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Agoriphobia


DEBIT
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8 years ago 0 DEBIT 152 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Good on you M, so glad , i knew you would be ok, small wins become big wins
xxx
Davit
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8 years ago 0 Davit 6252 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
~m

Congratulations.  It can only get better.

Here for you
Davit
~m
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8 years ago 0 ~m 376 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi guys! I'm back.  I survived.  I'm exhausted and exhilarated both. Really did use you all as an anchor to stay grounded and calm for the most part.  The trip out was horrendous as we drove into the worst snow storm this area has had in decades.  fortunately, dh drove and we do have AWD. I did the 10 questions to challenge my negative thoughts before I left.  It actually helped knowing what the worst thing I feared was and how bad that would be if it happened... AND realizing that whether I worried myself sick or not would not factor into whether or not it even happened.  The storm actually helped take my mind off my "worst fear".  Coming home was a piece of cake (with sparkling icing from the snow :) I even drove part of the way... with no anxiety... just felt really strong.   I also remembered to take care of me and when all the activity got to be too much, I opted out of going every single place with the whole family.  It provided some nice calm spots where dh and I could reconnect and just enjoy some quiet.  That part was good too.  Thank you all for the positive energies and thoughts and prayers.  I really felt stronger for it and not so alone. 
Tiana-  Health Educator
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Hi ~m,
 
I'm glad you are preparing yourself! You are strong, you can do it!
 
Good insight here, folks. It's very helpful to have such awareness as it can help you plan and cope.
 
Tiana, Health Educator
DEBIT
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8 years ago 0 DEBIT 152 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Thanks Davit, i will think about what you have said, i used to love driving, i dont know what triggered it, but seeing a bad car accident on the news or on the side of the road, may have something to do with it, and as you say i am focusing on the worst thing that can happen, you really have a lot of constructive things to add and i look forward to reading what you and the others in the group have to say, it does help
 
M
My mum lives 45 minutes away and i have been to her house every christmas for 17 years this year i decided i could not drive there (without even trying) and had everyone come to my house, it was nice to stay home for a change but i also wish i could have given it a go, i will do it this year, sometime, i like being at home also but i also think i have spent to much time at home and that has been my problem.
My new driving mantra is, im a good driver, im a safe driver, ive been driving for 25 years, i feel that it is a postive statement that i can tell myself while i am driving to not focus on the negetive, im gonna try anyway, two weeks i have to take my daughter to the orthordontist its about 20 minutes away, i have driven there perfectly ok sometimes and driven there anxious so its a coin toss as to how i feel, but i have to do it so i will.
 
I hope you have fun on your trip, as Davit said we are all there with you and your success is our teacher
 
My cats name is Muffy, my daughter takes lots of pics of her (we call it) modelling lol
 
xxx
Davit
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8 years ago 0 Davit 6252 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
~m

If you can't be here we will still be with you, just reach out to us we will be there. We will bethinking of you also. Reach out and hold our hands. It may just be virtual but use us as an anchor, as a safe harbour, we are always here for you. Enjoy your trip. Concentrate on all that is good about it. We will want to know all about it, Nosey I know.

Here for you,
Davit

sunny123
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8 years ago 0 sunny123 1665 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Good morning Debit and M:  I used to be anxious driving in unfamiliar territory - still am a little but as Davit says, it is a choice and I choose to go and do it!  What I want to add to this discussion is the coping techniques - don't underestimate these.  They are a great help.  Before going on a road trip or doing anything you may feel anxious about, do your relaxation and breathing exercises faithfully, every day.  Just before leaving, do the exercises.  When you feel stress beginning, take those deep breaths.  It works. 
 
Your friend, Sunny
~m
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8 years ago 0 ~m 376 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Uh, oh ... me too DEBIT..  I'm ok in my own territory... over specific "safe" routes, but getting off the beaten path is torture. I'm glad you brought this back up because I've been needing to post about it and have been too ... anxious to do so.  I guess I've been avoiding thinking about it because I'll do anything to avoid thinking anxious thoughts (my biggest way to avoid is to numb out with alcohol.  Interestingly enough, I absolutely refuse to drive when I have had anything to drink.  Thus drinking has been another excuse to stay home... duh... I just realized that.)
 
