Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: O is For Outside

This is my daughter and myself back around 1999 in Red Rock, Nevada. I used to go hiking, go out to eat, go to the Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip or Downtown and a lot of other places with my family. 

And then the slight case of Agoraphobia I had back then slowly progressed to the point that I am at now. As of right now I've come out of my home one time in the past two years. I don't go outside anymore. 

Outside has become a dirty word around here. I know my family doesn't do it on purpose but they do make fun of me for not going outside and it does hurt. I have tried going outside, just to check the mail or take a look at the construction that's going on across the alley from my building. But I start shaking, get dizzy and feel sick when I go out, so I just don't go out if I can help it. 

My brother and husband talked me into going over to my dad's house for my 43rd and my dad's 80th birthday's this past February. It was actually hard to go out the door, that first step was the hardest and I could not wait to get back home. I had an upset stomach for most of the day after getting home that night. It would be nice not to be like this but the only therapy my doctor said there is for Agoraphobia is exposure therapy..essentially you have to do what makes you outside. 

What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is being afraid of being out of ones comfort zone, most times that would be their home and fearing a loss of control or a panic attack in a place where they can't easily get back home. The more panic attacks they have in a given situation the less they expose themselves to that situation.

My Agoraphobia started out slowly and for years I just dealt with the symptoms of panic attacks, dizziness,  paranoia and scared feelings in the places I was going to.

When I went grocery shopping I would routinely vomit on the ground next to my car, after getting the groceries inside my car and getting ready to leave. I could keep it together while in the situation and would not fall apart until I was home or in my car and could relax a little. Most times after being outside running errands I would come home and be sick the rest of the day with stomach problems, the shakes or panic attacks. 

When our car broke down and found out it was unfixable, we sold it for scrap and at that point I started staying home more. It was easier to use my own car when I had to go somewhere but I can't use public transportation because of my panic attacks. 

I know it's wrong but I'm more comfortable in my home and can have everything I need delivered, I don't need to go outside. 

I know I'm not alone, I even had an author tell me that she battles Agoraphobia. She writes at home and like me can have things delivered...she doesn't have to leave home either. 

For an outsider looking in that doesn't suffer from this condition, it's probably hard to understand. I can only hope that by sharing my story I can help someone else who thinks they are the only one to have these feelings.