Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: The Growing Agoraphobia

Before all of this…

the symptoms, the diagnosis, the attacks…

I was quire normal… just shy and maybe a touch of paranoia. I loved exploring. Though I lacked the funds to do so but it used to never stopped me. I’d call up a friend and we just go take a walk and talk. Days I do have the money to.. I went to cafes alone or bookstores because they are heaven to me. I just read or wrote in my journal whilst drinking a nice sweet drink as an incentive. But I admit most times, it was the reason why I went out and I’d award myself with another before I leave.

Most days now…

I sstill go out…ish… at least for sure with company.

However..in going alone..it’s a problem. I mean I still go out and my reasoning or reward was to get that Starbucks or a whatever I’m deathly craving that’s near by.

But as much as I hate it, I hate going out alone now. But even with someone/support… I’m happy to be with them, but depending where we go..I loathe it. My reason?.. People. Crowds. I get panic or anxiety attacks now when I am in large crowds. Especially passing people, I get into a fight or flight mode which I sadly can’t control. And so, I think because of that, it is my reason why my agoraphobia got worse.

I FEAR getting an attack outside. My attacks are physical. I would have symptoms of queasiness and nearly passing out. Alhough, my body may be reacting like this, my brain would be like saying “Don’t look at me~ I didn’t say anything this time.. I just wanted to __  with you”.  So yeah.. it’s really messed up and weird. I’d feel fine, excited to explore and go wherever I was supposed to; but then all of a sudden, hello sickness. And I’d have to rush home or I vomit and lose feelings in my legs and sight.

It’s hard because, I’d love to go see my psychiatrist or my specialist for my migraines but it’s hard because a lot of times, I’d cancel last minute because my uneasy feeling(anxieties) and fear of it starting again comes again. The anxieties would start from three or two days before I start freaking out..officially. And worse thing is, when I go… I would be a clusterfuck..(pardon my language) because I’d be forgetting my route though I been going to this hospital for months now and when I’m there I’d be only thinking about being away from crowds/people and so whatever relevant questions that is asked to me or that I wanted to ask… and that’s important in why I’m there is just..forgotten. I can’t answer it nor can I ask to tell any concerns or how I’ve been feeling.

Why must be Inside?

Outside passing people and crowds weirdly makes me dizzy like motion sickness dizzy as I go into flight or fight mode. To be clear, being outside is fine if I have lots of rests on the side. I love outside. I still love exploring. I still love fresh air and my inner introvert loves rain.

However…

It’s leaving that door and getting ready freaks me out. It doesn’t make sense but… yea my anxieties would start from the moment I make plans.. Sometimes if I spontaneously make the plan.. especially somewhere close by, it’s easy breezy. Most days the problem, is that motivation to leave. I can’t tell if it’s fear at times because it comes so natural. It’s like a force field at the door.. growing every second.. slowing pushing me back to the bedroom. And from that moment it’s just procrastination, confusion, fears, and arising anxieties or panic from being confused or frustrated.

I don’t understand my anxieties myself… but hey that’s why I’m seeing a doc… it’s frustrating because it’s obviously all about the mind. I must not just know that it’s cool and no one’s trying to hurt me. And I know that. I REALLY DO!. Argh but these symptoms.. these things I feel. I don’t know why. Like as I said before, my mind be like “Coolio~! I’m up for an outing in fact, I want it and I want it with you.” And I..being the great curious explorer was like Yay! and we get dressed and head out or try to. Some days, I actually got out of the house despite the rapid heartbeat and weird shivers(I suddenly feel cold even if its like 30 celsius)… turns out that’s one of my rare symptoms of the anxiety.

Then there is my days.. which are like.. “yo…you step out that door..you GON pass out!” or days when I am already out the door or halfway to the destination and that “You GON DIE!” voice comes out. And then I’d be fighting it like mentally I feel fine and confident and yet suddenly… physically.. I’d start feeling horrible. The queasiness, the hot flashes, the migraine, the fucked up motor skills aka I forget to walk properly and speak properly, then to extreme sensitivity to light, sound, to speak, to smell… and then it grows to clusterfuck..to blindness and full loss of body control.

So until I’m home in those worst times, I would feel 100% better with sleep as soon as I get home.

 

Have I tried anything else?

YES. I do know I got places to be. I need to work. I need money. I got chores.

And most of all, it’s not dangerous to be outside. My friend are out there. Fun is out there. Experiences and opportunities are out there. Your dreams are…

Right now, I’m trying more exposure therapy. I push myself out though I’m scared to. I try not to think of it. And I give myself this mindset, which I find it helps lots, so anxiety peeps out there…

Don’t think of yourself but think of why you need or want to go _____. Make that your main priority. Don’t think why you can’t because of your fears. Your fears trick you that tells you that YOU don’t want to go out when YOU DO. If you start to think, I can’t because of ___ which you mistake as (ill emotional or physical) feelings when it is actually just fear… it wins. It tricked you. Because you’re actually more than capable to go out.

It’s ok when there are days where you let it win, or it’s actually how you feel and you don’t want to go (because bad weather, someone is making you, or someone that makes you uncomfortable is there). Don’t beat yourself up. It’s ok not to go out. Doesn’t make you or me a lazy butt. Just don’t gloom when you’re inside. Don’t be just stuck in a cubicle staring into the screen of something. Do something stimulating. Or still go out but not to that destination… but make another destination near by, for yourself. That’s why I do at least… I grab coffee or tea or a dessert near by so that I would still technically had a breath of fresh air, see the outside world, and interact with someone physically.

