I didn’t think I could do anything to advocate for mental health.
I have issues.
There are days, and sometimes weeks that I can’t bring myself to walk outside. It takes a very strong motivator, like seeing my kids, or when it becomes vital for me to eat. You know, to stay alive.
The age of online shopping is heaven for a person with agoraphobia. Amazon, eBay, and my new favorite, the Walmart Grocery Pick-Up service, make life so much easier for me; I have a lot less anxiety as well.
The first time I ordered my groceries online, I was so thrilled to be shopping for food and breathing normally at the same time. A short time later, I received an email informing me I could pick up my groceries.
I told the app I was on my way, apparently they can watch your trip in real time through GPS. Once I arrived a message popped up asking which stall I was in. A couple minutes later a woman walked out to my car with my groceries, she even put them in my car for me, it was amazing. When I returned home, I informed my boyfriend I was never stepping foot inside a WalMart ever again.
Agoraphobia is such a strange thing. It’s hard to describe the way it feels exactly but I’ll try.
There is a town in the brain called the Amygdala and this neuron called Mr. Fear and his wife Nonsensical Fear live there. When I should be afraid, Mr. Fear uses his neurotransmitter which is kinda like a loudspeaker, and tells all of the other neurons that I’m scared. Every now and then however, Nonsensical gets on the loudspeaker and says some crazy shit. All the neurons know it’s inaccurate information, but what Nonsensical does is plant a seed of doubt. So these happy, healthy neurons who were perfectly content, now think it’s possible that a huge crack will open up and swallow me whole if I open my front door. I don’t know. That’s the only way I know to describe it.
Sometimes, if I am late to an event or late for plans with someone, it’s simply because I am struggling to leave my apartment. When my brain is functioning correctly, I am never late. I hate being late for something. If I’m having anxiety over leaving the house, plus anxiety over being late, I will usually end up cancelling whatever I had planned, cry for awhile, then just go to bed, hoping that will push some kind of reset button and I will wake up normal and happy.
The times agoraphobia is really bad are when I’m depressed, which makes sense. Depression already makes me not want to do anything. Combine depression and agoraphobia and you might as well forget about me leaving my apartment. I would probably have starved to death by now if Postmates and Doordash didn’t exist.
Hopefully after reading this, agoraphobia makes a little more sense, although you might be confused instead. There is so much about mental illness that doesn’t make sense and thanks to a loudmouth named Nonsensical, I’m as confusing as they come. Oh well.
You can’t have everything.