Facing my facts...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 19, 2011 12:26 PM GMT
    I live in a major city. I used to occasionally search the forums on here for workout information. I am not involved in the forum community on here. I had been impressed by some knowledgable members, so I am posting this for anonymous advise.

    Anyhow, my living situation has reached a dysfunctional point and I don't know where to proceed. My partner of eleven years died last June. I am 33 years old. Since then, I think I have become or am becoming a prisoner of my own apartment. I don't use any drugs, and I rarely drink alcohol.

    It has reached a point where I am relatively certain that my car has been impounded, as I was unable to walk a few blocks to the garage to pay for a new sticker to put on my dash. This was in the beginning of October. I haven't checked my phone messages or opened any mail since then, either. I hired an older woman from craigslist to purchase groceries and run some errands, but I have been pretending to be working and recovering from an injury/surgery as an explanation. I am planning to find a new person, because I think she is beginning to suspect me of lying and looks at me strangely. The memories of our interactions are almost unbearable to me. I wish I could ask her to check on my car, but I am unsure how to ask that. Plus, I don't know how I would react to a confrontation, or simply if she asked where it was. She is the only person I have spoken to since mid-July and she knows my atm pin number.

    I have been experiencing other problems, but they are secondary to my anxiety. I feel like a bizarre creature who is literally hiding. It is hard to even consider how I have been passing my time.

    I am planning to seek professional help, but the thought is highly unpleasant. I have made preliminary phone calls and googled related words, only to become frustrated and overwhelmed to say the least. I have my own healthcare insurance, which I have never used before.

    I don't know where to turn. I haven't spoken with my family in years. If anyone has an idea of a practical starting point, I would be appreciative.
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    Dec 19, 2011 2:02 PM GMT
    needshelp saidI live in a major city. I used to occasionally search the forums on here for workout information. I am not involved in the forum community on here. I had been impressed by some knowledgable members, so I am posting this for anonymous advise.

    Anyhow, my living situation has reached a dysfunctional point and I don't know where to proceed. My partner of eleven years died last June. I am 33 years old. Since then, I think I have become or am becoming a prisoner of my own apartment. I don't use any drugs, and I rarely drink alcohol.

    It has reached a point where I am relatively certain that my car has been impounded, as I was unable to walk a few blocks to the garage to pay for a new sticker to put on my dash. This was in the beginning of October. I haven't checked my phone messages or opened any mail since then, either. I hired an older woman from craigslist to purchase groceries and run some errands, but I have been pretending to be working and recovering from an injury/surgery as an explanation. I am planning to find a new person, because I think she is beginning to suspect me of lying and looks at me strangely. The memories of our interactions are almost unbearable to me. I wish I could ask her to check on my car, but I am unsure how to ask that. Plus, I don't know how I would react to a confrontation, or simply if she asked where it was. She is the only person I have spoken to since mid-July and she knows my atm pin number.

    I have been experiencing other problems, but they are secondary to my anxiety. I feel like a bizarre creature who is literally hiding. It is hard to even consider how I have been passing my time.

    I am planning to seek professional help, but the thought is highly unpleasant. I have made preliminary phone calls and googled related words, only to become frustrated and overwhelmed to say the least. I have my own healthcare insurance, which I have never used before.

    I don't know where to turn. I haven't spoken with my family in years. If anyone has an idea of a practical starting point, I would be appreciative.


    To begin with sympathies on losing your partner. You're very young to be coping with that, and it sounds like you are having depression and/or panic disorder as a result of that. You've reached a point where I think professional treatment is required, but even contemplating that first encounter is traumatic for you. You don't like the way these encounters feel, but you also don't like how the isolation feels, I'm guessing, or you wouldn't be writing this. I wonder if there is any type of counselor you could break the ice with via on-line chat as it seems to be a "Safe" medium for you.

