Tag Archives: making decisions

14:03 – New beginnings?

21 Nov

Approximately 18 months ago I applied for a housing transfer through my local council. I had become absolutely miserable in this flat and when my agoraphobia is really bad I get so anxious I find it incredibly difficult to leave to walk down the communal stairs past my neighbours doors to get outside. This means that I sometimes have to rely on my parents or friends to come and walk the dogs for me or live on takeaway food delivered to me. I also get super paranoid because I have neighbours through each wall to either side of me as well as someone below me and someone above me so I feel like I’m boxed right in the middle. The professionals I was working with at the time supported my application as did my parents who all believed that if I just had my own front door it would help a great deal with me being able to leave the house easier. There are some other factors as well but if I go into them all this will turn into a super long ramble and I have to be at my appointment with lovely support worker in 45 minutes.

On Monday I received a letter from the council telling me they had a property that was vacant that they believed would be suitable for me and were giving me an official offer. It came completely out of the blue and I read the letter with a mix of excitement and then huge panic. The letter asked for me to phone them to arrange a viewing and see whether or not I wanted to accept the transfer. So on Tuesday my Mum came and picked me up and we met the housing officer at the little house. It’s about 2 miles away from where I live just now and is just a little one bedroom bungalow with a little garden and is literally 5 minutes walk to my parents house and 5 minutes walk to the hospital where the mental health team are. It’s on a quiet street which has houses with families on the one side and a row of little one bedroom bungalows on the other side which I think mainly house elderly people. This is ideal for me as my flat is right in the town area of where I live which means it’s always noisy with traffic, people in the communal stairwell coming and going, drunk people passing by after the pubs on the weekends, etc etc.

So we viewed the little house and it’s pretty dated and old fashioned looking on the inside, it badly needs redecorating but has a front door and back door with a small garden that my little dogs would love playing in. The garden is all enclosed with a fence so they would be safe. I tried to look past the dated decor and imagine how I could make it look to make it homely. But after only ten minutes the housing officer said she had to get to another appointment and that we’d need to leave so I don’t feel like I got to see the place properly and I can’t make a decision of permanently living there on ten minutes of viewing. The council then said I had to give a decision within 48 hours maximum (the form actually says 24 hours). So now I find myself in a bit of a situation. I don’t think I could be offered anything better as a transfer, the location is ideal like I say it’s really close to my parents, I don’t really have any neighbours super close to worry about, it’s quiet and peaceful, the dogs would have a garden to play in and I guess it’s a clean slate, a place to start afresh from.

But I have been in this flat for seven and a half years. It has a huge amount of memories associated with it, some good but some very very bad. Sometimes I get these little flashes in front of my eyes where I just look at a particular part of a room and all these memories flood through my head and can leave me feeling quite fucked up. I have, on a couple of occasions, self harmed just from memories around me and making me feel so trapped in here like I can never escape from them. And this new little house would be somewhere with no bad memories, no feeling trapped, somewhere to start creating memories in. My parents really want me to take it because they would feel so much better knowing I was just a few minutes walk from them and most of me wants to accept it as well. But as soon as I go to sign the acceptance form I get a massive release of anxiety completely overwhelming me. Mum says it’s just because it’s a big change and a new place that’s unfamiliar to me but that if I just go for it and get it looking homely that I will settle into it in no time. And I think she is probably right but I can’t stop thinking of all the ‘what ifs’ and the thought of having to pack all my possessions up and let removal guys into my flat and having to contact tonnes of companies and services to notify them of change of address, getting phone line and internet moved, gas and electric moved, just loads of shit like that makes me panic about it all. Like seriously bad waves of anxiety, strong enough to make me think I just can’t do this and I should just stay here no matter how much I hate it.

