Tag Archives: housebound

agoraphobics have their own anthem now!

i was sent this by david janis, a fellow agoraphobe.  he thought it was ironic that i am about to be a homeless agoraphobic and i thought it was ironic that there’s a new anthem for being housebound.  listen to what he’s got to say. . .

 


uh oh, some stupid risks i take and that phone app

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!”

 


it’s january fifteenth and i’m a little behind on my new years resolution. . .

at the beginning of the new year, the ancient babylonians made promises to the Gods that they would return borrowed items and repay their debts.  the romans made their new year’s promises to janus, the two faced God for whom january is named.  and the medieval knights made a “peacock vow” right after christmas to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry.  these days, a lot of people make new years resolutions.  fully 40% of americans make resolutions.  the most popular ones being losing weight, exercising more, getting a better job, getting control over one’s finances.  but 88% of people fail at their resolutions, almost half giving up before the end of january.  last year, i resolved to meet all 325 facebook friends that i had at the time.  for a variety of reasons, i managed to meet up and have real face time, with 292.

in the third episode of season three of the hit series glee, mike chang's father demands that the principal force mike out of the glee club because mike has received an A- on one of his tests. the A- is referred to as the asian F, in part because of the stereotype that asian parents expect perfect grades from their children. i met 90% of my facebook friends last year so i guess that's an asian F.

 

this year, my resolution is to meet 12 facebook friends who would like my help getting out from behind the computer screen.  i think we sometimes use facebook friendships as a way of avoiding the chaos, confusion and just plan scariness of modern life.  and some of us have our worlds get smaller and smaller.

i made three new years resolutions:  one, i have to lose ten pounds.  i gained that much over the course of last year–damn, those taipei soup dumplings, the weiner schnitzel in dortmund, the smashed peas in bristol, the seven course meal in eastbourne. . .  the next is a little more embarrassing.

white wine, we have to talk. . . . i like you too much. so we have to break up. i'll still let myself drink beer but the white stuff's offlimits. if you see me with a glass like this in my hand, call me out on it!

 

and the big resolution is that i will take what i have learned and visit twelve facebook friends who are stuck.  and i will do what i can to help “un-stuck” them.  but january’s nearly over.  i have to get moving.  people who are successful at new years resolutions do two things:  they engage in interim goal setting and they announce their intentions and ask for support from their friends.  in order to make my facebook new years resolution work, i will have to meet one facebook friend a month.  and it can’t just be one meeting or one interaction.  it’s going to have to be a little more intense.  but i have made the first step:

on january 26th, i will be in pennsylvania meeting with a facebook friend who has been housebound for some time.  she would like to be a “better” mother and see her son succeed at things like little league games.  i will be meeting her for the first time.

on january 29th, i will fly out to boston where i will meet with a facebook friend who has similar issues.  i hope she’ll let me take her to lunch at the “top of the hub” restaurant in boston because one of the focuses of her anxiety is heights and elevators.

if you want to succeed at whatever you’ve chosen as your new year’s resolution, you should announce what you plan to do and you should celebrate your interim successes.