“The head is shit”, my husband said as he was giving me a pep talk. “You are strong, bullheaded, and determined. That’s why I love you and that’s why you are going to overcome this.”
Hubby was giving me this pep talk regarding my agoraphobia. I’ve been struggling a lot with it lately. Hell, truthfully, I’ve been struggling with it since junior high school.
Although I’ve had agoraphobia for many years, I didn’t know it was agoraphobia until 2015. I’ve been seeking help via therapy and medication to control and overcome it, but it’s been rocky going. I’ll be fine for months and then, suddenly out of the blue, I can’t leave my house. Most of the time it’s somewhere in between, I have the anxiety but it’s not so bad that I can’t push myself out the door and live life.
But then there comes the days where it really interferes with life, I miss a lot of work. The agoraphobia anxiety manifests in many ways, there are many symptoms, the one that really keeps me from work is the nausea and vomiting. I had thought it was my gastroperesis that was causing this particular symptom, but recently I came to realize it’s actually the anxiety.
As I write this I am sitting at home, on a work day, rocking back and forth (anxiety symptom) and resisting the urge to clench my fists and massage my hands and crack my knuckles (anxiety symptoms). My stomach is nauseous and I may throw up at some point.
My mind is a blender set to high and full of horrible, panic laden thoughts mixed with a good helping of self-loathing, self-destructive thoughts. It is so very difficult to pick one out and concentrate on it. My therapist tells me to do that, to pay actual attention to the thoughts I’m thinking and not just dwell on how they make me feel. What is the thought? What does it mean? Is is true? 9 times out of ten, it is not.
It’s just so difficult to straighten out the thoughts, to calm the mind and actually think about what’s going on up there. The instinct is to run away from it, that’s what anxiety is, fear.
It makes me cry. I’m letting down my job, I’m letting down my hubby, I’m letting down myself.
And all I want to do is stay home, never leave… hide from the world.
But, truthfully I’m not hiding from the world, I’m hiding from the anxiety, by giving into it I’m calming the symptoms, but that’s no cure, that’s just a band-aid, a very bad band-aid. If I were to give in I would sacrifice life, sacrifice everything I love and waste away in my little home, because every time I try to leave the anxiety would attack again.
The only way to overcome anxiety is to face it, find it’s roots and pull them out.
And, whatd’ya know….that’s the most scary and difficult thing to do! And you have to keep doing it…for the rest of your life, because this is who you are, this is a part of you, and you have to be strong and on top of it…FOREVER.
I’m drained, I’m tired. I have to be forever vigilant and on top of my Type 1 diabetes, and agoraphobia, and so many other things.
Sometimes I think this is all just not sustainable. I can’t keep living like this, but how do I make it better?