About ArLynn Leiber Presser

I am fifty one years old. I live in Winnetka, Illinois.  I was at one point a waitress, a drill press operator, a roofer, a telemarketer, a lawyer, a somewhat lazy romance novelist and regional historian–I’ve done my time at Pizza Hut, Micky D’s, Burger King and two law firms.  Then I switched to being a mom which made me an automatic volunteer.  My son Joseph is a filmmaker in New York and my son Eastman is in the Timara program at Oberlin University.  They’re not at home.  They don’t need me.  I need to meet my friends because. . .

I can and frequently do spend days not interacting with my friends in a “real” way.  I’m scared of travel.  I’m scared of flying.  I’m scared of just about anything outside my door.  I have panic attacks.   I believe there is nothing more annoying than an emergency room doctor saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, it’s all in your head.

I probably use facebook to keep in touch with my friends in a way that may be good or might just give me a false sense of intimacy.  I find MySpace a little jarring.  I am hopeless at Twitter.  LinkedIn makes me feel like an underachiever.

On December 31, 2010 I would meet all of my facebook friends.  I made a spreadsheet.  I sent out emails.  I followed up with phone calls.  I figured out how to divide my friends into geographic zones.  I flew out of Chicago nearly every week.  In October, my son and I started a seventeen day nineteen city thirteen friend around the world trip.  I was scared every step, every plane, every train, every friend all the way.  But we did it.  I ended the year with friend 292.  I saw ninety percent of my friends–there are some friends who want to be “just” facebook friends.

This year, my resolution is simple:  I want to meet ten to twelve facebook friends who are new friends.  Friends who need to get out from behind the computer for whatever reason.  I will travel anywhere.  I am taking suggestions.  I am trying to pay back for all the friends who supported me during the past year.

Oh, and losing ten pounds wouldn’t hurt.

131 responses to “About ArLynn Leiber Presser

  • Laura Kashian


    You might not remember me, but I am the waitress that works at Mirani’s that gets you your stellas 😉

    First of all I love your website! I appreciate your fearlessness and willingness to experience the unknown!

    You had mentioned the other day that you were interviewing people to be your personal assistant. I know you hardly know me, but I admire your sense of adventure and I am a hard worker with quite a bit of experience in planning and traveling.
    I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you more about it, if the position is still available.

    Thanks, and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you soon. 🙂


    • arlynnpresser

      you’re in! i need all the help i can get. let’s talk after the twenty fifth luncheon. since that’s my biggest problem right now. keep checking in with the blog and thank you thank you thank you for the support! i’m terrified and excited but those are just two sides of the same coin of emotion. i just have to remember to flip the coin occasionally!

  • Kimberly Fornek

    I am a reporter for the Winnetka Talk newspaper. I’m interested in talking to you about your odyssey: the approach you are taking, its joys and its frights, the constraints you’re under . . .

    Please email me or call me at (847) 486-7365. I hope to hear from you before you hit the road.

    Kimberly Fornek
    The Winnetka Talk
    (847) 486-7365

  • Alessandra Teixeira (Brazil)

    I think this text combines with you:

    (By Pedro Bial)

    At one point the film Crimes and Misdemeanors,
    the character played by Woody Allen says:
    ‘We are the sum of our decisions. ”

    That phrase settled into my gray matter and there never left.

    I share the skepticism of Allen:
    We are what we choose to be,
    The fate has little to do with it.

    Since we learned that small,
    When making a choice,
    We’re dropping another option and option in this web we weave
    so-called ‘my life’.

    No easy task.
    The moment we choose to be a doctor,
    If you’re giving up being an airplane pilot.
    By opting for the life of an actress, will be almost impossible to reconcile with the architecture.
    In love, the same thing:
    Dates to one another, and another,
    In an exciting back and forth of novels.
    And then comes a moment when it is
    I must choose between spending the rest of life without a formal commitment with someone,
    Just experiencing love
    And letting them go when not end,
    Or marry, and through
    Marriage establish a microenterprise
    With the right home ownership, household budget and responsibilities.
    Both options have their pros and cons:
    Living without ties and live with links …

    Drink till you drop or turn vegetarian and a Buddhist?

    All alternatives are valid,
    But there is a price to pay for them.
    I wish we could be a different person every 6 months
    Being married Monday to Friday
    And singles on weekends,
    Having children when you’re well-prepared
    And not have them when you are tired.

