Out With It: my phobia has a name

I came to the computer ready to tell you something else, and then because of  blog posts from several friends, this week alone, I find the courage to discuss my problem in public…

Symptoms:

living my life within the walls of home.

inability to leave home without my husband or a friend in tow.

able to watch simply gorgeous days go by my window and never step foot outside to enjoy it.

going to a party down the street, bursting into tears and nearly fainting dead on the floor… the consequence of which left me feeling like an ass.

trying to go to the post office, or into the city for much-needed dr appointments, not being able to find a parking space, completely loosing it in the parking structure, having to go all the way back home to reschedule, and then never making the second appointment.

OR

going the dr and finding the parking space only to find out that the ticket machine wants exact change, the change machine is broken, the lady in the coffee shop won’t give you change even with a purchase,  your fingers have become too cold to work the automatic teller machine in the hospital across the street, you are coming unglued in public and everyone is staring at the old lady who is crying and can’t speak coherently to ask for help.  going back to the lady in said drs office, she finally acquiesces saying, “…even though I’m not supposed to!” and gives me a token so I can make my escape from the parking prison downstairs.

~~~ agoraphobia ~~~

The problem is taking its toll.  I start to do something fun and get excited about working on a project and just as quickly as I begin I suddenly loose steam and find myself unable to do the work. It is a physical lethargy that actually causes me to crumple and I can’t go on…

~~~ perfectionism ~~~

I recently told a blogger friend that:

“I find that my perfectionism desire is so strong that it causes me not to try, or I try and then set it aside and dream of making it perfect. My other sickness is not allowing myself to do the fun stuff because “I really should be doing something important around here.” Like housework, and laundry. Hence, the battle in my head rages and nothing gets done.

I feel like I am in a whirlpool and lack the strength to fight my way to the surface sometimes.”

My husband even does all the shopping.  He is very patient and I don’t know what I would do without him.

I tried to start up with a quilting guild and made it a few times because I knew I had a friend there from church… this lasted a total of about 3 visits and I couldn’t break inertia to go back.

For those of you who might wonder…  here are two things not to worry about:

