agoraphobia

Adventure time: Wildwood and Penn’s Landing

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It’s been a while since I’ve written  anything on this blog, I’ve been slacking, and need to get back into writing, and back into adventure mode again. Hard to believe it’s already August, this year has been flying by. Next week will be my birthday, and I will be turning 38. I no longer have to be sad about that, not that I am sad about getting older, in times past, I was sad that I would be getting older and would have nothing to show for it in life. I was not doing anything. Now I can be happy to have an accomplished list of things I am  doing with life now. And this weekend was no exception. This weekend was an action packed weekend of adventures and fun. 

It started Saturday, when me and my girlfriend were deciding to go to Wildwood to lay on the beach. Oh yes, I have not mentioned that before, during my journey and getting out more, I was able to meet someone incredible, who had become such an important part of my life and journey now, who has helped me in so many ways, of opening up, and helping me go further in life. Before her I was afraid to really have someone in my car together with me, I hated it, if anxiety would happen, I would never want anyone to be there around it, to see it. Thanks to her, I have been able to drive five hours in a car with another person. And that has opened up many doors for me. I had been so afraid to date again, because of my issues, and people in the past not being understanding of it, and breaking up with me because of it. I am thankful to be able to have met someone who is very supportive and encouraging of me, even when I don’t see it myself. For those in my shoes who think they will always be alone and not find someone to make them happy and understand their journey, know that I was the same way, and was able to finally find someone. I had given up on it for a decade.  After that time, I was able to find someone. After allowing myself to be open again and interracting with people again. 

Of course Mother Nature had different plans for us as the weather was rainy and a little gloomy in the morning, causing us to not head out when we planned to. As the day went on and the sun came out again, we would eventually decide to drive down to Wildwood, while friends were down there. It was a spur of the moment, thing to finally do, after we originally were not going to go. And boy did we make the right choice to head down there and walk the boards. It was nice to be able to just go where ever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to, and go and enjoy myself. We walked the boards and played some games. We did one of those water gun games where you shoot the gun at a target, and it climbs the pole. The buzzer sounded, and I won. Only to see that another gun was faulty, causing them to re-do the race, and I didn’t win the second time. I was robbed out of my prize. I did get vindication by winning a Yoshi out of the claw game, first attempt. After a few hours there we headed home, after a fun night out walking around, and just enjoying life. 


We then had every intention to return to Wildwood and sit on the beach the next day, since we didn’t do that the first time, but our plans changed, and we decided to go and walk around South Street in Philadelphia, and walk around Penn’s Landing, with my girl’s parents. We even took one car, where I drove us all. A fear I used to have, and would never do before. People in my car, and those people being my girl’s parents. Double yowzer! I then survived that drive, and we even took the Patco in to Philly. A lot of that is what would normally stress me out in the past, and this was me testing myself all in the process. Pushing myself to see what all I can do. I am able to report I was able to make it into Philly with no issue. The idea of just randomly walking around, anywhere, would have really driven me off the edge. This time I was cool as a cucumber as I walked around the town. All over the place, and for hours with other people. We even really put my limits to the test as we went and ate food as well. Back in the day if I ever went out for whatever reason, you can bet your last dollar, I would have never gotten anything to eat. I would have starved myself instead of giving myself fuel to the fire of my anxiety and stomach issues. Now I can relax and enjoy foods with other people and then walk around. Where we ended up stopping and getting hand scooped ice cream, at Franklin’s, before heading back home. I did not have any ice cream, I gave up all that stuff to be healthy and to help my stomach issues. I don’t regret it because doing so has allowed me to do this type of stuff more easily. 

After arriving back at the Patco station and waiting for the train, I started to feel really agitated, and almost felt like I was going to have a full blown anxiety attack, and wanted to run away, and leave everyone. Before I realized it was not my anxiety I was feeling. I am sensitive, and an empath, so I can feel and absorb another person’s energy, and take it on as my own. Something I have just recently learned I could do. I now wonder how many anxiety attacks out of the blue were truly mine, or was the energy of someone else. The energy I was picking up, was really bad. Luckily I was able to send it away, and get away from them, and find my peace and serenity again, and return back home, after another fun day of adventuring. 

I am so thankful for this journey, for the people I have met, and those I can now call friends. My life has improved so much, and I can’t imagine my life any other way now. 


This was where we ended up eating on South Street. Not a bad little place. 

