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I did it! I went to the moon... Saturday January 16, 2016

Well Iceland actually, in June last year. The country, not the shop.

There are times when even the shop would be impossible – I might get there but would probably have to leave halfway round and run for the safety of my car before the panic really set in.

But in June last year my daughter was graduating in Iceland the country. Bless her, she knows I rarely go out if I can avoid it, let alone actually travel abroad. So months before she tentatively mentioned it in passing 'Just in case mum, but it's ok if you don't, really, nobody else's parents are going, it's too far'. Liar, liar, pants on fire! Of course everyone else's parents were going. That's what proud parents do. And I am so proud of my daughter.

So I went to the doctor. Can you help me? I'm scared of anti-depressants (bad reaction in the past) but I need to go to Iceland. I might as well say I need to fly to the moon, it's that impossible. Is there something I can trial to see how they affect me? So she gave me some really mild pills that she promised weren't addictive, and some HRT for good measure and told me to let her know how the trip went.

Well I took the pills, worked on my mindfulness, booked the tickets (amazing how brave and relaxed you can feel sitting on your living room sofa behind a computer isn't it?). The flight was on a Monday. I spent 2 days before in the loo with a nervous stomach. The trip was a mixture of nightmare and elation – nightmare because of the panic attacks I invariably suffered, but elation that I saw my daughter graduate in person. I was there for her and didn't have to hear about it second-hand later.

I was so proud of her. And she was proud of me. Because I did it, I went to the moon!!!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Margaret Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 6:59am

Doreen that is fantastic. I know how hard it can be to do something that takes you into your distress zone when there isn't a bolt hole to run back to. Your pride in yourself and elation is so justified. Well done you.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:23pm

thanks Margaret

Zoltan Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:20am


D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:24pm

thanks Zoltan

Norman Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:20am

Doreen hi! "Greater love hath no mother than this." And it seems your daughter really appreciates it too. A recent post linked to an article where someone said that depression is the curse of the strong. What a wonderful way to demonstrate your inner strength.

(I scored 71 today: better hide world, I'm comin' for ya!)

the room above the garage Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 8:32am

Hello Norman, I've been thinking after you since you said you were unwell...and I'm delighted you're feeling better! There is nothing better than watching a fellow traveller enjoy their victory! Love ratg x

Lou Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 8:49am

"(I scored 71 today: better hide world, I'm comin' for ya!)" Go get 'em Norman! we're cheering you on ;)

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 3:18pm

Cool score many days? Bear x

Mary Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:08pm

Nice one Norman!

Norman Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 2:08pm

Day 21 of phase two! I think I need to set myself a target to reduce the risk of relapsing accidentally.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:25pm

thanks Norman

LillyPet Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:35am

What a wonderful story Doreen! Your daughter sounds lovely, so considerate. How beautiful it is that you made the trip as daunting and difficult as it was, driven by your love for your daughter.
You survived it and thats important to remember. Plus if you can do that, you can do alot of other things closer to home. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Congratulations to both of you! LP xx

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:26pm

thanks LillyPet

irene Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:43am

Well done. Your daughter must feel extra special to have had you see her graduate in Iceland with all that has involved for you. A wonderful achievement for you both. You both demonstrate such care and love for each other, a bright future with lots more successes to come.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:27pm

thanks Irene

Annette Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:52am

What an achievement Doreen well done. You showed courage strength and determination not an easy thing to do with depression.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:27pm

thanks Annette

Hopeful One Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:54am

Hi Doreen- what a great achievement I I Congratulate you but more importantly have you congratulated yourself? You could take a lesson from that - you can do it . So why not sit down and make a list of things that cause you anxiety and panic from the least scary to the most scary . Start with the least scary and see if you can overcome that and move to the next one.. Make sure you congratulate yourself at each stage and give yourself a treat preferably non alcoholic !

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:28pm

thanks Hopeful One

the room above the garage Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 8:39am

Hello Doreen, I love this for many reasons! Like others have said, you and your daughter have a wonderful love for one another! Not only have you faced your demon, not only have you demonstrated your tenacity and determination, not only have you taught by action, not only have you broken free, not only have you given yourself a fantastic memory (the best gift to self!) but you have also given us huge smiles and contentment to read about it. You went to the moon! And I feel I did too, thank you x.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:29pm


Lou Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 8:48am

Oh, Doreen! Good for you and a huge well done! :) x

...And thanks for sharing your amazing success with us. Moodscopers are such a lovely bunch ;)

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:30pm

thanks Lou

Anonymous Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 8:52am

Well done Doreen. I echo all the above comments! And your GP sounds understanding. The occasional use of mild sedatives or anxiety reducing drugs can make all the difference to us. Those who condemn all such prescriptions for whatever reasons are causing distress to so many people who would benefit enormously from them for use in instances such as your visit to Iceland. Otherwise it's alcohol and now we are told that alcohol which is freely available and not on prescription is a number one cause of Cancer. Sorry to's just that you mentioned your visit to the Dr and I picked up on this! Not only have you been to Iceland (!), you have also written a blog. Double congratulations! Jul

the room above the garage Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 10:16am

Fully agree Jul X.