    Why is this important self-knowledge.
    Therefore it is necessary to read a lot,
    Listening to others,
    Internships in various tribes,
    Watch what
    Going on and not
    Growing prejudice.

    Our choices can not only intuitive,
    They have to reflect what we are.
    Of course it should reevaluate decisions and
    Change path,
    Nobody is the same forever.
    But these changes will route to add, not
    annul the experience of
    Previously traveled path.

    The road is long and time is short.
    Do not stop doing anything they want,
    But bear responsibility and maturity
    To cope with the consequences of these actions.

    Your choices are 50% chance to go right,
    But also 50% chance of going awry.
    ‘It takes great courage to confront their enemies. But it takes even more courage to face his friends. ”

    ‘Sometimes you need to forget the hustle and a little more attention in all directions along the path. The rush blind eyes. And we failed to notice so many good and beautiful things that happen around us. Sometimes we need is so close … We passed, we look but not see. It is not enough just to look. We must learn to look with eyes to see with the soul and enjoy with the heart. The first step is to be imagined. The second is to never forget that want to do is to do, just believe. “

  • Fábio from Brazil


  • eliza keating

    I am really enjoying your pages..so pleased I came across your blog..ELiza Keating

  • Jackie Paulson 1966

    I really want to learn about your Lawyer experience. you were a lawyer? when where? I am a Paralegal and it’s like impossible to get a job. Maybe you can motivate me? Please help? Jackie Paulson I love your write up on here.

    • arlynnpresser

      you’re so sweet! it’s impossible the legal profession. more lawyers than jobs. hence, lawyers squeezing out paralegals and taking up jobs that would have gone to qualified paralegals. your passion is everything. only people who work their passion make it out of a great depression–and this is a great depression. you love writing. you love seeking out new things. i’m just making guesses here, but you love creating. do it and figure out how it will make you money. and yes, i was a commercial litigation specialist. made a ton of money. hated every minute.

      • Brandt Leavey

        I just heard about your story on Dr. Drew, literally minutes ago. You are truly inspiring and like Ms. Paulson, I am also a paralegal.
        Although I am Licensed in Canada, I sincerely agree with your observation regarding lawyers squeezing out paralegals regardless of motivation and has essentially left no other option other than self employment and it does take time to establish clientele.
        You have proven than anything can be accomplished and nothing is impossible and for that I sincerely thank you.

  • ArLynn Lieber Presser | I Love to Read | Write | Share Knowledge

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  • Eva Kulik

    I was in Walgreens the other day and noticed your book on the stand It was about Northfield and I saw you were the writer and I thought to myselve great Arlynn is writting again about our small towns beginning I thought it was really cool. Do what your good at enjoy your life and live it to the fullest girlfriend that’s all any of us can do. Keep walking because it makes you happy.I am taking a Zumba class at the Community house it makes me happy. I ran into a lady who was working on the benefit with us a Diana. Working out always makes me happy and you can meet interesting people as well. Take care keep busy and be happy.

    Love ya Eva Kulik

    • arlynnpresser

      you sweetpea, i love you. you know i do. when i am back from this next trip (nine days) lets get together and take zumba even though i will be the clumsiest damn gal. or would you like to do boxing with me?????

  • Clam Chowder


  • Farley

    I live in Brazil, I can not speak English, but I read about you in a famous news sites here in my country. I identified so much with your story, I wonder if we can make contact. My email is farley.cs @ globo.com

  • Tammy

    I am overwhelmed by your courage…I cannot muster enough to get out the door…trapped in everyday panic behind closed doors. Housebound since 2008…bravo to you. I wish you the best.

  • sheila mc connell

    i am a child of a agoraphobic mother. i was so impressed to finally find someone that i could understand &relate to, & i could go on & on about my story as well. it effects the entire family i was my mothers eyes ears everything to the outside world, she lived through me. i was 9 yrs old &would shop & do many everyday things,that was back in 1971 agoraphobia was recognized as a pscyiatric disorder & many people did not seek help my mother did not leave the house for 35 yrs their were times whn she had no choice but that was not many times. i will express mote thoughts in the future

  • sheila mc connell

    thank you once again for sharingyour story

  • Frank

    ArLynn, you’re one of the sexiest women I’ve ever seen.

