Telling it how it is

I’ve written a few blog posts now, but I’ve decided that now’s the time to tell it like it really is.

Germs, germs, germs – winter brings them and I enter psychotic germ fear. Every little sneeze, every tickle and it’s “god, I must be ill”. The fear is like a brick wall because there is no escaping one’s fate and feeling of doom. I’ve been an illness phobic since I was nine when I had food poisoning but this year my fears are worse than ever. I hate the loneliness of no one grasping how awful this phobia is, the all-consuming fear. Yes I know there are treatments. I’ve done CBT more times than I have fingers. I’ve had medicine and their accompanying side effects. I’ve even spent a year in a hospital ward doing “flooding” and nothing works, I just get more anxious and frightened. And that’s it fright/fear how inescapable germs are. I hate it!! I hate life because of it. I get nervous even with my parents and the outside world is a nightmare. Obviously going to the doctors is a huge thing but even letting a carer into my flat freaks me out – are they ill? Have they just been ill? Are they germ magnets?? I get so frightened my left arm goes numb and I fear having a heart attack.

I used to do things. Enjoy the cinema or theatre, going out to eat, going into town, trips to London whilst now I find it hard to go to Sainsbury’s. But you have to force yourself and fight against your life shrinking. My life has deteriorated over the last few years and I’m desperate for help. I don’t know how many people on the spectrum suffer things like this. I don’t think I’m alone. I know the depression is linked to autism in women, so although bad news at least there are others like me. One thing I find is that I never learn from situations, everything is always new. Just cos I made it to the supermarket or golf course one day and coped my head doesn’t go “ok you did this yesterday and you were fine you can do it again”. No, my head goes “anything can happen, bad things can happen”, thus the anxiety gets worse and what in the end was routine yesterday is now a whole scary, nervous making activity.

And to top it off, Christmas is coming. I find Christmas hard. Family members bring germs, will I be ill for Christmas? (I had a bad cold last year), will I choke on my lunch. This year because my parents are currently moving house we are going out for Christmas lunch – mega stress alert!!!?? I’ve been to the restaurant a few times so I know it but I just get scared. The best strategy I can think of is getting up early so my stomach is rumbling with hunger when I get there and feel relaxed enough to eat. Anyway we all have the thing about parents moving house. I’m actually looking forward to it cos the house is lovely and it’s not too far from my flat. At the same time I know it’s going to have an impact on my routines so that will be difficult. All I can really do is keep on listening to rock and roll and praying with all my soul for relief from this truly awful condition.

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