    It appears that what you are experiencing may be called agoraphobia. I found an online support group for people who are experiencing this at http://www.mdjunction.com/agoraphobia. I wonder if talking to other people who feel the way you do might be a start.
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    Dec 19, 2011 3:40 PM GMT


    "I am planning to seek professional help, but the thought is highly unpleasant. I have made preliminary phone calls and googled related words, only to become frustrated and overwhelmed to say the least."


    As a small first step, what about going to a grief counselor and see how that feels and fits?


    Here's something I picked at random that has some very interesting things to say.


    http://www.selfinlight.com/Bereavement.html


    One day Bill or I will be where you are now; by sharing like you did you also helped both of us (as others have on here that have a partner that passed on) in thinking about the future and ways to emotionally prepare and cope with it.

    -Doug
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    Dec 19, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    Do you have any family or friends who could help.....that is a devastating loss dude and you def need help. Just be honest with this woman who is helping you to keep your shit together. You are paying her so what will she care.

    I would though talk to a trusted friend/family member to handle your finances. This woman could rob you left and right....let her just take care of the grocery shopping but don't give her access to all your bank accounts....just get a credit card in her name with a low limit like 2000.00 so she can do all your shopping.

    It sounds like you kinda lost it though which is understandable. I'd suggest going to an inpatient treatment for 30 days.

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    Dec 19, 2011 7:42 PM GMT
    Look, I realize that you want to remain anonymous. But, it's evident that you need some help; maybe more evident to those reading your post than you, yourself, realize.

    Can you at least advise us of the State or the section of the country in which you live? Maybe, there is someone or a couple of guys on this site who can meet with you and help you figure a way out of you current situation.

    To others on this site:
    This is a guy who is seemingly in a very difficult place in his life, ALONE, who is reaching out for help because he is worried about himself. I don't know if I'm out of line here, but if we were in the same place, wouldn't any of us be incredibly appreciative if someone cared enough to offer to sit with us to help us find our way back to a safe and healthy life. Isn't this at least part of what ours lives should be about when it comes to others, especially those we can identify with.

    Sometimes, life can so overwhelm you that there seems like there's no way out. I live in New England, am retired, and would help you out in any way I could if you live in the Northeast. Please feel free to message me on this site.

    I hope there are others on this site who might be available to help in some way as well.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 19, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    What you are experiencing is not explained by grieving. The warning signs were probably there before your partner died, and his unfortunate passing became the trigger for something much more severe.

    Agoraphobia is a great guess, but you really do need professional help. If you live in a city where other RJ members live, perhaps one of them can recommend a good therapist or clinic where you could start with a diagnosis. But you have to say what city or region you live in.

    Having known other agoraphobics, you really can get through this, and later thrive. You are luckily still quite young and have much to look forward to.
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    Dec 19, 2011 9:03 PM GMT
    Please stop viewing this ad. I can't delete the ad because I deleted the profile.
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    Dec 19, 2011 9:28 PM GMT
    This made me cry a little and reminded me of when I lost my fiance. He was indeed my best friend. We knew each other a total of 7 yrs but dated 5 of those. I went through depress, PTSD, & did a lot of what you are doing. I had no choice but to keep going to school & what not so... I guess seeing my friends on a daily basis really helped me through the situation. It took me about 3yrs after losing Mike that I was remanded to get professional help. I resisted it but almost 7 yrs later I can look back & know it was the best thing for me. I worked through that personal hell and others I was dealing with. It's hard to take the first step.but you need to. It took me almost 5yrs before I considered myself ready to be in a relationship again & a lot of that was therapy. I also after having a new boyfriend went through more hell internally. I was scared to death at times that I'd lose him as I lost Mike. That was something else I had to work through. It sounds hard but you need to step out & find courage if not within yourself than from your partner's memory. I try my best to be myself & do the right thing always. But the truth is, I live everyday trying to be better than I was the day before & live how I know Mike would want me to live as well as live a life that would make him proud. Sometime I still hear him say,"Now, that's my guy." Work going on & take that step to healing. You need to & I'm sure just like mine your partner would want you to too. You will be in my thoughts & prayers.
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    Dec 19, 2011 11:17 PM GMT
    I does sound like you are dealing with major depression and agoraphobia, plus anxiety issues. The good news is that all three are readily treatbable, but you need to get professional help. You need to do that now, not later.

