Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Week Ahead

Wherein the author will attempt to describe the pathos of agoraphobia. When you're a little nutty, like me, it means abrupt changes can throw you for a loop. Take the next week; my parents are leaving the state to visit my brother across the country for six days. No big deal, what's the problem, suck it up - right? Wrong. To someone who is agoraphobic it's a nightmare. When you get all crazy-sauced like me you form unusually strong attachments to people who are 'safe'. Meaning, you only feel comfortable when they are in reach and when they leave you alone - how can I describe it?- it's like your boat loses it's tether and you are drifting away in a terrifying storm where at any moment you can sink and drown.
It is, admittedly, not as bad as it once was. You get to a certain point and you say 'I can't live like this' and it's hard on the people you have attached yourself too as well (it isn't fair to them either which is one of the reasons I realized how badly I needed therapy). My counselor once told me one of her clients was so bad off he couldn't even go to the bathroom without his spouse standing next to him.
This isn't a fun disease.
My parents are my anchor. When they leave for extended periods it is difficult for me. I will, as always, follow the wise advice I learned the hard way from my counselor. The first is to stay busy - write a list of things to be done, places to go, things to do. So this next week the basement will be organized, I will be volunteering some more of my time at the school and I will be making field trips to the Fossil and Mineral museum on campus to make some sketches AND visit the Historic Museum up the road to look at photographs from this city one hundred years ago. I will take a book to Starbucks and sip lattes and read. I will buy mandarins and mushrooms at the nearby grocery store. I won't think about how many hours there are left until they return, I won't sit in the house all day thinking how it wouldn't be like this if I had more friends or a boyfriend. I will go and live my life. and it took me four years of therapy to figure that out.

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