Anonymous Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 12:03pm

Oh good! I like it when people I like agree with me.xxxx

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:30pm

thank you

Debs Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 8:55am

Such an inspiring blog Doreen! Go girl ;-) You did it and you should be really proud of you. Like HO says, sit down and identify the fears... and how once you faced them they didn't exist. Depression and anxiety can be such huge gifts and give us such learning once we sit with them and ask what they want to teach us. Thank you for being brave and sharing too - you took us all to the moon and back with you and theres no greater gift than that. Now I wonder where you'll take us to next..... ;-) xxxxx

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:31pm

thanks Debs

Anonymous Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:18am

great news :) i've been abroad very little over the past 10years because of my anxiety and panic. churning stomach days before. running to toilet in the airport. i could barely eat one time away for the first couple of days. hope to go to iceland myself maybe this year, looks lovely. just need to get it booked then start preparing. the gratitude and achievement you feel once you do these difficult things is always worth it you'd agree i'm sure

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:33pm

go for it .. it wasn't easy but such a feeling of accomplishment when I got back.

Oli Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:43am

Good post. Hope to travel too this year!

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:33pm

thanks Oli

Sam Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:55am

I have cried with joy for you and your daughter!!! What an amazing achievement, you should be so, so proud of yourself. The world and moon are your oyster, go grab it and enjoy.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:33pm

thanks you Sam

Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 10:11am

Hi Doreen,

I sure hope that you go and enjoy yourself in the real Iceland. I used to have problems going shopping or even going into town. Now I have a friend who can't go shopping on her own, so I go with her.

I don't like being in the middle of a crowded shop or street but I can stand on a stage and perform in front of a crowd. It's just a matter of being in your own space.

Now where is that microphone?
Drat they've hidden it, I guess they can't stand to hear me sing!

Take Care

Mary Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:09pm

Just love you SMB! I'll find that mic for you!

Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:43pm

Hey Mary, You really, honestly don't want to do that! I'll hug the microphone all night long [no one else to hug] and I really am a terrible singer. Even the cats give me a wide birth! I am however good entertainment value so I'm told. Hope your weekend goes well! x

Leah Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 11:14am

What a wonderful inspiring and hopeful blog.

It is funny how so many people seem to be going to Iceland now,writing books about it, holidaying there, doing documentaries or studying there? Was your daughter at uni there? Sorry I digress!!

Also I never knew there was a shop called Iceland till you mentioned it and I googled it.

I think you are brave and resourceful. I know people who have children marry overseas( I am in southern hemisphere) and they miss the wedding as the long flight is too much for their anxiety about flying.

So well done for flying to Iceland, living to tell the tale and for an educational blog.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:35pm

thanks Leah, yes she was at the University of the Wesfjords in Isafjordur doing a Masters in Marine Management. And yes, Iceland the shop sells frozen food! It was hard, but I would never have forgiven myself if I hadn't gone.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 1:03pm

I am doing a liddle Bear dance for you! How wonderful you:

A) got to see your daughter's graduation in person.
B) you approached your doctor and got what was needed
C) achieved so much during that trip...the flight, getting to and from the airports and all that entails as well as the rigmarole at the airports with security...that's enough to put many peeps off!
D) you have risen to those challenges and beaten them back with a big stick!
E) you have written to us all and we are so ve ve proud of you
And finally
F) you have raised the most considerate daughter who is also ve ve clever!

You could have easily chosen to stay at home, thinking about it all and worrying, but instead, you did what you had to do...and now, whenever you feel like something else is going to be 'too much', just remember what you have achieved and if you have pics...which I am sure you have....take a look at them and they will bring back such fabulous memories of an amazing journey and they can allay any future fears of journeying out of your comfort zone!
Biggest-to-the-moon-and-back-Bear hugs x x x x

Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:45pm

Well said Bear, well said. Three cheers for Doreen, Hip, hip Hurray!

