Monday, 5 May 2008

Agoraphobia winning

Things aren't going so well for Marie at the moment. Not only is her agoraphobia worse, but her general anxiety level is worse too.

But we didn't let it ruin our second wedding anniversary! It was on Thursday last. While the children were being looked after by big sister Colleen, Marie and I went to a posh Italian restaurant where we had a wonderful romantic meal and enjoyed the relaxed ambience. The romantic mood lasted late into the night...

Marie is unhappy about what she perceives to be the worsening of her condition, but not depressed. She is determined to fight it...she just hasn't decided how, yet. On a personal level, I also believe that she can turn this around and recover lost ground. It might take a while, that's all.

Meanwhile, Orla has had a growth spurt and is now tall enough to mount Joseph's old bicycle (still in almost pristine condition). I had to attach the stabilisers (of course) before I showed her how to work the pedals and the brakes. However, at the tender age of 33 months, I think Orla did exremely well to master the bicycle within 30 minutes. She's justifiably pretty proud of herself and keen to hone her new skills. We got mummy to come to the front door to witness her achievement and offer well-deserved praise. Our little girl is growing up!


SarahC♥ said...

Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS on yours and Maries 2nd wedding anniversary, sounds like you had a really lovely evening :)

I'm sorry to read this blog title - "Agoraphobia winning". I'm also sorry that Marie is felling down with her current condition. What she needs to think about is how damn fabulous she did just a few weeks ago with driving on her own and how brave she was to do that. My goodness, if i had half the balls to do that.. :)

With your continuing support Robert, i'm sure Marie will be okay.


Robert said...

Hi Sarah

Thanks for your anniversary congrats!

As I said in my post, I'm sure that Marie will improve in due course. She's not very down at the moment - quite optimistic, in fact :)

Btw, Marie enjoyed her recent chat with you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to both of you for two years of marriage, and Robert tell Marie that she is not on her own! my anxiety has got worse of late! the good thing is she's optimistic and want's to beat it.

Coffeecup said...


Congrats guys, and may the future be bright and happy x X x

Please tell Marie I'm sorry to learn things are on a bit of a down turn (ditto) however, perhaps all the stress of the trip and the wedding has just caught up? Anti-climax kinda thing? Hope you're getting outside in the sun Marie, even if it's planting those herbs on your patio! :-)

Robert said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Gary! Funny how anxiety gets better/worse for no apparent reason.

Robert said...

Thanks Steph -

Marie has decided to spring clean our home, so she's not been out in the patio sunning herself!

I'm off to Ireland with the children in a couple of weeks. Perhaps Marie's got anticipatory anxiety about me not being close by all the time. Who knows?

SarahC♥ said...

Hi Robert..
Tell Marie i am going through the worry of having a husband miles away RIGHT NOW! He's on holiday and i am alone. This is my first night without him here, i don't know how i feel, but tell her, if she wants to chat, she knows where i am. At home - alone :)


Rachel's Diary said...

CHANGE THAT TITLE !!!! dont let it! Marie I know how hard it is, but its a blip! I woke up the other night with an attack and thought "BLOODY HELL, i thought i was getting somewhere...but your body has other ideas! But I aint giving in, just take your time hun, dont rush things, some days we can go really far cant we, then other days we think God, how did I do that yesterday...but I now believe part of getting better is acceptance, not to throw ur self in at the deep end and force your self and put your self back too far...I hope I make sense hunny.... dont worry, take each day as a new one, this is what im trying to do x and happy anniversary you two love birds LOL xxx

Rachel's Diary said...

PS...... when robert is away I shall give you my number then you can ring if you feel you need to xxxxx but I know u will be ok xxx but the offer is there xx Day or night hun x

Coffeecup said...

Someone let me know when that conversation is happening? Think we ought to all get on MSN together? xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys

Thankyou for all the comments..
It does seem really hard at the mo with all crap thoughts hapening!!
But A friend told me a while ago Marie you know it passes you have been been through this before.
And she's right I have so many times and it always gets better!!

Rachel yeah that would be nice to call u somtime that's very sweet of you hun xx

I think you are doing really well staying without hubby and you are going out also, It's nice to talk to you on msn hun xx

I am on msn quite a bit not as much now beacuse trying to get stuff done around me.. xx


Thank's for coments hun and hope you feel better soon xx

Marie said...

Oh I clicked on wrong choice
the last message was me marie xx lol

Rachael Hale said...

Hi Robert and Marie

Marie, im sorry to hear your having a rough time at the moment, but its so good your determined to fight against it. Sometimes my anxiety gets worse for no apparent reason and it really gets me down, but i suppose these setbacks are part of the fight to beat anxiety.

Congrats on the anniversary, I wish you both many many more happy years together!


maz said...

Well firstly,
Go Orla!!!
It's always a mile stone when little ones get their wheels! lol

I think us slightly...older ones! take a bit longer to get our bearings at times!

