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Agoraphobia - small steps to regain my health and independence

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Verity

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I've not posted for a while. Just thought I'd stop by and post something positive :)

Since last Monday, I have cut out caffeine completely as I was a huge tea monkey and the my caffeine intake was impacting on my anxiety levels.

I also cut meat / animal products out of my diet. Something that I have considered for a long time as an animal lover and in the interests of my mental and physical health. I'm now eating a mostly raw vegan diet, juices and the occasional cooked veggie dish.

I have noticed the benefits of these changes in the last week, in spite of the side effects of reducing my medication, caffeine withdrawal and the negative effects that the winter months have on my mood and energy. My digestion is also much better than it has been in a long time as an IBS sufferer.

Over the last 4 months I have not gone out at all due to a particularly stressful period which caused depression and increased anticipatory anxiety about going out.

Today I went out to a local cafe and treated myself to my first veggie breakfast! :D This may not seem like a big deal, but it was a huge achievement for me. I felt huge anxiety for the first 20 minutes or so, but sat through it and did not run away, so it passed and boosted my confidence. My anxiety is elevated in the mornings, but I managed it and enjoyed going out and chatting over breakfast in new surroundings :)

I'm planning to go out again tomorrow and will stay out a little longer.

It has been a really difficult few months. But every crisis is an opportunity for change. I took my first steps towards my independence today and although I feel very tired now, my world does not feel as small as it did this time yesterday and I am proud of my achievements today :)
 
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Helena1

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Wow. that is such a great achievement.
 
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Dottyone

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I hope you enjoyed your Veggie Breakfast, well done for making it outside to a busy place as well;)

huge huge achievement. :D
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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:clap::clap::dance: Yes it is a huge accomplishment verity, I know what it's like breaking free of agorophobia, keep taking those small steps, adding a little bit each time. You will get through this, I'm glad to see you posting again, havn't seen you post in a while. Good luck with your diet, I don't know what I would do without my tea, but I'm taking steps to dramatically lower my caffiene intake as well switching to bai mudan white tea and drinking more water instead of automatically running for the kettle. How were the withdrawls and how long did they last for you? Scares me to go off completely over withdrawl symptom worries.
 
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Verity

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:clap::clap::dance: Yes it is a huge accomplishment verity, I know what it's like breaking free of agorophobia, keep taking those small steps, adding a little bit each time. You will get through this, I'm glad to see you posting again, havn't seen you post in a while. Good luck with your diet, I don't know what I would do without my tea, but I'm taking steps to dramatically lower my caffiene intake as well switching to bai mudan white tea and drinking more water instead of automatically running for the kettle. How were the withdrawls and how long did they last for you? Scares me to go off completely over withdrawl symptom worries.
Aww, thank you for your support and kind words, lovely :hug:

I was concerned about withdrawing from caffeine, I drank a lot of tea daily. I had really intense headaches at intervals for the first week and my concentration was lacking, but other than this, all positive. I am falling to sleep much easier and my tummy is flatter as drinking a lot of tea could often cause me to feel bloated / caused water retention.

As with most things, I think the fear of doing something is often much worse than actually doing it. Introducing white tea sounds like a great idea to help you to reduce your intake. I drink a lot of peppermint tea now which is great for digestion and hydration.

Good luck on cutting down your caffeine, Gajolene. Each little thing that we do to help our health really matters and makes a difference (y)
 
SomersetScorpio

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Aww well done you! :clap:

I'm really happy to hear you've been feeling a bit better, and you did really well to go out for a veggie breakfast... hope it was delicious - you earned it. :)
 
Gajolene

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Just wanted to share this site with you, they post all kinds of wonderfull vegan/vegatarian recipies, this is their main website but I have them linked through my facebook and there's really fantastic yummy recipies they put up.
Skinnytaste
 
prairiechick

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Good for you, Verity! Cutting out caffeine and sugar can actually make a huge difference with anxiety. I had a bd binge day a few days ago and ate way too much chocolate, and I could feel my anxiety rising within an hour of eating it. I am also currently eating a mostly raw vegan diet! I am so excited that there are others on the forum doing the same. It makes it easier to stay on this way of eating.
 
