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first time leaving the apt in weeks


mscat
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Today, I had to go grocery shopping. My brother drove my car , and my son came with us .

We have to go 45 miles away to the nearest superwalmart . i hate leaving the saftey of my apt. The fartheset I go is to the balcony of my apt . Their is too much stress and anxiety to leave. But, we needed food.

Their were a few women who looked at me, oddly, then turned around and did it again .. Why? I rode in a motorized cart because my health is not too good.

It was uncomfortable, and I wondered what the heck I did wrong? Also, in the checkout , a family behind us , had a toddler in a stroller who started to scream bloody murder, well that really rose my panic . They let the child scream , I cannot take the loud noises , and this really was too much, I started to become extremely panicy , about this. My brother told me to calm down, I made a comment as to why the parents were letting the baby scream like that? but it was not what I said , it was why the FU. were they?

I tried to use my Visa to pay faster so I cold get out of there... But, the money machine stalled, gosh I was stressed . and in a panic, all until we were out of the store, and close to my car, and inside my car.

I do have anxiety meds , and take them at night. I feel the happiest then .

The not leaving my apt. is and has become worse. I do not go anywhere , and only am safe inside. This is not new, but, increasingly worse for me.

I've had panic attacks just going to take my son to the DR. Too m uch noise, bright lights, and people. I have had to get away , sit in my car and try to catch my breath.

I've talked about it in therapy, yet it is not better. just wish I could stay at home forever.. I do not even go out and check the mail. My son goes to school all day, and it is me and my 2 little dogs. I am happiest when their is quiet and dim lights .

Unsure how to handle myself anymore without either going numb in public , or having a panic attack. I am very glad my brother can help me out. It sucks , however, I am very stuck , and do not know what to do out in public anymore.

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Mscat I'm sorry your first outing was so stressful for you.

Has your therapist done any behavioural or exposure work with you? I have done some and it has helped.

Obviously now you are unwell after your surgery, but maybe for the future it might be something to consider?

Take care of yourself

Goose

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My feeling is bravo, you did it! You may have found it stressful, as supermarkets always are :-), but you got through it. Be proud of yourself, considering what you have been though lately. You must be feeling better physically to have even found the courage to go....

Do you think it's because you don't expose yourself to it often enough? Maybe just going out a little each day, sit on the stoop, sit in a park close by, perhaps your sensitivities would lessen if you got a dose of the outside world on a regular basis. Just an idea :)

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Thank you for the suggestions. I have been feeling better from the Hospital. It has already been a month now since leaving. However, their are a couple of wounds that are not healed and need to be bandage. Most of the problems I am facing is loss of mobility in my arms, shoulders, hands , wrists. And the pain it causes. I am been better in the mornings, however, by nightfall, I am in a lot of pain. It sucks badly to not be able to put on a jacket by myself, and worse yet, a bra just kills me, so I wear jackets and zip them up, i am not chesty, so it works.

I think I ought to have physical therapy , and need to have a referral . However, I am scared to go to one of the clinics , becasuse of the SI, and the looks , and all that crap.

The anxiety had begun before the hospital stay, and I have been struggling with it for several months .

I just noticed that it has not become any easier but more difficult , and stressful.

Oddly, I had never been like this before, as a kid, and young adult, I was fine. The last 6 months though it has not been fine. And i am concerned about it. I am concerned about my attitude towards people, mainly strangers, because their is no feeling at all about them or people in general .

I just do not like many people anymore . except when i come here, and write, I still like to try and help others in here. Guess not all is lost . I do care about it when people are in emotional pain and need support.

and it is very safe on here... that is what I think. but , trying to cope on the outside , is unbearable.

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This sounds very stressful, mscat. :)

Have you ever talked with your therapist about possible sensory overload? I think if you have been experiencing that on top of the anxiety you already have, it would likely increase your anxiety even more. I like the idea Symora had of doing things a little bit a time and increasing your amount of time outside of your home gradually.

