The past two days have thrown up an number of challenges some of which I predicted and some which I definitely did not see coming my way. Overall, sitting at home on Friday evening after a sometimes difficult 48 hours, I think that those personal challenges have been mostly met head on and resolved to my satisfaction albeit only with the help, strength and support of those friends who are closest to me. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to help my friends as much as they helped me but I’m working on it.

My personal challenges may be different from those of my fellow tribesmen, but they are no less or no more debilitating. Just different and I thank those who provided the comforting words of encouragement for helping me conquer some of my fears and anxieties. Andrew, Leanne, Rupert, Emer and Abigail. Thank you.

I have started to think about my very organised and forward-thinking coping strategies to the extent that I may rethink my theory that forewarned is forearmed. You can be too prepared and fall victim to imagining all sorts of disasters that will never happen. Catastrophising can become addictive and certainly doesn’t help with low mood or anxiety issues.

For example. Yesterday I was invited to attend a meeting at Citi based in Canary Wharf. I am claustrophobic and don’t like heights so that flying, travelling in lifts and in the back of cars with only 2 doors can be problematic for me. Busy, busy, busy, I stumbled from meeting to meeting so that when we finally arrived at Citi at 4pm, I signed in and in typical sheep-fashion followed my colleagues towards the lift. Still catching up I watched Glen reach towards the button -36th floor.

Now if I had made the connection between Citi=tallest building in Canary Wharf, I would have checked beforehand where the meeting would be held and “persuaded” Glen to hold our gathering lower down. However, no such connections were made and before I knew it I was being whisked up to the 36th floor, my ears popping twice. . I had only made 17 floors in a lift before and I had more than doubled that in one trip.

I felt pleased with myself. But I also felt a little silly. What was all the fuss about? I was safe. The lift engineering hadn’t failed half way up. And the doors opened at the top. I wasn’t trapped. I didn’t have to be rescued in mid-air. All thoughts which I would have chewed over for weeks had I known in advance that I would need to go to the 36th Floor. There was no way I would have done that if I’d had time to think about it but the surprise element worked. My friends were fabulous. They encoraged and reassured me and I made it to the top.

What a view across London. The O2 Arena, London flood barrier, City airport, London eye, the Thames, etc etc and I took in the panorama from a safe place with my back against an internal wall!

Perhaps next time, I’ll be brave enough to approach the window and take a photo.

Small steps.


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