I have had periods where I stay home all the time. Weeks. It becomes overwhelming to leave. Sometimes I struggle to leave my bedroom, even to go downstairs to get food. Sometimes even leaving my bed is hard because it seems like the most secure place to be except when I hear people breaking in. My husband takes care of things for me. He tends not to go grocery shopping for anything but essentials like milk and eggs or easy things like frozen pizza, though. We usually have a decent stockpile of food because we have a very large walk-in pantry and a deep freezer, so we are normally okay when this happens. We run out of fresh fruit and vegetables, but we make do.
I eventually venture out again, usually with my husband. Even when I am “okay” and get out of the house, I have a hard time going out alone. People overwhelm me. I find them frightening. I avoid WalMart in particular because there are so many people there. I go to my local grocery store because it is smaller, there is less traffic to get there, and there are fewer people. Less stress all around. I have an easier time going places that are close to me and that I am familiar with. I have lived in this area for 11 years now and still get lost easily because I don’t go out very often and don’t have a sense of direction. This makes things worse for me. It’s very distressing, and I panic when I get lost, so I hesitate to go new places. It keeps me from trying new things sometimes. It kept me from a NAMI meeting last month.
When I am at home and can’t leave the house, I am usually depressed, so I don’t do much. I sleep a lot. I spend a lot of time wallowing in guilt because I feel like a failure for not getting out and being productive. I cry. I talk to my family on the phone. I surf the internet searching for something I never find.
You are not alone. I may not be a complete shut-in, but I have my moments. It sucks.