So the council have agreed to let me have a second viewing which is tomorrow at 2pm. I have to give them a definite decision by 4pm tomorrow. The property is currently lying empty so I assume it would be fairly quick to get the keys. I also have my two final essays for these modules I’m doing on my home based uni course due in the next two weeks so how I am supposed to study for them and write 2 x 2000 word essays as well as packing all my stuff up and moving to the new place, get it redecorated and everything all at once I just don’t know. They say one of the most stressful things is moving house and they aren’t wrong. When I moved in here I hardly had anything, just the very basics and it took a while to add in my appliances and furniture and stuff. I lived for the first couple of years with loads of second hand stuff but now over the last five years have replaced everything to new stuff. And I have a lot of stuff to move, in fact I think I have more stuff than the little bungalow can take as it didn’t seem to have much storage and the rooms are quite small. Maybe I’ll just have to throw a lot of stuff out that I don’t use/need any longer.

So yeah, tomorrow I have to make my definite decision and I am absolutely terrified. I keep having panic attacks and barely slept last night because I felt so anxious it was keeping me awake. I don’t know whether to accept it and take the chance that new beginnings would be a good idea and trust what my parents are saying that I will settle in and it will feel like home once I’ve got it looking how I want it to… or whether to listen to the anxiety and just stay here and not have to face any changes. I have written a list of pros and cons for moving and the pros far outweigh the cons but I am just so fucking scared of change/being somewhere unfamiliar and not knowing how I will adjust to it.

I’d better go as my appointment is in 20 minutes but I will post back tomorrow once I’ve had my second viewing by which time the decision will be made. Am I really ready to say goodbye to all those memories and move on to somewhere new? I don’t know if I have the strength. I’m scared, terrified in fact, but something at the back of my head is saying to me that this could be the best decision I ever make to get away from here and start again. What to do? I just don’t know…

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14:54 – Decision made

30 Nov

I have reached a decision now re: the house swap. It’s too risky for me at the moment. I feel like I’m in a place where the slightest bit of excess stress might just knock me off balance and I am not willing to let that happen. Even though I haven’t been in a very good place mentally for a number of weeks now I have still managed to refrain from self harming (don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing as the urges are crazy strong when they come because I’m not giving myself that release) but after speaking to my Mum at length, my best friend and support worker, they all keep saying the most important thing is for me to try and get through this Winter with no hospital admissions and to stay as well as possible. The stress that would come with moving house (plus my general anxieties like thinking I won’t be happy there etc) I just feel would be too much to cope with at the moment and I guess the bottom line is that I’m recognising I’m just not well enough to deal with such stresses at the moment. I need to only do what I can cope with for the moment, and if the offer of the swap is still there once I feel more stable then perhaps it will be something I can look at doing again at a later date.

I was really scared about telling the girl who I was supposed to be swapping with. As I mentioned before she is very unpredictable in her behaviour and this worried me quite a lot. I wanted to phone her to explain but I couldn’t manage it so I went for the easy (and slightly cowardly) option and sent a long text message to her instead. I apologised and said the last thing I wanted was to mess her about, but after having a long think about things I feel that it would all just be too much for me at the moment and I was scared that the stress of it would start making me quite unwell again. I apologised again. And again. Then hit the send button. Thankfully she was quite nice about it but said she had already handed her forms in, and she asked me what I wanted her to say to them when they contact her. I text back saying just tell them the truth, that right now my health isn’t in a good enough place to handle the stress of moving house. I don’t know why she can’t just phone them or pop in and ask them to ignore the form, that would be so much easier.

I’m slightly worried now though that it will affect my application on the housing transfer list as they are going to see I have an opportunity to move to the type of property and area that both match what I have applied for yet have made the decision not to do it. If they contact me I’m just going to tell them the truth but I’m also going to send a little email to my advocacy worker so she can speak to them on my behalf if needed. I hate dealing with people and forms and phone calls at the best of times, but it’s a million times harder when you’re feeling unstable and with the head crazies visiting.

