I am declaring war on my agoraphobia.
It controls me so powerfully I am ashamed to talk about it. For years, perhaps until just recently, I wondered if it was even real. It is. I can barely get out of the house.
Every night when I go to bed I promise myself I will go outside for a walk the next day. I almost never do. Taking the dogs out to the pen and going out to feed and water them are battles enough, staying out longer than the time it takes to complete those tasks feels like climbing Everest without oxygen. On the days I do get out, I go to the YMCA, library, meeting, speech, class I’m teaching or group I’m facilitating. With terribly rare exceptions, I never go outside just to be outside.
When I was a boy growing up my favorite refuge in the world was the woods. Walking in the woods, by this beautiful stream in Pearl River, New York was like living in the most wonderful fairy take imaginable.
I am surrounded by woods and streams and lakes where I live, all beautiful, breathtaking even, and agoraphobia, my enemy, drives a wedge between me and all this beauty.
I am declare war on this enemy, or, perhaps more accurately, renewing my declaration of war on this.
I miss the world outside my window. I miss the woods. I miss my freedom. I want it back.