Anyway, I've been needing to write about this because I am heading out on a road trip with family (I'm to be the official bbsitter) and am in high anxiety over leaving my house alone during bad weather and leaving my critters in the kennel.  Ok, Ok ... I don't like to leave home ... period.  Nevertheless, I agreed to make this trip and will do so. 
 
I do have a few new tools I've learned at the Panic Center to help contain/manage/disperse the anxiety.  Except I haven't even started the exposure work session so I'm kind of jumping in without knowing how to do it successfully. I'll be fine once I get out there ... I hope... (the fear of the fear is the worst part!).  Any good thoughts and energy and prayers you can send my way during the next few days would be most appreciated.  I'll be taking my laptop but don't know if I will find wifi spots in order to log on.   I will try. God knows I need to be here.
 
Love your kitty picture DEBIT ... she makes me smile.  Thank you for sharing that.


 

Davit
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8 years ago 0 Davit 6252 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Debit

As you have said yourself this is a control thing. It has nothing to do with the car or driving. It has to do with you. The good thing is that once you get home it still goes away, for some it doesn't. So why? Why are some roads okay? It has to be a core belief built on a situation at some time that has caused this fear or is built on a previous core belief and now the reinforcement is enough to cause panic. And we always exaggerate the negative, never the positive. This is a survival thing to keep us alert and focussed but when it is false it causes panic. Now I have said this before. You do not have to know right at this moment what the trigger is that causes the panic. Your perception of the situation can change whether you shrug off the anxiety or let it build into panic. This is a coping skill and doesn't cure anything, what it does is allow you to survive a bad situation and build a positive level on a negative core belief. Once you can cope then you can look for the cause and change it. It could be influenced by a number of core beliefs. Believe me none of this comes out of the blue there is always a reason. At some time something traumatic has happened while driving. It does not have to be related to driving even. It only has to be something you can relate to driving. Things as simple as getting into an argument or something really sad on the radio. Something you spotted while driving that opened a path to a core belief that you have no control. And it could be something very small because in panic we always exaggerate the fear. (that survival thing)
That fear of having a panic attack is association. There are usually situations while driving that cause heightened anxiety. We usually ignore them, but now you are using them as a reason to panic. Looking for them before they happen. Being tense in traffic makes it worse. And since it is a control thing being on side roads gives you more control.
You can start by doing what you do in any agoraphobic situation. Put back the control. Tell yourself that it is your decision. You are in this situation because it is your choice to be here. You have the control not it. It is your choice. And you always have choice, whether it is driving shopping or going to the doctor. You can let anxiety rule or you can accept that it is your choice and you rule. And yes it takes time and work to change your way of thinking to this way because you have to do a number of things you may not be good at, such as being assertive.
Do you have low esteem? Could this be why driving bothers you. See there could be a number of reasons for your problem. Building coping and relaxation skills will give you the tools to do both the thought exposure and the physical exposure to get rid of this fear. 
Driving can be such a pleasure, you do not want to miss out on it.
If any of this sounds confusing, bring your questions here. Others will tell you how they cope, and that is a place to start.

Here for you,
Davit.
DEBIT
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8 years ago 0 DEBIT 152 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
This is exactly me and where 70% of my anxiety starts, in the car, i have been driving for over 20 years and always drove everywhere i wanted, now i take the back streets and only drive localy, there is no rational thoughts behind it, i know how to drive, i have a safe car, even in high anxiety i have managed to get home safely but i still have anxiety, i hate it as i feel like its stopping me from doing what i enjoy if i have to drive somewhere i usually overthink it before i go as i to am scared of having panic attacks while driving usually by the time i leave i am already anxious and when i get home it goes away
xxx

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