    To start there are a number of resources out there. Your local community mental health organization can help, or you may want to get a referral from your medical insurance carrier. Many times, local clergy can help, but if you are a sexual minority, you should first make sure that the clergy you contact is gay-friendly.

    You didn't mention this, but I also will put this on the table: If you are thinking about hurting yourself or someone else, call a suicide prevention hotline or 911 immediately. Thoughts of that sort are common with depression.

    I'd also add that your situation is nothing to be ashamed of. Struggles in life are common and we all have them; there's no moral failure involved in having a tough time.

    Please post and let us know when you get help and how that goes, or just send me an e-mail. Hang in there brother.

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    Dec 27, 2011 3:10 AM GMT
    I wonder how the OP is doing now?icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 28, 2011 3:05 AM GMT
    I thought I'd give an update on my circumstance, and thank anyone who commented with advice.

    On Christmas eve, I resolved myself to make an improvement in my condition. I had a panic attack a couple days prior, which isn't pleasant (by the way, the shower is a great place to regain control, if you ever feel it slipping). Anyhow, I decided to see the earliest showing of Mission Impossible at the theatre down the street on Christmas morning. It started at noon. My thinking was that there would be no other day of the year with fewer people at the theatre, so it was a perfect opportunity to make a stride.

    The next morning I got ready and called a cab. The moment that I stepped outside on to the sidewalk was indescribable. There is nothing as wonderful as fresh air, even in the city. It was a bit daunting, but the sensation of the cold air was intoxicating. In fact, I was reconciling months of sensory deprivation in one moment. I imagine that is how good drugs feel. I thought that everything was okay.

    The cab ride was also okay. I appreciated his impatience and indifference. I was even glad that he was foreign, which I believed made me seem less noticable. The same goes for the ticket purchase.

    I have good vision and sat in the back row.

    People began to file into the theatre, which was okay. All of the movie-goers seemed docile enough. I figured it was probably due to their joy from receiving gifts and holiday spirit. I was even affected by their smiles and friendly gestures.

    It wasn't until the previews started that I began to regret my decision. If anyone who reads this is ever shut-in for an extended period of time, I don't suggest seeing an action film. Mind you, I watch action films on Netflix regularly. It's my favorite genre. But, it's an altogether different experience at the theatre.

    It grew darker, thankfully. I couldn't look at the screen, but it was too loud to ignore. And it was really warm. I kept thinking how ridiculous it is to set the temperature so high. Once people acclimate, there's no way anyone can be comfortable at that heat, unless, of course, they have the circulation of an elderly person. So, I began sweating. Not a gym-sweat, but a cold-sweat. I never really sweat, unless I'm doing aerobic training, but I was sweating like a marathon-runner. To give anyone an idea, I was afraid I'd ruin my phone if I tried to use it.

    By this time there were at least fifty people in the room. I contemplated walking out, but that seemed like a worse idea than enduring the movie. Plus, I wasn't sure if I could stand, let alone walk. It would have been horrifying to have fallen on the stairs. I considered that that alone could have triggered some psychosis that I wouldn't recover from, ever. I was trapped, like the moment the seatbelt of the rollercoaster engages.

    I thought about the Rotten Tomato review of the movie, which was 93%. What if it were a really thrilling movie? The type that actually makes you jump at moments. I was regretting not seeing the new family-friendly film with Matt Damon. I was actually scared of how the plot of the film would unfold. I haven't been scared of a movie since my parents took me to see Gremlins when I was five or six. I am now a professional, grown, home-owning man, who can bench press 250 lbs, and I was reassuring myself that the movie I was about to watch wasn't real.