Sometimes noises can get to me as well. Do you have any methods of trying to soothe some of those anxious feelings? Listening to soft music and watching nature videos works well for me. Is there something you could take along with you on your trips out of the house that would help you feel connected with home?

I hope things ease for you soon.

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This sounds very stressful, mscat. :)

Have you ever talked with your therapist about possible sensory overload? I think if you have been experiencing that on top of the anxiety you already have, it would likely increase your anxiety even more. I like the idea Symora had of doing things a little bit a time and increasing your amount of time outside of your home gradually.

Sometimes noises can get to me as well. Do you have any methods of trying to soothe some of those anxious feelings? Listening to soft music and watching nature videos works well for me. Is there something you could take along with you on your trips out of the house that would help you feel connected with home?

I hope things ease for you soon.

Sensory overload, I do know what this is, because my son is autistic, I am not , but, have no idea how to control it. Your suggestions are very helpful.

So is Symora's, however, I am too scared right now to try it, even gradully.

I am not even sure what scares me, it hits me the panic , all at once , and I do know a few things that sets it off, but not all. i just do not know when the anxieety is going to shoot up , and it is the littlest things too. I was not like this before. i could handle stuff. Now, i am older, and it feels like the older I get the more chalenging it is for me to be happy outside and around people, or strangers, and crowds.

I feel as though I am a wimp, and not strong anymore to deal with the outside world.

I am constanly watching, or scanning for anything that may pose a threat , when in public , and especially sensitive to others , meaning if they look at me, and turn around say something to someone else , I fee as though they are saying very bad things about me, or think that i am a freak. It is not a good feeling at all.

I am going to my therapy appointment Wednesday morning, i have to get there, and it is just a half a mile if that down the street. I am a smoker, and this seems to help calm me down. I have anxiety meds too, but, sometimes i want to take even more then i should , because I think it will help me feel calmer and easier to handle myself. But, then , if i get pulled over:eek: I have not drove my car for weeks . Anther thing i find stressful, but I can drive, even though it hurts my shoulders and arms to turn the wheel . I have to go to therapy , I just have to. My brother will still be asleep in the morning, so I am on my own .

i really do not like myself for this problem, and I beleive I do need to continue to talk about it in therapy, I have no answers as to what to do .

But, really apreaciate the support here. I have and can leave my window open , and screen door open ... right now i hear the outside sounds, and it is ok for now.

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I can totally understand you may not be ready to do more than what you are doing at this point - your have just been through a hell of an experience and you are just in first part of the healing process.

I think getting scared as we get older (speaking as one of those 'older' folk), I think speaks to the fact that we have seen a lot of crap and we are no longer naive and innocent to the dangers around us, and within us actually :) So on the one hand the world is scarier, and on the other we are just plain more tired and just like to have a quieter life. I know that an awful lot of people around me who are also in their mid-fifties would rather spend quiet time at home or at the cottage, doing what they like to do, with the people and pets they love. It's just pleasant. We've done lots of stuff, been lots of places, met lots of people, and some of the thirst for that wanes, for a lot of us anyway... I just don't have the energy I used to have, so I don't volunteer much anymore, I don't take courses all the time, and I hate parties now and avoid them if at all possible. I'm not really antisocial or scared of the world (at least I don't feel I am), I'm just not that interested in those things anymore. I do try to make an effort once in awhile though, just to change things up and make sure I can still do it, but overall I'm over it :D

I love having the doors and window open, with a nice breeze going through the house. Even the sounds of the world outside are pleasant. The action in the hive can sometimes be reassuring... but that's me....

I've often had trainers, in courses like public speaking for example where there is a high level of anxiety, tell us to imagine the worst case scenario. Not like bombs falling from the sky while you are speaking :eek:, but like people would laugh while you were speaking, or you could not answer a question someone asked, etc. and once you have done that, think of what happen then - would you die, would be uncomforable, would you cry, and strategize how you would handle such a situation. I get a sense that the fight or flight response is very strong for you, and that you are a very sensitive person who feels her environment very strongly. Given your physical condition right now a flight response is probably more appropriate if you are feeling some type of danger - it would appear to me anyway. So when it happens you get these strong feelings like you have to get out of there...and it becomes a very anxious situation for you.

What I was getting at is that perhaps, if you are able to do it physically, you could try visualizing yourself walking to the appointment, visualize the things that might come up to make you fearful, and then visualize how you would handle these things positively. It may help to lessen the fear about it... What do you think?

Edited by Symora
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Thank you Symora,

You wrote a lot about how I feel , and hit it on target. I am not too old though, only 41, however, have seen a lot and been through too many traumatic experiences, I believe has left me very gaurded, and find it not so pleasant anymore around people, nor do I enjoy it. I will admit I have had to get out of places when panic sets in. The flight reaction is what I experience.

I would not fight anyone, just the frantic need to get out of there.

Luckily my therapist is good, and knows a lot about me. I think visualization is worth a try. I also zone out and go numb, don't feel a things is how I deal with things when it becomes too much . If the dissociation becomes too much and won't go away it sets me off into anther direction of self harm, just to feel real again.

I'll I can do is try to cope with all this. Physically , well it took 2hrs to clean up, shower, brush my long hair, and bandage up ..... still too long, but at least it is done. The smallest things are a big chore to achieve.

thank u for the very good suggestions, I will try them.

mscat

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It took you only two hours .... I remember a few weeks back where you were barely functional. You're coming along :) I have an aunt who takes that long to get ready everyday. You should see her when she comes out of there, I swear Geishas have nothing on her:eek: She is one powdered up and made up girl!

You are the only one who can truly judge what you are capable of doing. Be optimist, it sets up a more positive outcome!

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It took you only two hours .... I remember a few weeks back where you were barely functional. You're coming along ;) I have an aunt who takes that long to get ready everyday. You should see her when she comes out of there, I swear Geishas have nothing on her:eek: She is one powdered up and made up girl!

You are the only one who can truly judge what you are capable of doing. Be optimist, it sets up a more positive outcome!

I laughed at your reponse ... Thank you for your positive support. you are right too, I could hardly do nothing , esp. right after I got home. I just laid on the couch all day taking pain meds, and then needed someone to help me get up. OMG , it was horrible, I'd pee myself because I could not make it to the bathroom :(

Now, things are soooo much better and easier. I even clipped my little Yorkie a few days ago... SHe was Matted , because my niece bathed her , and did not know what she was doing . I have a grooming table and had to really shave her down, it took hrs, but I managed. I felt so sorry for my dog. my dogs are like my kids, I adore them.

BTW, animals are a great source of healing . Esp. for a depressed person. They are sensitive to our needs , and will be right there for you . My dogs lick my healed burned arms, because they want me to feel better . they are always by my side, unless they are playing . I also do not feel alone when my son is at school.

ANyway, Things are slowly improving physically. I can now put on my own shirt , a little difficulty , but even pull it down myself, it is the little accomplishments that I am happy with. :)

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I'm so sorry you are going through all of that. I know how you feel with the anxiety. It is new to me and I can't figure out why it's there sometimes and then just goes away... I actually have been sent by ambualnce to the hospital because I go into such a way that I shut down and almost stop breathing. So the PTSD is the culprit and it's tough...

Read you had surgery, I hope you are doing well.

And good for you that you went out, thats a start.... Maybe next time try just a quiet place like the library or the park...

I hate screaming kids too especially in the stores, parents are nuts sometimes....

Be well...;)

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I agree with you, mscat, about pets being great at comforting us. They are always there and they always love and accept us no matter what. Very loyal friends. I'm glad that you have some dogs to keep you company. There's nothing quite like a warm and loving furball lying beside us to keep our spirits up. They're so innocent and trusting. We had countless pets while I was growing up and there were many times when I was certain my kitties were the only friends I had. They are also special because they need us and help us to feel needed.

Maybe try and take things one day at a time and give yourself a chance to adjust again. Hopefully things will become easier for you little by little as you regain your strength. Maybe seeing your therapist this week will offer you some comfort. I hope so.

