For the past two years I have been letting my back heal from a herniated disc. During that time I had to quit the job I was at for over a decade, I lost contact with the majority of the people I socialized with, my boyfriend broke up with me, and my mom had to push back retiring because she’s been helping me. I have a lot of guilt over how much pressure and strain I put on others, especially my mom. I’m embarrassed by how much time I’ve lost. I should have gone back to university and started my Master’s. Many other people my age have at least parts of their life together but I have to start again.

Having been inside and isolated for so long has aggravated my agoraphobia, though. I want to go out, get a job, make friends, get my life back… but now the fear is so intense I don’t know how to start. Usually with anxiety you have to just take the plunge, which I am good at, but I haven’t had to do it for a while.

I have to get a job.
I have to work-out to strengthen my back muscles.
I have to go to ptsd and grief recovery.
I have to pay off my student loans.
I have to quit smoking weed.

There’s so much to do. I know I need to start at the beginning and break things up into smaller pieces, but late at night I ruminate over my life’s to-do list and stress. I’ve never slept well but the past few months have been a new kind of hell. I’ve dreamt about my ex every night without fail for months and now I put off going to sleep for as long as possible. There are other people in my dreams I don’t want to see but he is always there.

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