It hasn't been all plain sailing and there aren't moments where I still hate myself doe the way I make myself feel but there really is nothing that I have failed or backed away from. I have been continuing to try and take the train when I feel it is needed. I have gone to a couple of gigs and deliberately chosen seats in the middle of rows so as to try and break my habit of always sitting on the aisle.
This week was a bit of a milestone as I finished by course of CBT by mutual consent. Its taught me a lot and saved me from a real tailspin I was in at the beginning of the year. Its given me tools to combat my anxiety which I will probably use for the rest of my life. It may just be the power of positive thought but it works for me.
I still am trying to adjust to things - sometimes facing up to things I fear is very tiring and when I get tired I get very emotional. A couple of times recently that's spilt over onto Twitter and people have been concerned which is very sweet but there's no need to worry. A "chin up old son" message is very much appreciated however. I often wish I had someone to go through these battles with me but I realise I don't need anyone to physically hold my hand but the support and help I've got in person and with messages has helped in ways you can't imagine.
So this week when I finished my CBT I took a short trip on a train to do some shopping. had a bit of emergency dental work, went to a screening at the NFT which I travelled to by train both ways, including a detour to Camden, I went to a gig last night and was at the very front of a large crowded room with no "escape routes". On all these occasions my anxiety didn't make me change my plans, bottle out, back down or feel like a failure.
All this doesn't mean that I don't still hate being at the centre of large crowds, that train travel still makes me nervous, that I don't get claustrophobic sometimes and that I don't have those moments of doubt. I still have pretty low self esteem but I take much more comfort in the friendships I have than I do before. I think I'm always going to have to work hard on making sure that my life continues to expand rather than shrink.
But I think that right now I'm doing alright