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Agoraphobia

A conversation with myself.

I know what I have to do and it is so simple. Anyone one could do it. A 1-year-old for fuck sake could do it! Yet I sit here staring blankly at this screen. The front door is behind me. I can hear the wind howling outside telling me it's a brisk early winter day. It will be cold outside and there will be a bite in the wind. My heart starts to race and already I can feel the panic rising in my stomach making me feel sick.

Anyone else would happily get up, put their shoes on and go outside...but I can't. It's not that I don't want to...I literally can't do it. My brain screams it. Sometimes so loudly that I think it will deafen me. I'm scared. I'm not sure what of but I recognise the feeling. Sweaty palms, shaky hands, heart pounding like a caged bird...No matter how much I try to tell myself, (plead with myself...scream at myself,) my mind won't let my body move.

So I sit. Life passes before my eyes. I can't go visit my daughter. Can't watch my dog play on the beach. Can't go for a coffee with a friend. I know how stupid it sounds. I know how irrational, illogical and crazy it sounds but it's the truth. Just the thought of stepping through that door terrifies me and I don't know how to change that. It's so frustrating!

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which a person is distressed by settings in which there are no easily perceived means of escape. An agoraphobic avoids certain social situations, large or open areas and public places where it would be difficult to hide. In some cases, agoraphobia debilitates someone to a point at which he or she cannot leave home. Any situation unfamiliar to the agoraphobic becomes a potential source of fear or anxiety arising from panic attacks, which some believe stems from traumatic early life experiences.

'Ok, I get that. I understand what it means and I accept the fact that I am a nervous person but this is bloody ridiculous. There is nothing out there to be afraid of...So what if the streets are crowded and noisy. So what if people are idiots and don't know how to drive. YOU ARE SAFE NOW FUCKING MOVE!'

Yet I still sit...'You know you're going to lose your flat right? If you don't mail that letter you will lose your flat. Your animals. No more nightcaps with the neighbour. No more living beside the ocean. That has always been your dream...'

Still sitting...'The cats and dog are hungry. Look at them. They need food...you need food! What are you doing? Don't you care?' I do care. I care very much but I can see myself walking down the street. I can feel the hundreds of eyes on me staring as a wall of people rushes towards me. I can hear the cars whizzing by without a second thought. I can see myself getting on the crowded bus full of noisy school kids fighting with each other. I can feel the bus start to move. Hear the engine roar as it accelerates...It's moving too fast. Way too fast. It feels like we are moving at 100mph down the winding coast road. Each time we turn a sharp bend I can see how close we are to going over the edge and crashing into the sea. Nobody else seems to notice but I do as I'm jolted around the bus. I can see the oncoming traffic hurtling towards us at frightening speeds down the narrow road. I want to scream. I want to tell the driver to slow the fuck down. I'm so scared that my knuckles are white as I grip the metal rail and I can't breathe...

No. I do care but I'd much rather stay here...

Samantha Don
Samantha Don

Life Hacks & Ideas started in January 2015 as a collection of hacks & ideas from across the internet. It has evolved into an ongoing project affectionately called the Eco Project. The main objective is communal, off the grid living.

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Agoraphobia
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