Every once in a while I test my agoraphobia and panic head on. This is probably not the best idea in the world as it sometimes backfires on me but I tend to be a ‘lets just do it’ person. I have no patience with what all the books say about desensitizing one self. Besides it is hard to slowly desensitize yourself in a small town. I have gone as far as I can here. I still have big problems with box stores and malls. None of which are in my town. So to practice as the books suggest it would mean a lot more travelling on top of what I already do. And I just don’t have the time for that. Sometimes living in a rural area really sucks when it comes to this kind of stuff.
Once a year this area has a major event that has a parade, midway and such. Within this event there is a major attraction that people from at least three provinces as well as people stateside attend. A town of two thousand swells to a minimum of 40,000. It is quite the spectacle for us locals. I tend to try to avoid all the madness but decided this year to go for it. I wanted to see if I could at least control my panic and agoraphobia. I really hate having this disorder, it gets in the way of things that I want to do. I also tend to be an all or nothing type of person. Anyway I went to the place where this attraction was being held. I wanted to see it up close and personal. This meant that I had to enter a fenced in soccer field. And nope, I wasn’t going to hang around a fence gate like I would normally do. I sat in the middle of the field with people crowding all around me, like thousands of people.
Now, when I was wandering around trying to find a place to sit among all the sprawling bodies, I kept talking to myself. ‘you can do this’ ‘you’re not really trapped’ ‘you can leave here if you need to’ ‘you are in a familiar place’ ‘just ride it out, it will pass’. When I finally found a place to sit I started to look around. I realized that it would not be easy to escape especially in the dark. Everyone was sitting or lying haphazardly all over the place. I could feel the panic start to rise. With much effort I was able to keep myself from falling over the edge of no return.
After the event I was happy that I was able to make it through without bolting like a scared rabbit. I won this battle, I just wish that I could win the war.