Big City Big Stress

Something happened last night in my therapy session that was extremely out of character for me. But first I will give you a lead up to the session.  I had a really hard weekend in regards to my panic disorder and agoraphobia.  I belong to a province wide volunteer organization.  This organization requires specialized training as do most volunteer organizations.  The organization is split into two regions because of the size of the province.  We train within our own regions at least two times a week all year round to keep our skills up.  The reason for this is that we are tested by the police force in order to receive and maintain certification.  Sorry to be so cryptic here but anyone in my area could figure me out if they googled something I wrote specifically.  This volunteer work involves an animal and I really love it.  It gives me something to focus on besides myself.

 But there are some definite downsides to it because of the agoraphobia. On Saturday the organization had their AGM in the biggest city in the province.  The two regions come together for this meeting.  Problem number one. I don’t do really large cities well.  All that motion and commotion seems to overload my senses and my anxiety goes off the meter trying to cope with it. 

The training session itself went well.  It was outdoors in some half started development area. Then the group decided to have lunch before the meeting. They decided to have lunch in the largest mall in the largest city.  Problem number two.  I don’t do malls. I haven’t been in one in about 13 years.  So now I have the problem of going into the vastly huge food court while trying to act normal.  Let me tell you it is hard to walk while my toes are trying to dig into the floor for support.  I have this constant sensation that I am about to fall over.  Where is the shopping cart when you need it?  Of course we all sat at this picnic table where I have nothing to lean back on for support.  Now not only do my toes hurt from trying to grip the floor, my hands hurt from gripping the table.  Thankfully we didn’t linger over lunch!  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!  It took every ounce of energy just to stay in the food court and act somewhat normal.  My pdoc would be so proud of me.  And yes I’m being sarcastic.

The meeting lasted 4.5 hours but at least it was in a smallish room that I felt comfortable enough in.  It turned out to be an emotional meeting concerning some items that we were voting on.  Unfortunately one woman was resorting to what I call emotional bullying.  I was getting really angry but I kept my mouth shut because I’m not sure if standing up to her would have been productive at the time.  But then again I hate confrontation and probably just chickened out.  By the time the meeting was finally over any energy that I had left from the city and mall experience was totally gone.  

On Sunday morning I felt like I had been hit by a mack truck.  I felt physically sick and emotionally unstable.  On top of it all I was wondering about my next therapy session, wondering if it was going to really happen.  Much to my dismay I haven’t been dealing very well with all the cancellations and switching of sessions.  Which brings me to Tuesday’s session…

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2 Responses to Big City Big Stress

  1. Harriet says:

    That does sound incredibly stressful, but good for you for sticking it out. It stinks that it left you feeling sick the next day too though. Hopefully you won’t have to go back to a mall for another 13 years. I try to only go when I know it won’t be crowded – never on weekends or during busy times of year.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I hope I don’t have to see the inside of a mall anytime soon as well. When I have to shop I also pick times when there will be the least amount of people. I also pick an obscure till that nobody is using. This affliction really sucks but I guess it could be worse.

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