  1. My animals get tended to and fed everyday.  I derive so much joy from them and love them too much to deny them care.
  2. I am not feeling so bad that I will hurt myself  (I know what you’re thinking, don’t go there, I’m not.)

~~~

Well, that was totally out of left field, but this has been going on for far too long.  So, if you are reading this and you are still with me, it means I pushed the post button and hope that my confession does not send you looking elsewhere for your reading enjoyment.

I promise not to post this here on the Farmlet again.

 

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45 thoughts on “Out With It: my phobia has a name

  1. shoreacres says:

    OK-doke. A couple of first thoughts. One is that of course you can post about these subjects again. Be sure we know the name of your new blog – that’s such a good idea. I think there are more people than we realize who experience anxiety about getting “out and about” to one degree or another.

    Agoraphobia isn’t my issue, but I’ve fought perfectionism my whole life. And I understand that feeling of inertia. I often tell a friend that getting “unstuck” to do something is like trying to get out of the LaBrea tar pits. And gosh – when mom still was alive and I was caring for her, it could be terrible. When I was at work, I felt as though I should be home. If I had to take time off from work to take her to the doctor or whatever, I felt like I should be at work. And around and around it went. Now that she’s gone, setting some new habits is critical.

    I’ll think about this a bit more. In the meantime, you actually might get a chuckle out of a post of mine called The Joys of Imperfection . The knitter, by the way, was my mother. I didn’t dare admit to such while she still was alive. 😉

  2. Margaret says:

    Have had some of that, anxiety, depression,panic attacks, It will get better with time and meds if necessary. Don’t leave us here at Farmlet.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Margaret, I’m sorry I misled you! I will not leave the Farmlet high and dry, I promise! I just needed a separate place to share and process my issues, and The Farmlet didn’t seem appropriate for that. I am sorry that you have had to suffer with some of these symptoms, and I hope you are not suffering now. I do hope that time and discipline will help me. I really do not want to have to use medication to alleviate symptoms. BTW, you have been visiting here for some time and I feel like I know you from somewhere else. Is this true? 🙂
      ~ L

  3. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    I know what you mean about the perfection part.
    Sometimes it is easier not to try than to try and then beat yourself up for things not coming out picture perfect.
    I looked for the link to the new blog but could not spot it, I would really appreciate the link and the discussion

  4. Na Na says:

    No need to start a new blog unless you just want to keep it separate. You are who you are and we still care about you. I vote for you to post whatever you wish to post on YOUR blog. Just like opening a book…. It’s the reader who chooses to either keep reading or not.

    I’ve been going through a lot of the same symptoms. Have been for a long time. I’ve talked to numerous people (on the internet and in person) who say they also have the same symptoms. We function but something is not right. We just can’t put our finger on the exact cause. There have been numerous diagnosis made for the same symptoms. Diagnosis from general lack of vitamins and sunshine to early onset Alzheimer.

    Personally, I believe it’s something we eat/drink or in the air we breath. There have already been studies to show antibiotics in chicken can cause serious female infections. So, it’s possible something is causing women to feel differently. I’ve noticed that young women as well as old complain of being tired and lack motivation or suffer panic attacks.

    Don’t worry, keep posting, you’re not alone.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Anita, I am sorry you are having similar troubles. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I do find it so strange that it is mostly women who suffer from this anomaly. If there are so many of us who are stricken with this disorder, you would think it would bear more intensive investigation and research. I will continue to dig for it if it exists and share it on the other side.

      Which brings me to my decision to park this on another blog page. After giving it much thought I have given this side of me a space of its own. I did it because I wanted it to be a daily entry and open discussion format. Putting all of that here, I feel, would drown out the Farmlet fun and antics that I love to share. Thank you for your support, Anita.
      ~ L

  5. dogear6 says:

    You sure don’t have to worry about me going somewhere else. I’m in there with you for this.

    I’ve been finding the various writings about introverts to be a help in understanding some of this behavior for myself. I feel very overwhelmed when in a mall or other crowded place and very quickly simply cannot concentrate. Apparently that’s not that unusual for an introvert.

    I’ll try to find the article that I saw on this for you, although being agoraphobic will amplify all of it. One of my other readers has successfully worked her way back from this, but I can’t remember who right now.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Nancy, thank you for your post that helped me to talk about this openly and for your support. They mean so much to me right now. I look forward to reading whatever you send my way as I am sure it will help. Were you able to find the new blog address in the Blogroll? ~ L

  6. littlesundog says:

    I spent years in therapy dealing with perfectionism. I’m so much better 30 years later. I have let most of what I consider not-so-important issues, drop.

    I call myself a hermit, but in truth, I do not trust people. I have been hurt, betrayed and slandered. I avoid people, especially in large groups. I generally shop early in the morning before crowds of people show up. I do not attend community functions. I cringe if we must attend an event, such as a wedding, funeral or party. I suppose it’s a way of protecting myself. FD is very understanding and patient with me.

