mr. anonymous (the 314th facebook friend i’ve met since starting this new year’s resolution) was a bit nervous about meeting me. well, i can assure him that i was nervous too! it’s hard to meet someone for the first time and as i drove up to his house (thank you gps!) i had a bit of the acid reflux heart fluttering red hives on my face anxiety going.
i ordinarily never visit someone i’ve not met before in their home. it’s a safety issue. but there wasn’t any choice because mr. 314 hasn’t left his house much in the past two years. he’s able to sometimes go to his father’s house (a few blocks away) and to his church (a little further than that). earlier this year, when he needed to travel six miles to get his drivers’ license renewed, i was so happy for him. he felt like it was an ordeal.
a couple of years ago, he quit his job because of anxiety attacks that persisted no matter what he tried. then the “safe zone” got smaller and smaller. his doctor put him on 25 mg. of zoloft. when he went back for an appointment and said “this isn’t making things any better” the doctor said “let’s try 50 mg”. . . it’s become even more painful because his wife has just this past week announced that she has filed for a divorce. his doctor has upped the ante on zoloft, putting him on a prescription for 100 mg. there is no way that his next few months are going to be easy.
i just wish there was a way to make sure this man knows that he’s not alone. even when he’s in his house by himself, he’s basically got friends–okay, sometimes they’re “just” facebook friends–who know what he’s going through because they’ve been there too. i sort of wanted to say that and i’m not sure i was completely successful. . .
i did ask an enormous favor of mr. 314. a phone app and video developer from los angeles has been working on an app to help agoraphobics. i put the two of them on the phone together. i hope mr. 314 will agree to be the first tester of this app!
what qualities would you want if your phone could help you get out of the house? i know mine better say “put that damn flip camera down and drive!”