Phobias and how to deal with them
Dear Granny D
Primarily, I have written to you because I suffer from a severe case of agoraphobia, hence the email. I would never have made it out of my room let alone the Post box down the road. In fact, the only time I do venture outside my bedroom is to collect the sandwiches and milk left in my porch by a concerned neighbour, and to empty out the slop bucket I keep in the corner next to the framed wedding photo of William and Kate; and even then, I leave it until it starts to ferment. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I am terrified of rodents, germs, carpet mites, which is why I don't have any carpeting in my room, anything that has a deformity, dysentery and tranquillisers, to name but a few. I think the last two things are because I suffered a bout of dysentery last year and the Social Services had to tranquillise me in order to remove me from the house whilst they disinfected it throughout. Please, please, please, Granny D; can you help???
Good grief! That does sound like a lot to deal with. But you’ve come to the right person because Granny D has the answer to both your problems in one fell swoop. By using your secondary phobia issues in a positive way, we can hopefully overcome the one that’s preventing you from living a more normal life, agoraphobia.
If you find you really can’t reach out and twist that doorknob; if that barrier seems too great a challenge for you to surmount; I want you to stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Now, before we go any further, I want you to print this email out and stand facing the door as you read it.
Ready? Ok… I want you to imagine you can hear a faint sound coming from behind you. Don’t turn around as this is all part of the therapy. You’re not quite sure what this sound is, but it seems to be getting louder and louder by the second. I want you to concentrate on this sound; it’s like a scratching noise followed by scraping and then rumbling… scratching, scraping, rumbling... scratching, scraping, rumbling… I want you to stare at the door for a moment, the door that keeps you trapped within Sally's world; but you still can’t reach out to that knob, can you? Well you must, Sally... you must take that leap of faith. Ask yourself this, what’s worse, you opening that door to the outside world, or turning around to find a one-eyed, buck-toothed rat sneezing out of its arse-hole as it drags its mangy leg along the floorboards towards you? Go on, girl... go on, you can do it. That evil, disease-ridden rodent is right behind you. If I were you, I’d get my sorry ass out of that sordid little room now or you’re going to be on the menu… for fuck’s sake, RUN!!!
If you are still reading this, Sally, it means that you have been unable to leave the room and we may have to think of something else. I can only hope that the slop bucket is positioned somewhere near the door.
Good Luck, Dear