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Do you ever drive to a store/interview/anywhere and not go in?

unhappymeals

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Hi I’ve had anxiety for probably most of my life, diagnosed with it at around 19 years old.

Some days I still do this where I’ll drive all the way to a store and not be able to go in. Prior to me having a diagnosis and whatnot I’d even do this with JOB INTERVIEWS and it was life ruining. No one understood why I’d do it and I couldn’t explain why.

Have you all done this? If so how do you stop yourself from leaving and actually go in and do whatever you need to do? (Grocery shop, etc.) thanks


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Camden

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I'm familiar with this feeling. It's gotten worse for me with the advent of Covid the past year and a half. If I pull up to a grocery store or the mall and I see how crowded the parking lot is or how many people are walking out, I'll rethink going inside. I don't like being in crowded aisles of shops and touching clothes and other stuff for sale that 100 other people touched before me. The whole pandemic situation has put me off about shopping in croweded public areas.

I'd recommend going to smaller stores (i.e. CVS instead of Walmart) and going to stores early in the morning or in the evenings when there's fewer crowds. Avoid grocery stores on Sundays if you're bothered by crowds. If you can, go to the stores with a friend or even ask a friend to ride with you and wait during your interviews. It really helps to have a someone supportive by your side while doing something challenging. Hope this helps.
 

Jonathan123

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We all make excuses for not doing something. The weather, fear of places where we have felt bad before etc. The only real remedy is to do it. We don't go into the store because we feel the fear of what MAY happen but never does. You sit in the car wondering. Should I or shouldn't I? I used to take groups of agoraphobia sufferers into a big store to see how they all reacted. It was called 'exposure therapy'. They felt safer in the group, but when separated the agoraphobia clicked in. Taking anyone out of their 'comfort zone' can cause upsets, but it's the only way. Being supported by someone close, and a little mild medication can help a lot. In the store we grasp the trolley handle as if it were life or death, and it may feel like it. But no one ever died or was taken away with agoraphobia. Why? Because the adrenaline, the hormone of fear, has a very limited life and will always pass if we don't panic because we are panicking!! Let the feelings come. (No one is looking at you however much you may think they are). Stop! Stand your ground and let the feelings sweep over you with no reaction or comment in your mind. Now not for one moment am I minimising the suffering involved. Been there!
But although there may be no immediate result it does work given time. It's not the feelings themselves that cause apprehension, but your reaction to them.
The feelings may come, BUT THEY NO LONGER MATTER. They no longer affect your life and finally disappear.
 

Lanchparty7

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Yes…many times. I try to go at odd times of the day. I have several locations of a big box store near me. The closest one to my house is smaller, busier and the store itself always seems to be in some sort of disarray. The other location a bit further away, is nicer, quieter and generally less busy and worth the extra time it takes to go there.
 

Sweet T

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Yes I’ve had that happen. To the point of feeling like I might have stomach issues if I go inside. I just turn around and go home sometimes. Agree that’s it’s worse during Covid. If I’m feeling that way, wearing a mask just makes it worse

Sometimes I’ll use the trick of just getting out of my car and going to the door. Once I’m at the door of the store then I’m usually better.
 

RumTom

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Yes, this happens to me frequently. If I'm with someone else I'm absolutely fine, but if I'm by myself I'll make up a reasonable excuse not to go in - like "I don't really need food, I'll go shopping another day" and just leave.

If I do go in by myself I can find myself feeling a bit wobbly and disorientated. It's like I'm hyper alert and focusing on very specific things to try and cope, which then means I forget how to walk normally!
 

Jonathan123

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Yes, this happens to me frequently. If I'm with someone else I'm absolutely fine, but if I'm by myself I'll make up a reasonable excuse not to go in - like "I don't really need food, I'll go shopping another day" and just leave.

If I do go in by myself I can find myself feeling a bit wobbly and disorientated. It's like I'm hyper alert and focusing on very specific things to try and cope, which then means I forget how to walk normally!
So what is the difference between being in a big store and sitting in your car with apprehension? You are the same person in or out of the store. Fear!!! Again the old bogey man. You fear what mighty happen in the store. Maybe you had a panic attack before and the fear of it happening again stops you moving. Trying to go in and then giving up is going to make you lose any confidence you may have. And the sense of failure can be overwhelming. Those who suffer in this way may find it helpful at first to have someone with them when they go in. Someone they trust. But the real answer lies, once again. in acceptance. I can image many on here getting fed up with some of us pushing acceptance, but we do it because we know it works from personal experience.
Let the panic come, but don't add second fear. Second fear is all the 'Oh my god's' and the 'What if's'. When the panic begins allow it full rein. Now this is difficult because it's contrary to what our minds tell us to do. 'You have to fight this, it must not get the better of you' NO!! Fighting 'IT' is a battle you will never win. STOP! Let it all come and then carry on with what you are doing with the feelings there. Panic always dies down It may leave you shaken but you have made the effort.
Time, patience and perseverance will eventually pay off.
 

RumTom

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So what is the difference between being in a big store and sitting in your car with apprehension? You are the same person in or out of the store. Fear!!! Again the old bogey man. You fear what mighty happen in the store. Maybe you had a panic attack before and the fear of it happening again stops you moving. Trying to go in and then giving up is going to make you lose any confidence you may have. And the sense of failure can be overwhelming. Those who suffer in this way may find it helpful at first to have someone with them when they go in. Someone they trust. But the real answer lies, once again. in acceptance. I can image many on here getting fed up with some of us pushing acceptance, but we do it because we know it works from personal experience.
Let the panic come, but don't add second fear. Second fear is all the 'Oh my god's' and the 'What if's'. When the panic begins allow it full rein. Now this is difficult because it's contrary to what our minds tell us to do. 'You have to fight this, it must not get the better of you' NO!! Fighting 'IT' is a battle you will never win. STOP! Let it all come and then carry on with what you are doing with the feelings there. Panic always dies down It may leave you shaken but you have made the effort.
Time, patience and perseverance will eventually pay off.

I agree completely and the more it's said the better. I've only recently discovered this way of thinking and it was via a short video of chess pieces battling - the positive thoughts versus the negative ones - the only problem was the game continued indefinitely with more and more pieces. Don't try and fight the negatives, be the chess board and just let it all flow around you.

This is it.
 

Jonathan123

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I agree completely and the more it's said the better. I've only recently discovered this way of thinking and it was via a short video of chess pieces battling - the positive thoughts versus the negative ones - the only problem was the game continued indefinitely with more and more pieces. Don't try and fight the negatives, be the chess board and just let it all flow around you.

This is it.
An excellent analogy. Yes, we move the pieces around the board with thought, negative or positive.
But the board remains neutral. It doesn't care what moves anyone makes or how often. It is always available for any game, but is not moved by who wins or loses. If we can be like the board and not the pieces, and not care who wins or loses, then we have arrived.
 

Nutmeg

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Yes! I do this more than I'd like to admit.
Sometimes the thought of going somewhere and walking in, is enough for me to go "erm.. nope!", and the option of staying at home and just not going seems so much more appealing... so if the option of not going is available, then I don't go!

If it's something I can't avoid, then I just have a horrible day and as I mentally count down the hours until it's over and back home safe again.

I can find an empty place just as daunting as a crowded one. There's no best time for me to go anywhere.
 
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