Written 8/30/2016 as we were making plans to retire by 2018:
When I was only 38 years old I went through menopause and developed Agoraphobia which the Mayo clinic defines as a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed. The doctor put me on Paxil for about 3 years but then the side affects began to bother us more than the agoraphobia, so I stopped.
Since then I have found other ways to deal with the anxiety. One of the best ways is my camera because I find that it changes my perspective. A crowded facility can cause me panic and then behind the camera it becomes art. Art soothes my soul so I try to always carry it with me to be ready for anything.
Because of this I am prone to anxiety for many different reasons. Home has always been my safe place. This has been a challenging decision for me and yet exciting that I would even consider the thought of leaving my safe place. Not letting myself be overcome with fear about the idea has been in my thought processes each day.
There is certainly no easy cure for anxiety and some days are better than others. My youngest daughter said she can see I am at peace with this whole decision. Peace is exactly what I was not expecting as we have been making preparations. Peace came unexpectedly for both of us and I am grateful!