|(Kitty has suffered from agoraphobia for years and writes of her progress from time to time as a guest blogger)
Daily Therapeutic Activities Are Helpful
When you have panic disorder and agoraphobia at the level that I’ve had it the past four years, you can seek Social Security disability income until you recover. It’s a very long road to get disability when you’re not dying. I applied three years ago and my hearing for the final decision is not until August. You can’t work while you’re waiting for disability because your disability keeps you from working. Even applying for a job disqualifies you for disability income. Being unable to work can diminish your self worth. Society tries to define people by what they do for a living. Well that’s bull. You have an abundance of worthiness.
It helps to feel like you’re impacting the world if you pick up a hobby where you work with your hands. I write and draw. I mostly write fanfiction, but that’s still writing. I post it online and I’ve even gained a small fan base. It puts a pep in my step for the whole day when I get a comment on one of my fanfictions saying that they loved it.
For drawing, I have a sketchbook and a pencil and that’s all I really need. Sometimes I use pose references from stock photos. I used to have a scanner and I would post the work online, but I don’t have a scanner anymore. Other people don’t have to look at something I drew to validate it. I look at it and I think “I made that, and I’m proud of it.”
You may say “But, Kitty, I don’t have any drawing or writing talent.” First of all, just try it and double check on that by showing it to people you know love you and will tell you the truth kindly. We’re all our own worst critics and maybe you just need practice. But even if you’re not good at those, you’re good at something, you just have to find it. Maybe knitting, maybe photography, maybe pottery, or sports.
Another way to feel like you’ve accomplished something is video games. Battle a dragon, save the kingdom, save the galaxy. It may be an artificial rush of accomplishment, but it’s a rush all the same.