Need to Breathe


The ceiling is so low, the walls are closing in around me, you are standing too close, my clothes are too heavy…I can’t get my breath…I Need To Breathe!!!

For as long as I can remember these feelings have been ever present and something I have struggled with my entire life…I am Claustrophobic!!!

It wasn’t until later in life I learned that claustrophobia is often caused by a traumatic event experienced during early childhood. For example, adults may develop claustrophobia if, as a child they: were trapped or kept in a confined space, were bullied, or abused.

While relieved to learn I didn’t bring this on myself, it makes me sad to know I must continue to suffer from the emotional and physical abuse I endured as a child.

The struggle is real but I thank God every day for Richard’s patience and support! He is definitely the most tolerant man I know! Heck we even sold one of our most favorite houses because the ceilings were too low…

Someone might ask, “why on earth are you sharing this?”. Well, quite frankly, I’ve asked myself that too! Bottom line if this post can help even one person then my work here is done!

I am also of the belief that for every problem there is a solution. While this post will not cure what ails you, it just might help you cope.

So, here’s a list of things that helps me cope:

  1. Get rid of the clutter. Clutter takes up precious space a claustrophobic craves
  2. Open the window blinds. We even go as far as removing the window screens for unobstructed views which provides the illusion of space by bringing the views of nature inside. This has been especially true in our RV
  3. Decorate with mirrors. They reflect light and also create the illusion of space
  4. Purchase a home with the largest amount of square footage you can afford. Square footage was the priority for us so much so we opted to buy homes that required sweat and tears for the biggest bang for our buck
  5. Go outside! This is my greatest secret of survival because the skies are vast, the air has movement, the scents are fresh, and you can move about without bumping into things!!!
  6. Crawl into the water and float in the sunshine. Hands down my most favorite activity EVER!!! First of all the water renders me pretty much weightless and the sun warms my mind, body, and spirit! I frequently remind my family that my spirit animal is a whale and sign all my texts with a whale emoji 🐳
  7. Don’t forget about your vehicle. Make sure you are not too close to the dashboard. If your budget allows get a sunroof and leave it open ALL the time!

To the claustrophobic…Space is you friend so you can fulfill your…


2 thoughts on “Need to Breathe

  1. I’m not claustrophobic per se, but I did feel this way when I tried that ‘dinner in the dark’ thing once. The pitch black felt so stifling, and I didn’t like not being able to stand up and walk around without the help of a waiter, and that’s when I had a taste of claustrophobia. I suspect that’s what deep-diving would feel like too. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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