The courage to try something new.

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courage

Spontaneity has never been a word that was a part of my vocabulary. While I may have heard of that word in my day to day living it was not a word that I was using. The idea of it, to just go and do something, don’t think about it, don’t plan it, just do it, made me sick to my stomach and would fill me with dread.

That was my way of living. That was life in a nutshell for me. And if you’ve ever seen a nutshell they are very tiny, you can not get much in them. So to have life in one of them did not leave room for much. Such was the life I was living. It was very routine. It was very repetitive. Such is the life of a person who was plagued with anxiety. It did not help that I am also introverted. So for me I never really had that desire to be out and mingle with my fellow peeps out there.

The idea of me going against my own core ideals was very foreign to me. Yet I knew if I was to ever make something of my life. To ever have a hope of a better life I had to take everything I had ever known, everything I ever believed was true for me, and throw it all out of the window. And create basically a brand new me. For the longest time I used to say people do not change. Not really. They could change their clothing style, and maybe their likes and dislikes could change, but they wouldn’t truly change who they are. At the end of the day they would still be the same them. Just with different clothes. That is what I believed. In some ways I still believe that to be true. Yet I have seen within my own life that it is possible to change who we think we are. And in essence change who we were. Not all of us will change and that is OK. Because those things that make up us are what make us unique and different than everyone else.

Maybe that is all superficial things that we can change and our core personalities always stay the same? I dunno. Can I go from an introvert to an extrovert? I guess that is something I will have to find out for myself.

So how do we do any of it? How do we get up and change something? How can I go from an anxious guy, not living life, to being able to go on a weekly adventure for a year? How do we get the courage to do that? We can pray for that courage and beg and plead for it, and we may receive what we ask for. But it will never be how we thought it would be. What I mean by that is, we will get opportunities to be courageous, to be brave. It is up to us to act on them. And that is what I had to do. I had to take those steps to be brave. To be courageous. To go out and have an adventure. It was the only way I would ever be able to change anything about my life. I had to take initiative. I had to take the first step.

I won’t lie, it scared the crap out of me. Even with my health doing so much better before I took that step. That was crucial for me. I had to feel better physically before I could feel better emotionally. As they were linked together for me. A lot of my anxiety stemmed from a body that reacts crazy to certain foods. Once I got a handle on that I had better control over my body and that helped me to be able to take more steps in my life. For me those steps were out on weekly adventures. Even with the better health there was still the mental aspect of it. As most anxiety is fear thoughts about the future because of something that happened in the past. So to break free from those thoughts I had to recreate new thoughts that reinforced a new reality. To do that I had to keep moving forward. Keep my life going. And keep doing new things.

Each step. Each adventure gave me more belief in myself. Belief in what I was doing. Believe that I could do this. I could go out. Was it easy? No, it was not. Is it always easy to do? No, it is not. There are sometimes when I want to just fall back into my old habits, and just say no. But I know I cannot do that. I cannot fall back into things. Or I will start to say no more and more. I have to try new things. I have to keep pushing the envelope on who I think I am and keep trying. I need to keep moving. As I encourage you all to do as well. Life and time will continue to tick by. We can either just let it go on without us. Or we can join it in its eternal dance. I don’t know about you, but after 36 years of not dancing, I want to dance until the cows come home. Well not literally, I’m not much of a dancer, but if I keep my mind open, one day I may light the floor up like John Travolta.

So can we as an individual change? Can we be something different than we were? I am starting to believe it is very plausible to change if we truly want and desire to. So can I go from introverted to a social butterfly? I don’t know. I don’t know if I purposely do it. Some would say I am shy. But I am not sure if that’s fully it. I just am not a small talker. Never really know what to talk about. It’s not that I don’t talk. Heck, I don’t shut up when I start talking. Even this post is going on so long that even I forgot what I was writing about. I think it’s about courage. And pancakes. How much better pancakes are than waffles. (Sorry waffle lovers, but pancakes rule. I will give you your due for putting ice cream and waffles together. Sadly I don’t eat gluten anymore for health reasons so I don’t get pancakes in my life these days. It’s sad. Truly is. See this is what I am talking about. Long whimsical rambling that had nothing to do with this post whatsoever. )  Yet when in public or with others I am quiet and reserved. I don’t really talk. It’s like I freeze up and don’t have anything to say. Even when people engage me I will speak short sentences and phrases, to just hurry along the conversion and get you to leave me alone. I sound like a cranky old man. But can I change that? Can I change who I am and be a social butterfly? I guess there is only one way to find out.

