Yesterday I agreed to travel over an hour on a train to see one of the most amazing friends I’ve ever had, Johnny. Johnny is the type of friend everybody needs to have. He is energetic and quirky. He is the kindest, patient and most loving friend you could ask for. And funny, the image of him imitating Freddy Mercury singing ‘Don’t stop me now’ always brings a smile to my face. I am going by train because I am too scared to drive any longer than 30 mins or any further than the radius I have created for myself. I’m going to Johnny’s place because he always makes the effort to come out to see me.
I wanted to stay home because I was in a lithium induced stupor. I’m so drowsy, my coordination is getting worse and I struggle to keep my wits about me. I wanted to shut myself if, I know I keep saying I’m not depressed, because I’m not but I just find socialising very taxing especially since I have been taking medication. I asked Rob if it would be ok for me to stay home where I could hide away, “Babe you should go, you’re not like me you’re a social person and you don’t go out anymore” he says. Yes I do, I quickly answer. He points out that I actually haven’t been out without him in a long time. I hadn’t noticed this before. Rob tells me that shutting myself in is a warning sign for him. So I go.
I am anxious , always worried I’ll miss my stop. I look like a tourist. I am a tourist in Johnny’s neck of the woods. He picks me up at the station and as we drive to the cafe I look around at all the houses, admiring all the facades. We get to the cafe and we have a sandwich. I don’t even remember what the sandwich was called, all I remember was that it had coriander and chilli in it – I absolutely hate those two ingredients but I try the sandwich anyway and was pleasantly surprised. Its a shame I cannot remember the name of the cafe. We chat for a bit before we go back to his place and begin our UFC competition. Johnny and I always get competitive with our playstation games. It started off with Fifa, then mortal combat and now we are on UFC. We spent the afternoon laughing and I button bash my way to victory a few times, Johnny is probably much more deliberate when he beats me.
Yesterday I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. It may not be a big deal to you but it was to me. I had a great day laughing, relaxing, eating a sandwich with coriander in it. I guess my point is when you shut yourself in you miss out on these sorts of days. It’s very easy to seclude yourself but you miss out on the company of those that love and care for you. Something so simple as vegging out and playing playstation with my friend meant the world to me and the fact that I went out of my comfort zone to visit him is really good progress for me. Where possible I believe you should try to push yourself, especially when you have social anxiety or anxiety to travel past certain distances. It’s not easy but give yourself small targets that are achievable and you will create great strides in your own recovery.