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Fear of being outside

I'm having an issue with going out of doors.
If I'm doing something as 'me, the representative of where I work', I can do it.
--this is the 'face'...From 8-6, I can seem vibrant and smart and powerful, but I cannot seem to get myself to be anywhere other than inside my house if I'm just being me,off the clock. Example: A 'friend' from work (co-worker, really) recently invited me to join her at her dance class so that I could lose some weight and have some fun-she'd even be there WITH ME, but when it came time to go to the class, I couldn't leave my house!  I was a 'no-show'.It's like there's an invisible wall that stops me...and if I find a way through or past it, it's short-lived, as I cannot breath. I'm on Paxil, but I think my doctor is getting ready to fire me because I miss my appts-same issue, I freeze up-and because I don't want an exam.
The only way I seem to be able to function is if it's work related, or if my son or daughter needs something that requires I deal with the outside. I cannot just take a walk to the store, I freeze up thinking of meeting people outside of work.  I'm very isolated.
I've become very paranoid. One day, I was out to lunch with a person...when I stood to go to the restroom, an elderly lady looked at me with a frown.  When I got to the restroom, I looked in the mirror and was mortified!  I didn't look anything like what I felt.  I freaked out inside.  I was so ugly!   It seemed so NEW, though!  Like I had no clue who this person was in the mirror. And I was shocked at what I was wearing. I look at photos of me from years ago, and I'm passable--even pretty, but I cannot figure out what's happened since.
I've tried to see a therapist,but they're expensive,and I'm afraid of what they'll come up with...many are so quick to 'label' a person. Would I even be able to keep the appts??
It's like it's all a bunch of excuses,but it just wont let up.  
I want very badly to be in the solution, but cannot figure out how to just-- STOP IT
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There is good news in your situation.  You are able to do things and participate in activities, if they are work-related or if your son or daughter needs something.  So, I would recommend that you start very slowly with using this to help you.  While you're at work, check and see if they have EAP (employee assistance program).  Some companies offer this as part of the benefits package.  It is free for a few counseling sessions and then can be covered under insurance if more are recommended.  The key is to view counseling as work-related.  Remember when you show up at work, all of you shows up, not just a fragment.  So, actually counseling can help the parts that haven't been cooperating.

It is very natural for an individual to be overwhelmed and basically become immobilized whenever they want to make some big changes.  What if you just took one little baby step? Remind yourself that you are not changing it; you're just taking one little step.  So, one way to look at this situation is that it might be work-related.  For example, a run to the grocery store might be seen as really a work function, if you purchase one little thing you need for your job.  While you are there, you can also, oh yes, get a few groceries.  There is a book that talks about this approach I might recommend:  "One Small Step Can Change Your Life" by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.  

It is not about stopping, it is about taking one little baby step.  Are you ready to take one little step?  

Your forum coach Wanda
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