Alan's Story

G'day to one and all. My name is Alan Irvine, 83 years of age going on 43 shall we say, and wishing that the body could believe my mind. I have been retired now for some 20 years, but during my working life I was an architect so my fellow 'ET-ers' will understand the problems that I faced every day.

I first became aware that something was not quite right in my late twenties when I found difficulty in signing my name, but it was not too much of a worry until the time came when I had to sign my last will and testament on the first occasion in front of those two strange people who I understood where called witnesses. I still cringe when I think of it. That so clean so white sheet of paper with the perfect typing on it and I stuffed it up big time!!! A drunken spider which had fallen in ink would have done a better job.

One other event in particular that I still shrink from recalling happened at my office when a frequent visitor to our business looked over my shoulder at the drawing on my draughting board and laughed saying, "Ho, ho, ho you're the only architect I know who can draw a straight crooked line". I know he didn't mean to be offensive but it was not easy to take. I wished I had been invisible. Now when I see our Support Group's logo with that spiral I am reminded again of that incident.

For many years I did not know what my problem was. After a while I asked my doctor about it and he sent me to see, of all people, a psychiatrist. That experience was so demeaning that it put me off even mentioning it to anyone and I did my best to conceal it until one day I read an article about phobias, thought I had maybe found the answer, and went down that dead end trail for a while.

I only discovered what it was a few years ago when I read a story in my local newspaper about the ET Support Group. I went to my first meeting of the group and it was a miracle for me. A whole roomful of people all shaking together to the same tune! Whoopsie Do, Awesome, Hallelujah and Amen! I felt that all my Christmases had come at once and I was no longer alone. That no one was offering me a cure didn't seem to matter because I was in good company and no longer just a "Nervous Nellie" wimp.