    I never learned great coping skills either. I work myself crazy sometimes. Putting myself to hard work until I’ve run myself into the ground. At times it makes me careless… and during very low times, depression can take me to some really dark places.

    I have found my blogging friends to be some of the only people I’m comfortable with. I can be me, relaxed, and I “feel the love”. I’m going to be following you wherever you go,my friend… shoot me the link to your new blog!!!! I’m IN!!

  7. glutenfreezen says:

    Lynda, nothing you have said would ever make me like your blog less! I think there are many people who feel like this often or at least go through stages like this in their lives. No, I KNOW there are. I worked in a Naturopath’s office for several years and I’ve heard every single thing that you have just posted from all types and ages of women. Mostly it was from women starting peri-menopause and women in menopause.

    They would come in frantic because their regular doctor’s either didn’t believe them, thought they were crazy, or just poo pooed their symptoms.

    If you haven’t had your hormones checked, do so. If you have and you are already on hormones, speak to a hormone specialist, be honest about your symptoms, and have your hormones adjusted. Understand that even during menopause, you have hormone cycles and there might be different times of the month where you feel worse.

    I started peri-menopause at 38 and still suffer from a lot of symptoms, especially if I’m under a lot of stress. It helps to keep a calendar and I journal every day about whatever I want. The calendar enables me to see that yes, I felt this way last month right about the same time and this too shall pass. The journaling helps to stay focused and get things off my chest when needed. Mine is a prayer journal that I use in combination with a daily devotional.

    Something I tell myself often, “Do it scared, do it sad, do it depressed, do it worried…but just DO IT!”

    You hang in there Lynda! And don’t ever worry about being honest. 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      April, since my surgery (they took everything) I have been on HRT. Trouble is, I have been on it for so long they want me to stop taking it now. (gritting teeth) I was on the lowest dose possible and now have worked it down to 1/4 dose per day. This might have great bearing on how I am feeling. However, I will need to find a different Dr. because I can’t stand the one I have now. He is an absolute COLD FISH.

      As I mentioned in previous responses, I find that much of the literature places this squarely in the female issues column. So your comments seem sound to me. Thank you for your support, April! ~ L

  8. thyme4dreams says:

    Lynda, the very best thing that you did was to write about it. I can’t help but think about the time just a year or two ago when you drove by yourself to another state to visit a friend. Then there is all the work you’ve done on your house: your sewing room, your pantry and probably more that I know nothing about. A few months ago you underwent some tests which turned out negative. I can’t help wondering if something else is going on that has nothing to do with phobias. I’m not a medical professional but I know that sometimes people develop strange symptoms and the problem turns out to be a vitamin deficiency or some metabolic or hormonal disorder. Have your doctors ruled out all those things? Don’t give up and don’t stop writing about it.

    Hugs, Lindy

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lindy, I haven’t actually talked to the Dr. about these symptoms. I haven’t even owned up to them until I crashed and burned at the party down the street. That’s when I realized how bad it really was.

      In my head my inner voice said, “Aw, you’re just being lazy, you can do this, there is nothing wrong with you, and going to the Dr. for this is a sign of weakness, a showing of your underbelly.” (Which, if I am going to be totally honest here, is playback of old tapes from my dad.)

      So, I am not giving up, and am continuing to write about it and process, but just not here on the Farmlet. Have you found the new webpage? Thank you Lindy for your support, it means a lot! ~ L

  9. Playamart - Zeebra Designs says:

    I was totally unprepared for the seriousness of this post, and I admire you so much for sharing this with us. How difficult this must be to deal with on an hourly basis – I never realized how lucky I was/am that few things spook me. “Fearless,” people often say about me.

    I am reading a fiction novel right now that describes someone who is only comfortable being inside her home. Last week I met a beautiful young woman who rarely leaves her family’s home because she too is not comfortable stepping outside. Through your post, perhaps I can better understand this new friend.

    Thank you so much for sharing this; it makes me admire and respect you even more.

    Lisa/Z

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you, Lisa. I am sorry for your friend. I wish I had a clue as to how this all began. It isn’t as though suddenly you can’t go out anymore. It seems to me that it was a very gradual problem that just crept up on me. Now the key is to figure out how to break the spell. ~ L

      • Playamart - Zeebra Designs says:

        I have a friend who suffers with a panic disorder, so I have witnessed how gradually it slipped up on her, and how remorseful I was for laughing ‘at’ her before realizing how real her fears were.

        I wish I could be there to balance my ‘fierceness’ with your qualms. I am lucky to have a very strong backbone, though I have no idea how that strength evolved. People say that I have a calming effect, and many say that I seem to cast voodoo spells over them.
        I truly admire you for sharing, which i hope might help offset your fears.
        Sending you strength!
        Lisa

        • pixilated2 says:

          Now that you understand, your young friend will have a tigress at her side! You have a very kind and loving heart Lisa. It feels good to know you care so very much, even if you are so far away. ~ L