  • Marije Versendaal

    My sister pointed me to this video today. how inspiring. I have social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia myself (and some other shit lol) and I try not to let it get me down. this past new year I took the jump and visited my friends in the UK (I am from holland) on my own. I have met them trough an online game and have them as friends on my facebook. I refuse to let the fear take over my life, however that is very hard at times. I am proud I have done that though. When I saw this vid it made me happy that there are more ppl that fight against that fear. Well done ArLynn! Hope I can get in to contact with you somehow.
    love, Marije Versendaal

    • arlynnpresser

      thank you so much marije! and i would love to join your group!

      • Marije Versendaal

        I am confused, I have no group? But thanks for responding 😀 now I know you have read my comment 😀

    • oxycowy

      Hi Arlynn,I read your blog and am very encouraged by your sharing.I am Cindy from Singapore and have been suffering from panic attack since 2005.I have fear of traveling by public transport like buses and train whenever I have to go out and always pray and call my friend thru cell phone if it triggers..You write very well,thanks for sharing again!God bless you and family:-)

  • arlynnpresser

    marije, i meant to say that i hope we will be friends on facebook and in real life. sorry, it’s too earlyin the morning here for me to think straight! much love!

  • Faris Vojic

    There’s no word how to describe I feel … There’s no word.. But every time when I see you my day becomes shineing, like in paradise ! I was always talking to myself ‘ Comeon Faris.. Everething will be fine ‘ but nothing didn’t become fine. When I see you I started to believe in myself.. I started to believe I can do something, I started believe ‘ I CAN FLY ‘ .. And know, when I have you, I really can ‘ FLY ‘. Fly in my world; world of peace, world of LOVE! Arlynn thank you ‘couse you gave me hope! THANK YOU!

  • Jithin M Krishna

    hello madam i am jithin from india and would like to be your facebook friend. my name in the facebook is jithin m krishna

  • jackbassteam

    I did contact your agent Rebecca . She said you are talking with literary agents . I am a management consultant in Canada . If those other efforts do not result in a book I will publish and distribute your book . You will earn 10 % of all sales. You can keep this as ” Plan B” – but now you should be writing down all your meetings as if for publication.
    You will need pictures and a release in order to tell the stories of identifiable persons.
    People will want your own history and photos – so you can be working on that as well.

    All the best,

    Jack Bass

  • Andrey Mubarak Rukmana

    Arlynn my dear, I always pray to God that you healthy always there. don’t worry many people who love you, including me. I am very concerned about you. You are not alone here I also have Andrey Rukmana your daughter from Indonesia. although we have never met but I feel very fond of you, like your own mom. but I really hope the Lord can bring us one day. It is my greatest dream, to meet with people I love. My phone number is +6281355474269, good relationship between mother and child not only through the internet but can become a reality. I miss you mom, I love you

  • Andrey Mubarak Rukmana

    Mother, I have an idea what if you visit the island of Bali in Indonesia. You must have heard a very famous island of Bali in Indonesia. Bali has beautiful beaches. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, but we should not have to go there because there is always full of traffic jams and pollution. Makassar city where I live is also a great place to visit because it has friendly people and beautiful beaches. I will stay with the mother 24 hours. I will always look after you, not only the relationship between mother and daughter, but we can become best buddy. Mom could see many beautiful panorama of the island of Bali. Look on the internet mother. We’ll talk later. This is my idea mother

  • sam

    hi arrlyn,

    considering your age i should probably be calling you aunty.
    My name is Samina and i am from mombasa,Kenya.i have been suffering from agoraphobia for the past ten years.i have a multitude of problems and would like to discuss with you.pliz email me on saminaessak@yahoo.com.thanx

    • arlynnpresser

      you can call me aunty! or you can call me arlynn. i’m sorry that you’ve been having problems with agoraphobia. i am always available to offer advice although i don’t think i’m that great at managing my life. i just try very hard. much love and i tried the address but it kept getting bounced back to me. do you have a facebook account?

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  • Andrey Mubarak Rukmana

    Mother, on April, I will graduating and I am pleased that the president of the campus I work with companies in Australia and my nine of my friends graduated to major in business ENGLISH Aussy to work and college and before I’ll be training there a few months. if we can not meet in Bali we can meet in Aussy. bu but this new plan, I’ll call you back. I hope soon we will meet. I love you so much. Really miss you. Mother, I promise we will meet

  • Andrey Mubarak Rukmana

    Maybe the end of the year I will go to Aussy. I’ll try to see the month of June or whenever you plan to Bali

  • Ric

    Amazing story. Amazing courage (been there with anxiety etcetera). Good on you! If you get out to Cape Cod come see my library and cats. Keeps me in the house in a nice way. I suspect you’re going to be swamped today, what with the WordPress promo.

