putting more on my face than just some cheap moisturiser then go to the shops and look at the prices and think ‘hell’. Anti-wrinkle creams, yes that’s for me. Look at the price ‘bloody hell’. So I stick to old faithful. Can’t stop ageing anyway, sigh. I once read from a dermatologist that he reckoned they were all essentially the same anyway and you didn’t have to spend your life savings on a pot of cream, but use something like wheatgerm oil.

kateblogs wrote at Jun 1, 2006 at 19:51:
I use Johnson’s baby lotion as a moisturiser, have done ever since my boys were tiny. It’s relatively cheap, and seems to work. People often tell me I look younger than I am. Of course, that might just be politeness LOL.