You all know me as Zoey's voice, her advocate, and her mama. There are things about me that I don't typically share...I think it's time!
I don't talk about it, because I don't ever hear anyone else talking about it. It's not talked about openly, it's made fun of, quite often, actually. When you see a TV show or movie depicting a person who struggles, suffers, and hides away because of it...it's so taboo that you won't even hear it referenced by its own name.
It's embarrassing, it's debilitating, it's life altering, and it is very real.
For those that suffer and struggle, they do so in silence, because no one wants to talk about it. We don't want to come out to tell our friends and family, we don't want to come out at all, and it's not that we don't want to, we can't!
You may hear words like "introvert," "homebody," "shy," "antisocial," even "snobby or rude."
You are invited to so many of life's events and you decline them, you own more pajamas than you do actual clothes, you most times take vitamin D supplements to help with the lack of sunshine in your day, and you take many medications for the anxiety that comes along with it, sleep medication is also in your medicine cabinet, and you fear that knock or ring at your door...all day long!
Your day consists of controlling your environment, that enviornment that consists of the walls around you, the physical walls as well as the emotional walls. Your main objective and number one priority is safety and peace. You rely on your safety person to do the things outside your walls that you cannot do, and you feel so badly about this and live with much guilt.
You can control what happens in your safety space, it's yours and it surrounds you and you need it to feel safe, outside of your safety space is not safe in your mind...no matter how many times you fight with your thoughts to say that it is, that nothing is going to hurt you, nothing bad is going to happen, you can walk out that door.
But you can't!
So you go on living in your safety place, surrounded by your safety walls, physical and emotional, you let people refer to you as an "introvert" even though that word does not explain the real you at all. You decline those invitations and come up with excuses, because you are the master of excuses, you've had years of practice and your friends and family are used to your absence.
It is never talked about, unless someone cracks that joke, that we all have heard..."she never leaves her house!"
I know what people think my life is like, but I'm gonna tell ya, it's not what ya think.
I want to leave my house, I want to do all of the fun things that you want me to do with you, I feel bad saying No or declining your invite, and I hate making excuses for myself just as much as you hate hearing them from me.
People leave their house to be among other people every day, they walk and talk among others in a world where there are no walls to hide or protect them, and for me and others like me, we need those walls just to be able to breathe. Without our protective walls we are struggling for air, just like a fish out of water, I'm more comfortable in my cozy fish tank, my own ocean, my own world.
It hurts, it's lonely, it exists...it's living with agoraphobia.