Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Advice for getting out of the house?

It's one of the hardest things for me to do. Sometimes a lack of food in the apartment doesn't even do it. I'll meditate, go to the gym and clean the entire apt before even thinking about going outside.. I have this problem about 2.5 weeks out of every month, it has to do with a mood disorder (but I don't have access to a doc to get my dosage higher)
I used to be like this as long as I can remember, though I did get up for work or school. Now I'm in a foreign country where I can't speak nor read the language, nor do I know anyone... That is fine really but when I'm feeling self conscious and everyone is staring at me (like stopping in their tracks to do so) every single time I go outside at almost every moment, my anxiety only gets worse.

Do any of you struggle to find the motivation (or lack of anxiety) to go outside, or know people with this problem?

Comments

  • Isn't this agoraphobia?

    I'm no expert, nor do I know anyone who suffers from this, but I have heard of the condition. Are you sure people are "stopping in their tracks" to stare at you? Anxiety can make you imagine these things.
  • EvenThirdEvenThird NYC Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Yes, people are actually stopping in their tracks, (in the street, in the mall..) as I am in mainland china, in a moderately small town, and I am a tall, white, tattooed girl(neck, head, arms, etc) who buzzes all her hair off regularly. Occaisonally I am asked to pose in pictures even, hence making the experience of going outside not a simple stroll sometimes.
    I don't think I have a condition, especially when it only manifests as one of the more minor symptoms during my more unstable moments.

    I also have nowhere I need to be, and that doesn't help with motivation to get out more.
  • People 'stopping in their tracks' may be a good thing, some people will do anything to be noticed.
    I know that the more i stay inside and away from society, the harder it is is to get back out there.
    You can't control what other people do but you can control how you feel about it, if they stare at you take it as a compliment, or, remember that in a moment that stare won't even exist anymore and they'll be thinking/looking at something else.


    EvenThird
  • I have this issue but it is due to severe social anxiety. Even with doses of valium like 20-40mg I still often turn down social situations and try not to go out to get food to whatever. I often have to have a drink plus valium to go out, it is a sad life in one sense but I have learned to work my life around it. I would like a way out of it though
  • I just buzzed my hair, only happens once a year. Nobody stares at me but I am not sufficiently self conscious or tattooed. :)

    I feel for you, my sister is going through this.

    I would keep my mind internalised rather than be worried about what people thought about me being 'other'. Many people who are disabled or disfigured have to go out into such an environment . . . maybe you could dedicate your efforts to their struggles?

    OM YA HA HUM
    EvenThirdReborn
  • EvenThirdEvenThird NYC Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Thanks for your replies. Often stares don't bother me, even though I'm still not used to them(in NYC people merely glanced, if even that) it's just that during the time when my mood goes to shit(it's cyclic) it's far more difficult to get outside. I do pretty well half the month or so, and enjoy running errands and don't mind the staring whatsoever. I'm just having trouble the rest of the month.
    @thailandtom I'm sorry you have social anxiety, I have struggles with general anxiety a lot of the time and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I hope you do find a way out of it!
    @lobster thank you, that gives me something to think about. That is a very helpful way of looking at it.
  • @EvenThird it literally is like a form of torture. I had general anxiety and hypochondria from the age of 12, come to think of it now form the age of around 8-10 if my mother went to the store which is 5 minutes walk away, I would be upstairs watching out of the window with anxiety. If she was longer than 10-15 minutes I would often run to the store and see if I would bump into her or see her. I need to find a decent way out of this really and like you said, I myself have chosen to stay inside over food several times.
  • The fears, thoughts, feelings that cause you to want to avoid going out, can become your friends. If you begin to embrace them and welcome them as a guest, they will not have the same power over you. Look for opportunities to make those experiences increase, and do so with a fervor and you will find a new way to relate to them. The way you relate to them now, is to avoid them.
    FullCircleJeffreyEvenThirdgracelee
  • ysmaelysmael Explorer
    edited September 2013
    EvenThird said:

    Yes, people are actually stopping in their tracks, (in the street, in the mall..) as I am in mainland china, in a moderately small town, and I am a tall, white, tattooed girl(neck, head, arms, etc) who buzzes all her hair off regularly. Occaisonally I am asked to pose in pictures even, hence making the experience of going outside not a simple stroll sometimes.
    I don't think I have a condition, especially when it only manifests as one of the more minor symptoms during my more unstable moments.

    I also have nowhere I need to be, and that doesn't help with motivation to get out more.

