Anxiety on Wheels

Agoraphobic Frustration

Well, I’m currently laying in bed, in the van, in the Hardee’s parking lot. I’ve been out for about an hour and rush hour traffic is about. Actually, let me relocate down the road; this parking lot is somewhat busy and I’m parked crooked.

There we go. I’m at some sort of abandoned/closed bar.

Agoraphobia and panic disorder is the weirdest thing. My task for today is to get diesel fuel for the van as it’s almost out, however, I’ve yet to go to a local station that offers Diesel. There are a few within a mile or two, about 4 minutes down the road but I’m having a very hard time making it.

I was at a stop sign with much traffic a little bit ago, cross traffic does not stop. The feeling of the adrenaline and other stress hormones hit me in an instant. If you’ve never had a panic attack before, it’s the feeling of a dangerous situation; like a deer bolting in front of your car, having a gun put up against your head, almost wrecking your car or being hit. The issue with this extreme fear is that the activation of this nervous arousal is triggered by non-threatening situations, or phobias, such as being too far away from home, claustrophobia, etc.

It’s not that I have any specific thoughts or worries I’m focusing on when I’m at the stop sign, or a stop light; or on the interstate, or whatever. Panic just hits me in the face with a shovel and ripples through my body like a shockwave. It’s highly unpleasant and all I want to do is run and return to a “safe place”.

As I write this

It’s highly frustrating because laying in this bed tapping away on my iPad I feel cool as a cucumber even though I’m pretty “far” from home. I could be literally anywhere right now, in California, Colorado, at the fucking gas station I need to refuel at. I’m not trapped, and even if I was; I’m pretty sure jumping in the back of the van and taking a nap would feel pretty amazing.

I also consider that I’ve been out almost two hours now, a quick trip to the fueling station would be 10 minutes round trip.

Let’s express some gratitude.

I made it through the Hardee’s drive thru and got some ice cream with zero issue. A month and a half ago, I couldn’t tolerate being home alone and Lo took off work for two weeks as even leaving to feed the cat sent me for a panic attack, of which likes I’ve never experienced (ugly crying, extreme terror).

Fuck, it took so much growth to get to the point where being home for work became easier while she went to work. I’m making strides, I can’t discount that and doing so would be unkind to myself.

Haha, I kind of feel like taking a nap.

You know, the only way I was able to start making it around the block was by feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I know this is the key to everything; it’s how I got over agoraphobia last fall, the self driving car project. I got bored of driving the same loop and started taking the highway. Within a week, I took the interstate. Within a month, I was driving wherever the Fuck I wanted; I drove to Key West.

I drove an hour each way to Lafayette repeatedly, multiple times a week. I got though more of my podcasts than I ever have.

It’s the same formula, exposure therapy. It’s the same thing I’ve been doing forever. The only way is through.

All I need to do is make it to the fueling station a few times and then I can go whenever I want to. Time is fear’s favorite meal, when will I make it there? I have to, the van is running low on fuel.

I’m gonna swing by home, get the stuff to make the bed, grab some other things and see how far I get.

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