Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Write about what you know

Throughout history, courtesy, etiquette and innate Britishness have dictated that when introducing oneself to the world, polite small-talk comes first and gory details come later, but this doesn't tend work too well in the blogosphere (oh, how I hate that word) when the gory details are about to form the bulk of your writing. So, for the purposes of this post, I have decided to break with convention. Get it all out in the open. Out of the way.

"Come out", if you like.

So here it is in a nutshell. The basics, the gory details, the stuff you need to know.

My name is Miss Vertigo. Well, obviously, not really, but, y'know. I am 35 years old. I have agoraphobia. If it must be known, it began ten years ago, two weeks to the day after witnessing a traumatic incident, the details of which are not important. It started with the occasional panic attack and progressed from there until my living area shrank to the size of a couch, because that's where I stayed unless it was absolutely biologically necessary to move.

Yes, I've been down the psycho-pharmacalogical route; yes, it was hideous; yes, the chemical damage inflicted left me with more problems than it solved. No, I'd never go there again, not even kicking and screaming.

Yes, it's a pain in the arse. No, I don't let it dictate my life or define me as a person but yes, sometimes it does get the better of me. No, not everyone in my life knows about it, because sometimes, it's more socially acceptable to invent a headache.

No, agoraphobia isn't just about the Miss Haversham on the corner who hasn't left her cobwebby house for fifty years and dispelling that myth here and now is very high on my list of priorities for this blog. Yes, we do go out. Lead productive lives. Work. Have relationships. Do all that normie stuff. And sometimes that's difficult, sometimes it's damn near impossible - but you keep going, plough on through, push and push and push until you drop. Why? Because it's better than the alternative.

Although it's always lurking, and right now the ugly head of shrinking safe-zones is, for some reason, being reared, no, it's not a constant. Yes, it comes in waves; in peaks and troughs, in massive highs and miserable lows, and while the highs are wonderful, liberating - normal - especially after a prolonged low, there are occasions where your bed becomes your safe-zone. But at least you're comfortable.

The ups and downs make for an interesting life.

After ten years or so of faffing, being pushed from pillar to post, doctor to doctor, A&E department to A&E department, patronising bastard to patronising bastard, I thought it may be interesting to chronicle the course of non-medicinal treatment I'm about to undergo. Or at least that's the plan, but despite Nu-Labour bluster, we all know that patient choice is not high on the NHS agenda when it comes to matters of the mind. Drug 'em up, shove 'em out the door, keep 'em coming back for more. It's the easy way out. The cheap way out. But it's not for me, principally because I refuse to bow down like a lamb and become a drug company science experiment. I have that t-shirt already. I bought it unintentionally, with no possibility of a refund - and I wear it every day of my life.


If you're still with me, then welcome. I hope that once I get going, you'll find something here that's identifiable, something familiar, something shared, something to talk about in the pub. That's assuming we can get to the pub without needing to call out the psychiactric liaison team.

If you're not, then maybe a blog about fluffy kittens would be more your cup of tea anyway.


miles away said...

some people are rather fond of fluffy kittens but words are sometimes a much better use of time.

happy blogging!

camille said...

I so wish I had discovered your wonderful blog two months ago when you set out on this journey. Now I have a postively large backlog of wonderful writing I must read.

I hope the experience of blogging helps, if only a little.