The main tihng is we ALL get there in the end even if it is with a bit of pushing and shoving!! lol

I think keeping strong is the key!

My grannie used to say "it's a great life if you don't weary" - now wasn't she the smart one!!

maz x

Maximum said...

Hi Robert - and Marie - and a belated Happy 2nd Anniversary to you both. Such mixed feelings reading your latest posts - you've both come so far - I just hope that the setbacks don't take away from the progress. The wedding looked great - Colm being there and haveing such a good time too much have meant so much to everyone. Loved the cake btw - great!

Stress is so hard to bear - especially when your 'things to look forward to' like holidays and happy events also become 'things to fear'.

I hope you find a way to relax, to de-stress. I don't suppose you get much 'me' time - I know how trite that sounds - but you need to take some somehow to make sure you can keep going as the solid base. Time with the kids is great but it can provide it's own kind of stress. Hope you are taking care of you - who cares for the carer ?

Take care of Robert too, Robert


Robert said...

Hi Rachael

Thank you for your comment and the wedding anniversary congratulations. If you ever find out what makes anxiety increase for no apparent reason, please let us know!

Robert said...

Hi Maz

Thanks for dropping in. I was lucky to have a wise old granny too. She always had a maxim for every occasion.

My little girl seems to have grown about a year in a month! Not just riding a bicycle, but also her conversational skills.

I read somewhere that young children do not know how to fail. They just keep trying un til they succeed. Now, if my dear wife could copy that attitude...

Robert said...

Hi Maximum and thanks for the wedding anniversary congratulations (belated or otherwise).

I'm off to Ireland in a week's time (with the kids), and I'm really looking forward to it. Things are quite quiet at home, but I'm really busy with business matters. So a few days rest is just what I need.

BlyJette said...

:) Happy aniversary

Rachel's Diary said...

hi hun...... where r u and how is marie doing... keep checkin in!!!! xxxxxxxxxxx

rosiero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosiero said...

Sorry, I deleted the previous post as there was a sentence that didn't make sense and so I have rewritten it here.

Have just discovered your blog. It sounds like Marie is trying to cope quite well - the fact she made it to an Italian restaurant is surely progress. She must notch that up as one of her achievements.

I had a phobia in the past, which meant I could not eat out in public - I was terrified of invitations to meals or functions. At one stage my job involved having to be wined and dined (or a better way of putting it - bribed) by wealthy businessmen anxious for my employer's money. I hated it and almost always tried to get out of it and make someone else go. The phobia also extended to having panic attacks in cinemas or theatres where there were lots of people. I suppose now it would be called a social anxiety phobia, or something like that. As I got older, I decided I was wasting my life. You only get one shot at it. Life is not a rehearsal. It also helped to know that even someone as rich, beautiful and famous as Princess Diana had her demons to face. In time, I decided that I would not let it beat me and slowly - one step at a time - I would go out for a meal and just have a drink, then as time went on something small to eat, then gradually a whole meal. Then I progressed from going with my husband to going on my own to eat somewhere. I also had to take my small daughter to cinemas and theatres which made me uncomfortable, but I HAD to do it for her sake. It took years and years to reach that stage, but it eventually worked. I still get nervous, but I now make myself overcome it. Tell Marie to have faith in herself. One day she will realise that enough is enough and she won't want to miss out on things any more. Maybe as her children reach milestones, she will want to witness them and that will be the trigger for change.

maz said...

Hi Robert, just popped in to see how things are going?

Take care,

maz x

Jenn said...


I am shocked by the lack of resources on agoraphobia and panic disorder on the internet, so I am creating an informative website with resources, things that have helped me personally, etc. Anyways, I have a section where I am linking blogs, and would like to include yours. You can email me at and let me know.


Overcome Agoraphobia said...

I wonder what category Agoraphobia falls under. I mean, certainly it's a form of panic. But it's also a phobia of the outside world at the same time.

I have to say, I think people who suffer from Agoraphobia don't really care WHAT category their in. They just want to not feel afraid anymore.

My advice to those out there with agoraphobia is this...

Your mind will come up with reasons why it believes only a certain area is safe and another is not. Those reasons range from being near the phone or people you trust to having familiar physical surroundings to reassure you.

The truth is, anywhere you are is equally safe. The anxiety in your mind is the only thing that distinguishes a place as bad or good, fun or miserable, happy or sad.

Controlling the anxiety will change your perspective on the world around you and you will see all places as being equally comfortable.

It all starts with babysteps...
-taking your dog for a walk in your front yard.
-having a cup of tea in your backyard.
-going outside in the morning to get the paper
-getting a cup of coffee at a quickie mart nearby.

All these little acts of courage add up. Take 1 risk everyday to start overcoming your agoraphobia.

For more info on overcoming your anxiety, check out: