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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Retro wifey, mommy to a princess, editor, PETA fanatic, and I Love Lucy!

Monday, February 28, 2011


Agorophobia.  If you aren't quite sure what it is, please click on the above link and at least get a quick look.  Though it's a "brief" description of the meaning of the word, when you live with it, it's a "long" process and not quite as easy as some may think. 

For about the last 8 years now, I have been living with agoraphobia.  Perhaps even longer when I think about it, but realizing now that it was a gradual process that one day ended up being exactly what it is, afraid of public places, afraid of being away from home, living in a shell that nobody can break through! 

I myself have come to the conclusion that it HAS to be more psychosomatic (NOT I'M NOT CRAZY) than anything else.  Because if it's an emergency situation, I have no problem with getting in my car and doing what has to be done, or grocery shopping, etc.  Now pretty much anything else, I will put offffffffffff until I cannot put it offffffffff any more.  I know that sounds more like a procrastinator.  That's not the same here.  

For example.  If I have a dr. appt on Monday afternoon at 2pm, when I wake up that Monday morning, my heart is beating out of my chest that I am going to have to leave the house today.  I have an appointment!  How can I get out of this appointment today?  Do I have to go?  Naw, not really, I could cancel it!  For the rest of the day, I will go back and forth with should I or shouldn't I go, and then worry about it allllllll day long until I make the decision, which 9 times out of 10, I'm gonna cancel the appointment!

I worry about EVERYTHING!  I worry about yesterday, I worry about tomorrow!  My mom did this too, and I used to be one of those naysayers who didn't understand what she was going through...NOW I DO!  And just like mom, I hate being too far from home.

So here I sit at home pretty much all the time living with fear, panic, and anxiety.  I have learned to live with it and am comfortable in my skin.  Yet, my phobia reflects upon others.  Some who understand it, some who think it's just plain crazy or even an "excuse," and some who just flat walk away.


Agoraphobia leads to anxiety which leads to panic attacks..... I've tried all the medications, all the counseling and therapy, and all the meditation I can do....UNSUCCESSFUL!

Anxiety is NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS!  The biggest misconception by most who don't understand it is that sometimes it is so overwhelming that you feel like you are going to DIE!  That I know of, no one has ever died from a panic attack, but a panic attack can cause a heart attack.  And believe me, the cold sweats, the foggy haze you go into, your throat closes up on you, you can't focus or pull yourself out of a trance!  You feel like you are about to DIE!

When I agreed to medication, they had started me on EVERYTHING you can think of to treat panic attacks, anxiety, even depression; though my therapist told me I, Judy Camel, am NOT a depressed person, I am not "manic" depressed nor "situationally" depressed (though people can become situationally depressed at any time).  I, however, am not depressed.  I have no reason to be depressed.  I have a great life, as many would say.  So after "ruling out" depression, we got to the root of my evil.  It's just straight "agoraphobia."  I have a huge panic attack about leaving my home!

I recently had finally agreed, by much proding by my neurologist, to begin another medication regimen, starting with clonazepam (an anti-anxiety medication) and Keppra (which is actually an anti-seizure medication).  My attacks are much like a seizure at times, especially when driving; which is now why I don't drive a whole lot. 

Sidebar:  If you have followed by blogs you will remember that the last car of mine I traded in after having it for 4 years had less than 15,000 miles on it....SERIOUSLY!  I go nowhere, if I can help it!  I do get out, like I said "neccessity" reasons for the most part.   

The very sad part of it all, as I said earlier, is how it effects others.  Mr. Camel, though it took him a very long time to understand it, has really dealt well with it.  Some friends and family didn't understand it and they just stopped calling.  Others, just get it!  You're living in a box, it's your "comfort zone." 
I love, love, love to entertain at home, but keyword, "home."  My "box."

I forgive my family who belittle my "anxiety."  They have no idea how terrifying an experience it can be.  I have forgiven my first physician who told me, "get over it, go to the mall."  I forgive my friends who stopped calling me because I could no longer go out.  Some people I just NEVER even told my story.....NOW I HAVE!


My end goal is to learn how to "cope" with it, since it's not really curable.  I will say the medication does help, but it's not a CURE!

Please don't come at me with the preachin of "just get over it, girl!"  Believe me I've tried it, been there and back with it, and none of this works for me!  Just "like" me or "love" me for who I am.  If you can't, just know that I understand that you DON'T understand.

Now, when Mr. Camel can get me out of the house, which is usually a "to-do" before we leave because not only do I have agoraphobia, I too suffer from OCD which = Now I'm worrying if the house is on fire because did I cook anything earlier, did I leave a candle burning somewhere in the house, did I turn off all the lights cuz "oh GOD what if one of the cats knock it over and sets fire to the house!"  These thoughts stick with you and what can emotionally make you ill, can quickly turn you physically ill. 


ANOTHER SIDEBAR:  Of note, it wasn't too difficult to runnnnnn like the wind last Saturday to get a pedicure after being home with a very sick baby all week.  When big daddy got home from work and said, "GoooooooOOOOO, I got her"......I WENT, QUICKLY!

I have recently made a concerted effort, because I certainly don't want Destini to grow up like this, that Sunday is now our "outing" day.  So far so good!  Baby steps....

For the past couple of weekends we have been getting out on Sunday's.  We went to the outlet stores in Anthem last weekend, then stopped by Metrocenter Mall, then to Outback Steakhouse for lunch.  Got Destini some cute cute clothes from The Gap, and of course, the Nike Outlet...both Bug and Destini got treats!  Hubby bought me some cute Nike's a few weeks before that, so I was good:
This past Sunday we went out to Avondale to Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Now see if I wasn't such a "boogie" and scared of my own "shadow," I would have went to the store that my friend works at out in Chandler, but again..."Im a BIG boogie."  I know she had to work this past Sunday too, and hubby was all for the drive to surprise her, again I talked myself right out of it, too far I said.  I swear it's such a horrible fear!  I'm gonna work on it, though!  Star, I love you and I really did want to surprise you this weekend!  But don't fear sistah, I'm gonna make it out there, I really am!!!  Have faith in me, please!

We went to BBB out in Avondale instead, like I said, and spent dang near 300 bucks, because that's so easy for me to do there!  Nothing was a necessity really, except for my Yankee Candles.  If you've never tried them, I HIGHLY recommend you do!  They are kinda expensive, but worth the extra money.  And especially the 3-wick (the one in front), those are the ones I buy:
Second thing that caught my eye was The Cuisinart Stainless Steel pots and pans.   Been wanting me some for quite a while now.  I have pots and pans, true enough.  But I wanted the Cuisinart heavy duty stainless steel.  I'm working on my "Cuisinart" kitchen.  It's so unlike me to be impulsive -- as I'm a miser too -- but it did offer a 30 dollar rebate, and I said....."SCORE!"  Hubby was happy that I was happy....that's what makes HIM a good hubby! 
They are so dern purdy that after we got home I realized that I really want Mr. Camel to hang me a nice "pots and pans" holder from the ceiling.  So, guess what that means?  You got it, another "outing" next Sunday for Judy....How far will she wander from home????  Stay tuned.....

PS:  We went to MacCayo's for lunch/dinner after we got done shopping, gotta say....WASN'T IMPRESSED!  I haven't been in a long time, but it just wasn't the same to me.  I was bummed :/

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