Thursday, September 25, 2014


Both a need and a expletive this morning as I find my agoraphobia leading the way.  When I make polymer beads I make them on a mandrel but I like to redo the hole with my they are clean and uniform. The problem is I have not been able to locate the drill bits so I can do this. I broke down a few days ago and ordered new ones which have been sitting in my mailbox since lunchtime yesterday. However, the agoraphobia is not letting me leave my apartment to go get them. Frustrating!

I spent all yesterday afternoon and evening trying to work up the courage to go get them with no success. I know it's because I had to leave the apartment three days in a row when I wasn't doing so well that has knocked me backwards. And I know if you have never suffered with agoraphobia you'll think I'm nuts...."just go already!".  Here's what it's like. 

First there's the need to open the door which comes with the irrational thought that the door knob is hot and I'll be burned. Quickly followed by the crazy thought that I won't be able to open the door and I'll be trapped in my apartment which is so contrary I agree on the 'nuts' part.  But these are just diversions against the real fear.....people. Having to interact with people.  I may have to say hello to a neighbor or worse, bump into my chatty property manager who, I know, will want to talk about my going blonde....and. I. just. can't. handle. it.   I get the shakes, walls and floors ebb and flow like a rough sea and the big fear, a full blown panic attack.
Now if you've never had a panic attack you won't understand that either.

Panic attacks have caused me to leave places...rapidly. Full grocery carts get left.....every time I see an abandoned grocery cart I wonder if that person shares my debilitation. If I can't get away....flight because fight isn't working then I may start hyperventilating so bad someone decides to rush me to hospital....yes, it has happened.  

I haven't been as bad as this for years.....maybe twenty years even. A bad depression brings it all back in full force and all the self-lecturing, pleading, 'be brave-ing' I do isn't enough. 

I wonder if I got a burka if it would make me feel better. It actually looks like a solution to me....a burka just screams "unapproachable" and it's a lot like hiding under the blankets....just in public. And I can even buy one online for $29.99! I might do it other than I'm sure homeland security would be triggered into action.

So here I sit writing it all out, trying to overcome the fears and find some courage. Just to go to the freaking mailbox! I totally want to hit myself up the side of my head. 

Update:   So.....I did it. I formed a plan....back fire exit stairs, behind the building path, behind the pool out at the mailbox, grabbed my mail (and posted Mom's letters), back behind the pool...then the mad dash on the main drag (can't get back in the fire exit), into the elevator and home! I hyperventilated the whole way, legs shaking so much I had to sit down as soon as I got home...but only for a couple of minutes before I had to dash to the bathroom to throw up. Still shaking but it is done.


  1. Mikki, I am reading this and sighing with relief because you are giving words to what I go through constantly. I am not relieved that YOU are going through it, but simply knowing I am NOT crazy that it DOES happen to me that way; that it is a real issue and not imagined. One of the ways I avoid going out is finding something 'important' indoors to do. I have been dealing with it a lot this summer, so much so that all my outdoor plants that needed daily tending to are all dead (wish I had had the common sense to bring them into my safe space (one particular room in my house where everyone knows when I am in there and the doors are closed means I don't want company)....sorry for the aimless rant, I wish I have something better to say to help make you feel better. I can only say hang in there and take your time, you owe no one any explanations....HUGS.

  2. Naan, I'm glad to make you feel not alone. The whole thing about posting my journey is for just that.

  3. So sad you have to go through this. I've had a few (very minor) bouts with agoraphia and panic attacks, which like yours, are more about dealing with people than a fear of open spaces. Very happy you screwed up the courage to go out anyway! ��

  4. I had panic anxiety before. Got it after a crisis that I think wasn't dealt with by me. Didn't know how to. But what helped me was to challenge myself. On the bus to school I felt like throwing up and I was shaking. In the classroom I was sitting I grabbed the table, In some strange way I also managed to LEARN things at school even though so much energy went to having anxiety and stress! A good friend of mine asked me when I felt crappy "What is the worst case scenario? What would the worst thing be that could happen?" "I guess that would be that I would die" I answered. "But on the other hand that wouldn't matter, because then it would end the suffering." That made us laugh like crazy and after that I thought about that when I got anxiety and it helped! What helped me the most was to challenge myself and just do the things I was afraid of/couldn't cope with.It was horrible sometimes, but I found out that I survived...and didn't "die". Learning to relax and breathe deeply when you feel it coming helps too. Last time I had a panic attack I realised a thought and a worry started it..." How am I to pay the rent this month!?" Obviously practise/challenge and a understanding that it's not something dangerous that is happening to you when you get the panic. It's just a reaction.

  5. I've had it all as well Mikki, think I would rather die than go through it all again. I just couldn't do it. It makes me absolutely sick to think someone could have caused you to go through all of this again. Some people can be so cruel and selfish. Sending you blessings

  6. Good on you for getting out to the letter box!


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