DAY 7: ON AGORAPHOBIA

Posted May 17, 2017

When I woke up this morning and realized I’ve made it through a full week I was pretty psyched. Andy and I even did our whole regular walk this morning and a couple of songs caught my imagination and I chuckled when I posted them. I even had a chance to sit and visit with my Sister Glory along the way for a while and that’s always a treat… not to mention I had her all to myself!

And then I got home…

I don’t know what happened. I actually slept a lot better last night (like really a lot better compared to this past week!) so maybe that was part of the reason I woke up in a good place. But for some reason I can’t quite explain, I got stuck again. I got stuck in my own head and that can be a pretty ugly place to go so be glad I can’t take you there with me, not personally anyway. But if you’re interested (and I can’t blame you if you’re not… hell a cat video is more entertaining) maybe I can try to explain it.

I just feel… sad.

When I know I should be celebrating a milestone like a week off of a drug I’ve been a prisoner of for so many years… instead I just feel sad. And I try to shake it but it’s got a hold on me that I just can’t seem to break. I mean, it’s pathetic that as I write this there are tears I don’t understand welling in my eyes because as much as I want to be upbeat and chipper I just can’t seem to shake the sad. And it pisses me off so, hell I don’t know maybe I’m mad too. But why? No clue.

Yeah, I’ve been diagnosed with depression along with a few other gems, and yes I take medication for that too… which galls me to no end but the alternative is a lot less pretty than just the sad I’m dealing with today. I guess for me anyway, it’s not only one day at a time… but also one drug at a time. At least over the past couple of years I’ve gotten rid of a few pills here and there so I guess there’s THAT.

The big secret that some of you know about me is that I get stuck in these ruts where it’s a struggle just to leave my apartment. And at the worst of times… stuck in my bed. And so we add another label (which I also detest) but it’s agoraphobia. Ever wonder why my ten year old car is only now inching close to 48,000 miles? Great for the car… for me? Not so much. Sometimes it’s all I can do to walk Andy but it’s not his fault I’m a freaking mess so, for him, I can go through that front door. But usually only twice a day and he deserves so much more… so much better that I’ve been giving him.

I can do it for him – okay, not so well, but I can do it. But I just can’t seem to do it for me. On a good day, Andy and I take a nice long morning walk looking for our turtles and just enjoying the trees and the grass and the air that’s getting hotter by the morning so we gotta make the best of it while we can. But the good and the bad of it is that my apartment complex is pretty much deserted at that time of day and I might see one or two people every day or so… many days no one at all. Weekends? Ugh. And holiday weekends… you know like Mothers Day? They’re the worst. And this year’s Mothers Day? A doozy. So much so that I think part of my deal today is just a hangover from that reeeeallly loooonnng weekend.

It’s like during the week there is a sort of rhythm to our walks and my days… a dull hum that I can at least recognize and sort of lull myself into. But on the weekends the parking lots are pretty much empty and it crosses my mind that folks are busy visiting with family and other folks. And even if I could get through that brick wall I build between my hand and that doorknob on my front door… I honestly just can’t think of anywhere I’d want to go.

Oh there are times when I get on a roll. When things are happening that I either can’t avoid or I that I want just enough to push through the fear… a fear of what I can’t even name. And I can kind of get into a groove and I can even enjoy driving around doing errands… and giving my precious little Andy a break from the desolate days he so often spends alone with me by getting to ride along in that low-mileage Chrysler.

And during those times, my worries fade into the background and I even think happy thoughts. And I think about the future and I even make plans for how I’m going to clear out both my apartment and my head. And I check out upcoming events that I honestly – in that moment – believe I will actually do. I mean, it’s live music and things that I know I’d really enjoy and – in that moment – I get excited just imagining being there. Doing something fun. Doing anything. Being around people. People who, I’m guessing, I’d have something in common with since we’d be at the same gig.

And then it all comes apart.

A day goes by and I pull a Scarlett (“aftuh awll, tomorruh IS anothuh daaay!”) and I linger. And another day goes by… still lingering. And then another… And suddenly – well it seems suddenly anyway – that brick wall on my front door that only I can see is three feet thick and I glance over at Andy’s sad little eyes and I can see that he already knew yesterday what I’m just figuring out today… that I am stuck. Again.

But it feels like so much more than stuck… the overwhelming feeling is that I am trapped. I have nowhere to be and no one is expecting me and I don’t have a clue where to go even if I could get through that frickin door. And the really eff’d up part is that I even know at the time that the only person holding me hostage is… me. But like, WOW, am I stubborn. Not one of my more attractive traits.

Yeah, it could be in part the whole coming off of the fentanyl thing messing with my emotions. But then again, I’ve been here too many times before not to know that it feels so familiar. It’s that same dark cave I crawl into and that I exist in on more days than I don’t.

I’ve been so uplifted by your encouragement and your comments… Shannon telling me I was brave. And honestly I don’t even know if I’ll post this because I feel like I owe you a pretty picture. But I’m just fresh out of paint. I’ve been painting pretty pictures for so many years now I’m not even sure if I even know what was real and what was just projection.

So there it is. I guess I’ll go for it. This has been my reality for today. It ain’t prettty and I can only hope tomorrow is better… or at least less bad. I’m sorry that I’m just not up for celebrating. But I am still grateful that you’re out there.

MLMB…

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