A Story About Courage, A Story About Never Giving Up - Ever!

I just spent an hour reading through a lot of the posts here on agoraphobia. It inspired me to write down my story and see how it relates to others.

I won't go into all the details of age, medication, duration etc.. I think this can scare people in and of itself. We all have similar experiences but very different also - the common feeling is the insecurity, expansive fear and troubling sensations of being away from a perception of a safe place.

When it first starts, it's extreme. The traffic, the lights, the people, the heightened sense of fear and the anger that it seems others are oblivious to your inner feelings; as if they have not a care in the world.. Its unfair and makes us go home tired, crying, emotional and feeling alone, so not true but yes, very real feelings.

From all the research I've done over the years, it seems most of us were taught that life isn't an adventure, a place of wonder and of surprises, of great moments and moving through the environment with ease. Having relationships, organising meeting friends wherever they want to go, sitting in any old cafe or bar of their choosing, not fussed with needing to control things.

Instead we walk with trepidation, uncertainty, fear, frustrated we can't control things and embarrassed and ashamed when we do control people so we feel safer. It feels depressing, hopeless and embarrassing. Not to mention the sense we are a burden on love ones and friends who are best to move on because we feel like a hopeless case. Well.... I'm not fully there yet but ... Here is the good news...

YOU MUST PUSH THROUGH YOUR AVOIDANCE.

You see, my parents were critical, always seemingly interested in what I was up to, always rescuing me from situations since didn't want to take responsibility for. They would hand out money, give me rides whenever and never really pushed me to face the world. They didn't push themselves to face fears, they stayed small and were always saying, "mmmm I'd be careful, did think this through, I'm not sure that's the best idea". What does that create for us?

SELF DOUBT

So I decided this doesn't belong to me. I'm going to get on that bus, for a few stops even, AND I'm going o tell the bus driver, "I get anxious on the bus, so it's two stops for me please". I started to accept I have been programmed from family messages and I decided I start my own. I did as much as I could do to expose myself to the fears. When it was really scary I allowed myself to go to a public bathroom and cry it out, it was ok to feel scared, and I'm allowed to ask for help and be vulnerable if I need to be.

And the more I did this - the further I went... And then further and the further. And THAT allowed me to slowly build a confidence within... By experiencing it, and being loving to myself. And by being honest and open about having agoraphobia.

It's old family ways of behaving which we adapted but which don't work. So make new adaptations. Even excuses are the inner child clinging to old messages.. Give that kid a hug and say, "we are trying another way, and I have got you - so it's ok"

Xxxxxxxxx from down under.
Davesydney Davesydney
36-40, M
Jan 17, 2013