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Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder

I don’t know why I’m like this.  So damn afraid of everything, everyone.  So neurotic about things.  I don’t leave the house much anymore because I can’t get past the fears that seem to engulf me whenever we drive anywhere.

We don’t visit friends, not even when they live in the same complex.  If I do leave the house it’s to go and see the rents (who also) live in the same co-op we do and even then I start to feel that pang to get home and be inside.

I hate it.  But I don’t know how to change.

Tonight I broke down and told Forgetful Dad how I was feeling.  Granted the swell of emotion flooding from me is most likely because FLOW is on her way to town to visit me for the next five days and she always seems to create this bubble of tears I wallow in, until she leaves.

One of the many perks of being a woman and able to bear children.

We were talking about traveling because a g/f of mine is going away again and lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot, envious of her. She’s been to Mexico, Florida, California, shopping down to Seattle.

She posts beautiful pics on FB to share.  I see the looks on her kids faces, the smiling as they swim with dolphins, go on rides, take a boat tour.  All the sights and sounds they intake and I feel another pang of guilt that I don’t (as a mother) take my kids anywhere other than the local Wal-mart (my second home) to buy toilet paper and under arm deodorant because the least I can do is not allow my 11 year old to be the stinky one in class.

Forgetful Dad wants to go to Scotland one day.  He wants to take the kids to Disneyland.  I want to go to Seattle and see the great gum wall. I know disgusting, right?  But honestly, how many times can you say in your life you participated in something universally gross and yet cherished by so many.  I want to see it.

With blogging there are conferences that crop up and I want to want to go to these conferences, but they are always too far away and require (flying) something that even when I think about doing it makes me want to hurl.

Going anywhere makes me feel out of control and… scared.

The funny thing about all this is that I never used to be this way.  Honest I didn’t.  I used to be out going and friendly and loved to see people. I mean heck in my twenties I lived downtown Vancouver off Davie street.  I worked at Starbucks until 3 a.m. and walked home (alone) never fearful of what would happen.  I traveled to Europe at 16 on a long flight, and I’ve been to Calgary, California, Bellingham and Seattle all before my kids were born.

So why now am I struggling with leaving my house?

I know some of it has to do with being bipolar and having panic disorder.  Ever since the car accident we were in, it seems I’m a completely different person.  I just want to find myself again.  I’ve always been bipolar but this anxiety to which I suffer from seems… consuming.  It has taken over my happiness to explore the world and truly live with my kids and husband.

I want to go on trips with my kids.  I want to share places and people with my husband.  I want to get past the fears that I am going to die. There I said it aloud.  I am going to die.  Oh not now. I’m not sick or anything (other than mentally) but one day.  One day I am going to get old and I won’t be here and neither will my kids and I’m crying as I even write this because I’m so messed up in the head with thinking about it.

I want to live.

And right now being this way.  I’m not living.  I’m only existing.  I have a great marriage.  Fantastic kids.  Great friends and a wonderful family.  Yet I’m only existing because I’m choosing to sit here and nothing else.

I guess it’s time to release some control and make a change.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Jasmine

    I'm 16 yrs old . Dealing with Agoraphobia is so hard for me especially because I'm young and i want to explore and go out with friends …But I can't all because of the stupid panic attacks . It's so fustrating .To feel trapped and insecure everywhere i go 🙁

    September 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm
    • Reply Jodi

      Hi Jasmine, well the fact you know you have an issue you are dealing with is a great first step. I would start by phoning your local child and mental health center in the city you live in. See if they can help. It's taken me over four years to overcome my fears to the point I can now go outside of my house. The panic attacks get a little easier, and you may want to speak to a doctor about appropriate medication. Best of all keep forcing yourself every day to take one step at a time. Every step you take makes you stronger.

      September 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm
  • Reply Angel

    How familiar this all sounds. My panic disorder arose out of my last pregnancy when my gall bladder went kaput. My doctors however ignored all the obvious signs and chose instead to label me as panic disorder, since I would awaken from a deep sleep dry heaving and cold sweats. I found out AFTER the pregnancy when my son was 3 months old that it was gall bladder spasms causing it. I suffered through it for the entire pregnancy being told it was all in my head. So when I discovered there was actually something physically wrong and required surgery. By that point the damage was done. Every twitch every pain was a major illness. I panicked that I would die leaving three young boys due to an undiagnosed illness. It was HELL> I was put on anxiety medicine that made me worse and I would not leave the house. If we went somewhere I would literally climb the walls of the car is we got on the interstate, IF I drove I would not go alone.

    I finally started taking short walks to the end of our road and back. I could see my house from anywhere on the road. I also started reading the Psalms and found Psalm 91. When a panic attack would begin I went right to the word and began reciting it OUT LOUD..

    I still have moments of panic, usually around the time of my period but I am no longer a captive to them.. The medicines did nothing but I learned when I spoke the word of God in that psalm I took the power from my mind to lead me into panic. You cannot speak and have a thousand thoughts of what if running through your mind at the same time..

    January 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm
    • Reply Jodi Shaw

      Aww thanks Angel for that share. It means a lot knowing I'm not the only one. I think the thing I hate the most is how different I am now. I need to fight to get back what I've given away, you know? My husband says baby steps but really I want to leap although that might not be so good. He's taking me out tomorrow for coffee… and yes I'm anxious about it but I will go.

      January 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm

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