Agoraphobia

The really wonderful news is T turned one last Friday. And the super duper fabulous news is my family was here to help him celebrate. It was awesome. We had a little party in the backyard. Z was happy because I made his favorite food. I was happy because so many people I love were under one roof. T was happy because he got tons of attention and to hang out with his cousin. Perfection. And to top it all off the following day one of Z and my best friends came to hang out with everyone. Side note-isn’t it satisfying when you and your spouse have a friend that is equally yours? We love this person so much and we are constantly amazed that he fulfils such completely different things in each of us.

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.

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2 thoughts on “Agoraphobia

  1. Just wanted to comment…I found your blog because I was searching for bloggers with children who struggle with agoraphobia. Hubs and I are going to start trying for a family soon and I have serious concerns about how I am going to get through all that time with no back-up pill to calm me down!
    Your post above sounds just like me and my thought patterns…I told DH that being a stay at home mom wasn't an option because I feared it would make my agoraphobia worse…right now, having to work and go to scary meetings keeps me out in the world.
    I'll be adding you to my google reader 🙂
    Kelly @ http://www.kellybewell.com

  2. Kelly, if you work with your Ob-Gyn and whoever is prescribing for you there might be a drug out there that is safe-ish to use while pregnant. The rescue stuff (klonopin, lorazepam, xanaz) is out, but a low dose of Zoloft is acceptable. The thinking is a daily med might cut the symptoms enough to make you not need the back up pill so intensely.

    And I'm glad you've found my little blog. As grateful as I am to my tiny readership of mostly loyal friends, the reason I'm writing is (in my own very minute way) to help destigmatize mental illness. And I've felt if one stranger who suffers from the same stuff magically finds my blog I'd feel completely satisfied in why I am doing it. So thank you for being that stranger. You've made my day. And welcome.

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