  10. richsgoodfood says:

    Wow! I can imagine that took a lot to post Lynda :)) Well said, and I must be honest you have hidden it well , I had no idea. Im always here for you if you need a friend to chat too , one that wont judge , and always has an option to offer :))
    I hope that you find the same peace i do when i finally post about something that has been bothering me, or that im trying to achieve , I find its always easier after talking about it in public !
    Your friend Rich :))

    • pixilated2 says:

      Rich, it really was hard. As for hiding it, well, I did a fair job of hiding from myself. There was a lot of rationalizing, and justifying of my weird behavior involved all along the way. Then when I burst into tears and nearly fainted at my friends house on the 4th. there was no denying the “elephant in the room,” as they say. Thank you for being there, L

  11. jmgoyder says:

    I think it is wonderful that you have told us. Agoraphobia is something I have suffered from on and off but not as badly as you – so I really feel for you. I can also relate to the not allowing yourself to do fun stuff problem, but for different reasons. My heart goes out to you and I don’t think you should stop posting this kind of thing on your blog because it makes you more knowable.

  12. victoriaaphotography says:

    It’s really good to hear you talk about this Agoraphobia thing Lynda. Talking about it. Achnowledging it. Telling all us strangers is a brave and positive step.

    Now you’ve got this far, rest a while and know that we’re all sympathetic, supportive and loving the courage it took to do this.

    Don’t attempt to do any more just now. Just get back to the animals and talk it over with them. Animals & loving husbands are great listeners.

    When life makes us sick (& I have been chronically sick for over 30 years), be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over this phobia stuff, You’d probably be surprised to find how many of us have it. We all find different ways of coping and ensuring the cycle of life goes on. We use all sorts of tactics to ignore our realities. I find the best way is to spend time in Nature and let it sooth my soul with its healing balm.

    Perhaps another day you’d like to share some more of how you got to where you are today. I for one, am happy to listen, with whatever you may wish to share.

    Sending lots of love & healing thoughts your way.

    Victoria
    xox

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you, Victoria, for you kind words and encouragement. It will be… well, honestly I don’t know what. It didn’t happen overnight, so I suppose I shouldn’t expect an overnight cure. ~ L

  13. Animalcouriers says:

    We admire and support you in your decision to give your phobia a name. We look forward to hearing more about your situation and how you’re trying to beat the anxiety. Not sure why you think it necessary to separate the posts but perhaps it keeps things more clear in your head. It’s a slow process and it sounds like you have a great support team.

    We adore your blog 😉

    • pixilated2 says:

      I sent this topic packing because it would eat up this blogspace! I want to keep the Farmlet separate and untainted. (Not sure if that was really the word I wanted, but it was what came to mind) I really appreciate your support. Thank you!
      BTW, am I talking to one courier or the whole crew? I have been wondering about this for some time now. If one, then which one? 😉
      Love you all, and the job you do! ~ L

      • Animalcouriers says:

        You’re talking to one courier – courier A2 (Annie). My courier duties take second place to my web and blog duties but I help out with local (French) collections and deliveries. We’re a watering hole for all journeys south in Europe.
        Understand your reasoning for separating the blogs – let us know when the new one is up and running.

  14. Garden Correspondent says:

    I think it’s amazing that you shared this with all of us. Thank you for being so courageous. I know that it certainly didn’t put me off reading further! I am very shy and a horrible driver, so I have come unraveled in some of the situations you describe. What’s so great about being part of this community is knowing that all of us are grappling with problems and we can share how we cope with them with one another. (Although to be honest, I just keep away from parties.)

    • pixilated2 says:

      Peeling off the facade was very difficult. I’m glad you saw it as courageous, because at the time I thought it was foolhardy. Yet, you and everyone here have encouraged me so much! I am so grateful for your kind words and sharing. I’m sure you know by now, but just in case I did move this topic to its own page. The link is in my blogroll on the right and titled, Walking Out My Door. Thank you! ~ L

  15. pattisj says:

    I’m glad you were able to confide in us, and I pray you are able to overcome. It is said identifying a problem is half the battle–you’re on your way! 🙂

  16. An Embarrassment of Freedom says:

    Brave stuff to say the least…good for you facing the things that have gradually started to trigger anxiety. i sometimes feel like I’m just on the edge…waiting for the other shoe to drop (weird thing my mom always said…ha!)…..just know that you can take it as it comes..little steps….just work on self care …nothing wrong with that…nourish and care for the inner self…like you would for a child…it is what I do for myself when stressed out (miserable ex, divorice, financial, medical, general worry)….tons of rest, good food, vitamins galore, good books….whatever artsy stuff you love…wish I could quilt!). Take good care.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you for this. I haven’t been keeping up with my self imposed daily tasks, but have made little trips out to the garden to work, and making things for my chickens. (Filed under: if it’s broke then FIX IT!) Getting ready to do some major overhauls to the kitchen garden, with my husbands help, and it is going to be so great when it is done! Baby steps.
      ~ Lynda,
      PS: Love that baby Boxer!!!

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