    • arlynnpresser

      i would love to visit the cape–i almost got there a few weeks ago when i went to visit facebook friends in boston. i do feel a little swamped today but in a good way. . . i am so impressed by the wordpress article. it was very well written! it made me almost want to be my facebook friend!

      • Ric

        Ummm… probably not a good idea to be your own facebook friend – that’ll just add multiple personality syndrome to everything and you’ll start getting confused about who to visit. Did I visit that friend or did my other self visit? Just more existential angst.

      • arlynnpresser

        but then i could spend an entire year visiting my facebook friends without leaving the house!

      • Ric

        But think of the eyestrain! The danger of pixilating your self, or your other self! And anyway we’re better in person. So’s backgammon.

        Not to blogwhore but you might find The Grumpy Stoic interesting. http://thegrumpystoic.wordpress.com. Seneca has interesting things to say about FB and such.

      • arlynnpresser

        a blogwhore??? i’ve never heard that term. but i have been reading the grumpystoic–especially appreciate it even though i think you and i are on somewhat opposing ends of the political spectrum. and what WAS your mother doing using st. francis as a jewelry holder?

      • Ric

        See, learn something new every day!

        And to paraphrase R. M. Renfield of toothy fame, “Politics, politics, politics.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though.

        “Somewhat”? Should be interesting…

        You know, I never asked her about that. I’ve been trying to clean this house out for months and keep finding stuff I had no idea about. But old Frank is out of the mess, soaking up the sun in the garden. I’ve no idea what else I might find. Maybe that old boyfriend of hers who disappeared is in there somewhere. But she did have Frank covered in necklaces and stuff. Must have been a pound of the stuff.

  • Scott Stocking

    I appreciate your courage. I do get out quite a bit, but trying to find quality time to spend with people is always a challenge. I like communicating electronically, but I’d much rather do it face-to-face. If you’re ever near Omaha, I’m open to a new friendship. I was just in Rolling Meadows this past Saturday to see my kids perform at Jazz in the Meadows. Chicago is an awesome city.

  • Brian Comeau

    Hi Arlynn, Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve struggled with some of the same issues since I was 20. Now almost 40 I’m med free and can fly or go in public without fear. (well maybe a little sometimes) It’s an awesome feeling!

    Thanks again for sharing your journey and being an inspiration to those who fight the same fight.

    Keep it up the great work. I’ll be praying for you as so many others did for me.

  • Joe Hupp

    G’day from down under, ArLynn!

    I have just found your blog today – I also read it in awe of what you have achieved…. I suffer from anxiety and I never let it get me down or in the road of me doing what I want to do….

    In saying that, 2012 is a year that I want to use to fulfill one of my dreams: swimming with dolphins… so excited!

  • c0achdesigns

    Hi! I’m a new fan. I just started on my blog site then I received a notification that led me here.
    I haven’t read any of your blog but I know it’s quite interesting after reading the notification I received from WordPress about you and your New Year’s Resolution. My jaw just dropped in awe, this is blogging on a different level. I promise I will read your writings and hopefully learn from you. Peace!
    – Jay-Andrewson Dayuday, Philippines

    • arlynnpresser

      jay, as part of the resolution i came to the philippines for one day only to meet a facebook friend. i loved the commuter buses in manila, and i spent most of my time in quezon city. i was so happy there and i think if i had to choose a country to live in i would be there. . . . tell me about your blog?

      • c0achdesigns

        Oh I see. I’m from Quezon City.
        My blog just started so there is no current solid theme on it. It’s about anything that any ordinary day would bring to me that makes me want to write it. But mostly it’s about basketball, and being a Lakers fan, I’ve written quite a few about them.

  • Daria Theron Dumont

    Hi Arlynn, like ‘coachdesigns’ I have just read the notification on wordpress about your blog and then read your bio. That’s incredible! What an achievement. I have so much inside of me that I want to say, and this morning the feeling was strong to just blog my journal, that perhaps there are others who are feeling like me right now. Your story is another gentle nudge in that direction.
    Thank you Arlyn for being such an inspiration.

