Aware that I have a trip to London coming up, I called the repeat prescription line in order to replenish my anti-anxiety meds, amongst other things. When I collected my prescription, the all-important Diazepam was absent, something which sent me into something of a minor meltdown. How on earth was I expected to make the journey to London, let alone negotiate the city and the Royal Opera House without it? Very quickly, waves of anxiety crashed over me as I began to run over all sorts of catastrophic scenarios in my mind. Daft stuff, like what if I were to spontaneously combust before Der Rosenkavalier’s sublime Final Trio? This lasted for a few moments until I became aware- mindful, in fact, of what I was doing, and corrected my thinking.

Being honest, I knew at the back of my mind that it was unlikely the GP would sign off on more Diazepam without seeing me first, which we had arranged for the New Year. In reality, if I stick to the reduction regime that we agreed, I’ve enough to last me till then anyway. Only I haven’t stuck to the reduction regime- I accelerated it, to the point where I’ve stopped. Just a few days of mindfulness, meditation, and self-hypnosis have left me feeling better able to manage my anxiety without it. If I think about it, I can’t say that the Diazepam made all that much difference anyway- certainly nothing like as effective as the methods mentioned above. I also reminded myself that I made it from Aberdeen to New York, via Heathrow and back without popping a pill once.

On another note, I always fail to fully appreciate the extent to which the cold weather exacerbates my COPD symptoms until there’s a spot of mild weather, as we’ve had (here in Aberdeen at least) these last two days. My mobility isn’t anything like as restricted (we’re talking the difference between dead slow and stop) as it has been these last few weeks. It’s fairly astonishing, the drastic difference just a few degrees can make- throw in some wind and rain and it’s a case of locking the front door and closing the curtains unless I absolutely need to be somewhere. In those cases, taking the car, or a cab, door to door is jut about the only viable option, and even then, it doesn’t always run smoothly. Should the mild weather prove short-lived (you’d expect so at this time of year), I have a plethora of balaclavas scarves and snoods to choose from (thanks to some very thoughtful friends) to make things a little easier.