I had to go out for a face to face meeting with someone today, and unlike other times, my brother was not around to come with me.
I am an agoraphobic, which means I have trouble leaving a place I feel safe and secure, like my house, or a hotel if I am on holiday with people. I can just about make it to the corner shops which are a couple of minutes away from my front door, but start to feel panicky by time I get back home.
I have decided to use this tumblr in the same way I gather many others do. To post personal thoughts and experiences. Even if no-one reads them, I think it may be useful and cathartic to express them outwardly and not to always internalise them.
Anyway, so I left the house ensuring I had my music with me (one of the many coping mechanisms to stave back the panic attacks) and got there 20 mins early.
I sat there sweaty and trying to control my breathing. Fingers and toes all tingly as if I were going to faint.
After passing over my details, and finishing the conversation, I got the feeling the guy I was there to see picked up on my physical state and wanted to make things as easy for me as possible, which I was grateful for.
The whole thing took about 40mins including walking to and from the building. But it felt like hours…
As well as the agoraphobia, I also have social anxiety which means I am uncomfortable meeting people or in crowds. It could be a family gathering, a friend’s special day, or just in public.
if I am with one or two people I know, I am fine for the most part, but it does limit the things you’d like to do, or places you may want to see. I am lucky I have a supportive brother and sister who are there to help me when I have to be somewhere.