Before I go into my success story I want you all to read these two passages so you can try to begin understanding what my life was like agoraphobic for 5 years.
I’m trapped in this fear, in my mind or a body that’s not mine. I don’t know how to explain it. Every part of me is saying GO DANIELLE, but I sit still. Again it happens, “Danielle get in the car and just f***king go”. I’m frozen. Does anyone else understand this? I’m inside this body with steel walls, it won’t let me break free and I can’t find a way out. I’m screaming and nobody can hear me. I’m alone in this, all the words in the world couldn’t describe this to anybody. And nobody would believe me.
Sometimes I sit here and I mourn the loss of her. I imagine myself hugging her, the carefree girl, I grab her so hard and squeeze her. She smells good, make up looks perfect, a smile that lights up the room, she doesn’t understand why I’m hugging her telling her “it will all be okay”. At that time she has no idea that her life will soon turn into one she wouldn’t imagine in her worst nightmares. She doesn’t know that her makeup will never look that way again, her hair will be a mess and she will live for pajamas because she can’t bear to put a pair of jeans on. Her smile wouldn’t light anything and hell, she won’t ever get a compliment of smelling good cause well, she’ll be stuck in 4 walls without seeing life anymore.
She doesn’t know she won’t be able to drive 45 minutes up to the north shore to see the houses she always dreamed of. She doesn’t even know that she won’t be able to go food shopping by herself with blasting Eminem on her iPod feeling like the world is at her fingertips. She doesn’t know any of this, and I can’t tell her but I can hug her and tell her no matter what, it will all be okay. Or at least that’s what I pray for every day.
I see her and I miss her more than I’ve ever missed anything in my life. I see her in my mind at Miller’s, running around laughing at the diner at 7 am, I see her driving long distances crying when she thought life was “too hard”. I still see her packing her sh*t, fed up and moving down to Florida. She has no idea that life is actually going to be hard one day. She has no idea that one day she’s going to walk away from the one person who ripped her insides out and never think about him again. She has no clue that she’s going to marry the man of her dreams but carries the burden of ruining his life, cause- she will always remember the girl she use to be.
That’s the thing, she just has no f***ing idea. But the thought of her makes me miss her so much, the memories of her are the only strand of hope I have left that life has something great to it. She’s the only reason I wake up just to be smacked down to try again. It’s an endless fight of breaking down brick walls the size of every third world country. I’m nowhere close, but before I leave this place I’ll find her even if it f***ing kills me. I don’t want to let go, I know I’m not that strong. I want to take her back home, collide who I am now with who she was and create the masterpiece she was always meant to be…
I have been in 6 months of recovery now. I have read DARE… I don’t even know how many times. I have prayed to God I don’t know how many times. In 6 months of my recovery, I’ve gotten engaged, I just got married 5 weeks ago. I drive places and go places I NEVER in my life thought I’d be again. I listened to Barry’s voice so much on the app that I can recite basically every single one. I WORKED. I CHALLENGED. Anytime ANY type of fear starts creeping in, I challenge it willingly. I tell that bitch to bring it on! “Okay let’s faint RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW DANIELLE!” “Oh you’re going to puke? Let’s f***ing puke everywhere! Ready! Set! Go!!! SYYYYKKKEEEEE!”
For months and months I worked with Suzane. She told me to do this and even though I knew it was true, the fear was stronger than the thought of CHALLENGING panic! I read all your success stories thinking “they were never ever as bad as me- no wonder they recovered!” I don’t believe that to be the truth at all anymore. My life was stripped from me, and I thought would never be found. I’ll be honest, 6 months ago I wrote a suicide note to my now, husband. I tried explaining that I didn’t actually want to die, but the fear of living was just as scary as dying, but dying seemed more peaceful than the hell I was going through. NOBODY understood.
I was alone and I knew I had two choices. Medication- or death. I needed more help than I could give myself. I cried on the floor for THREE days panicking 24-7. Thinking this pill and its side effects would make me throw up, or do something I was terrified of. Even now 6 months later, I take my meds with food even though it’s not required. I was so deep in sh*t, I couldn’t break hold of my mind, I couldn’t stop the thoughts. Now? I wake up smiling. I wake up EXCITED for what’s next. No, I can’t get on an airplane
Now? I wake up smiling. I wake up EXCITED for what’s next. No, I can’t get on an airplane but I AM living my life again. Dare saved me. Dare will save you if you let it. Sit and watch for a while, like we are so good at doing. Observe people’s stories and recoveries. Without Dare, I wouldn’t be where I am, have the strength to do what HAD to be done. I can go FOOD SHOPPING ALONE! With the scary lights and all! I can drive to my mom’s without my body feeling like it’s literally exploding inside me.
I smile when I go on longer drives, the drives I couldn’t do and swore I wouldn’t ever do again. I sobbed with her for months and months. PLEASE just TRY! Please trust these people, and LISTEN! Save your own life! If I can do this, you CAN!!!! I promise!