Monday, June 9, 2014

Agoraphobia: Finding Peace Through Gardening

Bipolar or Manic Depressive Disorder 
is only one of the many illnesses
that plaque more than 40 million Americans today.

I have a dear friend who suffers from 
Agoraphobia, which actually means, 
"fear of the marketplace."

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder
where the person is afraid to leave what they 
consider to be a "safe" environment.

Most consider the home to be
the only safe environment.

My friend feels safe enough to 
venture around her small town and

Bee says, "It's not that I'm just afraid 
of leaving my home.  It's people that
I'm afraid of too."

The disorder develops over time 
and usually begins with a 
stress-induced event in which
a panic attack occurred.

We have all experienced a sudden feeling of panic
for no reason at all. 

Rapid Heart Beat
Sensation of Choking
Extreme Fear of Death

Agoraphobia is the on-going fear of panic
that debilitates the person and keeps them hiding inside.

Bee and I found each other on Facebook 
and renewed our childhood kinship
and friendship after 40 years apart.

Our daddies were brothers and our mamas
were first cousins. 

She has found a great way to deal 
with her anxiety, 

Her lilies take my breath away.

Since she is unable to shop out of town, 
she orders online and gets premium bulbs that bloom year after year.

The green thumb came from our mama's side of the family.

The yellow is yummy!

She plants zinnias, knock-out roses, and can 
make anything grow.

Bee is finding comfort in Christian music. 
She says that God speaks to her through
music and through His creation.

I encouraged Bee to see a therapist.
She did.

I asked her to lunch.
She accepted.

She is beginning to trust me and continues 
to take steps to get better. 

She has lost 30 pounds
and is intentional about what she eats.
(something I wish I could master)

She is on her way to getting better. 
The process of desensitization is to
face the situation through therapy,
gradually increase exposure to the "unsafe" environment,
venture out by taking along a trusted friend.

Bee feels at times overwhelmed with depression
and feels powerless to do anything about it.

I am encouraging her to blog her journey
and connect with people of like interests.

I'm so glad we found each other.  
We have promised each other that we will stay connected.

I love you, Bee and I pray for you daily. 



  1. What a beautiful post. Prayers that you and Bee 's friendship will thrive. Blessings

  2. Bonnie, what a special relationship the two of you are developing! You amaze me at how, even though you yourself are suffering, you are always helping someone else. That makes you an inspiration to me on so many levels. I appreciate you SO much...and those aren't just words.

  3. How wonderful, Bonnie. Just this post alone shows how your disorder is helping you help others...what a blessing you must be to each other!

  4. I'm so glad you found each other, and for the way you are both helping each other. You are such a blessing to others, and I love how you share your hardship and in doing so you help other.