Monday, August 31, 2009

My Security Blanket

A lot of us have things that make us feel safe and secure. A security blanket or a stuffed animal from childhood are two examples.

For people suffering from anxiety disorder and/or agoraphobia those safe things can be a room in the house or even a chair in a room. My safe place is my desk chair. Anytime I feel panicky I make a beeline right for it.

At times a security blanket can be a person. Mr. Skittles is that person for me. Another person is my daughter but for now I'm going to focus on how much I'm relying on Mr. Skittles.

This moving business is playing Hell with my mental issues. The afore mentioned anxiety and agoraphobia. Both had begun rearing their ugly heads before we got the new place. I just hadn't been blogging about them. My ability to go to the store was becoming more and more difficult. Even just going out the door to walk the dog was becoming a challenge.

Waiting for Mr. Skittles to come home from work was nerve racking for me. If he made a short trip to the store I would count the minutes until he got home. He's my safety net. Burying myself in latch hook kept me somewhat distracted. Playing Pogo online helped at times. Taking Xanax and pacing until it worked was another.

Sometimes I was able to go out. House hunting was one of them. Maybe because I was in my car (a relatively safe place unless I have to get out) and I was with Mr. Skittles. Finding a new home and beginning the process of moving has not been easy.

One day he used the hand truck to take boxes of things we no longer wanter to Goodwill. When he came home and left the hand truck in the living room I went into a panic. When I'm this vulnerable having things out of place will trigger an attack. I grabbed the hand truck and repeated "I have to put this away" Rainman style over and over while I put it back where it belonged. Mr. Skittles was following saying he'd do it but I was on a mission to do it myself. Packing boxes to take to the new place and stacking them in the living room has been a challenge, too.

Geez I sound like such a wienie as I reread what I've written so far. It will only make sense to someone who has dealt with this and/or knows and accepts someone they know who has this. And many do.

We spent the last three days moving some boxes over and painting the three rooms that needed it. Did I mention this was a used mobile home? I meant to. I was able to go into Lowe's on one occasion. I don't know how. Except for yesterday we took things in my car and were together in the mobile home painting. Yesterday we took separate cars because he had to stop somewhere along the way. My daughter had driven over to help us paint so she was with me and that helped but still I watched the street waiting to see Mr. Skittles.

I didn't really realize had bad I had gotten, how very much I was depending on Mr. Skittles until yesterday when I was following him home in my car. (Daughter had driven home for part of the day.) Mr. Skittles went through a green light which had turned red by the time I got to it. I watched him drive on and I panicked big time. The feeling of not being able to breathe hit me. The feeling of having a heart attack hit me. The need to be home in my desk chair hit me hard. He got stuck at a red light down the road and I was able to catch up but that only helped a little.

I talked with him about what had happened when we got home. He held me and asked if there was anything he could do. He offered to take a vacation day today to be with me. I have tears in my eyes right now as I write about what an understanding man he is. Despite the times our marriage has been quite tumultuous, he is my rock. I lose sight of that on occasion.

I told him thank you but no.. that I needed to deal with things and I couldn't expect him to stay home babysitting me. I believe that took some weight off his shoulders which was my intention. He has enough to worry about, enough on his mind with this move, too. Daughter showed back up and I knew that would help me get through these hard days ahead.

The reason I write all this today is that when I woke up a little while ago I heard the dog whining.. needing to go out. I felt the panic building and thought oh shit. here we go again. Then I remembered my daughter was still here and could do it for me and I only felt a little shitty for not being able to do it myself. Because agoraphobics do feel ashamed of their limitations.


Grace said...

My friend... I am proud of what you are accomplishing. Do you see that? PROUD. And no, you are not a wienie... Now, I must say that I have never dealt with this nor have any IRF's that have.. but it's an illness... just like asthma, cancer, diabetes... And I don't need to have this make sense to me... all I need you to know is that I am here and care.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

In my situation I panic when I remember I don't have the rock you have in Mr.skittles. My panic is stuffed with food non stop when i am reminded that i am alone in everything i do. I wish for you more peace in these days of moving and think how happy your new home will be.

anthonynorth said...

This post touched me. With cfs I spend long periods housebound and have had the feelings you speak of when forcing myself out.

i beati said...

For many manmy years I suffr=ered with this and only a really bad life changing event brought me out of it. It superceded all the fear and others took its place..sigh

Calico Crazy said...

I'm so proud of you Barb. I am pretty comfy with change and love a good adventure; but I found moving recently to be exhausting and stressful. To do as well as you've done with all the extras you have heaped on your plate, amazing. Hope you get that settled into home feeling soon.

Calico Contemplations

The Curmudgeon said...

It'll take awhile for the new place to be truly home. But it will happen.

Karen said...


Forgetfulone said...

You're not a weinie! You're human, and you're actually dealing with things better than you give yourself credit for. How are you doing today?