Anyways…

Life is crazy and exciting and it’s more so to just go out there and make something of life. To just have some wild and random fun. And if you are doing it with those you love those memories will be cherished for the rest of your life. And that is totally worth it.

Now I am living a life that is fun and that I truly enjoy. I can look back at a weekend or a day and say it was time well spent and had a lot of fun. When someone texts me about a gathering that is happening and if I want to go to it, I can get out there, on a whim, and do something new, and create new memories. That is truly a blessing to have in life. To get out there and make a memory.

Choosing life over fear

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This journey I have been on for the last year plus has taught me so much about myself, life, and my way of living. It has caused me to look within more than I ever thought I would or should. This year has taught me to look at myself and life differently. I had to basically take everything I knew about myself and throw it out the window. And I am glad I did. My life has changed in so many ways that I never thought it would or could. Yet it has and then some. 

It was not easy to get to where I am today. It has taken me a long long time to get to where I am today. I failed more times than I could count. I got sidetracked many a time and out off till tomorrow more times than I will admit. There was many times I quit and gave up on it all. Through it all, the ups and the downs there was one constant that I always had to do, I had to take that leap of faith. Regardless of what that leap was or where it would take me. I had to take it. I had to jump. The journey of a thousand miles always starts with that first step. The first step is the scariest, and the hardest to take. Yet if we want anything in our life we must take that step. 

The other day when I went roller skating for the first time in twenty plus years I was reminded, I have to take that step. I have to choose life, in this case something new, over fear. I could not let fear consume me and cause me to not do it. I am glad that I chose to do this, and chose to try it, and had fun in the process. Had I not taken that first step to take myself out places I would never have been able to get to that place to try it. I would have just sat on the sidelines and let life roll past me on roller skates. Life is not about sitting on the sidelines, it’s about exploring, and learning, and growing. Will we always succeed at after thing we do, no, but we still made the effort to try it, and at the end of the day, we can smile happily knowing we tried it and did our best. If we fall down, we can pick ourselves up and try it either again or something else. 

This year has shown me how amazing life can be and that it can surprise you in more ways than you thought or even dreamed of. I never thought I would be able to, or even knew how to, it would have been so much easier to just say no, or make an excuse. Yet I took those leaps anyways. I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. I took myself further and further. Pushing the bar more and more. Doing so has changed myself and my view of life and living. It has given me experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Now when I look back fondly over my life I can see that I have for the first time ever accomplished much in life and will accomplish more when I continue to take those leaps. 

When it’s all said and done we can then look back at life, smile, and have no regrets, because we leaped. We tried. And we did. We did plenty. Life was good. Life was fun. 

Adventures in going out: Week 29

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allaire_1

The You can’t do that on television edition.

This week’s adventure has been brought to you by the letter “J” and the number “4.” If your ticket has those two things on it, you may already be a winner. Since you are reading this, you are already a winner in my books. So cherish that for the rest of your life. I know I will. And don’t think ab0ut selling that good feeling I just gave you, it’s non-transferable.

This week I had my second Reiki session on Monday, and it was another incredible session. A lot was cleared out within me which allowed me to let go of some things to make room for new things. That is what this journey of mine has been all about. Letting go of things that no longer serve my highest good. These Reiki sessions have been great for helping my clear out junk from my self. They have left me with such great feelings and lots of peace and serenity. I now of things I also have to work on in my healing and development to a better person and live a better life. So I look forward to going deeper within myself to heal and love myself. I have a lot of loving to do and accept within myself. Being anxious and fearful for so long, love becomes on the things we lose in regards to ourselves. We start to reject and detest ourselves. Now I am working to put the pieces back into the puzzle of my life and the biggest piece I am working with now, is self love. That one will take time. Luckily I have plenty of time.

After that I spent time relaxing and enjoying myself and life as I was working through the healing and releasing stuff. Which then brought me to my weekly adventures out in the wilds, like a Pokemon. If I were a Pokemon, I’d be a cool one. I’d be a like a Bat…Man. Bada boom. tshhhhhhhhh.(Don’t laugh at my jokes, you will just encourage me to make more of them. And we both don’t want that… Or do we?)

allaire_2

There was no where in mind for me to go so I did a quick google search of things to do, looking high and low.  And then stumbled upon a historic village called Allaire. It was said to be a haunted village which was the real reason I wanted to check it out. After I first arrived it looked as though it was not open so I had decided then to head back to where I had come from. Before seeing a second entrance that I checked out, and found a parking lot with some cars in it, but nothing around. So I drove it little bit further down another road and found another parking lot with a ton of cars. Yes, it was a tad excessive to have so many parking places before finding the core of this place.