  • briandmahan

    hmmm. i am humble and intrigued. your white-knuckled courage is awe inspiring to say the least. your motivation commendable.

    and the happenstance or syncronicity of me stumbling upon your journey seems mystical and i can only hope predestined.

    i am a trauma survivor and, now, a trauma specialist for nearly 10 years. i help other survivors of unresolved past traumatic events to feel safe, joyful and take control of their lives again.

    PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and depression do not have to be life sentences. And they are not psychological disorders; they are physiological conditions.

    There is hope. You are not alone. I can help.

  • Jojie Alcantara

    I reblogged your fascinating story in my blog today.

    I didn’t know I was slightly agoraphobic until I read your post. I tell my readers I was afraid of heights and seas and anything in between (includes commitments and stepping on sidewalk cracks), but I didn’t give it a name.

    What I did was faced each one head-on, like you did. Now I am a travel photojournalist who goes on crazy assignments in a chopper, in small boats, in the jungle, and in small confined spaces (I did shoot from a hole in a box because the director of the show didn’t want photographers to be seen).

    Had I known there was a name to my anxiety, I would have renamed my blog The Agoraphobic Scene Stealer.

    Bless you for making a world of difference to others. Move on and up.

    Jojie from the other side of the globe.

  • Ellen

    Hi Arlynn, I sw the notification today about your blog. I was very excited to read about your experiences. I’m a agoraphobic all the way here in Manila, Philippines. My struggle started when I gave birth to my 3rd child 3 years ago. Before that, I had no signs of having an anxiety disorder. As you know there are good days and bad days and you certainly are a source of hope for me! I just read now that you’ve actually been to Manila and I salute you since getting back to flying is one of my frustrations and I’m sure that was a long long trip.
    I am so amazed and inspired! If ever you decide to fly back here, I’d be excited to meet you.

  • Broadcast House

    Love you woman..You are an adventurer. Please come to Mumbai, India, if it’s ok with you.
    Also add me in as your Facebook friend 🙂
    Take Care.
    Loads of fun and adventure….

  • starfire1712

    Hi ArLynn,

    I had a message sent to my e-mail address related to your blog. In January a friend sent me photo she had taken, very simple, a window with a blind across it, the view outside showed a garden set, a wall with shrubs & trees. Later that day i was inspired to write a poem based on the photo, which i called Blind Panic, which i posted on my blog. There was a delay in writing it, my friend had also sent another photo at the same time which she called Butterfly Earring, i was in work at the time & immediately felt inspired to write a poem about that one first, which i called Butterfly Wings.

    Sending Respect & Blessings


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  • Faye-Merrill Geller

    I’m so moved by your story, your courage & your ability to overcome your fears. You’ve made me want to do more with my own life. To share more honestly, and to be more of an inspiration to my family. If you’d like to read my blog I’d be honored. Especially if you left a comment to personally encourage me. I live in a Section 8 apt. in Cranston RI with my French Bulldog Ziggy Stardust. She’s my constant companion & best friend. We entertain each other, sleep & eat together. I’ve been on disability for almost 30 years & am so grateful for the support that keeps me afloat. But this is about you. I’ll keep reading your blog. Your writing style inspires me; you inspire me. God bless you in your contribution to your fellow human beings.

  • Chandra Niraula

    i just opened it today. seeing every day some of your wordpress. thanks to wordpress for introducing yourself to all.

    come to nepal, be friend with himalayas…..

  • DM

    I’m jealous (in a good way) I’ve longed to do something similar w/ all of my regular blogging friends on WordPress…to date, I’ve met 4 of them in the flesh/ When a person blogs and shares who they really are, and people still want to meet them, it is a powerful thing. enjoyed your video as well. congrat’s on the freshly pressed today too. DM

  • You As A Machine

    What a great blog! I came across your site via a freshly pressed post.
    Wordpress is so great!

    Looking forward to reading more about your year of meeting your facebook friends!