    --- maybe they just are envious of you being tall. perhaps they are so amazed by your tattoos on your neck head and arms and wonders if they can be as brave as you are. considering you are a girl. so let them just do what they do best and sooner or later they will get used to seeing you and things will be normal. they would realize that you dont bite and you would realize that chinese are hospital and nice people...you'll see. so just chill breathe relax and smile. no one can resist a good smile esp if its from you...


    :thumbsup:
    EvenThirdnoflies
  • Asians seem to love white skin, just like how most white Westerners like to be tanned. In Thailand there are so many whitening creams and solutions people use which I am sure are not safe. I have come to the conclusion that somehow major corporations via the use of advertising have drilled it into people that the colour of their own skin is not desirable.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    First, it seems to me that some of this is self-inflicted. You can't do anything about being tall. But you are White living in an Asian nation (I've been there, done that). Even in Thailand I often found I was more the center of attention than I would have been back home. You could go back home, wherever home is. You chose to be heavily tattooed. Kinda late now, but you did it. You choose to buzz off your hair. You can change that immediately.

    Second, and I know this is hard, but you have to make yourself go out. I went through a period of mild depression and was put on Paxil. One of the things my doctor told me was to be careful about not making myself home bound. He said I had to simply force myself to go out when I was feeling that way. It almost didn't matter where I went -- mall, McDonalds, for a walk, for a hike, to a movie...anywhere...just go.
  • I know I can't really say much as I am in the same boat, but I do know that going out and doing things in small leaps and bounds helps your confidence. Also the sun does quite a lot for you psychologically as well and physically. Releasing vitamin D and just making you feel healthier I find. If you expose yourself to say the store or something simple a few times, watch your anxiety and worries come, stay and they dissolve as that is their nature. Over time build up the courage and do bigger errands or trips. Lastly I would like to add that exercise of all nature helps to boost confidence, be it stretching, yoga, weights, jogging, swimming, cycling etc, it all helps. I have found that now I have a motorbike I will go out more because I don't have to pass people on the street and have that small human interaction, sad yes.
    vinlyn
  • @EvenThird, Many years ago, I was in my own country, I am not a foreiner like you, but I am a very tall girl for country people. One day I went to a remote village where people are very short, I was walking on the street when I found about a dozen of village children walking and laughing behind me, many old people stuck their heads out of their houses to see me. It was such a scene! I heard them debating whether I am really one of them? It was hilarious! I enjoyed the attention. My height is normal here but overthere in remote places, people are very short! So it's not because I am tall but it's because they are short, which everway you look. LOL. Maybe I am more relaxed than you because I know my people. When they are curious they show. But they have a lot of respect for white people, I don't think they are going to hurt you, the most they do is to stare at you.
  • Thanks for the support~

    @Vinlyn You are right about me needing to get out no matter where I go, as long as I get out.
    Perhaps it seems "self inflicted" in a way because of certain choices I've made about my appearance. This has never caused me any problems or confrontation in NYC (where I've spent most of my life) so I don't know if I would call it self inflicted per-say, because I've been doing these things long before I went to Asia, and didn't know what I was in for. I also don't think growing out my hair would do anything except make me frustrated with it(I used to be kind of obsessive about the appearance of my hair, hence the current lack thereof). But anyhow, I dont think my appearance is too much of the issue, since on a day where i feel "sane" and "like myself" I don't mind staring, gawking, or anything in between. I can smile easily, and dont take things personally.

    Staying in NYC instead of moving would have been way harder for me, so China just happened to be the better of two options. Ideally, I would have chosen a country who's language I can speak(or at least more easily learn) but hey. I didn't chose, I just had the opportunity. I think I made the right choice.

    @Thailandtom
    Exercise and vit D are actually some of the few things that always have helped me. I read somewhere the other day that daily exercise is more effective than some anti-anxiety meds? I dont know if thats true, but sometimes it feels that way.

    @cvalue
    Yes I feel that way when I'm in a good state of mind. Though I've never felt as if anyone would hurt me, even in my worst of moods. People here have only been kind to me.
  • I don't know really. I wish I could be of more help. I grew up way out in the country. And so many times I would just... leave. I would choose a direction on one of the few dirt roads, and just start walking.
    EvenThirdThailandTom
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Zayl said:

    I don't know really. I wish I could be of more help. I grew up way out in the country. And so many times I would just... leave. I would choose a direction on one of the few dirt roads, and just start walking.