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My avatar is actually my cat Blue. He's my best buddy, at least he thinks he is :-)... If he could, he would spend his whole life on my lap. I agree that pets are very therapeutic. I never feel alone since I have Mushu and Blue around.;) They seem to think I'm pretty lame, as cats will do, but they do love the neck massages...

You have actually come a long way Cathy ... you are one courageous lady!

Edited by Symora
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Blue is a gorgeous kitty :) I love cats too, but my son is highly allergic to them.

My avater has my yorkie , Suzi . She is full of high energy and a loud bark for such a little dog. My Shih Tzu is a doll, her name is mIely, and 9 months. They are awesome. I really need my girls , they provide uncondional love , and are the most loyal companions I ever had . Suzi sleeps on my sons bed each night, and Miely is with me. I could talk on and on about my 2 little dogs, they are so special.

mIely has figured out how to go on our kitchen table :eek: SHe jumps on the chair , and next thing I know it she is on top of the table which is a good 4 feeet . What a booger. Suzi who is almost 2yr old has never done that. Those 2 have very different temperments. As I was typing this Miely is on the other side of the table, she can't get down by herself.

It is pouring rain today, and dark. It's suppose to be like this all week into the next . makes u want to just sleep all day long. Esp. not go out anywhere .

I think your all right , small steps outside. My son does love going to the library, but it is a drive out of town. My Brother took him last week , moreso because I am afraid to drive far. It hurts my arms to turn the wheel of my car.

I pulled out a annoying surgical staple last night the the nurses missed, that thing was a bitch, and was on my chest area. Much better now that it is out . Staples were what the surgeons and DR's use to hhold new skin graphs together. I had so many of those , it is easy for them to miss a few .

I will admit, I allow my son to be home on school days more then i should just to have him here . Today is a holiday, I have to get better at making him go. He is gone from 6:20am to 4:50pm 5 days a week .

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Thank you .

I always feel better when I do not have to leave my apt. It takes a few days to bounce back from doing so.

The weather is stormy today and for the rest of the week. I sent my son to school today, which sometimes I let him stay home, so I do not have to be alone. Now it is just me and my 2 little dogs. Here's hoping the power stays on .

It's dark and quiet this am. All I can hear is the roaring wind. Tommorow is therapy , after 2months of not seeing him . He has talked to me a few times, and sent someone to check on me a couple of times, which is embarrasing. They both work for the couseling service , It makes me feel that the therapist cares . He knew I have lost mobility and have trouble getting around.

It's as dark as night in my apt. Really iry. Without my son to keep me company it is hard to be here. Their really is never a dull moment at home with my kid around :)

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OK,

This morning is therapy. The weather is very bad... It is so windy and rainy , I am panicy, and anxious about the weather, and going to this appointment. their are a lot of what ifs running through my head. Such as, the power going out during session, how to drive there, even though it is just down the street .

Holy crap, I went to smoke , barely leaving the screen door open so the smoke would not get in the apt. It is such bad weather, and the anxiety has shot up badly. It is freaking me out .I stayed up after my son went to school so I could make the appointment, wide awake , and now very scared to go .

i have to go , and in a panic. i have to chill. But how? I ought to be ok, because i am inside my place. However, the thought of a bad things happening have the fear inside of me going from 0-100 quickly.

feels terrible and makes me think i am jsut weak .Trying to believe the weather will calm down in 2hrs . 2 hrs before the appointment, and I am shaking.

This totally sucks . I have candles to use in case the power goes out at home, it is just leaving the apt. and the fear of all that is out there. I wonder if it is worth going, because of all this fear. It takes me a while to get ready anyhow. Because of the lack of mobility i have , God I hope their is a miracle, i want to think so. A lot can change in 2 hrs. If the wind can only stop blowing so hard, it would be better. It's freezing out there too.

Have not seen the therapist in over 2months because of health issues, now this.