  • wilhelminatunnels

    Wow. I am thoroughly impressed. You are so courageous!!! And I know this personally because I guess I suffer from the same thing. I didn’t call it agoraphobia though. I just call it a fear of tunnels. And that means tunnels of every type. Any place I feel trapped or find myself without a window that opens (and yes grocery store lines constitute entrapment on a bad day, wouldn’t you say?) It is debilitating. You see I live in Paris but my family is in the United States. I can’t get on a plane to see them. Haven’t yet found a plane with opening windows that crosses the Atlantic. Last year I actually took a boat to and from the United States. Amazing, beautiful, I strongly recommend boat travel. It’s the only thing I can do now. It’s only been four years, but I think living in this hell for four years is enough. I used to travel all the time. . As you can see by this recent post on my blog. http://wilhelminatunnels.wordpress.com/ Yes, I too decided to try to blog myself out of the tunnels. But I recently gave up. I also got a bit frustrated since I seem to be the world expert on “tunnel exposure therapy”, number one google search response. Yet the blog speaks very little of exposure therapy. Anyway, thank you. You see I am not only a hermit but one who doesn’t connect much even via Facebook or the internet in anyway. So you have definitely triggered something in me. Thank you. And please do write back or visit my blog if you have the time. And if you come to Paris. I’ll gladly have a tea and macaroons with you. Won’t take the subway to get there, but I get around very well on my bike.

  • Chime

    Wow, I am amazed!!! Your story is a great inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing. kokorat.wordpress.com

  • vicequeenmaria

    Hi Arlyn, a friend told me about your website. I’d love to interview you at some point or just exchange notes. I am a recovered agoraphobe who also took advantage of social media/blogging to stay connected with the world. You’re not alone.

  • Mike Maynard

    Well done, you set goals and achieved them. I am on LinkedIn but your story makes me feel like an under achiever! I have problems travelling too, but go further all the time. I have no wish to go overseas; I like the country I’m in. You should try Pinterest, I have just discovered it and I like it! I made it the subject of my blog tomorrow.

  • janedoe68

    I read the interview and had to see Your blog for myself. I look forward to reading more of Your travels. From one to another, I understand the fears and frustrations…
    Thank You for being so strong as to allow us all along for your journey.

  • Yan Abdullah

    Dear , arlynnpresser
    I’m glad to read your post in Word Press, I am sixty years old, a retired government employee.
    I was amazed after opening your blog, you know what to choose a job you do. I also want to pursue work on this line, but until now after over six months of no results. Remaining life imaginable, will be content with working behind my computer with my friends while developing friendships that are not constrained by the administration of the nations.
    I need your advice, visit the GOLDEN GATE Blogsaya; http://gateyan.blogspot.com and
    http://gerbangdotorg.WordPress.com or Email me: yanuar.abdullah @ gmail.com

    I am waiting for your advice
    Yanuar Abdullah

  • Elisa Lipsky

    Agoraphobics..I believe this is our poster child..:) Arlynn Presser !
    Maybe we all need an Ahhhh–ha moment to finally lift the chains of Fear off of us..Finally.
    FEAR..stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
    As an Agoraphobic..who now has a 5 mile driving radius, goes to the Grocery Store , The Bank, McDonalds drive threws, even saturday garage sales..:) There was a time 3 years ago..”that i could not walk to the mailbox” Was having Panic attacks 3- 5 times a day. And now i feel the joys of working hard through the scary times..
    Life is the greatest Journey..we must find the inspiration that keeps us moving and growing.I would Love to Connect to other People Souls that are recovering through Panic disorder and Agoraphobia..Lets Promise to be friends through Life .:) Elisalipstick@aol.com

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  • Moo

    Hi! I’m Moo from England 😀
    I read your blog and its totally inspirtational, I’ve barely left my house in 2 years due to panic attacks and stress and have so many PJ days thats its unreal.
    Its great to see that you can overcome things and that it’ll be alright in the end. Thankfully I have a really supportive boyfriend and things are looking up!
    Thankyou for telling your story 🙂

  • howardlovelyjr

    Hello Arlynn,…

    I am so proud of you and your display of self-value and courage to say the least.
    I just found your Blog by chance after starting / going public with my own on the 21 March 2012. Your’s popped-up in a window that said something about “latest popular Blogs” or something like that.
    Any way,…I’m recovering from my own potently stiffling mixture of baggage that is primarily comprised of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD).
    I read your interview by Erica and rezonated most with question number three(3) in terms of embracing all of my characteristics as a Man that enclude my flaws.

    “How did it feel to put yourself “out there” on your blog for the world to see? What was the actual writing process like?”

