Quick talk about…

I’m mildly agoraphobic.

I have nothing of value to say about agoraphobia, but this is my blog, so…

It’s not as bad as other people’s agoraphobia, from what I’ve read. I’m not completely homebound. Or should I say room-bound? I don’t hyperventilate (I never have, so it may just be that it’s not something I go through when stressed) and I haven’t broken down in public.

When I’m in a place that’s crowded—a busy store, places in Manhattan, school, the hospital, conventions—and the people are either so numerous that they press in on my personal space, or if there’s less people than that but they’re all moving around in different directions and I have to get out of their way or if I have to move through the crowd myself… if something like that happens, I get nervous, my chest becomes tight, my breath becomes shallow, and my heartbeat increases. I duck my head, mutter things to other people (“Excuse me, pardon me, I’d like to go this way, excuse me, sorry, thank you…” over and over half under my breath.) If I’m with someone I’ll cling to them, their sleeves, their backpacks, and just ride along to a safe place. I’ll mentally go through my mantras and try to breathe slower but it doesn’t always work.
Surprisingly I was totally… almost totally fine back at Comic Con. It was both so crowded that I had no space to myself and people were moving all over, but it was so cool that I was properly distracted enough to not panic.

I was supposed to go to the hospital today. Not for me. But the hospital is far too nervous-making for me. Small hallways, people moving, clinical smell, feeling like I’m in the way, I just couldn’t do it today.

It’s too cold out. I never thought that this would have anything to do with my phobia, but it’s too cold. Let me see if I can explain this. I need an exit. I need to know where the exit is, or sometimes I’ll have to hang out near or in the exit. The problem is it’s too cold to be anywhere near an open door or window. Or even to go outside. Usually going outside would calm me down, but it’s too cold for that.

My friends understand. They let me cling to them in crowds, they give me assurances when I get panicky.

My parents… They don’t seem to notice when I cling to them, and sometimes when they do they get annoyed and tell me to stop. They’ve moved when I ask them to please not trap me, please stop blocking the exit. But when I can’t leave the house, or I can’t go to certain places, they get on me about it. School, today with the hospital…

I’m reading through a phobia forum now, wondering if I should join to share with the discussions, and they keep mentioning panic attacks. I know what one feels like, and while I do feel what must be the thing right before one, I’ve never had a full panic attack. This is a good thing.

And that’s all I have. Thanks for reading.

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