Published On: March 27, 2024Categories: Blog, Uncategorized575 words2.2 min read

Agoraphobia, Fear and OCD: Learning to Leave the House Again (+3 Tips)

March 27, 2024

After having a baby two months ago, I’ve been on maternity leave and have barely left the house. Getting into a routine with my baby has consumed me. Days and nights have blurred together. I’ve been lucky if I remember what day it is. Or if I take a shower. And I’ve barely had to leave the house. Making me feel a familiar sense of dread when having to leave. The familiar tingling of agoraphobia. 

The first time I experienced agoraphobia was after COVID. During lockdown, I got used to being only at my house. And once it was over, my fear of leaving kept me from wanting to step foot outside my door. I thought about every horrible thing that could happen. And felt like any moment could be my last. A fear that crippled me. And made it take me months to feel at ease outside my home again. A feeling that has returned.

After having a home birth, the first time we took our baby out of the house was one week after she was born. We had her pediatrician appointment about 10 minutes away from our house. And my husband was with me. And I felt the familiar feeling wash over me. 

I had anxiety about getting out the door. I feared getting her down the stairs to our driveway. I had a fear of using the car seat for the first time. And driving with her was almost more than I could take. My husband drove, and I sat in the back with her, but it didn’t stop me from fearing every move we made. As soon as we pulled away from the house, I wished we were safely back in. And my anxiety didn’t cease until we were home again. 

Since then, I’ve left the house several times with her and each time has gotten easier. But each time I’ve been with my husband. I knew I had to leave with her on my own. And it’s taken me almost two months to do it. But I did it. 

I set a date for when I would do it. That day, I prayed. I repeated the mantra, “We are safe, we are brave,” to my daughter. I put her in the car (after several attempts to calm her in her car seat). I went through the Starbucks drive through and got a coffee. Then I took her to the park for a walk. I made a goal to do it, and I did it. And damn, it felt good.

If you struggle with the fear of leaving your house, here are some things you can do:

  1. Set goals. Start small and work your way up. Be realistic. And give yourself grace. 
  2. Say a mantra. Self-talk is very important. If you tell yourself you can do it, you can. If you tell yourself you can’t, you can’t. And you won’t. 
  3. Give yourself a reward. It can be something small like the coffee I got myself for taking my daughter for a walk or something bigger. Regardless, make sure you reward your brave behavior. 

No matter how you overcome your fears, know that you are brave. That every step matters. And that you deserve only the best. Truly, you do. 

Subscribe to my website | Like me on Facebook | Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram

Photo by Miggy Rivera


Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Browse More Blog Posts