    “ArLynn: It took me all day today just to figure out how to encapsulate my experience with Facebook friend #298. I like to bring out the best parts in people I meet so I really choose my words carefully. As for putting myself out in the world, I think the only thing we can do is embrace being vulnerable and hopelessly flawed. I’ve learned to say, “Sure, I’m a total screw-up, but I accept it. If you want to read about it, fine by me.” I’m now fifty-one years old so it’s time for me to be liberated from worrying about what others think of me.”

    This creative and courageous journey that you under-took is in spiring to say the least.
    I personally have gotten to the point were I go help a neighbor work on his old 1965 Chevy truck. This activity gets me outdoors in an environment other than my wonderful veggie garden at home. Healing from a mental disorder is a slow process but I’ve made gains.

    I look forward to particularly reading more about how this journey of visiting FaceBook friends is / has furthered your healing process….!!!

    Desiring wonderfulness for you,..

    Howard Lovely, Jr.

  • MAD DAWN Challenge » March Thanks!

    […] Second, great thanks go to Arlynn Presser – and amazingly inspirational, gorgeous human being who faced her agoraphobia last year head-on, by meeting most of her 325 Facebook friends and traveling to a dozen of countries and all over the USA to do so. She is the first of the people I have asked to share an inspirational personal story with our site’s visitors who are still hesitating to pursue their dreams in an upcoming new section of the website. Read more about her adventures here! […]

  • oxycowy

    Hi ArLynn,I am Cindy from Singapore.I have suffered panic attack since 2005 and have fear of traveling alone by public transport like bus or train.I am very encouraged by your blog.Thank you for sharing.Please let me know how I can add you as friend in Facebook.Nice meeting you:-)

  • Pink Ninjabi


    Just to let you know how incredible you are, I have nominated you for the TMI Award. 😀 “And the TMI Award Goes To…” http://wp.me/p1ex8U-RO

    Thank you for always reminding us to be brave. 😀

  • catlover7731

    Hi, Arlynn, just found your blog from a message board. Congrats on doing what you are doing. My mother was agrophobic when I was little my Aunt was agrophobic and ending up passing away becuase she never left the house to see a Dr. Last year I became ill and did not put the pieces together of what I had until this year. I thought i had some disease that kept me bed ridden and afraid. I am still unable to go to stores, I can walk to the mail box and am practicing walking outside to the corner with my daughter. When I go to the clinic to see a Dr. I panic so much I feel like I am dying. 3 yrs ago I was an avid hiker and couldn’t wait for the next adventure. Now I am afraid to sit in my car. Cheryl

    • arlynnpresser

      i am so sorry to hear this cheryl! but i’m so glad that you are aware of the problem and want to do something about it. . . that’s half the battle. on the twenty eighth of this month, i’m having a party for my facebook and wordpress friends in winnetka and i hope to offer (for free!) the first three chapters of the book of my adventures! i hope you’ll download it and enjoy it! and where do you live? perhaps we could visit? you can also contact me at my regular email address apresser@hotmail.com bestest, arlynn

  • elisalipstick

    Agoraphobia..is a scary word. I am a recovering . It is the BEST feeling to look back at what was so scary..was just a silly Fear.
    I couldnt walk to my mailbox 3 years ago.
    Now I drive , Grocery Shop, Garage Sale shop.This takes work and patience. As WInston Churchill said..”Never, Never, Never, Never give up.
    With Love, Elisa

  • elisalipstick



    You are a Child of GOD. You can get through ANYTHING.
    I am a recovering Agoraphobic. I couldnt walk to the Mailbox.
    NOW, 5 years later…after “Challenging” my thought patterns and accepting how much power “I ” have…I Drive a 10 mile radius alone.
    Grocery shop . Garage Sales. Church.
    This took work and Prayer.
    I believe i have become stronger now going through the Hell of Fear.
    AS Winston Churchill Said.. “Never, Never , NEVER give Up !
    With Love, Elisa

  • jhanewich

    You provide so much inspiration and encouragement! I am a follower of your blogs and love reading each one.
    I can understand what you stated about LinkedIn. Joining LinkedIn was part of my class assignment. I have just completed 3 1/2 years of college and will be receiving my Associates of Applied Science in Web Development as soon as my final class grades are posted. I am hoping to continue on to a Bachelor’s degree, we will see what happens.
    Like you, I also have problems with Agoraphobia and other anxiety disorders…for me they seem to be getting worse, instead of better.
    Whenever I read your blogs, I feel like writing…writing what? I do not know.
    Keep up the Awesome work!!!