    I can't remember any of the previews or the beginning of the film. All of my memories of the movie begin with a car ride with Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, and the gorgeous heroine of the film. It's strange, though, how focus takes control. Once Tom Cruise came on screen, I was captivated. I'm not or have never been a big fan of his, but he was recognizable. It was as if a different part of my mind was activated. A part that wasn't failing. My hands were still clammy and I was still unbearably hot, but I was able to enjoy the movie for the duration.

    I even made it home.

    Since then, I have begun taking walks at 5am. Headphones are helpful. I still haven't checked on my car, but I don't that I am going to bother. I have also resumed attempts at finding a therapist.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 28, 2011 3:08 AM GMT
    get help man.... your life is slipping away from you, and your partner would not want this life for you.

    Live your life so that you honor him in everything you- not waste your life so you die alone without ever reaching your potential.
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    Jan 02, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    It's good that you have made some progress in getting out of the house and dealing with those fears. That said, you urgently need to take the next step of getting help. If need be, I recommend that you head to the nearest ermegency room. It sounds dramatic and inconvenient, I know, but you really need to get help.

    If you want, drop me a line and I will help you line up immediate assistance.
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    Jan 02, 2012 3:34 PM GMT
    Same. If you want to talk to anyone, you have myself and the other guys on the forum. Talk to someone. I hope you get better.
  • kanzanrr

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    Jan 02, 2012 6:47 PM GMT
    On Christmas eve, I resolved myself

    One step at a time, congrats on going out. We all have our areas to work on, I am probably dealing with some of your issues, socially isolating to a lesser degree (I absoulutely would check on my own car, but thats me) , I could also use an objective professional ear on this. Wish you the best on your progress, keep it up.
  • Trepeat

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    Jan 03, 2012 8:07 AM GMT
    Good job man! First step's always the hardest. Don't feel pressured to rush into doing something to drastically out of your comfort zone- slow and steady wins the race. I hope you continue your progress and wish you all the best!

    I have no idea if this is atually good advice, as I've never been in your situation, but I can't help but imagine that finding things you really enjoy outside of your apartment might be a great incentive to keep putting yourself out there. Could be something as simple as a tasty sandwhich or drink at a place down the street that you wouldn't be able to enjoy otherwise. The more you find to like out there, the easier it'll be to find the motivation to get out!

    Also, if you haven't seen this before, I'd reccommend an anime called "Welcome to the NHK". It's very fun and clever, detailing a cute story about a recluse in Japan.
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    Jan 03, 2012 8:32 AM GMT
    I read your follow up. You are not going to be able to "self-help" your way through this so please speak with a professional as soon as you can. People are not meant to go through what you've gone through alone. Nor are you alone. But you have to get to the person/people who can listen to your thoughts and can help you recover.

    By your writing, it's obvious you are quite aware of your feelings and are intelligent. This isn't an IQ related episode, however... this is your life trying to find you again. You're still alive. Find a professional who can help you understand why and help you celebrate it. You deserve more than to have to go to movies by yourself at odd times and having to walk at 5am with headphones. Let's get you some help man.
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    Jan 12, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    Well I'm glad that you took that first step. Believe it or not, we all have issues and demons we must deal with. Just most of us aren't brave enough to speak of them in a public forum such as this.

    You made the first step so don't stop now.Hopefully you will find that this whole situation is much ado about nothing. So keep your head up and don't quit now.

    Give us updates too...icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 12, 2012 9:46 AM GMT
    I broke the computer, regretfully, so I've been dependent on my smartphone. I charged my partner's old phone as a backup. It's attached to my Verizon account and I never turned it off. I've recently read his new text messages and his emails, which he didn't have the forethought to delete from the trash bin. Apparently, this was one of his favorite Craigslist postings: "Masc professional looking for a load from a younger bro type." How stupid? He was a closeted, mischievous person, who never did anything with his life, and I really miss him. I wish I could tell him all of that was okay.
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    Jan 12, 2012 2:00 PM GMT
    where do you live?