They call it agoraphobia. The fear of going out in public places.
The thought so petrifying, so near heart-stopping that you all but board yourself up in your home.
And you never leave. Ever.
Many, many years ago when I wrote for an Indiana newspaper, I profiled a series of agoraphobics.
One, a woman, who quite literally hadn't left her home in six years. All groceries were delivered. Medicines too. Nothing, nothing would make her leave that place.
It took me weeks just to secure an interview with her.
Ironically, she proved friendly and warm, engaging and quite personal. But nothing I said could ever move her to move out of that home, even for a few minutes.
Even weeks later, when she learned a sister was dying. She pained so much to be with her. But she couldn't muster up the courage to travel to her.
Her sister died. And some months later, so did she. Alone, in her living room.
My point is not to bring you down but remind you of the powerful mental blocks that keep so many of us, more than you know, from venturing out.
Fear comes in many forms.
Some are afraid to leave their homes.
Others fret continuously these days over the value of their homes.
And not just homes.
Toys too. So many, so leery after so often hearing of toys recalled, they just recoil.
So they don't buy toys.
They don't buy anything. They hide. And they hope it will go away.
Cocooned from the cacophony they just want to go away.
A terrible thing, fear. It saps our senses. It saps our economy.
And like that kind, lovely woman in Indiana I reported on decades ago, it saps our souls.
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