Feeling “Glitchy”

I was feeling a little “glitchy” earlier today when I woke up. That’s what I call it. It’s pretty much a mixture of anxiety and sadness. I don’t know where it comes from, but I often don’t discuss it. Of course, Kara knows. And I’ll call her up just to have her around. When I start to feel “glitchy” my body begins to feel strange. Shaky, painful, like a drug addict in detox. Fast heart. Shallow breath. Unable to focus. These are the kinds of days I find it incredibly hard to knit. If you don’t have a knitting circle, then knitting can be an insanely isolated thing. You’re only alone physically, for the thoughts you have while knitting keep you company. And if you knit alone ALOT, then you can get in the bad habit of being stuck in your head far too much. As a matter of fact, you can get LOCKED in your own head. I notice my glitchy days happen when I’ve had too long a stretch of being alone. For instance, I haven’t seen or spoken to anyone in five days. Five days. Not a soul. Then I’ll notice when I wake up after such a lengthy spell that I feel sad, anxious, a touch nervous.

I’ve been doing my best to head up to Starbucks to knit more. But, than can be expensive. Even if all you have is a tall black coffee, you end up spending a lot of money up there. And when I think of what I’ve just paid for a coffee I remind myself that I could buy a bag of beans and rice for the same amount and eat very nicely for a few days. So, I don’t go as often as I wish.

I have an issue with some agoraphobia, so sometimes my choices are limited. I’m not so terrible that I can’t leave the house. But, I can’t go more than about 2 miles from home before I get “glitchy” again. Same symptoms arise. Panicky, white faced, shallow breath. I feel like I am having a heart attack. So, everyone around me knows that we don’t go too far from home. We don’t go past the boundaries. I think its a fear that my home won’t be there when I come back. Do you know I have been in this apartment for nearly 2 years and that is the longest I have lived in any dwelling for more than 5 years? So, I’m attached to it, beholden to it, afraid when I leave and close the door behind me and go too far, that I won’t have it when I get back. I worked so VERY hard to get out of homeless and into a little place that I am always terrified that it’ll be gone again.

I do feel a lot of strange PTSD issues since the homeless days. Things that are off, things that are odd. Like my boots and how I have to always be wearing them all the time for fear we’ll have to leave. It’s all so very strange. I’m sure in time I’ll find a way to work through all of it, move through it and break it up, shatter it, and find some freedom. I’m a survivor, of course. I always have been. But, for now, at least I feel I’m on the right track by being able to see my perplexing issues, recognize them, and figure out what to do about them. I’ll break it someday. I will. I’m a fighter.

I just thought I’d share, if that’s ok. I feel better now that I’ve actually said something about it. I really do.

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  1. Hi. Well done for having come so far. I think I know just how you feel – I’ve had issues with anxiety and agoraphobia. It’s not peasant but I it’s all part of being human. Keep going forward and thanks for sharing x

  2. Sounds like you might be having a panic attack. I get them too. I have a line on a knitting/crochet group that I think I would enjoy, but have yet to go. One of my problems is that I actually enjoy being a homebody. The thought of stepping outside of my “box” can trigger a panic attack. This from a woman who spent 15+ years in the Army with six moves around the world. Each one thousands of miles apart, talk about panic! The first year after the Army was the worst for me, I think I left my home only for groceries. I came to realize that sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and force yourself out that door, down the street or outside of your normal boundaries. The first time out side of that “box” is the worst but it does get easier. Hope this helps.

  3. Okay, my friend, I have some suggestions. Is there a Barnes and Noble near you? How about a public library? Even going to the yarn store should have spots for sitting quietly and being around people but doing what you like to do and that is knitting. By going to these locations, it would get you out of the apartment for a couple of hours and interacting with others. Especially now that we are moving towards the fall and winter. Hope this helps!