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Verity

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Just wanted to share this site with you, they post all kinds of wonderfull vegan/vegatarian recipies, this is their main website but I have them linked through my facebook and there's really fantastic yummy recipies they put up.
Skinnytaste
Thank you, Gajolene. These recipes look yummy scrummy! I've bookmarked this site :)
 
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Verity

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Good for you, Verity! Cutting out caffeine and sugar can actually make a huge difference with anxiety. I had a bd binge day a few days ago and ate way too much chocolate, and I could feel my anxiety rising within an hour of eating it. I am also currently eating a mostly raw vegan diet! I am so excited that there are others on the forum doing the same. It makes it easier to stay on this way of eating.
Thank you, Prairiechick :hug:

Have you seen the film May I be Frank?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZNKlUmFkG4

Watch it if you get the chance. It is the most inspirational film I've ever watched. It is about Frank Ferrante's journey from drug abuse and mental health issues back to health through a raw vegan diet experiment, support and self care. It is inspirational, touching, funny and the film has a great soundtrack too! :)

Happy munching! ;)
 
prairiechick

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I just made the most fabulous raw vegan curry sauce and ate it on zucchini "noodles." It's so good I could eat it all in one sitting! I had to lick my plate because it's so good! Here's the recipe if you want it:

1 cup raw soaked cashews
1/2 a peeled zucchini
1 tomato
1 clove garlic
juice of one lemon
water
1 tsp ground turmeric
Patak's curry paste (1 tablespoon?)

Put it all in the blender and blend on high speed until smooth. I might try adding spinach to it to make a raw vegan "Palak Paneer," or some soaked lentils for added protein.
 
prairiechick

prairiechick

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No, I haven't seen it, but I'm going to watch it when I'm done studying for my exam tomorrow. I can't wait to watch it. I've watched a ton of other stuff on youtube about raw veganism. Thanks for the link!
Thank you, Prairiechick :hug:

Have you seen the film May I be Frank?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZNKlUmFkG4

Watch it if you get the chance. It is the most inspirational film I've ever watched. It is about Frank Ferrante's journey from drug abuse and mental health issues back to health through a raw vegan diet experiment, support and self care. It is inspirational, touching, funny and the film has a great soundtrack too! :)

Happy munching! ;)
 
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Verity

Guest
I just made the most fabulous raw vegan curry sauce and ate it on zucchini "noodles." It's so good I could eat it all in one sitting! I had to lick my plate because it's so good! Here's the recipe if you want it:

1 cup raw soaked cashews
1/2 a peeled zucchini
1 tomato
1 clove garlic
juice of one lemon
water
1 tsp ground turmeric
Patak's curry paste (1 tablespoon?)

Put it all in the blender and blend on high speed until smooth. I might try adding spinach to it to make a raw vegan "Palak Paneer," or some soaked lentils for added protein.
Sounds delicious! Thank you for the recipe! I will save this recipe and try it out at some point :) I'm fully in favour of plate licking recipes and plate licking in general! ;)
 
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Verity

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No, I haven't seen it, but I'm going to watch it when I'm done studying for my exam tomorrow. I can't wait to watch it. I've watched a ton of other stuff on youtube about raw veganism. Thanks for the link!
I'm sure that you will love it! I smiled, laughed and cried in equal measures.

Good luck with your exam. You have achieved such amazing things in difficult circumstances. All credit to you :clap::loveshower:
 
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Verity

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Well, I felt really low in energy yesterday. A lot of muscle tension around the shoulders and neck and a night of broken sleep, so I did not go out, as my anxiety peaks when I am tired and experiencing muscle tension. So, I allowed myself a rest day.

But...today, I treated my boyfriend to breakfast out after WE WENT CYCLING!!!! My idea. A little puffed out, as I have not been cycling since the summer, but I LOVED IT!!!!:D Then later in the day, I went to the local shop with my lovely and stayed in there for 15 minutes. I have not been in a shop or cycling for 4 months, so this was a very positive day for me. My anxiety levels were very low throughout the day. Maybe a rest day in between days out is necessary in the short term to help me to recover? My body holds a lot of tension after I have been out. So if I allow this to disperse by having a rest day in between days out, I think that this is fine until my body adjusts?

This afternoon, I called to arrange a home optician test for next week. I wear glasses for reading / computer / close work and my prescription has changed slightly from what I can assess. My last eye test was 13 years ago! This evening, I also booked a table for me and my boyfriend at a lovely restaurant in the next village for New Years Eve. Something to work towards, as I will have to get a train one stop to get there.

I feel delighted and tired in equal measures! But I am very proud of myself. My little world is expanding, slowly but surely :D:clap::dance:
 
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