I popped in to see my Mum and Dad last night and they both agree that this isn’t the right time. Plus, the more I think about it the more I’m unsure if it would even be a ‘suitable swap’. Mum said she thinks the best thing would be for me to get my flat looking like a home again, that it would be worth spending the money to put nice new flooring down throughout my flat, and maybe we could rearrange my bedroom so that it doesn’t look like the same bedroom as before, therefore it might not scare me so much. And I think I agree this would be a good move. If I could break this psychological barrier that my bedroom holds and actually use that room again then I wouldn’t just be stuck living, eating, sleeping all in this one room all the time. And if it takes 6 months or 6 years for me to be offered a housing transfer then I can assess things then – do I think I’d be happy there? Am I feeling stable enough to move house and take on the stresses that come with it? And if I am then I’ll go ahead and if I’m not or if I actually find that I’m quite happy staying here then so be it, I’ll just ask for my name to be taken off the transfer list if that happens. But I think my mind is made up for now, I’m going to stay where I am. But with the help of my lovely parents make it nice and cosy in my flat and a happier place to be.

Making a definite decision feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I’m sure I’ve made the right one. I hope I have anyway. I remember back to when I first had my living room all re-decorated and just sitting here thinking how different it looked and how nice it was and feeling proud that my flat looked nice. Then the builders destroyed it all and made it feel like a completely alien place to me, somewhere I didn’t recognise as mine any more. And now I’m going to take the final steps to make it nice again. My Dad has already repainted every room, I have a nice new kitchen fitted, I have a brand new shower fitted, all I need is to cover up all the horrible sheets of mdf that serve as flooring just now. So I think the plan is to get some laminate or vinyl flooring for the living room and kitchen. A big rug in the middle of the living room. Some big pretty cushions to snuggle into. And I’m going to get a nice cosy carpet for the bedroom.

Anyways… whilst I was up seeing the parents last night my Mum asked me if I wanted my new jacket that she had bought me for Christmas as my other one (whilst excellent for wind and rain) is useless for these freezing cold temperatures. So she bought me a lovely new cosy jacket, I love it! She said there was no point waiting until Christmas when she could see I was freezing in the one I have at the moment and I was so toasty warm walking home, looking like an eskimo with my big fur hood up 🙂 I love my Mum so much 🙂

Today I really must get some studying done. I only have 10 days to get my final essay written and submitted and I still have coursework to finish before I can even get started writing it. Everyone else on my course seem to be in the middle of writing theirs, I have to get a move on. Unfortunately because I have actually gone out this week and attended my appointments and gone to see my parents and best friend and stuff I have missed this week’s online tutorial but there is another one on Monday so I will definitely have to pop into that and go over any last minute concerns. So that means I have to get the coursework finished over the weekend and get an essay plan written up so I can see if there is anything I need a little bit of extra help with. This has to be a productive weekend studying, I can’t afford to lose the hours sitting around unable to concentrate… I have to find my concentration again or quite simply I’m going to fail this module.

So that’s where I’m up to at the moment. I have reached a decision about moving house. I know what studying I need to do – now it’s just a case of doing it. I have the support of my parents to get my flat looking nice again and help me be happy living here again. Hopefully that will go to plan and when my flat is looking nice again I will be happy here for a while longer. It’s not going to take away the traumatic memories that I associate with the flat but I still think that for now it is the right decision to stay here a while longer. And you know what, even if I was being offered my dream house right now I still think I’d choose to stay here a bit longer as I just don’t think I can deal with any stress at the moment. Part of me is so convinced that something will happen that they will put me in hospital for like last Winter and the one before and I need to keep my stresses to a minimum so that is less likely to happen.

Regardless of anything else I know I will be so proud of myself if I make it through to February, through Christmas, through New Year and to the little one’s anniversary with no hospital admissions. And my parents and those who matter to me will be proud of me as well and I think that will be such a nice feeling to have, to start off a new year relatively stable. And that is my aim/goal/target and I’m clinging onto it with everything I’ve got in me.

I can do this… right?