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Brushing Myself Off

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Old 09-09-2009, 11:49 PM   #1
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Default Brushing Myself Off

Ok, so the past few days have been a little off-kilter. Life is often like that, so you have to be flexible, plan ahead, and find ways to adjust if you wanna stay OP.

My boyfriend's schedule went haywire this week. He was asked to fill in for someone and had to work an overnight last night. We were supposed to go shopping the night before, and he tried to stay up a bit to help compensate for his upcoming schedule.

He fell asleep instead.

I don't blame him though, lol . . . and he was way too tired to take me to the store even the next morning. He later went back to bed again to get ready to pull the all-nighter. As some of you know, I'm not particularly comfortable with driving right now, so we do most of the shopping together. Anyway, I made sure he was awake in time to get ready for work, and in the evening I settled down on the computer to catch up on posts and relax.

Sometimes I feel bad that I have such a hard time driving and doing other things that used to be no problem for me a few years ago. And as I got to thinking about it, I began to look up a few things . . .

And now I believe I have agoraphobia. I've been well aware for a few years now that I indeed have anxiety attacks, in fact I used to describe it as feeling "claustrophobic" in triggering situations even though I knew the term wasn't quite right. But now I've been staring at the list of symptoms, feeling relief that I finally put my finger on the majority of my problems in the past 5 years or so, yet at the same time I can feel the fear of something new to tackle.

I cried a bit last night. I'm not used to being alone in the house at night, and aside from thinking a lot about my past, I felt frustrated that I had to wait until at least the next morning to discuss things with my boyfriend. But I wrote out some of my feelings before going to bed, which I think helped a bit.

And wow, did I ever sleep in! I normally get up around 7 or so, but I didn't wake up until 10! This was soon after my boyfriend arrived home, and after having such a long night at work he went right to bed. Once again, I don't blame him. And even after all that sleep I still felt exhausted. I went back to bed without thinking; I didn't even have breakfast and I *always* have breakfast now. We both got up again a few hours later. We finally had a chance to talk a little bit. I wasn't hungry since I was rather upset, but I made myself have half an egg sandwich. Then I went back to bed again! And when I got back up, I realized we *still* hadn't gone shopping and barely had any food in the house. He offered to take me for a quick bite to eat, which I gladly accepted.

Subway sounded good! I ordered my usually turkey footlong, lotsa veggies with mustard on wheat. I only eat half and take the other half home for a meal the next day. But not eating much in the day caught up with me (it was now dinner time), and I ate the whole thing in one sitting! And not only that, I was still hungry . . .

I needed dental floss pretty bad so he took me to a nearby store on the way home to run in for some while he waited in the car. And for the first time in months, I picked up a candy bar.

Grr. I'm so not happy with myself at the moment. I can't even pat myself on the back for choosing one of the lightest ones I could think of, as it's still all fat and sugar. But I'm not gonna beat myself up over it either. Tomorrow is a new day, and I can make a clean start with a clearer head than I've had today.

The whole possibility of being agoraphobic has been hard on me, as well as making me dig back into some painful moments in my past in an attempt to figure things out. But now that the initial shock of it is over, I can now look into treatment options and begin to get my life back, little by little.

And if you're curious as to how the symptoms have been affecting me . . .

I live within a very small comfort zone. I panic if I have to leave it for any reason if I'm on my own. It's a struggle to even walk through my own neighborhood unless the sun has gone down.

The only comfort zone I ever gained after learning to drive the stick here was in the neighborhood across town in which I used to babysit (having to drive the kids to school while babysitting them was the whole reason I had to force myself to learn the stick, otherwise I probably still wouldn't know how). I can barely make myself drive to the local store on my own here, even though it's very close by.

I literally can't answer the door of my own home, whether or not I'm alone. If I'm alone, I ignore it; if my boyfriend's home, I leave the room as he answers.

I have major issues with clutter, to the point that it becomes very difficult to make myself clean. It overwhelms and flusters me, almost making me feel like my mind has to switch off in order to not short-circuit.

I have countless other triggers and I hate having the anxiety attacks. I can't think, I can't breathe, I can't speak. But maybe I can now find the key to getting better.

So I'm brushing myself off today. I've always been emotional and I've always cried more than I felt I should, but that's just me. But I've been through a lot in the past few years and it's worn me down. Luckily I'm feeling very supported right now, and when I had that talk with my boyfriend he reminded me of how far I've come since I moved here. I think I spent the first few months in bed, exhausted and crying over the whole ordeal of my ex, living on my own, and moving out here. I needed time to heal and find myself again, but maybe I'm needing some extra help and pushing in order to get back on track and feel "normal" like I did way back when I was single.

