Do you know what it’s like? I mean really know what it’s like? To be so gripped with terror when you even look out of a window that your heart pounds and you feel like you are going to puke? I do. It’s a bitch.
Every time I have an appointment, I don’t sleep the night before. I usually end up taking a Valium in the early hours in an attempt to get at leat some sleep. I can’t eat on the days that I have to go out. The last time that I tried, I threw up. I sweat and shake and my breathing is so fast, I get pins and needles in my fingertips. My hands go icy cold and I get a really fuzzy feeling in my head. My pulse races and most times, I can feel my heart banging against my chest wall like a hammer.
Leaving the house is hell. Once that front door opens, I feel like the ground is spinning and is going to rush up to meet me. It makes me so terrified.
I wear a hooded sweatshirt, no matter what the weather so I can pull the hat low down over my face and hide from everyone. I have an added difficulty – my wheelchair. It seems to draw the eyes of every single person that I get wheeled past. If I had the courage, I would love to scream, “fuck off nosey!” at the top of my voice. But nope, no courage here. I just shake and cry.
I get through the appointment by focusing on the fact that I will be home soon. That keeps me from losing my shit completely and breaking down.
Getting home after feeling like that is such a relief. I feel safe again.
So the next time you look at me and point and laugh, or tell me to “pull myself together”, come and read this and remember what it’s like for me and those like me. Oh, and remember. Agoraphobia’s a bitch.