For a long time, I never really thought about why going outside alone, was such a big deal. I always thought it would just be lonely and pointless. But in my adulthood, I have realised it’s essential. Being able to go to the shops for needed items, seems to be a key thing for everyone. But for myself, it’s one of my biggest challenges. If I need something, I have to rely on online shopping or someone to come with me. I also struggle to walk to destinations to meet my friends or my boyfriend, leaving me totally reliant on friends or family to be with me wherever I go.
Starting at the rescue has been the only thing I have been able to do independently. I had my mentor at the time take me and help me with filling in the application, but besides that, I have been all on my own. I’ve made friends and I now feel extremely comfortable there. I am in control and I know there is somewhere I can go if I need space and I know there is someone I can talk to, if need be.
Upon noticing these benefits with my work environment, I have been able to understand why I find it so scary going out alone. It’s mainly because the world is unpredictable. Like my friend who suffers with OCD, I think of the worst case scenario all the time. Many bad things happen to people out there and that’s what scares me about being alone. If I am with someone, I feel I am less targeted, less vulnerable, less noticeable. I have encountered situations where I can verify that this is actually the case. Because on a number of occasions, where I have been out on my own to push myself, unsettling things have happened to me. I’ve mainly had drunk men approach me and on one occasion, a young girl decided to ask me for a fight. After experiencing these scary situations, I have become more frightened of going out alone, as it seems people target me. I somehow stand out, as if everyone knows I am different.
I would like to think that one day I would overcome it and step outside on my own with no problems, but as I said before, the world is unpredictable and I am in constant fear of the unknown. I like to be prepared and aware of what is going to happen. But I can’t give everyone a script of how the outside is going to play out for that day, just so I can go to the shops to get some breakfast bars. Unfortunately, the world isn’t like that. I am currently trying methods of dealing with this fear and having a friend who struggles in a very similar way, definitely makes me feel less alone with my anxieties.
So maybe in the future, I’ll be just like everyone else who can go out to do those silly, mundane things.