So the picture above is part of campus. It’s this in-between space. What you’re looking at in the background is the sciences and laws school campuses and if you were to look left from where these food trucks and people are you would be looking at Harvard Yard, which is where all the liberal arts are.
So I was in the library all morning yesterday writing and reading and I was like you know what it’s beautiful out right now. I’m going to get a tea and walk around for a bit. So I go for a walk. I walk past the Law School (which has some beautiful buildings), and my favorites are the zoology and biology buildings because they have big statues of animals and there are even animals engraved into the walls. Its really cool!
So, anyways, then I get back to this open part and I sit there and look and am like, you know what, this is actually a really nice spot. I was thinking about how when my parents come to visit in the summer maybe I’ll walk em around campus and we can get some food from the food trucks and stuff.
And then suddenly memories from Australia came rushing back into my head. Memories about walking outside of my apartment in the city and having this feeling rush over me.
This intense fear that I WAS GOING TO INSTANTLY DIE.
Can I get a “what what” from all the homies out there with agoraphobia? You know the feeling im talking about! That dizzy feeling. Your breathing becomes really hard. Your brain suddenly feels like its expanding and will quickly burst out of your skull. Suddenly your legs are shaking. You are now convinced this is it: You are for some unknown reason about to die. Maybe an undiagnosed illness? Maybe your food was poisoned? Maybe a heart-attack? You could say maybe forever but it doesn’t matter. Death is death, and the fact is, you’re going to die.
So you run and hide. Normally, back into your house….and then suddenly it all seems to slowly go away. And you feel fine. Your home is your safe space. The place where you can feel ok…. but really what its become is your tomb. Your life is now gone. Because you’re never able to be yourself in the real world. You’ve confined yourself into a life that is un-lived.
So here is another picture of campus I took yesterday. A picture of Harvard Yard:
Also, PS- I didn’t take these pictures for my own pleasure, I took them for this blog post. So please don’t think Im an awful photographer based on these haha! They’re purpose is just to show the campus.
Ugh, but look at me ramble on, ANYHOO, back to the story:
So you can see above, more open spaces with people in them. Again, for any of you out there with agoraphobia I know how scary these look. Trust me, I was there once.
SO WHAT DID I DO?
~ Well for starters I got myself back into therapy. I will never forget the end of my first therapy session in Australia. I sat there and said to my therapist, “So what am i supposed to do until next session?”. And she kind of gave me this look of like…what do you mean? And I was like… “Well do you have any advice as to how I’m supposed to walk home…without like…passing out and collapsing?”
Oh man, I was a handful.
~ Also, the suicide hotline and lifeline. CALL THEM. And no, don’t roll your eyes or give me that look or I’ll smack the shit out of you. CALL THEM. Trust me, I did….I used to all the time. Seriously! Call them and just be honest. Be like, “Look i’m not suicidal, but I’m overcome with this feeling that I’m going to die whenever I walk outside. Please be on the phone with me, and just be there”. The first few times I was even like, look here’s where I am. I either have agoraphobia, or have an undiagnosed illness that will kill me. Im going to start walking around…if i stop talking and you think i’m dead, call the cops.
Here are a list of all Lifeline numbers:
If the link doesn’t open, just google lifeline. The number for your country will come up.
~ Also, time. It takes time! Trust me, the first few times you walk outside its really scary! But after 100 times you’re like… well I haven’t died yet so maybe this is all in my head.
~But most importantly..and I mean this...
YES! It takes bravery. Sure, you can have a therapist, and you can call lifeline. And everyone can tell you its all in your head. But to us, its so real. The feeling of blood-curdling fear is there. And people who don’t have agoraphobia do not understand what that fear is like. So for you to go outside. For you to face the idea of dying straight in the face. For you to face your panic….it will take bravery. And never ever forget how strong you are when you’re able to go out there and rock shit out!
Ok so to sum it all up, lets use some Starship Troopers Gifs:
So, yes. Sometimes mental illness can seem like a giant scary alien insect that will surely kill you.
But you know what, with some hard work and determination, even taking down a giant alien space bug is possible.
Lookin’ good soldier.
Alright guys, keep up the good work!
~ The Dark Horse