this likely rambles a bit
As many people know I deal with Agoraphobia. This includes Anxiety both General and Social as well as Panic Attacks which can lead me to become shut in if it gets bad enough.
In the last 6 months on my 6th attempt for a therapist (this time with Insurance Company Support) It has had an affect on my anxiety, actually starting to see progress. So much so things that seemed impossible a year ago don't seem so lofty anymore.
I made it through the winter for the first time since 2010-11 without becoming totally shut in for stretches, though there were struggles. I've started to be able to go into grocery stores more easily and even shop a little without having to know what I need so I can get in and out in less than 5 minutes.
In the last 8 weeks I have pushed myself, taken on the Scavenger Hunt, for the first time since the end of 2013, and been really trying to get out as often as I can. Basically trying to live my life. I've had bad days, I've had to know my limits, but the anxiety for the first time in years wasn't the primary consideration in my plans much of the time for nearly 2 months.
When I say this I don't mean the anxiety is gone. It isn't. I've learned to manage it better but the anxiety itself is still there, I still hate a line, I get nervous if people are walking to closely behind, Table Rock in Niagara Falls on a Saturday even in March or April is a no go. I have bouts of panic on buses that continuously feels like the first few seconds of a fall on a roller-coaster and it doesn't go away.
Overall though I have been able to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them 9 times out of 10.
It has taken a toll though. Like a Marathon, you are good for the first 10km.. but by km 35 you are really feeling it and by the time you finish you need time before you run your next one. Which is where I am now.. I've run a Mental Marathon and now my mind is saying.."Dude, I can't keep your anxiety under control any more, I'm tired and going to bed"
That is something people don't always understand, controlling something like this s not easy. It is frustrating because when you do get emotionally exhausted things that you know rationally are no big deal seems horrible. I saw Americans eating a picnic out of the back of a SUV in a 7-11 parking lot and nearly lost my shit the other day. Someone was walking behind me as I took out the garbage this morning and it felt like I was in a dark alley coming home from the Opera with the Waynes. I just wanted to get away.. The gentleman walking behind me.. was just going to his car to pack some fishing gear. There was no threat but my heart was racing, my stomach was upside down and I was breathing quickly. The Anxiety, The fear of being out of my safe place was just too much for me to use my coping techniques. Lately that is the norm. Just walking up the street leaves me with the roller coaster feeling. There is no rational reason for it, beyond that is my default state, and I’m having a hard time deal with it.
So it is time for a few weeks to just chill out, recharge and take it easy for a bit. It means I've had to move a shoot in June to August so I can basically avoid stresses for a while. Not all is bad though in this set back. There is good that comes out of it... I'm getting stronger. I'm winning. I'm not retreating into my home to hide from the world, I'm just slowing down, and staying out of stressful situations a bit. It is a hold in my fight.. I know I will win eventually. That is a good feeling that helps offset feeling awful right now.