Oh, to be out and about

"I have become a hermit of sorts, one of those middle-aged women who live their lives at arm's length. I rarely leave my condo; there's no need. Everything can be delivered, and really, I don't know what to do with myself in the world these days."  
Fly Away (Firefly Lane), Kristin Hannah

When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I was also diagnosed with agoraphobia. When I heard the psychiatrist mention it, I was actually surprised, although in retrospect, I guess it makes sense. After all, when I was having non-stop panic attacks, I didn't want to go anywhere, afraid that I would suddenly lose it in the middle of a busy mall or while crossing the street (and to be fair, it did happen several times). And up until now I still get anxious when I need to step out of the house alone, even if it's only to walk around the block. (There was one weekend when T asked me if we were stepping out. I replied, "I'm not even sure if I can step out of the door.")

But yesterday I had to report to the office for our mandatory twice-a-month RTO. I had overlapping meetings from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm but I also managed to have lunch with my colleague and meet an old high school friend for drinks. Going home, I realized how much I missed these interactions with people, especially since I barely did any socializing even before the pandemic. I felt like I had been living in a straight-jacket all these years and the ties were briefly loosened for a day, allowing me to breathe.  


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