May 5, 2009

Coming Out Of Hiding

I went to the park today. I probably wouldn't have gone to the park if I hadn't promised my therapist I would. Ya see she's trying to help me have a better quality of life so that the work the meds are doing aren't going to waste. She wants me to take advantage of any energy and motivation I'm feeling, which is easier said than done.

She made me choose something extremely simple to do but it had to be something that I actually wanted to do and would benefit from, otherwise I would be overwhelmed and even if I achieved the goal, would likely not stick to it in the long term.

It's a really weird therapy process that I have never heard of, yet it's so simple and makes so much sense. It takes into account how hard it is for people to take action in their lives in whatever way necessary when they're so used to hiding away in their apartment, no longer capable of maintaining any real schedule, thus being overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks... not even the task itself, just the idea of it: it has to be done - it seems monstrous when it's really very small and simple. If I have to do two things in one day? Forget about it! That becomes so overwhelming that I usually end up not doing either thing... there may be no logic in it, but it feels as real as the air we're breathing.

My existence consists of spending the day and night in my one bedroom apartment, mostly doing something on the computer. Sometimes I have to clean. Sometimes I have to shower. Sometimes I have to cook! Sometimes I have to run errands (omg).

I go out to socialize occasionally, but not much, and it's usually places where I'm already comfortable being like a friend's place, or my writer's meetings.

(the phone is ringing - I'm too scared to answer it because I don't know who it is). I hate talking on the phone and only do so when absolutely necessary, so I'm sure that has some effect on my social interaction.

I've been living like this (well actually I'm doing a lot better than I was) for years now... most of my twenties have been a losing battle.

So to the people who are reading this and wondering why I don't just CHANGE already, it is because it's all I know. I have mental illness, it makes me act and react and feel in ways that are often completely void of logic. It is quite possible that if I had gotten the proper help years ago, I would be living a very different life right now... but that's not the way life works... things tend to happen when they're meant to happen.

What the hell was this blog post about again?

Right, I went to the park.

And for reasons I cannot explain, I was sick to my stomach with anxiety at the thought of actually GOING to the park. I have no idea why. That kinda made me realize just how serious this is: if walking two blocks up the street to the park and sitting at a bench journaling for a half hour makes me that anxious and afraid, I must really have a problem because I did not anticipate that happening. Why would I? I'm not agoraphobic and I'm usually fine going out by myself when I feel like it... so what gives?

And then I got to the park and I seriously felt like people were laughing at me. No logic.

I found a picnic bench and proceeded to journal. I journaled about what I was thinking about the whole going to the park thing. The longer I sat there, the more relaxing and enjoyable the experience was. I kept trying not to look up from my journal because I didn't want to see anyone looking at me (wtf) but when I did, I noticed a girl had sat down at another bench by herself to read a book.

I tried not to look at her because I didn't want people to look at me so I thought I'd give her the same courtesy.

So I laughed at myself for being such an idiot and continued my journaling.

I stayed for fourty five minutes and would have stayed longer if it hadn't been so chilly (I despise cold!).

The walk home was better, except I thought this creepy looking man was following me so that was kinda scary, but I was just being paranoid o_O

So I don't know what any of this means, it's too big for me to try to wrap my mind around right now, too overwhelming.

I'm being guided by a very capable therapist toward a better quality of life and I believe if she sticks with me, it just might work!
But at the same time I'm still terrified. I'm still afraid to set any goals right now - if I make something a goal, I will be letting myself down for the millionth time if I fail. If it's not a goal and I fail, it's not as big a deal. It's stupid, but that's where I am right now.

Except for this going to the park business that I was tricked into doing ;) I'm supposed to do it two times this week and I'm afraid I won't be able to go a second time because it's supposed to rain all the way till Saturday. Or maybe I'm more relieved than scared.


I have a lot more to talk about but I'll have to do it in another post. More literary fun, film festival fun, stupid people doing stupid things, and creepy dates.

-Love Marylin


  1. Right on, Sister!
    Thank you so much for that post, I can totally relate to what you were saying about the feeling that everyone's looking at you. Quirky example: my first boyfriend made fun of my feet once and for the next twenty years I refused to go out in public in open toed shoes because I felt like everyone would be looking at my feet! Crazy what our minds will convince us of! Anyhoo, a few babysteps later and I am wearing sandals! But that first time was completely scary and I felt so naked, but all good things come with practice! Next I'm going to try wearing a swimsuit in public. Yikes!

  2. Good for you. I am glad it was a good experience. Anxiety comes up for me too around going out sometimes, other times not.

  3. That's wonderful. it's tough and I truly admire your strength.

  4. Stick with it sister! I have been on a similar journey for 4 years. My "going to the park" was going to the library and let me tell you they system works! Keep trying remember the road has ups and downs but there is no failure only new challenges.


  5. That's good advice, Jocelyn, I should definitely try to remember that :)

  6. Hey Marylin.
    I don't know I could be totally wrong here.
    But when you were asking yourself "Why would I? I'm not agoraphobic and I'm usually fine going out by myself when I feel like it... so what gives?"
    I think I know exactly why. When you stop doing those things you normally do and start letting the anxiety take over you are opening yourself up to go down that path.

    I remember reading (sorry Sunny if I am wrong in my remembering) Sunny's post once where she said there was this certain point where she could have maybe went either way before becoming agoraphobic.
    I think right now is the time for you to do what ever the fuck it takes to change this.
    Do you have a mp3 player? Because I get anxiety to sometimes. And when I go run or walk this keeps me from worrying about other people (Exercise also takes care of my depression as well-and I am a clinically depressed girl NOT on medication) I use to hate working out and resisted it in the beginning, but I'm so glad I started because it changed my life and my outlook 100%.
    Anyways. I hope this helps.
    much love to you Marylin


Thanks for reading <3