An Unsuccessful Agoraphobic Outing

My Father had an appointment at St. Paul’s Hospital; and my Mother was going with him. I rode along, just for an outing, but mostly, just in case they kept him. They did.

My Mom does not drive, so then I had to drive; luckily, it was just at the 3:30 first wave of the rush hour switch from shoppers to commuters.

So this outing was unsuccessful on most of the measurables that I use:

  1. Length of time (5 hour max comfort zone) – exceeded.
  2. Hurry Up and Wait Times – here, I had some success *
  3. Eye Contact Tone/Vibe to Actually Speak with Strangers.
  4. events
  5. Blog **

I was in the Big Blue Room for longer than 5 hours, but some of that was indoors.

However, the Location – St Paul’s Hospital, is an High Terror Zone, so is factored as aggravating to the outing scenario.

The original plan didn’t require me to actually go into the building, but I ended up doing so.

Now – ANYONE in Vancouver knows that these are the most MISERABLE ELEVATORS because they have been on permanent repair status for at least 2 if not actually 5 years.

I had a panic attack, the crowded elevator, claustrophobic and there was some woman on her cell phone in a high traffic area she should have been paying attention to – seriously – how do you not know elevator manners – you get off and step back on to let people exit. so. this was not one of my better elevator stories.

mind you, people in Vancouver have forgotten umbrella manners too


  • * Hurry up and wait – I had planned for one, but had a second one, post elevator.
  • ** Blog – if I can get a post out of it.

above: lessons learned; teachable practice: below

Raw Recovery Specialist

I had coped with the first wait – the 1 known planned appointment by pacing three blocks back and forth, so today was a good exercise day.

Then there was an unplanned second appointment to decide if to keep him. I planned to cope with this second hurry up and wait by meditating – and the elevator incident frayed my nerves and I got really flustered with the panic attack, but my self management protocols kicked in, and I just focussed on the row of chairs until I reached it,

My parents went to the follow up appointment down the hallway.

so now it was just to sit very still so I didn’t fall down, because the last place you want to fall down is in a hospital.

I pulled my hoodie over my eyes and closed them and just breathed out my nose a little bit slower than my heartbeat.

I let my mind meditate blank and soon my heartbeat matched my breathing, which I then slowed down and shallowed a little bit.

Repeating the calming ritual and not letting words form concepts in my mind, but abstracting them into vague geometeric and fall into wordless feelings and colours

slowing my breathing at each unfolding step.

until I hear my Mom and then, we drove back home..

how to talk yourself out of a panic attack, the mantra and breathing technique

Raw Recovery Specialist

Who’s Your Meme Daddy?

Elevator Saga 3.0: Nina vs Senior Partner Lawyer

I shared this story about a man in an elevator with stargazer lilies on my original blog:

My Elevator Story Extended


RRS: Decoding Panic Attacks

Panic Attack Talk Down

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2 Responses to An Unsuccessful Agoraphobic Outing

  1. Pingback: Hospitals and Healthcare | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  2. Pingback: Agoraphobic Outing: Scottsdale Mall | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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