Exposure #1

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My first outing after being home for a week straight; went to a shopping center about 5 minutes away from home.

I’ve been experiencing some set backs lately after a public panicky moment; I think it was because of the stress that comes along with holidays. It seems to bring mental illness more to the forefront; lots of feelings of guilt and comparison. Wishing I felt good enough to enjoy the holidays, without anxiety overwhelming everything. I felt sad that I didn’t feel capable of traveling home to see my family for the holidays.

Before I took this pic, I walked around a department store for 15 mins before it was about to close. I made it through the whole store but felt quite uncomfortable the whole time. I felt a little light headed and had labored breathing. I was tempted to leave before we made it through the whole store, but I stayed! I didn’t buy anything because I wanted to avoid the dreaded check out line.

My boyfriend wanted to go to the car wash afterwards but I had him drop me off at home first before he went. Any situation that makes me feel “stuck” really triggers me. Even if for a moment. Check out lines. Waiting rooms. Even if I pause too long while walking. I feel like I have to always be in motion to feel calm. Stillness makes the panic feelings rise.

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