 

 

~~

See….?

From all that… I sound so 100% capable of going out when I want right? Like I got it figured out? Well…no I don’t. It wins alot. Too much. Like 90% of my life now. The physical feelings or symptoms I get are so severe now. It fully tricks my mind. It trainned my mind that I’m not ok and that I don’t want to go out. When I do.. I made the plans. I was so excited and pumped for it.

It makes me feel horrible..thinking about it. It’s hard. But I am training and reminding myself that little advice and reminder above. It is fear talking. It is creating anxiety. it is creating Agoraphobia now.

I just want and hope from reading this, people know that,

I DON’T WANT THESE FEARS. YES I love myself. I want to go out. I have inspirations sometimes that created great motivations where I could and I DO go out.

Sometimes….

Somedays….

IT the fear, CONTROLS & I DON’T KNOW WHY.

 

But I DO & WILL FIGHT IT. Some days it wins so bad that I can’t. And I wish those moment, people respect that.

(IMPORTANT BELOW. READ & REPEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Because as I have mentioned above.. I’m sure some with anxiety disorders understand and knows this. Most times, we know it is fear talking, and that our want to go ____ is stronger where we do and are capable in reaching our destination (with incentive, grounding techniques, taking it slow, and rests. And in that outing, we are capable because we know that IT is AT A LEVEL possible to ground it.

There are times where the physical symptoms are so strong where despite we pushed ourselves or let ourselves to go out on an outing.. Company/Support or our Grounding techniques does not work. It is not the Company/Supports’ fault only if they have pushed too hard. The Ones with anxiety KNOWS deep inside their limit. They can tell when it can be pushed and when it can not. The difference between that is pretty much I can and want to and know it’s fear talking lies that shit’s gonna go bad and the other is whether the fear and anxiety is tricking me or not But I AM SURE I DO OR DO NOT WANT TO GO & I AM FEELING UNWELL & IT IS NOT JUST FEAR .

Those times… that’s why I say.. IT IS OK. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. And I want the Companies escorting them/Supporters to know as well, you not being able to calm them down is not your fault either nor is it that your company is ever supposed to be 100% the cure to anxiety and depression. If you believe that..you’re probably the aggressor and the one that forced them out or pushed them too hard that they can’t ground themselves.

Yes it is about mindset. Mindset is hard to train and changed. It takes a long long time to fully change. But all you guys can both do as the ones with anxiety or supporters is compromise. Choose a shorter route/Somewhere nearby, reschedule, or stay inside. But Never push to the point where you feel horrible. I wouldn’t say push now thinking back up there..but motivate yourself for days when you WANT TO GO but Anxieties and Fear is tricking you that you don’t. But if you feel physically ill.. like passing out mode.. don’t push and maybe don’t go.

But if you got shakes, the paranoia… know that you’re ok. Shake it off. Make yourself smile. Take your time. Reschedule or go somewhere nearby. Ground yourself. Don’t let others(aggressors or pushers who force you) affect whether you “should” go ____ when you are feeling like a danger to yourself or others as in fainting(could make you hit your head), seizures, asthma attack, etc… stuff that could make you have to go to the hospital or..jail (I hope not)

Before anyone can say it’s mind over matter. One must remember… you can’t control what you feel physically sometimes. Like one can’t control getting seizures, asthma attacks, heart attack, tremor, etc. NO ONE CHOOSES THAT. We did not choose to have disorders or illnesses. We can ignore it but it won’t make it go away. Other company of people in our lives does not just cure our disorders or illnesses. So does not medicines given to us cure us.

Time does. Effort Does.

 

And despite my new, unfortunate problem, my fear of going out to open spaces, to be in crowds, leaving home…. I am practicing. I am trying. All I ask for along for people with anxieties or this phobia… is patience and understanding.

 

To ones with this fear or disorders, illnesses, pain…. or not. Do not ever say what is wrong with you. Do not blame yourself when it wins. Do not get frustrated with yourself when it feels like time is taking too long. As long as you try or compromise…you will get there.

And for ones whose supporting ones with this, do not push. motivate. if they can’t..fine. do not make them even more flustered and make them blame themselves or lower their self-esteem. It may be hard to some… but do not believe it is simple to cure these disorders or illnesses especially just because someone or something is in their life. It takes time (much slower time than most can handle) and it takes lots of support and motivation. Those with these problems, tend to be very observant aka paranoid..they notice and think of every little thing you do or say…such as when you show disapproval or disappointment, annoyance, anger….

There will be lots of rests/breaks when you are out. But do not put pressure on yourself or…to the supporters/companies..do not put presssure on them. You’d make more anxiety and embarrassment or guilt that causes the fear to grow and become prominent.

Compromise as best you can. Try not to not go out. If staying in..do something fun. Just keep motivating yourself. Keep inspiring yourself. Don’t get frustrated with yourself. Understand and try different techniques to cope and ground yourself.

 

 

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Author: fromkatanawithlove

I'm a medical mystery, always was....so I'm documenting it😅😅 Honestly..it was really later in life when I discovered all my migraines and sudden weak immune system wasn't from poor eating. It was something I never expected... I was diagnosed with major depression and general and social anxiety. it was all messed up.. I hope those who visit my blog.. feel safe and connected too. I hope you know.. you're not alone. And to those you knows me... this blog is also for you to understand me better.

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