agoraphobia, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, cycling,, Prayer, prayer, healing, contemplation, oneness, love,

Agoraphobia diary: 3pm on day 7

Greetings to you all. Well, I’ve done it! Today’s challenge was to travel by train from Loughborough to Warrington, changing at Nottingham, so I’m here in my hotel room now, absolutely drained. At each stage of my journey, just when I was getting anxious about what to do next, there was always a kind person ready to help. Outside Loughborough station, a very nice taxi driver I chatted to for a moment offered me a bottle of water, and we shared a hug. On the platform, the guard was happy to chat, which passed the anxious time until my train arrived, and so on.

Changing at Nottingham was very stressful. My train was already at the platform, but I needed the loos before boarding. They were on another platform, and I felt very rushed. It all worked out in the end, though, and passengers help each other quite a lot.

I had been thinking a good deal about the very long tunnels I knew we would pass through in Derbyshire, but managed surprisingly well. The lit train, the people chatting around me, and the large size of the compartment meant it was considerably less claustrophobic than I expected. My last train journey with major tunnels, taken about 45 years ago, was a traumatic nightmare I prefer to forget. Ever since that day, I’ve had occasional nightmares about being on trains in narrow, dark, never-ending tunnels. It’s only now that I’m beginning to realise just how damaging that journey was, because of my terribly anxious state of mind.

By the time I got to Warrington, I was spent, rather like yesterday afternoon – no thoughts, no fears, no ambitions, just a blank mind, accompanied by a familiar sensation, as if the ground was heaving up and down beneath my feet, like being in a boat. I was so tired that I wandered away from the station in the wrong direction, dimly looking for a taxi rank. To my surprise and sadness, the first person I asked for directions didn’t even register my greeting. Then I met a woman who, though clearly startled to be asked, pointed me in the right direction.

It’s a huge relief to be in my own quiet, dark room now, resting in bed and having lots of hot drinks. So here is today’s prayer, which I wrote during this morning’s contemplation:

Your peace

Lord,

When I reach the station,
May I go in with you.

While I wait for my train,
May your arms encircle me.

As I board it,
May I hold your hand.

When the doors close,
May I know your presence.

As my journey starts,
May we pray together.

When I change trains,
May I share your calm.

During long tunnels,
May I feel your comfort.

When I arrive,
May I thank you deeply.

And, as I go on my way,
May I know your perfect peace.

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