Friday, 22 June 2012

You CAN do it, Guest post

Once again i have asked another lively person to guest post for me. Sera is one of my favourite people on Twitter and i adore talking to her and reading her posts so after you've read and commented i would love it if you went to visit her site and saw what a great blog she has.

So without further ado,

The Agoraphobic Fashionista x



Big Fashionista, being the gracious host that she is, has the kettle boiling (somewhere in cyber space) and she has urged me to speak to you all about a very particular subject. That subject is Agoraphobia. We may need more tea to get through this!
What is Agoraphobia? Explained in a broken down, simplistic manner it is quite literally a fear of the outdoors. When we go deeper into what it actually is it becomes apparent that Agoraphobia is a severe anxiety disorder, it’s a panic disorder, a fear of situations beyond our control which is linked to the outside world.
I know this because I am agoraphobic. I also live with Bi-Polar Disorder though do not make the mistake in thinking the two are anything alike. They may have ties to one another that I have created somehow but they are completely different in their essence. This is important as it goes to the core of trying to understand these disorders….
It’s just a wonderful word, isn’t it? Disorder.
That word would insinuate that I have no order in my life what with all the Disorders I’ve been diagnosed with. Oh the irony! In my life there is nothing BUT order. There has to be.
I am, at the moment, trying my best to make it out the other side of this current bout of agoraphobia. It has hit me before but never for this long.
It’s been over 6 months since I’ve graced my childhood home with my presence.
It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve been on a night out.
I am not here to gain sympathy from anyone. Sympathy won’t help me.
Do you know what else won’t help me? Or anyone else in either my position or a similar one? When we get the ‘you can do it’ comments. Worse than that? Belittling agoraphobia. Making it out to be a case of I simply don’t want to go out that day. If only that were the case.
Example Routine for you:
So I’ve ensured every single thing in the house is in order. I’m starting to get palpitations at this stage. I then get myself ready to go out. At this point I’m practising the whole deep breathing thing. I move on to getting my son ready. Trying very hard not to hyperventilate. I manage to get his shoes on and my sight goes fuzzy. There is a banging in my head and I’m woozy. I have to fight to keep breathing deeply. That nauseous feeling is rising fast.
Now… this will either go one of two ways…
1. I will continue counting in my head and breathing deeply until I manage to stop the tears pricking at the side of my eyes. I open the door and I walk outside.
2. My husband or son will forget something, need to head upstairs to the bathroom etc basically disrupt the routine for a split second and my emotions bottom out. I’m a goner. There is no going out today.
Once outside that’s a whole new post I assure you.
Agoraphobia is a serious situation to deal with. All I ask of you today is that you spend a split second thinking about this post. It’s 2012. If we are going to Stamp Out Stigma we need to do it soon.
I would like to thank Big Fashionista for giving me her soapbox for a day to sound off to you all about a subject very close to home.
Hope I’ve not bummed you out completely :S
Sera
The Agoraphobic Fashionista
www.theagoraphobicfashionista.com
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15 comments

  1. Hiya Sera, thanks for sharing. My best friend struggles with this on and off and at varying degrees at different times. I also have had depression on and off over the years ( who hasnt !)When someone says "pull your socks up and get on with it " or " smile it may never happen" or in my friends case to get told " whats the worst that can happen when you go out, its ok " is really helpful...NOT...I struggle with the urge to say twats sorry Kel didnt mean to lower the tone ;) But I do actually know that for the most part as with most things in life its ignorance and the more people share their feeling perhaps the less we will hear of these comments?
    Loving your guest posts hun but miss you hope your having a great holiday x

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  2. Thanks for the comment Jo and I wouldn't worry about the tone being lowered lol I'm sorry you've had dealings with depression - she's a dark master and as for your friend? I really hope they're in a good place. xx

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    1. She surely is Sera... I'm very lucky to have good friends whom I can laugh drink and share with. My other friend is good.. up and down, but really good at sharing and laughing too. We like to think we are the queens of piss taking-- of each other of course (after a few glasses i liken myself to Catherine Tate and think i'm hilarious lol )
      Xx

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  3. Another awesome guest post. Very enlightening and educational, can't actually imagine how hard it must be day to day to cope with something like this. You're absolutely right 2012 years of culture and there's still stigma, least we have you to spread the word :)

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  4. My mum is an agoraphobic with ocd, she goes through boughts of not going out. She can be fine then poof, she won't go out apart from to take my little girl and me to the school for which she stays firmly in her car!
    The panic when she does come out when she won't admit to not being up to it is heartbreaking and I have had to rush her out of shops on many occasions before she has a full on panic.
    It makes me sad, but thankfully no-one else really notices so we don't deal with stupid comments that really help no-one!

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    Replies
    1. KD I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. It's great that you are so understanding though xx

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  5. I'm a therapist and cannot thank you enough for sharing your story. Stamping out Stigma is a huge task and I greatly admire those willing to share their story to help the cause.

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  6. I think I may be KD's mum. I am the same, I went for 2 years without going out unless I knew exactly where I was going, how I was getting there and that there was a way to get home easily again if I started to have a wobble.

    I can't say I have gotten "better" I have improved though, I now work 2 nights a week in a Residential Home, the rest of the time I am at home caring for my hubby who has severe epilepsy or at my mumma's looking after her.
    Sounds weird,but helping and caring for others seems to of helped me as well. I think it's cos it takes my overworking brain off of what could go horribly wrong as I'm thinking of how can I help so and so with their issues.

    Agoraphobia is is just horrid. I hate it with a passion.

    I love the good days, the bad days I just stay at home.

    Masses of love o you Sera <3 xo

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing Raven, so much. It's brilliant to see everyone discussing it so openly! xx

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  7. Thank you for giving us an insight into what it's really like Sera. As (I hope) you already know, I think you're amazing.

    Nic xx

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  8. Sera, thanks for posting. I read your blog and admire your openness. Similar everyone who has competed so far i have depression and anxieties. Since my twin daughters were still born in early 2010 I've struggled being in many public spaces. I have a few safe places and routes to get me there and slowly I'm starting to expand those places. It's time consuming and exhausting, but I promised my girls I'd do it and for them I will. I work full time and returned to 6 weeks after thier birth and put on a brave fact while I'm there. I now know I went back too soon, iI feel trapped in my daily routine, but worry if I break the routine I'll break too.

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