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:37pm

thank you - yes the easiest option was to stay at home and I am so glad I didn't.

WIP Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 2:51pm

Hi Doreen
Your message - and replies - have given me a real sense of strength. Your courage and determination to stand up to your demons are inspiring me as I sit here, in a hospital cafe, debating whether to take another tablet in order to cope with my physically and mentally ill mother, in a ward upstairs. The pills are an addiction I seem to manage to keep at bay when life is good. However, as tough as today is, I'm going to throw them away. You did that for me Doreen - thank you. If you can do it, so can I.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 3:26pm

WIP - don't throw them away just yet...with a very poorly mum requiring your help in so many ways, you may need them to lean on if things don't get better. Just put them away for now and lean on us here. My heart goes out to you being there for your dear mum and we will be here for you too, if we can....but sometimes we just need that extra help in whatever form it may take. Depending on what tablets they are, they may not be an addiction, but if yur doctor prescribes them for you then your body may actually need them - as many of us need meds for our own depression/anxiety/stress. It'll be fantastic if you don't need to take them today, but just have them in your bag, in case. Hope I'm not sounding like a doom-merchant! Am only trying to help. Bear hugs x

WIP Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 5:23pm

Thanks for your thoughts Bear. Again it's amazing how powerful the support of another can be. You really seem to understand - it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

Mary Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:11pm

I agree with bear. Don't throw them away - hide them at the back of the drawer!

Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:46pm

WIP Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:46pm

Thanks Mary. I've been told by gp not to take these pills (they are nevertheless freely available from chemists) and have been battling an addiction to them for several decades so think binning them is probably the best idea right now. I should have explained more fully earlier. However I really appreciate your thoughts and knowing there are such decent folk out there. Doreen - you have been an enormous inspiration today - having made such a brave step I think you've built up some strength which will stand you in good stead in the future - whether you are conscious of it or not. As with bad experiences, good ones leave their mark too, and help 'shore you up' for the storms. Well done.

Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:54pm

WIP, Please be careful!!! Don't just throw your pills away! That can be very dangerous and detrimental to your health. See your GP before you do and if he agrees do so but in stages. Coming off them just like that can cause you a lot of problems. Please think twice before you just stop taking them. They take time to get both into and out of your body and just stopping them can cause withdrawl symptoms. I know what I'm talking about, I've done it myself and gone cold-turkey. It's not the way to do it. You also must make sure that you are in a good position to do this. Our lives may not be as we would like, but it still doesn't make our lives anymore of a game! Take Care - Thinking of You.

WIP Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 10:43pm

Oh no, I seem to have worried you. Not my intention at all. To try to explain, I don't take these pills all the time so my body is used to coping without them. It's more a psychological addiction than a physical one. I hate that I still turn to them when life gets tough, I find it shameful that I can't manage myself. It's a constant internal battle. My mum needs me now, and it's important I'm clear headed and alert. I know I can do this - especially knowing there are kindred spirits out there.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:42pm

thank you WIP. I know exactly what you mean about the constant internal battle - it's exhausting isn't it? But some days are easier than others and some days bring extra problems that just seem to push you a bit too far, and you should never find it shameful that you cannot manage.

Mary Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:11pm

You did it! So proud. Absolutely great blog and what an achievement! You are amazing.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:42pm

thank you Mary

The Gardener Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 7:35pm

Nothing to say (amazing for me) except 'you're a star, Doreen'. My travel sufferings have been because Mr G and his brother are both excessively nervous travelers - but have both traveled often and widely. For me the stress factor was that every holiday was marred by 'waiting room' nerves, hovering in front of the departure board for hours in case something changed, frequent moves towards the departure lounges, conviction we would be 'bumped' off - b-in-law in particular wishing to leave hours too early then giving me an ear-bashing because he hated hanging about! Are you 'cured' Doreen? Saying 'done that, where next'?

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:44pm

thank you. unfortunately no I am most definitely not 'cured'. If only it were that easy. I've been to Iceland - but I still panic in Sainsburys! Silly isn't it?

Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 16th 2016 @ 9:40pm


Well done Doreen!
I was in a rush this morning and only scanned through. I'm really pleased that you managed to go. Now keep it up, you took a large step forward there and you made it. Keep it up, little ones will do they don't all have to be large.

D Sun, Jan 17th 2016 @ 10:50pm

thank you

Suzy Mon, Jan 18th 2016 @ 6:21am

Bloomin' well done Dorri!! :o)

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