Their is also a firing range around us, and I can here the guns firing. NOT helping the anxiety , or is it thunder? I have no idea. Its probbaly the firing range. We have a state prision in our little town that is outside the community. However, the firing range, is always real loud, and on Wed. they are always shooting.

i just need to take some deep breaths , and try and trick myself ... I could take the anxiety pills , but if I do , i am uncertain if I could drive safely. Have not driven far at all since the lack of mobility. ANd thinking how embarrassed it will be to go in there all anxious and out of sorts in the therapy appointment.

God I hate myself sometimes.

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Hi Cathy, You need to breathe and do some calming visualizations.... The weather and noises seem to be freeking you out, but they are not going to hurt you. You are OK, and seeing your psychologist today will be a good thing :) The weather has nothing on you, and if you have to drive your car then that will be OK too because you don't have far to go. You need to calm yourself and not let your anxieties take over.... You are doing good, believe that your day will turn out well ... even if the weather is not making it very pleasant right now! Bundle up warmly, and keep your candles handy. The storm will pass and all will be well again.

Hope your appointment is pleasant, and let us know how it goes Cathy...

Edited by Symora
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Cathy, you can do this. Take it one step at a time. Try not to get too ahead of yourself. Going to see the therapist will be helpful. It's safe there and you can talk about all of the fears you've been having. You can do this. It'll be okay. Focus on the moment and what you know you need to do. Let us know how things go.

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Thank you all so much. I did get ready , and go. Yes, It was real difficult, the streets are flooded in our town. However, I went, and was not so pleasant during session . I could not help it, boy was I a bitch . LOL. I got dreanched from the rain and wind , and the lights went out once while there, that was nO good. But, they came right back on, thank god.

I wanted to see the Psy. Dr. but could not today, so I left saying a few choice words, MY bad . But, did call back to make an appointment. Tey made one for me, for 2 weeks later.

Since already out, and now it is about 60 mile winds outside, I went to see the MD. About the burns to get a referral to a physical therapist, and pain meds.

The MD had worked in a burn ward before, so it felt so much better, I lucked out having such a nice MD. He told me it was beyond the scope of family practice , and that I needed to go back to Fresno, outpatient , for getting a referral, or call them. I thought since I lived in a differnent county he could refer me, but told me not al physical therapists work with burn people. He also said my arm has a contraction. Which is why I can't bend it, and it may need more surgery to fix the problem. That was not good. He did perscribe pain meds and IBrophin .I also gave him a paper for handicap parking to fill out, because of the lack of mobility, to take to the DMV. I have to pick it up tommorow.

I surprised myself as to how bitchy I was in therapy. I just hope he understood...

Thannk god it's over, and safe back in home.

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Hi Cathy, You got it done, good for you. Sounds like you actually got a lot done.... It is always nice to get home isn't it :) I love coming home after work. I settle in with the cats, a nice coffee, hummm, it's good!

Do you have any idea why you were so upset with the therapist? Were you mad at him for having dragged you out in that weather? :)

Hope you have a calm and restful night...

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no real clue as to why I was not nice to him. I just felt real mad during session. He asked me about the self harming incident , that landed me in the Hospital , and I got snippy after that. I asked him if he wanted details or what, kind of sarcastic like. That is how it started. It is difficult to talk about those things, and him asking about it, was something I really had a hard time putting feelings to . That had a lot to do with it .

I surprise myself just how drastically my moods change , and sometimes just impulsively blurt out whatever comes to mind . I really despise it when it feels like my emotions are out of control, and I act stupid.

It was a rough day, lots of anxiety... My brother took my son and I out of town so Matt could go to the Libary and the roads were flooded, set me into anther panic attack, even though he drove my car. It was scary for me, and I trust my brother's driving, it was me, and again it was so hard to control the anxiety.

Now things are good again, safe at home. I just hate to leave the apt . I get mad at myself now for not being able to deal with it , at least it is over .

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Humm... you still sound pretty traumatized from the incident... not ready to talk about it yet perhaps...

I wish I could be more helpful and insightful for you, but all I can really do is offer support since I don't understand very much about anxiety. Glad you're home safe and sound. :)

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