Podiatric Claustrophobia

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA in the blogosphere the last week.  That cold turned out to be a kicker; I over did things on Tuesday and ended up out of work and dance class Wednesday while I lay in bed like a bump on a log and slept for more than 12 hours straight.  I’ve been steadily getting better since then—thanks to more than 10 hours of sleep a night every night the rest of the week—and was well enough to make it through the whole day yesterday of yoga, company rehearsal, and the dance show.  I’ll say more about that tomorrow…or whenever Ren remembers to email me the video she took on her phone.

But today, I’m sitting at work hiding my feet behind my desk.  My trusty extra-padded Chucks are empty before the feet of my swivel chair, and I’m stretching my toes.  I feel like I will at some point very soon need to get up and go pee, but I’m hesitant to put my shoes back on.

I am currently experiencing an episode of what I call wardrobe-related claustrophobia.

I’m claustrophobic in general, but not in the way most people are.  Elevators and such spaces don’t bother me so long as they aren’t crowded (when they ARE crowded, I am slightly plagued by fear of the elevator breaking down; if it’s just one or two people I don’t even think about it).  It’s being restricted, unable to move freely, that really freaks me out.  I could be in a wide open space, but make it to where I can’t move my hands and you might as well have locked me in a trunk.  As you can imagine, bondage is entirely out of the question; I can’t stand it if the sheets are tucked into the bed too tightly.

I have no idea from where my particular brand of claustrophobia stems, but this is not the first time an article of clothing has been the perceived cause.  I once had a lovely episode in college when I became convinced my favorite blue-jean skirt was never going to let go of my legs.  I quickly went from mild discomfort to a full-on panic attack during the drive home from wherever I’d been, and it lingered even after the skirt was ripped off and flung across the apartment.  I have never worn another blue-jean skirt to this day.

Notice I said the skirt was the perceived cause.  One of the fun things about my anxiety disorder is that I sometimes do not freak out about what is actually causing my anxiety; the anxiety instead gets misdirected to something seemingly harmless like a skirt or my shoes.  I then have to dig through what is going on in my life and try to find the source.

In hindsight, the skirt was an easy one.  I was in my first serious relationship, but I was still in that stage most girls go through when they first start dating—the asshole stage.  My boyfriend was a complete and total jerk, and it took that skirt-induced anxiety attack and the kind intervention of my friend Kelly to make me see how he was effectively destroying my sense of self-worth.  I broke up with him very shortly after that, and once my self-esteem recovered, I began to have little patience for any breed of asshole.  This, as you can imagine, has limited my dating pool considerably.

Why my Chucks are giving me grief is a little more difficult to fathom at the moment.  I love my Chucks.  They are the best shoes ever.  Yet I keep removing them this morning in hopes of keeping this minor uneasiness from growing into something a little less office-appropriate.  My feet must be free!  But it’s not like I can just never wear shoes again.  And I have no idea why.

I am still in the middle of it, so I’m sure all will be made clear in time.  This is not the first time this has happened in recent weeks, either; I went through exactly the same thing the week after my birthday.  But other than the usual stressors—annoying people at work, trying to get choreographies ready for performances yesterday and later this month, my mom, making sure this paycheck lasts until my next one—there’s not that much in my life that would cause me anxiety at the moment.

Maybe I just didn’t put enough lotion on my feet last night…the world may never know.

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2 Responses to Podiatric Claustrophobia

  1. Dad says:

    Dad says: “Don’t be afraid to show off them poo stompin farmer feets!”

    • I do not recall ever “poo stompin”.

      It’s not that I have a problem showing my feet–I’m a belly dancer. We don’t wear shoes a lot. Shoes ARE required, however, at my workplace.

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