    • arlynnpresser

      thanks so much and i’m glad you understand me! the first thing i want you to write is your autobiography! or a review of the book i write about my facebook friends. . . ! but i’m sorry that you feel like stuff is getting harder. if you want to privately email me i would be delighted to listen. . . er, read. apresser@hotmail.com

  • theintrovertgirl

    I love your blog and the strength you have to fight your agoraphobia. Thank you for being a source of motivation for me :] I’ve nominated you for the VBA http://theintrovertgirl.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/woo-hoo/

  • Stiod Opinion: Virtual Company to Agoraphobics « Stiod – Stupid Ideas of the day

    […] pretty cool to see that people around world have many interesting ideas to make world better. This agoraphobic blogger is creating an App to help people who find it difficult to go out home. The idea is “to help […]

  • Guy Penn

    To one of my hero’s – While I am sure I’m not the first or the last, I wanted to let you know that I recognized your blog in the “Reader Appreciation Awards”. I’ve really enjoyed your writing, insights and bravery. Thank you!


  • Face to Facebook | Newronio ESPM

    […] de anunciar em um vídeo no seu site, a escritora Arlynn Presser recebeu várias propostas de encontro dos seus amigos do seu Facebook. […]

  • Darren Donaldson

    I’ve been reading your blog posts for a few months. Like many people here, I find you to be a kindred spirit. I’ve had Agoraphobia and panic disorder issues since about 1989. I also am a writer. I worked at a weekly newspaper as a reporter for a few years and have done some freelance stuff since then. I can’t seem to get the novel off the ground, yet. Despite my limitations, I’ve been married twice and have three boys (3,6 and 7). I’ve moved beyond the severe limitations like the eighth-of-a-mile radius from my home in a car (on good days) to a 15 mile or so radius. It’s amazing how much I can do within 15 miles, but I haven’t been on a vacation in 25 years or so. How did you break through that big wall? I live just north of Detroit. I’d love to meet you if you are ever in the area. I know I’m not on your list, but even us late-to-the-party people support, respect and love you!

    • arlynnpresser

      darren, i would love to meet you and being a parent of three boys is an anxiety attack of its own sort. i’m not sure when i am next in the detroit area although i do get there a bit! but when i’m heading in next please give me a shout out! as for the big wall, i’m not sure. i think it was taking small trips and then making them bigger and bigger. xxoo

    • arlynnpresser

      next time i’m in detroit, i’d love to meet you!

  • John Seidenberg

    Hello, Arlynn, Came across your site and discovered we know someone in common but would rather not spell it out here in the replies. Feel free to contact me individually if you wish. Thanks!

  • carolynquinn

    Greetings! I love your blog, so I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Here’s my post. Thank you for all the times you’ve made my day on WordPress! http://wp.me/p1l1PS-xe

  • Man Enlists Help Of Kickstarter To Meet All His Facebook Friends — All Of Them | shpot

    […] In 2011, a Chicago-area woman attempted to conquer her social anxiety by visiting all 325 of her Facebook friends in person. Over the course of a year, she ended up spending $30,000, traveling to 11 countries and managing to check 292 friends off her list. […]

  • Katherine

    I am fighting it also u r amazing have emailed you… just got to PA two days ago,.. scared but pushing.. would so very much love to talk with you… left my story at FB and in the email… as long as we are breathing there is hope …you gave me more at a rough time ty

  • Babel TV

    Hello ArLynn,
    I’d like to contact you regarding a possible tv report. Could you please give me your email address so that I can describe the program in details.
    Many thanks, Greta

  • Sharon Korogodon

    Hello Ms. Presser:

    I’m Sharon and I came across your website today. I believe you are the daughter of Justin and granddaughter of Fritz Leiber.
    If correct, I just want to reassure you what a helpful, intelligent and engaging individual your father was.
    I was his student in the Bronx in the ’70’s and he not only inspired me to study more philosophy, but he directly facilitated my transfer to Barnard College.
    I came to appreciate him in ways I cannot even express. He was directly influential on my decision to become an academic and philosopher .
    I will never forget how proud he was of his father’s writing. He was a wonderful person whom I will never forget and who I will always fondly remember.

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