Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh, Is That How Getting Over Agoraphobia Works?

A comment from my post on how I'm trying to get over my fears of being driven by someone else:

"You need to get out of the house more, sir. EVERYTHING will start feeling like such a problem if you insulate yourself like this."

This is why I don't do my Health Report posts every week anymore. I write about a small personal victory and then I get a comment like this, which I'm sure isn't meant to make my victory seem worthless and make me feel like I've made absolutely no gains in trying to get over my massive problems, but which certainly accomplishes just that.

Yes, sir, I am under no illusions that I have giant problems that are starting to become unmanageable and which have disrupted my life in numerous ways. Sometimes the nervousness and fear I have regarding the outside world is crippling; it's so overwhelming at times that I don't know how I'll ever get out of it.

I guess going for a car ride doesn't seem like that much of a big deal. But for me it was. I guess we're all on different journeys in life and platitudes don't always solve our problems. Sorry I forgot about that. I'll try to magically be more normal tomorrow.

But in the meantime, it costs you nothing, sir, if I enjoy being a little more confident than I was earlier this week, and building on that to try and conquer these fears and problems that I have. I know I need to get out of the house more. Everything already is such a problem. That's why it felt good trying to overcome it. You can be dismissive of that all you want, but it's valuable to me.


Anonymous said...

Jesus christ. This is what I'm talking about. You've become so sensitive. I've been following you for a while and I could swear you weren't this bad last year. All I'm saying is staying in your house and thinking about why these things bother you can only result in them bothering you more. I don't know what your life is like but I believe you need to hang out with people more. And I know sometimes that costs money to do but just find a way to do it. It can only help.

Your condition reminds me of this skin problem I used to have. My previous job required me to be in an air-conditioned room all day, 7 days a week. I developed this problem where my skin would itch the shit out me every time sunlight touched it or I started sweating. It was very debilitating and I felt like the worst I could do was give myself more sunlight. But it turns out that's exactly what I needed. It was torture the 1st couple of times I tried to fight it by sitting outside on a bench in the sunlight. But after those couple of times it has stopped completely. Which totally beat what I was doing before which was sit in the house, avoid sunlight, and wonder why the hell this started happening. You seem to have a sociality problem, so my prescription is hang out with people more. I believe your phobias will magically go away just as they seem to have magically come out of nowhere.

Drake said...

Other great words of advice i've heard over the years ( funny how just going out of the house just dosen't magically cure you ) you're faking it, you want attention.
Crippling is right, "reezb" i'm sure your intentions are good but i know what he's going through and i hope he can fight now before he lives a whole life with it like i do.

Rene' said...

I suffer from agoraphobia as well and I know how daunting it can be.

Congrats on the successful outing. When you can, use it as a touchstone prior to your next outing.

Kudos and hugs.

Jaquandor said...

At the risk of putting words in SamuraiFrog's mouth, maybe he wasn't looking for advice -- especially advice that's written in a tone of "Oh, get over it already." Maybe, just maybe, all he was looking for with the original post was support and understanding for having made what is, for him, a pretty big step.

SamuraiFrog said...

reezb: I want you to know that I felt like I was overreacting with this post almost immediately after I wrote it. I've always been this sensitive, really. I grew up with anger issues that took me a long time to overcome, and as you can see, I still have problems with them.

Jaquandor's comment is really where I'm coming from. It's not that I need the outside support of others (though it's very nice when it happens) so much as it's therapeutic for me to write about these things. I can't afford therapy, so it's all I have.

The problem is, it's very hard to convey and to read someone's tone on the internet. And your advice DID come across to me as "Oh, just get over it."

It's hard to get over it. My problems didn't magically come out of nowhere. It took me 15 years of building and snowballing and running from it and not realizing how bad things were getting to wind up at this point in my life with this level of problems weighing down on me. I'm more confident now than I was a week ago that I will overcome them, but I don't exactly have prior experience in this. It's daunting as all hell.

I used to do an update on my health problems every week. I stopped doing it because of similar comments that were well-meaning but ultimately insensitive.

I'm sure from an outside point of view it seems like all I need to do is just go outside more often, but when you're wrapped up inside of it, it's like being at the top of a mountain and not knowing how to get down from it.

I'm not asking to be coddled, I'm just sharing a report from a little further down the mountain than I was. It's a big step for me, and comments that come across like "Just do this and they'll all go away" make me feel like I'm doing something wrong and have failed at being a person. So if that makes me sensitive, and reactionary, I apologize, but I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

Anonymous said...

Well please take my tone as apathetic and non-judgmental, which is what it is. I just think that you foster these anti-social feelings the more you're alone. When I said "go outside" I meant it literally, I wasn't mocking you. I think it would help you if you made a long term habit of going outside and meeting people.

Roger Owen Green said...

Without getting too cliched here, men in general are often offering advice that really isn't being sought. "Well if you do this", as well meaning as it was intended, reezb, and I'm sure it was, was advice.
I think Frog has, from time to time, made unequivocal requests for assistance - usually of the technical variety, if memory serves - and our answers are, "Oh you should try so-and-so."
But in THIS case, when you say, "Go outside" or "it would help you if...", you're offering unsolicited, and therefore, unwelcomed advice. And, no, it doesn't mean you're mocking him.

I thought it was clear he wanted to celebrate a small triumph. Frankly, he's a hell of a lot braver doing that than I am, for which I applaud him.

SF: don't you love being discussed in the 3rd person on your own blog?

Autumn said...

I honestly think it's super impressive that you not only did it, but that you feel good about it instead of awful. My cousin is agoraphobic and she recently did something similar to try and ween herself out and wasn't ready and backslided quite badly. So kudos, and be as sensitive as you are, I appreciate the honesty more then any kind of macho display or humorous brush off version of the episode!