This morning my mother left town, that coupled with the fact that T and I are sick and my hormones are all over the place has made me very blue. Kind of nervous makingly blue. And it has me thinking about my pesky agoraphobia, which has slowly gotten worse since the move to Syracuse.
It isn’t a problem for me to have people over to my house. Over the last year I’ve made one good friend here in sunny Syracuse (hey-one friend a year is really good for me) and most of the time we hang out at my place. Occasionally I will head over to her place, which is doable because it is less than two blocks away. And very occasionally I will take a walk with her and her kids. Luckily we have discussed the agoraphobia, so she understands where my crazy behavior is coming from. She has invited us over to her place for a lovely cook out for friends on Easter, when Z was out of town she invited me over for dinner, two days after T’s birthday (which she gamely attended with her kids) she invited us to her son’s 5th birthday. T and Z attended Easter and the birthday party; I attended none of the above. For Easter and the party I was sick, but even if I wasn’t I don’t think I would have made it. Just thinking about social events where I don’t know people makes my stomach cramp up in fear.
And to be crystal clear this woman is my friend. I thoroughly enjoy her company, the company of her kids and her husband.
I feel so guilty that I can’t seem to reciprocate friendship when it requires me to leave the house. When we lived in Rhode Island and I was in charge of supporting us financially the agoraphobia became more manageable than it had been for years. In order to pay rent I had to go to work. So I went. I even made it to the vast majority of meetings I was required to attend at the regional office, although I made excuses in my head to get out of them up until the moment I got in the car every single time. And getting to work made it easier for me to make it to social events. I had a couple of friends. We socialized. I even went to a lot of Z’s grad school events. And art school events are trying even to those without agoraphobia.
But there isn’t an imperative that requires me to leave the house any more. And the longer I stay home the harder it gets to leave. I need structure. I need a reason to leave, but it is so easy to ignore that. We love our house. We love our yard. I am happy for the most part. And that is what scares me the most. Being happy to indulge in my agoraphobia is not acceptable. I’m just not sure how to do anything about it.