Anxiety: The Hardest Part about Being Outside


You see me at the grocery store with a smile plastered on my face making up reasons why you haven’t seen me in a while, Appearing calm and in control on the outside is a great effort on my part. It has taken me several months to even attempt this trip to a store. I smile and nod while you chatter away but inside my head, I am screaming in your face.

“I don’t want to chit chat! I don’t want to stop and say hi! Can’t you see it is taking all my energy not to run!”

As you see me walking my dog and stop me to chat . Inside my head, I am screaming ”

this is the first time out of my house in months! I am fighting with my demons not to run and scream back into my house slamming the door behind me!” 

As you insist on telling me about the neighbor’s dog that was attacked and killed in her yard, triggering my fear of my own dog being attacked again. I stand outside your gate shifting from one foot to the other trying to show concern on my face and not fear.   Inside my head I am screaming

“Don’t you see it takes all my strength to walk out the door. I have no energy left to interact and appropriately react to your mindless chatter!”

As I walk out the door I pray that no one is outside. That no one recognizes me. That no one acknowledges that I exist in their outside world. It is hard enough to cross the threshold of my safe inner world.

This is the reality for me and other’s who deal with Anxiety and Agoraphobia.  So if you see me out and I don’t respond it’s not because I’m being unfriendly or stuck up.  It’s because the voice in my head telling me to run is so loud I can’t hear anything else. 

16 thoughts on “Anxiety: The Hardest Part about Being Outside”

  1. We still have much to learn about non visible challenges people face such as anxiety and agoraphobia. Also, I think what might make it harder is people are more rude and crude than days of yore and are proud of it. Not.

  2. I agree with Rosie, people can be cruel and rude, especially on the Internet. As Ellen says “Be Kind To One Another!” We all need to practice that more – afterall, kindness is classy.

    1. Maybe more posts about being kind and doing random acts of kindness are in order. Especially with all this bullying going (even with Trump – shaking my head). We need love, kindness, respect and understanding!

  3. It is really hard to deal with anxiety. I think the best thing is to just try to remember that you aren’t alone. Just take it day by day and do what you can.

  4. I didn’t leave my house unless absolutely necessary for like 6 years. I finally one day said enough and forced myself to start doing more. I still have anxiety but I have been able to trudge past it for the most part. I totally get where you are coming from.

  5. Jerry Marquardt

    Sorry to hear about the pup, but I am so sorry you have to live in fear to be able to let the pups out again after all you have been through. I would be afraid to let them go out.

  6. This post really hits home.. When I personally have to leave the house it takes me a day to get up the strength to go.. Actually it takes that day plus the morning to stop my heart from pounding. Usually I lose sleep also the night before. When I do get outside in the grocery or the mall I look down and pray that I can get my details done and back in the car home.. I sympathize and totally feel empathy for you….

  7. Oh, this is so me! My daughter is a social little girl and wants to go to the park when other kids are there to play with (of course!) Every instinct is telling me, “Run, Flee, Now!” It’s a daily struggle.

  8. I am so sorry that you are going through this, you have enlightened us on this problem. I have recently found this book to be most helpful, if you want you can Google it. Switch on Your Brain : The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health By Dr. C Leaf

    All the best dear friend.

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