For every up there is a down, to every yin a yang, to every Abbott a Costello. This got me wondering: what is the opposite of ice cream, and does it make you skinny?

On days like this: cold days that feel like winter is getting in last punch in our faces before it fades away, I am drawn to deep thought. But, my artistic skills not being what they used to be, I put down my pencil in favor of a finger and a rusty keyboard. I convince myself that I must write down my feelings and share them. But then I am reminded that people might not care to hear about this, so I turn on “Sponge Bob” for a while and fritter away brain cells until I calm down.

Still, the dilemma haunts me: if there is a positive to every negative, then what is the upside of agoraphobia?

What is agoraphobia? I search my dictionary for the definition of the word until I realize that I don’t have a dictionary. Instead I have been thumbing through my high school year book for answers. All I come up with is that, unless you play football, you cannot be popular. I guess that explains why everyone seems so cranky in the rest of the world: they don’t have football. Maybe this is the solution to world peace. Then I snap to my sense and apply Band-Aids to whatever hurts.

Yet I remain restless. Words need to come out, even if there are no answers. I shall not rest until they do. And since I desperately need a nap, I must therefore offer this brief bit; after which I will duck for cover, hopefully catching 40 winks along the way.


1. There is a far less chance of being bitten by a dog, cat, animal or person when you stay safe inside your house; that is of course, unless you don’t have a door (or keep the ones you have wide open).

2. You are far less likely of dying in a plane, car, boat, bus or train crash if you are unable to board them.

3. Catching a major illness is less likely to occur if you avoid people and their germs.

4. The inability to visit a supermarket, shopping mall, and restaurant means that you will probably not gain weight.

5. A broken leg is less likely to occur (unless you are very clumsy) when you can’t go outside; and getting hit by a care is rare, unless you live by a bar on a road that is difficult to negotiate.

6. While the incidence of splinters is much higher, that of mosquito bites is virtually non-existent.

7. Thanks to on-demand cable television and the internet, you don’t have to miss any of your favorite movies, and you can always find out who “likes” whom through social media.

8. You can get pizza in 30 minutes or less.

9. Pants are optional.

10. You can use an absentee ballot to vote in every election, even if the candidates repulse you.

11. Your good friends bring you Fritos.

Of course you realize that I am merely kidding. Agoraphobia is a serious condition, and it is painful to endure. But the good thing is that you don’t always have to be so serious about it – just like life. Life is good and bad. There is no getting around it. So maybe it isn’t such a crazy idea to try and laugh your way through the bad times. It might just help.

It also might help if you keep this in mind: no matter how bad things may seem, they will change. How they change can be up to you. Just like winter will be overtaken by spring, so shall the sun shine in your life.


About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

5 responses »

  1. Great to see your wise and witty words back, Joe! This was great. Loved the list.

  2. Colleen says:

    I was driving over with a bag Fritos for you Joe, but the bag “accidentally” broke open and I was afraid they’d be stale by the time I got there — so I ate them. 😀 Am I the best friend ever — of what?!

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