I’ve been . . . busy for four and a half years, and slacking off for the last three weeks. I have the world’s worst case of cabin fever. I dropped off an application for volunteer work a week ago and I’m getting ready to hop in the shower then make a call to follow up on it, Does anyone have any advice for getting over agoraphobia? I mean, other than getting a cup of coffee and going to the park – who wants to do that? I know it’s just a matter of forcing yourself to do things, at least on some level, but I’m looking for a magic bullet too. I’m 37 and my dad’s health is failing. He’s 70. My mother has Alzheimer’s and will probably be in a nursing home in the next year. It’s very frightening, the idea of being essentially all on my own soon. I don’t know how to cope with the death of my father. He’s been a rock through all this, through what recovery I’ve made. Even my psychiatrist of 15 years is approaching retirement. He does my therapy too and I’m scared of losing him. I’m not on good terms with my brother. I have an aunt that gives a damn, but little else. I f—ing refuse to spend the last 30 or 35 years of my life cooped up in a paid-off condo, doing nothing with my life. I’m more content than I imagined possible when the symptoms first started but I just can’t.
I know all this reeks of “Save me, save me, save me.” There’s no one. I lost all my online friends to a three-year online-relationship-type thing that nothing came of. I’m lonely and the walls, the damned walls are killing me. I have no one to talk to about this, no one to turn to for genuine kindness. And every night the hallucinations come, My shrink tells me he can’t medicate me more thoroughly without keeping me in bed. It’s stress, I know. He gives me 40mg of Dexedrine a day and if I take a half dose, I spend the day on the sofa. It’s as though I’m struggling to find a hook to hang something on. Not blame or shame, though maybe those too, but an entire life. I try to do what seems prudent, and it’s all a mess. None of it’s what I want, none of it brings me what I want. I’m building the foundation for a future that’s too far removed for me to guess it’s shape.
Thank you for giving me a place to post this. I have too much pride to tell anyone, and I couldn’t bear the letdown of a reply that didn’t even seem responsive. You’re a bunch of strangers these days – I haven’t been here for two or three years – so I don’t expect much. Besides, what can anyone do? “I cannot lift your burden. Let me make it easier to bear for ten minutes.” At least you understand what it means to have a life defined by one word: struggle.