Monday, February 20, 2006

Don't Panic......... I Wish!

"going round and round '
cause you can't get on your feet
going round and round
still taking all the heat
going round and round
never touching down "

1. A morbid fear of being closed in a confined space.

"If you are living with confined spaces phobia, what is the real cost to your health, your career or school, and to your family life? Avoiding the issue indefinitely would mean resigning yourself to living in fear, missing out on priceless life experiences big and small, living a life that is just a shadow of what it once was.

Like all fears and phobias, confined spaces phobia is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. At some point in your past, there was likely an event linking confined or small spaces and emotional trauma. The original catalyst may have been a real-life scare of some kind, the condition can also be triggered by myriad, benign events like movies, TV, or perhaps seeing someone else experience trauma.

But so long as the negative association is powerful enough, the unconscious mind thinks: "Ahh, this whole thing is very dangerous. How do I keep myself from getting in this kind of situation again? I know, I'll attach terrible feelings to confined or small spaces, that way I'll steer clear in future and so be safe." Just like that confined spaces phobia is born. "

Okay, so all this describes me quite well. I remember when I used to think that was just a fear of being locked in a small box or something, but just like most bad things in life, it has a tendency to grow like a cancer spreading all over, dropping its disease on everything and every place.

Quite frankly, I am freakin' sick of it.

Mine makes it, not only seemingly impossible to get on a plane, but has gone so far as to make it practically intolerable for me to be in a car with another human. I hate malls, upper floors on any building, buses, and anything that leads me to feeling closed in or trapped without a fast exit.

I do drive with others at times. It is usually when my stress level is pretty low and I have better control over my tendency to not go into total panic and "get me out of here or I am losing it NOW" mode. I'll drive my kids to practice or to a friend's house in town even on high alert times. It is just the constant monitoring of the level each day that also contributes to the plunging quality of life, it blows BIG TIME.

I do not miss out on things that would make my life hard to live. I get most anyplace I have to and a lot that I just want to, but dr appts are a nightmare for me. Gyn appts top the list for obviously reasons, such as naked with legs up and out. Of course they are not really a party for anyone.

The part that crushes me the most is the "getting there is half the fun" thing. I miss jumping in the car with friend's and family, shopping for hours, going on trips, or just driving around to get out and chat. I mourn that daily. Sure, when I have to get somewhere a few hours away, I just do it, but not without more traumatizing horror to re-enforce my already irrational body responses and mind torture.

I often tell people it is really hard to live with a totally rational mind that responds in totally irrational ways to something that isn't a threat. Knowing that makes it seem easy to fix, but nothing could be further from the truth. Someone once told me what the mind cannot find a way out of, the body will. I stat feeling detached, faint, short of breath, disorientated, and like the world is spinning around me. The sense of doom and the uneasiness of mind is horridly painful as well.

I used to try and hide it when it started about six or seven years ago. I made excuses, worked around it and never shared the pain I was in over it. The stress of that was unbearable. People generally just can't understand it and why should they if they don't experience it? They figure if it doesn't actually kill you, why not just do it and suffer the hell. But I would challenge those people to imagine everytime you did a daily task that you knew you would get a painful, numbing electric shock that hurt terribly. Everytime you had to do that task again, you knew that the shock was coming. Would you not maybe start avoiding it just alittle?

With all the stress of moving, among other things, I am just being challenged by it again in a bigger way than normal. So, I had to vent a bit. Tomorrow I hope to write about the drunken birthday bash!!! Unfortunately, us teens from the 80's know how to drink, play drinking games and make a royal ass out of is like riding a bike. No matter how much older you get, you never forget how to do it and, damn, we do it up right!


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