32. Thus far, in a little over ONE month, year 32 around the sun has been the most productive period of personal growth I have experienced in years. It’s about time, too. It’s not that I haven’t been growing until now, it’s more like the Gardener, His helpers, and myself have been planting seeds in my life, and this year all the plants bloomed.
I decided awhile ago that I was going to live my life in outrageous honesty. Radical truth. If this meant I discovered some stuff that wasn’t so great, cool. If this meant it was time to finally acknowledge and honor what was great, awesome.
I am wont to post loooooong posts, and I am kind of over that (as are you, more than likely), but this is a looooooooooooong topic. So I hope to make this a series, but I am not good at sticking to things so we’ll see how it goes. (See, honesty).
Today’s Subject #1: Mild-to-Moderate Agoraphobia & Vehophobia
Although this is actually the most recent discovery I have made of myself, or at least the most recent I’m acknowledging after burying it deep and making excuses, I’m starting here because it involves you. More than likely, if you’re reading this, you’ve been affected by this so I want you to know.
Ever since I can remember, the act of getting into a car and driving it has freaked me out, particularly if I’m driving to:
- a place I’ve never been before
- somewhere in a very metropolitan/busy/confusing area (i.e. Seattle; WTF one-ways)
- somewhere outside of a 10 mile radius of my home
- honestly could be driving anywhere on the wrong day
- a commitment (appointment; friend date; Buy Nothing pick-up; recording studio time) – the added pressure of having to go somewhere, even somewhere I really, really want to be, somehow makes the anxiety go up
This has actually evolved into just not wanting to go anywhere. Even if I’m not driving. If I am leaving, I prefer it to be with my husband, where he is driving, and we are going somewhere familiar. And often I don’t even want to do that.
This is where it has gotten out of hand.
I work from home, which has probably deepened the trench of “hiding-out” in my life. On the one hand, it is a grace and mercy that allows me to stay comfortably employed (I had to fight against this disorder most mornings when I worked outside of the home). On the other hand, it does little to challenge my most comfortable patterns.
So, this has evolved (or devolved?) into me not leaving the house much. Even to see the many fabulous friends I have in my neighborhood who I could simply walk to see. I have driven myself further, and further, and further into my comfort zone.
This is very confusing to my psyche, as I am an extreme extrovert. I LOVE people! I love getting to know people, sharing thoughts, spending time. But apparently not enough for the light to overcome the dark.
So here’s why I’m writing this, beyond me figuring out stuff that I need to figure out.
To anyone and everyone who needs this from me:
I’m sorry for canceling on you.
I’m sorry for any number of excuses I’ve made.
I’m sorry for being late to stuff. I was talking myself into putting on pants. Pants are freaking scary.
I’m sorry for avoiding making plans in the first place.
I’m sorry for seeming disinterested in your thing. I’m not actually disinterested. I’m having a mild panic attack.
I’m sorry for seeming like I want you to be proud of me and/or grateful to me, just for showing up. You’re actually correct. I do want you to be proud of me cause it was probably very hard for me to get there. I don’t need special attention and I don’t feel like God’s gift to “x” gathering I’m at; just know that me showing up is special because it means I overcame the battle in my brain.
The saddest sufferer of my condition is my son. I should be taking him to the park. I should be going on trips to the zoo. I should be, I should be, I should be. I am not. I am trapped. WE are trapped.
I’m not sure where to go from here, but I’m beginning to live in the light. I’m here, raw, sharing my heart. Encourage me, I guess. Know that I’m not avoiding YOU, I’m trapped in my head. Perhaps even though it is enabling, you can offer to drive. Many friends do this for me; I think they’re on to me. I think they know what’s going on IN HERE (this old brain cage of mine).
I am challenging all of my truths – by this I mean the things I’ve told myself and assumed are true. I know that I allow myself to believe I am scared to leave my nest; it’s my default pattern and one I need to challenge. Leaving my life of addiction behind has been a journey – I’m over 15 months sober now and it really reveals what you’ve been hiding from. I’ve been hiding from life and I’m ready to step into the light.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you know me and love me, thanks for your patience. I love you, too.