Off I went into the thick of this old historic village. Or is it ye olde historic village? There was a few places to check out and explore, I was disappointed that they did not allow photos to be taken inside the buildings. I guess they figured the stuff was so old that the flash of a camera would turn it into dust. Which in my opinion would have made the experience so much more cooler.  Many of the places were little shoppes selling old time toys and glass ware, and even a functioning bakery. Though I did not see them bake anything, so it could have been a farce. These buildings all seemed to be in good condition after all of these years. There was even a couple there who got married at the chapel. I will admit I would never have thought to get married in a historic village like this. So way to think outside the box, bride and groom. And here’s to a happy and long marriage to you two.

After seeing all of the buildings I could see I stumbled upon a flea market that was also there. I bought a ticket and checked it out. There was a lot of old trinkets, and gadgets, signs, and wood workings, but not a single flea was found. I was a tad disappointed. It felt like I did not get what I paid for with my ticket. I suppose I will survive.

I then made my way back towards my home and did some toy shopping for my nephews birthday party tomorrow. It was another lovely day with some nice cool weather. A good one to end the week. Tomorrow I have a party to go to, and next weekend me and some friends are thinking of going to a retro convention in Oaks Pa. It looks to be another good and fun week.

allaire_3

Sadly I also saw no ghosts.

 

Adventures in going out: Week 20

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panam_veterens

The twentieth week of going out. Let’s just take a moment and be grateful for such an achievement. That is 5 months of going out some place different at least once a week. This is a new achievement for me. This is something I could have never thought would be possible or ever imagined myself doing it. Yet, today, was it. Today was that day.

Today I went out somewhere new and went up to North Jersey to see The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. It was an hour and a half drive up there, with traffic and avoiding tolls, it took about 2 hours to get there. On top of that I was not feeling all that well this morning. I think one of the party goers last night had a little bug or something and ended up sharing it with me. My head was all congested, I had a headache, and my stomach was off. A year ago that would have been more than enough to give me an excuse not to go anywhere. It did not take much back then. A little sneeze, and I would have been in for the day, watching movies and playing video games. Or in this case Netflix and relaxing. Trying to finish my binging of Supernatural. I am on season 6… 5 more to go. Today I did not let this little ailments slow me down or prevent me from going out to where I wanted to go. I am on a mission to go out and see the world, and live. Finally live. Something I was so not doing. Like so many else that have dealt with anxiety and panic.

veterens
The drive up was not too bad, even though there was some traffic. And in NJ when there is traffic, you can be sitting for a while. After arriving and parking, I checked my phone to see if there was an admission to this place. As you never know. I found out. The Museum was closed. I was a tad disappointed in that. As that was the main reason I was heading up there in the first place. I was hoping to check out some of the gear the likes from this time period in history. I have been fascinated with these things all of a sudden and was hoping to get a good view at history. I did not visit the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. It is a shame, perhaps another reason to take a day trip back down there. I had got back into my car and was going to drive right on pack, after spending two hours in the car. But opted to walk around a little since I was already there. There was a few statues, and monuments to check out. Some nice scenery, and nice views to see. It has been extremely hot lately here, which made it a pain to walk around in the open. Even with sunscreen. I got a few pictures and walked around for a few before heading back home and getting something to eat.

All in all it was a great day. Another successful day out, even while not feeling all that well to begin with. I was also thinking of going to the movies with my sister while she is in town but this little bug is kicking my butt and I’m ready to just sleep for a few hours.

slab_veterens

 

Adventures in going out: Week 18

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basicila
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

The Slinky edition.

This week was my biggest challenge to date and was me really pushing myself to the limits. This week I would take myself on vacation and actually go somewhere. For the longest time when I went on vacation it was always a “stay-cation.” This year was the first time in 11 years that I went on an actual vacation. And you know what? I actually liked it. I liked traveling. While it was certainly tiring it was also a lot of fun.