Whew! Talk about a wall of text here . . . anyway, I most certainly will get back OP tomorrow, along with a lot of other things. Oh yeah, and we still need to go grocery shopping, lol. He's got a few days off now so it won't be an issue. Wish me luck.
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Last edited by Elladorine : 09-09-2009 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:12 AM   #2
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I know how you are feeling. When I was diagnosed with agoraphobia I could barely leave my bedroom. That is still the most comfortable room in the house for me. I am now pretty much free of all the panic except that I cannot do a large crowd where I would be closed in. When we go to the movies I have to sit in the aisle seat, I went to a Gary Allen concert and my dil bought tickets that were in an aisle way, my grandson's basketball games are limited to gyms where I can be near a door. Other than that I can handle about anywhere anytime.

I would be happy to speak with you pm if you like. It is hard work to overcome but it sounds like you are used to working hard to get where you want to be.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:14 AM   #3
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I almost forgot
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:17 AM   #4
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I'm sorry you've had a rough few days. Personal discovery can be exhausting, and overwhelming. You know we're here for you. Good luck! And we all slip up on our plans on occasion. Don't beat yourself up about it. You are doing great.


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Old 09-10-2009, 01:23 AM   #5
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That sounds really rough *hugs* I hope that you are able to get through this and come out on the other side with a new found sense of self. You can do this... you can.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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I am sending you many hugs. I hope you are able to find all the ways you need to help yourself recover from this. Life is worth it.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:23 AM   #7
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I am really proud of you for figuring that out, and having the mindset of being able to move forward and fix it. Sounds like your guy is a keeper and that he will help you heal.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:33 AM   #8
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I think half the battle is figuring out what the problem is. It gives you a starting point for healing.

A friend of my Mothers had the same issues after the end of a LOOOOONNNGG abusive marriage.

She got a therapist and some medication that helped tremendously. Now she has a successful preshcool, drives all over the place, (she didn't drive while she was married and after had panic attacks when she tried to get IN the car, let alone drive anywhere) and is happier than ever.

Hang in there, if Rozella Della can conquer it, anyone can!
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:37 AM   #9
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Good for you for putting everything into an active mode. It shows how far you've really come that you didn't just ignore/deny/shut off when presented with this situation. You go girl!!!
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:41 AM   #10
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Lots and lots of !!
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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You're in my thoughts and prayers
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:49 PM   #12
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I do really appreciate all the comments I've received here as long as it's taken me to reply; thanks so much to everyone being so supportive. And Sue, I may just take you up on that PM sometime when I feel I'm ready.

So we're back to a normal schedule in this household again (whatever that means, lol) and I've had some time to let this all sink in. I've also had the chance to talk to my boyfriend about all this even more. Not as much as I'd like, but it's a start; I've always had a hard time talking about subjects I'm sensitive about and this is no exception. Somehow I have a much easier time writing.

I've managed to get back on plan with my eating, but the past week has been torture! I'd been doing so well since July, but when this realization hit me I wanted to eat everything in sight and then some! Luckily we don't keep much junk in the house, and for the first time I feel blessed I don't have a vehicle because I know I'd sneak off with it for snacks (I think in this case my cravings would actually override my fear of driving past my comfort zone)! I've also had to force myself out of bed lately and sometimes I'm more successful with doing it than others.

It's frustrating. Part of me is afraid I'll be unable to tackle both my set of fears and this weight loss journey. I want to be healthier and happier, and tackling both is essential for that to happen. The weight has been coming off pains-takingly slow in the past few weeks but with the way I've been feeling, I'm lucky I'm not packing anything back on.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know I'm hanging in there regardless. I got my first peek at 267 on the scale today and hope I can keep it down there until my next weigh-in on Sunday.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:31 PM   #13
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Sirenity--I can't imagine.

I was anxious all week last week: hubby was on strike and I shut down. I couldn't think, couldn't concentrate, slept all day, I was, in short, a basket case--and I did NOT handle this as well as you did. Not at all.

You are one heck-uv-a strong woman. You really are. Everything will work out, eventually, I have every confidence in you.

And coping with both the agoraphobia AND the weight loss? Both are your paths to healing. Of course you'll be able to *handle* both-- It'll all work out if you'll be kind to yourself.
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