Teetering on the Edge of Agoraphobia
I would like to preface by stating I have never been clinically diagnosed with agoraphobia, but I feel confident in claiming my life has moved in and out of being borderline agoraphobic based on what I am about to share with you.
I use the term “borderline” because I am a stubborn one, and I refuse to let fear completely stop me from living my life. Now, it has slowed me down significantly and has been a real challenge, to be honest.
It comes in phases. It seems as though I have always been here, but I know that is not true. I was not always like this.
I don’t want to be this way.
I want it to go away.
I want to be able to get in the car and drive to Target because I feel like wandering around there instead of shopping online simply to avoid leaving the house. I used to love going to Target. Or anywhere, for that matter.
I remember my life before my fears consumed me. Now, all I can see are the two extremes of who I used to be and who I am now.
I remember not even thinking about it when I needed to go somewhere. If I felt like taking myself shopping for the afternoon, I would get in the car and go. If I wanted to meet my friends for dinner, it was not an issue. It is now. I watch other people live their lives and wish to be as brave as they are.
Things are different now. I get anxiety days before I know I have to go somewhere.
Too often, I am paralyzed by my fear and it pushes me into a deep depression.
Occasionally, I force myself to get control and put on my shoes, turn on the car, and drive half a mile down the road with my legs shaking the entire way.
I’ve always been uncomfortable in the car when I was not in control. This is likely due to my father’s severe road rage when I was growing up. I remember taking family vacations with my parents and my sister. We never lived near extended family on either side, so long road trips throughout the year were normal for us.
I remember one of the worst road rages he ever had. He nearly killed all of us. It has left me with severe PTSD that has only really surfaced in the past few…