Bipolar Disorder, Everyday Life, Uncategorized

Phobia Facing: Gym Germs

person holding barbell
Photo by Victor Freitas on

Some of the encouraging thoughts that are passing through my head today:

  • Today is going to be the day!
  • Yes, I am going to make it happen!
  • I am going to do it!
  • I have the materials, I put the mindset in place, I just need to get my butt there.
  • Am I scared?  AM I thinking about all the other things that I could do? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

Who knew that a gym and going there could be such a scary thing?  I mean have there been sightings of monsters at your local gym?  I know there have not been at mine, but just crossing over that boundary from outside the gym to inside the gym, I fear that my heart may be ripped right out of my chest or something.

End Scene.  Attend Meeting.  Get Home.

Being home is the real power struggle.  I am home and will need to force myself to go BACK out, none the less back out to the gym, and that can take all the might in the world.

Circle Back in Time to Earlier in the Day

Earlier in the day I purchased workout gloves.  Now let me explain yet another indulgent purchase.  Previously a reason that I gave of why I could not go to the gym was that I would have to touch the equipment and what if it was not properly cleaned?!?  So last night while I was trying to fall asleep, I was thinking I could wear latex gloves to the gym to avoid the germs, but then feared that I may stand out wearing said gloves.  This morning after a full night’s restful sleep, it came to me that they sell work out gloves!  I am sure that they are not for what I would be using them for, but they ARE workout gloves and I would be working out (even if it would be only on the treadmill) and they would look less odd then latex gloves, therefore, I must buy them.  I felt pretty excited about this fandangle idea and was more motivated AND thought that there was a chance that I was going to actually make it to the gym.

Back to being home

I made the mistake of laying down on my bed.  My super soft and comfy bed, that was so inviting and exactly what I wanted after a long day.  Had I yet mentioned that I was exhausted?

Well, I had to decide, and I said, well fudgesicles and farts, I’ll go.  I get ready, find my pants, but struggle to find a shirt that fits (more the reason to get back to the gym).  And then, I can’t find my sneakers.  Like how the heck did I lose them?  And then I was like, when was the last time I even wore them (another indicator it has been sometime since I have exercised).  I managed to find an old pair of walking shoes and figured that they would work, they looked horrendous, like make a mirror crack horrible, but I knew that I just needed to get out of the house and do 10-15 minutes at the gym and then I could come home.

At The Gym

I made it, safely, after fueling my beast of a SUV (more delays getting me to the actual gym).  There were numerous cars in the parking lot, and I was feeling overwhelmed.  I really don’t like going to a crowded gym, but I was here, and the deal was a mere 10 minutes and then I could leave.

I check in, remembering my code by the grace of Moses’ beard and literally did a jig when I got it right to the amusement of the staff and almost did a run over to the treadmills.  Prior to entering the gym, in the car, I had a heart to heart with myself.  I chose to do an exposure therapy episode tonight and did not bring the newly bought gloves with me.  I chose to brave the gym, with ungloved hands.  I would be brave, and I would tell my brain that I was safe from harm.  I picked a treadmill away from people and touched as little as possible since touching nothing is impossible.

It may have been the longest 30 minutes of my life, but you may have noticed by my typing right now that I made it.  I did some interval training for an upcoming hiking trip that I have planned and then just some “speed” walking.  I was be bopping along to some modern country music (yes grandee heffe, country music!) and found myself actually enjoying the workout and towards the very end I think I was singing along.


It is really beginning to weigh on me how much of my life is being altered as result of the anxiety that I suffer from.  I plan to work harder on breaking through the barriers and working to get relief.  I fear that I am missing out on much due to the fears that envelop my brain and hold my thoughts hostage.  Today was big for me, it wore me out, both mentally and physically, but I am feeling pride AND joy.

2 thoughts on “Phobia Facing: Gym Germs”

    1. Thank you! This weekend we went out of town and I did some more exposure therapy and gave myself a high five for me good work… I also had a smile on my face because I was proud of me and that was important. I was walking into work today (tired) but still made it and thinking about the progress being made and thinking about how i had pride and joy. Which are good feelings to have.


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