Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A Career in Agoraphobia?

I read Nathan a bedtime story every night and so as i settled down tonight with a new book I couldn't help but laugh when I discovered the story. Not what I expected really.

'Scaredy Squirrel' by Melanie Watt. The first page describes how the little squirrel is too scared to leave his tree. He much prefers life at home, surrounded by the things he enjoys. And although his daily routine is always the same - Wake up, eat a nut, admire the view, eat a nut, admire the view, eat a nut, go to sleep - he is perfectly happy because the world beyond scares him. But even while he never leaves his tree, he has a little emergency kit... just in case. How many of us have one of these kits? A brown paper bag, medication, or mine, an ipod, wet wipes, puzzles....

One day a bee scares the squirrel and it knocks him out of his tree. He is terrified at first but after spending an hour or so in a bush playing dead, he realises that nothing bad is going to happen and so he starts to venture out more. I thought it was a very accurate description of an agoraphobic/anxiety suffers life and so i shouldn't have been surprised to discover that the author never leaves her apartment. In the authors note, it tells that she prefers to stay at home and write children's books. And judging from the amount of them on Amazon, Melanie is doing pretty well.

Are there agoraphobics out there who don't miss the outside world. Quite like the way their lives are, and just get on with it. Looks like there are, in fact I'm sure i was one of them for a while.

Which reminded me of another artist who recently contacted me via email about his talent. Charles Bryant is an American singer/songwriter and long time agoraphobia sufferer. After years of trying to get finance to make an album (and being refused) he has finally released his first CD. Visit his website www.charlesbryantmusic.com and check it out for yourself. Having listened myself i found a beautiful soulful voice and as a lover of acoustic guitar, i did enjoy the 'Agoraphobic Waltz'.
Charles wants to reach out to others and has even started his own outreach program ADAO (Agoraphobic And Disabled Artists Outreach), details of this are also on his website (or will be soon).

It saddened me to hear that this very talented man has difficulty performing in public and it makes me think things like 'what a waste', and 'its such a shame', things that have been said about myself over the years. But hopefully this talent wont go unnoticed if we all have a listen, enjoy and spread the word.