i suppose i'm here as well as elsewhere because no place really seems to match all of who i am or what i feel. should i join OCDtribe next? i don't know. maybe i will.

for anyone bothering to read this, i'm agoraphobic. i'm bolonophobic and arachnophobic as well, among many, many other things that can drive me into a panic attack. the surest way, though, is to set a task on a date, oh, three to five days away, give me an enormous task, and watch me not sleep, eat, or drink as i constantly work toward getting this task done brilliantly, then push me to and pastphysical exhaustion, until i have a seizure. this has happened three times and it seems to be getting easier to manage–if your goal is the seizure.

i know that all of you, or maybe most of you, who are here know that agoraphobia is not actually fear of being outside. it is fear of being outside understood parameters. it is fear of the unknown, of loss of control, of *not knowing what to do next*. it is being afraid to approach your computer because you KNOW that somehow, last night, you said something that was inappropriate without even knowing that, and you're going to open your email to find a blistering reply. it is fear of going to a party, because you will without fail laugh too loudly or at the wrong time; of going to the store, and not being able to find your membership card or your keys when checking out; it is waking up, and knowing that SOMETHING you have done (or failed to do) is going to come crashing down horribly around you, until you have to run from the bed to the toilet to vomit from pure. fear.

i fight that every day. i get up and i push aside the part of me that is screaming that i said the wrong words to someone, or did not say any words when only a few would have been kind, that i haven't done the dishes or cleaned the toilet or cat litter and why did i have to be so sharp when i spoke to my husband last night? hm? i put that part of me away, and i get up, and i face the day. again. i clean what i can and speak softly to whom i can and i try once again to make today a day that allows me to go to sleep, simply that, to sleep in peace. and i hope that there will be a tomorrow much like it.

and, when i have to, i have learned to fight–that i am worth fighting for, as well as strangers. but in the end…i still am always afraid that i have done wrong. and i still know that if it comes to it…the only thing between me and another seizure is my bottle of valium. i did try, the last time, to say that EVERYONE goes through stress and fear, and so i'd forgotten my pills, well, i would simply stubborn it out, like everyone else does. and then i woke with bloody froth all down my face and shirt and my cheeks bitten nearly through, because i'd had a grand mal–again–which made my husband pull off onto the shoulder of the freeway and consider sticking his finger into my mouth to stop me biting myself and made me late for the appointment for bloodwork at my rheumatologist's. (it's really just as well he didn't stick his finger in my mouth. i'd likely have bitten him quite badly.)

but…we get up, don't we? and we do it all again. and we face our fears…and when we absolutely have to, we take the valium, just in case. if we can get it.


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