    It seems so simple and yet it is in reality, it is totally irrational to not be able to do this without having a certain degree of anxiety, but that is what anxiety disorders are all about, the irrational thinking. Until you are in that situation it is very hard to understand how tough it is or why it is so tough.

    For example when I was around 14 I was convinced, totally convinced I had testicular cancer, so I went to the doctor and he had a prob around etc and said it was nothing to worry about. I walked out of there still with doubt, 'what if he is wrong, doctors aren't always right' blablabla. Once I had finished with that worry some days later, a new illness sprung up, I had a brain tumor and so on!
  • Sometimes I like to pretend I am a brave, rational creature. Maybe I'll be able to walk down the road aimlessly this way. I do like the idea of just going out and doing it. The problem is, my brain complicates it to an uncomfortable degree.. and rationality flies out the window..

    But anyhow, positive thinking is probably the way to go. :)
    ThailandTom
  • Sometimes I like to pretend I am a brave, rational creature.
    Me too.
    However parts of me are still wer-lobster. :crazy:
    We are many people and parts. Integration is key.
    People have suggested strategies that you feel might be useful. Might you be more comfortable cycling when these feelings arise? Maybe there are times when less people are about? Maybe you could do ninja training and keep to the shadows during these periods? :buck:
    Not easy. Exercise would seem calming . . .
    EvenThird
  • Yes all that everyone has said will make it easier for me. Going out when less people are out actually is a great idea. I'm not sure why that didn't occur to me.
  • Hei Even Third

    Maybe this video help (see under)?

    They speak about getting rid of phobia

  • YouTube videos are blocked in my region but I will watch it when I go to Hong Kong in a few weeks. Thanks!
  • wrathfuldeitywrathfuldeity Veteran
    edited September 2013
    EvenThird said:

    The problem is, my brain complicates it to an uncomfortable degree.. and rationality flies out the window..

    Problem getting out of the house?...rationality flies out the window...radically embrace the irrational...be irrational...take down the walls of the house...i.e., the brain...i.e., "self consciousness"...the walls are illusionary...the walls are a mask. Do this by way of becoming super self conscious...try on different masks/walls/embodiments.

    As you walk around: ...take a walk imaging only one embodiment at a time. Imagine yourself to be naked...that people stare at your audacity; or at your beauty and radiance; or stare horrified at your grotesque bag of bones and meat...with maggots and flies; or that you are an invisible hungry ghost and nobody will pay attention to you; or that you are the rock star; or that you are disabled in a wheelchair (find a wheelchair and ride around in it all day...my mom was a quad from a car accident...part of training as a family member care giver...spend a day in the wheelchair...mind blowing experience...walls crumbled).

    As you walk around...imagining/being/becoming each embodiment...also meditate or ponder upon feelings and being of each embodiment...what is the existence of each embodiment?

    Peace,

    edit: In your OP, you noted it was anxiety...more of a environmental/situationally induced by going outside....easy to manage just focus on diaphramic or deep breathing. If you lose focus...merely/gently re-focus on breath...exhale deeply...inhale and repeat. Breathing and moving/exercise/walking is a great antidote for anxiety.
    EvenThird
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    A review by researchers in the US and Germany suggested that Loving-kindness and compassion meditation “may provide potentially useful strategies for targeting a variety of different psychological problems that involve interpersonal processes, such as depression, social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving.”

    Doing Metta meditation, and making it strong, will make all those strangers your friends. It works really good for anything having to do with other people. :)
    EvenThird
  • EvenThird said:

    It's one of the hardest things for me to do. Sometimes a lack of food in the apartment doesn't even do it. I'll meditate, go to the gym and clean the entire apt before even thinking about going outside.. I have this problem about 2.5 weeks out of every month, it has to do with a mood disorder (but I don't have access to a doc to get my dosage higher)
    I used to be like this as long as I can remember, though I did get up for work or school. Now I'm in a foreign country where I can't speak nor read the language, nor do I know anyone... That is fine really but when I'm feeling self conscious and everyone is staring at me (like stopping in their tracks to do so) every single time I go outside at almost every moment, my anxiety only gets worse.

    Do any of you struggle to find the motivation (or lack of anxiety) to go outside, or know people with this problem?

    No. I like the indoors as much as the outdoors. Indoors, I have my family. Outdoors, I have my friends. If my family is not around, there is always the TV and the Net. If my friends are not around, there is always the clear blue sky or the sun. Even the rain and dark clouds are refreshing. Nobody ever look or stare at me. I am a nobody.
Sign In or Register to comment.