This year I took myself down to Virginia to visit Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian. As I had always wanted to go there. I finally got up the courage to go out and see it. It was an incredible trip, scary at times. So much fun was had. It was different being in control of things. Deciding on what to do. Where to go. How to get there. Such as riding the Metro. Conquering the fear of that. The fear of doing this alone. I triumphed in so many ways. There was a morning where my stomach was off from what I ate the night before. Normally when that would happen, I would retreat and stay in. This time it did impact the time I left by about an hour. I was still able to go out, go out with a friend that came down to visit me, and walk around for 7 hours and walk ten miles. That would have never been possible in the past, as the old me. I am so thankful to have been able to still make it out there even when I was a little off in the morning. And be able to have a good time. Words can not express how incredible that felt.

cardinal
Cardinal outside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Smithsonian(s) were amazing. Seeing all that history over the ages. Seeing how far we have come. To see how incredibly amazing we humans are. To be able to create the wonderful and complex creations we have made since our dawn. Things that have helped us in so many ways. Such as the airplane and the car. Also sad to see how such things have been used as tools of war and destruction. There was just so much to do down there it was hard to decide where to go and what to do. So I went with the flow. Just picked a place and then went from there. I even got the pleasure of watching a guy propose to his girlfriend outside of the Jefferson Memorial… Well at least I think it was his girlfriend. May have been awkward had it not have been. She did say yes nonetheless. I would have to say the FDR Memorial was my favorite memorial there. It had a lot to it. Lots of wonderful and powerful quotes. Principles not being adhered to in this day and age. Which is a shame.  Sadly I did not get to make it into the Washington Memorial. The tickets were sold out by the time I got there.

As fun as it was the trip there was over just as fast as I got there. On my way home I even stopped at Friendly’s to get something to eat. In the past I would never have been able to eat and then drive for an hour and a half. It would have been too anxious for me. Was annoyed that they would not serve me an omelette after 11 am. I mean, seriously? Do the eggs disappear after 11 that they can not physically make me one? Or is it too much work to go to the fridge and get some? Boo on your breakfast policy, Friendly’s. After I got back into the area somewhat I decided to celebrate and get myself a new tattoo commemorating this tremendous milestone in my life. As well as pick up two movies on 3d Blu-ray. Kung Fu Panda 3 and Gods of Egypt. It was an incredible weekend and I look forward to my next vacation. Never dreamed I’d say that.

Now if only I could win the lottery I’d travel all over the world. Or I become a famous blogger who makes money off of traveling.. Crazier things could happen.

IMG_0665
Chillin’ with good ol’ FDR.

Conquering my fear.

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Today was my first full day of vacation. My first full day of doing something. Today I would boldly go where I’ve never gone before…

Well I went, but I can not completely say it was bold. For to get where I went today, I had to take the Metro train there. Instead of having to pay for parking in a garage I thought it would be easier this way. Easier is a misnomer. As I will say I was really anxious and nervous to take the train on my own. For the first time ever. I am also not a fan of not being able to have control and drive. Living with my stomach issues I prefer to have that control and drive so I can stop whenever, and where ever I need to. You can’t do that in public transportation. You are boxed in to a set destination beyond your control. One of my scary fears. 


So I would go balls to the wall, as they say… Wait, has anyone ever said that? And go on the Metro. It took me some time to muster up the courage to do it. As well as talking myself out of driving there instead. Another thing I will do when face with anxious decisions try and find a way out of it. Luckily the metro station was only a ten minute walk to it and the train ride was about the same amount of time. Then it took me a few minutes to figure out how to get a card to get on the thing. It was 14.50 for a day pass, I am not sure that was cheaper than a garage though. I then hopped a train and went upon my way. Thankful that google maps told me which stop I needed, how many stops it would be before mine, and even what color train I needed. Without that I would have been lost. Technology can be a wonderful help for people like me.

The train ride was a lot better than I thought it would be. Coming back was rough as I stood the whole time and it made me all wobbly and motion sick and other reason I prefer to drive. After that I hit the Air and Space Smithsonian and had a blast seeing all the fun stuff. I then just walked around all over the place not really sure where all to go I ended up walking more than seeing things. I ended up being out for 7 hours walking all over the place. I was calm and relaxed and ok the whole time and made it back to my hotel and then to get some food. It was agre at dat and I conquered my fear and won. It did not defeat me this day.

I also met this chap and we discussed the theory of relativity. He didnt talk much though.