  4. I have an old friend who is similarly isolated, by virtue of what he does and where he does it – he’s a potter who lives in a semi-rural area. He has a really hard time because he’s an extreme introvert, seems to essentially dislike people and hence spends waaaayyyyy too much time alone. (And, like you, he also struggles with having enough money to live.) I think he can go for weeks without seeing anyone. It’s a huge problem for him and, sadly, he’s not willing to take the bull by the horns and find some way to deal with it. He just loops through feeling OK for a bit, then feeling awful a lot, then feeling OK again for a bit. The issue is, it’s kind of like many things in relations – you can’t change anyone else, they have to decide they want to do it themselves. (Well, that was a depressing little note, wasn’t it?)

  5. Can you make some kind of deal with Starbuck’s to teach a couple of people to knit in the corner once a week or so? They might get more business and you might get a free coffee. That might not be in the purview of the franchiser, but it might. Being homeless does bad things to people. I hope you can get some relief.

    All good things – mao

  6. Have you ever been tested for diabetes? The diagnosis on me caught me completely out of the blue. That’s when I found out a lot of my panic attacks and shakiness were because of my blood sugar zinging all over the place. Lots of reasons to develop Type 2 diabetes. Mine developed because of too many strong medications fighting bronchitis which developed pneumonia several times in less than a year.

  7. Isolation can be dangerous. I think it’s important that you make yourself go outside. Take a walk and get some fresh air and connect with people.

  8. Everyone has his issues, and I admire you for sharing. So many of us understand what you’re going through, even though we ourselves may not have had the same experiences. I’m hoping for better days ahead for you.
    Another thing you might want to consider is taking some Vitamin D if you stay inside for days without getting any sunshine. Lack of Vitamin D may be causing some of your symptoms. I know it’s an issue for women, but I really don’t know about men. Something to think about.

  9. Hugs Sweetie! I have some pretty bad anxiety issues myself, have to take meds for it, so I know what you feel. It got so much worse last year when my husband was sick and then died. It’s a struggle some days and like you, but only on the weekends, I don’t like to leave my house. Heck half the time I don’t even put on clothes. I know it’s not good for me to isolate myself and I berate myself for doing it.

    I hope you are feeling better. Get out and enjoy some sunshine, it helps.

  10. I know you don’t know me and I know I cannot begin to comprehend homelessness because I have never been, but I have sev er email panic disorder with thanatophobia and borderline agoraphobia. My dad was sent er elysian agoraphobic for years. If you ever want to chat or are looking for an ear, shoot me an email. Great post. I know how hard it is to put it out there, but I also know how cathartic it can be. Here’s to kicking the glitch 🙂

  11. Hey. Just wanted to each out and say to you that it’s all okay! Your insight into the causes of your ‘glitchyness’ are wonderful. It’s completely understandable to have left over ‘stuff’ from your experiences. We all do. We’re all a bit glitchy! For me it’s deciding what stuff has a negative affect on your potential to fully live life that guides what needs to change. If leaving your boots on is no biggie in terms of living your life then it’s not as high up on the list as maybe not being able to travel. However you work it through take it slow and be kind to yourself. Your kind and generous heart combined with your sharp mind will get you through. And someone on the other side of the world is thinking of you and sending good wishes!

  12. Patrick, it’s so smart of you to put the glitchy out in the open for all to see. “All” of course includes you, and you’ve already noticed that writing and posting it, knowing bunches of folks would read and respond, lifted the clouds somewhat. Thank you.

  13. Everyday is an adventure and some times more frightening than others/ If possible check to see if there is a local group who knit for the local hospital -gift shop,new borns ,perhaps you can work out something with them. I have some of the “glitchy moments-feelings” also you talk about but not to the same extent.I enjoy putting on a DVD or playing music (radio) to hum or sing along too,anything to take away that all alone feeling!!Hang in there gal!

  14. I love your blog and the way you write about humanity. Being glitchy is part of that and thank you for putting it out there (here). Thanks to everyone for their comments too.

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