TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Overstimulation

Confessions of an Agoraphobic

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I will do almost anything to stay at home. Granted I have a few chronic illnesses that keep me in but it is mental illness that is the real challenge. Mental illnesses, plural, and phobias, to be more exact. Bipolar Disorder, Asperger’s, OCD, Emetophobia, Claustophobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Agoraphobia. And I do what mentally ill people do.  I isolate.

Life can be lived through the ethernet. Luckily for me and many others. One can stay in the apartment for days. Today, however, I had to go out. My husband asked me to check the car. And there was shopping to be done and a trip to the post office required. Shit! Forgot to take major meds last night and was not in good shape yesterday either.  Dreading going out!  A one mile errand for me is like a trip to China. First off, take the missed meds. And make the preparations to go out, hiding money in case of a mugging, packing a phone, emergency meds and emergency numbers for my husband, etc., etc., etc.

Then comes the moment of truth, going out the door. Meet a neighbor and surprised that could handle her in my fragile state, and was, in fact, good with her. Not always the case. Helped a new neighbor and walked out the door into the street. A man coughing. He may vomit. Terrified of vomit and vomiting. I search out the streets and buses for people who look sick or sound sick, coughing, etc. The origin of this phobia– an alcoholic father who was often sick, but knowing that does not help matters. Make it past the coughing man and note his location to look for vomit on the way back.

Then there are all the unknown. This is New York City after all. Dirty, smelly, overstimulating, overcrowded, noisy New York City. People approaching you for good causes, bogus causes, begging, anything is possible. It is not like I am a newcomer here, having lived in New York City for six-plus decades and worked all over the city for three of those decades. Until I couldn’t any more.

Someone once asked me what was there to be afraid of? What could possibly go wrong? Oh, wrong question. I could easily rattle off twenty-five scenarios of disaster and then some. But this morning surprisingly and unusually, am happy to be outside. Greet my Indian newsstand lady friend and my friendly Hispanic super next door. All goes smoothly. The clerk in the post office ends on a kind note after my botched addresses had to be fixed. It actually, and can’t believe I am saying this, but, it actually feels good to be out.  Give a beggar a dollar and talk to him. Feeling good outside is a rarity. Perhaps it is the missed medication. Secretly I still believe the medication takes away something good in me. Still suffer from the delusion that all ills come from the medication, though “know” I cannot function without it. Actually perhaps it is doubling up on the dose that helps. Perhaps I should be on a higher dose of the anti-psychotic. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Trip over. Glad to be back home. Didn’t feel faint until back home. One of these days  will venture out to shop for a new pair of jeans. One of these days…

(For more writing on battling mental illness please see my e-book, “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things” on Amazon.  Also available on Smashwords, iBooks and Nook.)

 


Rapid Cycling

Patterns of the microcosm
echoed in the macrocosm
vibrating thoughts
no meditation
lots of frustration
can’t calm down
do the Hong Sau
Yogananda method
the only hope
in this mind
doing 120 mph
in a 35 mph zone

 

time soon for sleep
frogs singing
a pre-dawn high
drained at noon
rapid cycling
twilight now
back to racing
raving
raging mind
need gentility
humility
quietude
to feel awe
to ponder
hit “Pause”

love in the afternoon
a natural anti-
depressant
sent sight soaring
in space
seeing patterns
everywhere
echoing symphonically
in noisy ears
the hum of quiet
seems too loud
flashing lights
status migrainous
with all over
crawling feeling
“not-theres”

stop I say
stop I pray
stop the way
the world spins
hurling in space
the race
the pace
exhaustion
please
take this body
in your arms
work your charms
on this alarm-
ing state
with alacrity
the paucity
of peace
needs mending

Oh evening
send hope
for ending
these frantic antics
quell the panic
break the day
and bring on
the dawn
of dreams