Hello! I'm Sean and I'm new here.

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New member
Apr 19, 2024
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Sheffield, UK
Hi, I'm Sean. I'm 48 and I live in Sheffield, in northern England. I work from home (in payroll, which really is as boring as it sounds!) and I am crushed by loneliness. My therapist suggested I find a forum like this one to make some online friends. I had a pretty unhappy and abusive childhood, which led to me developing a panic disorder in my teens. I battled it for years and never really revealed the extent of it to anyone, least of all myself (I was an expert in lying to myself) but by the age of 36 everything fell apart and I had a breakdown. I became agoraphobic and I was so damaged I could barely function. I was in a relationship at the time but after three years of me being unable to do anything (and the previous 10 years of me being little better) she rightfully left (although in doing so, she kept paying for the place in which I lived until I was able to get help to move out - she was a kind soul who never deserved the hell I put her through). I was assigned a support worker from the homeless charity Shelter and he helped me find a place in social housing. I finally admitted I had a problem and went onto medication. This helped and by 2018 I had found a job and bought a car and was going to work every day. I was by no means well: I was still on antidepressants and the only places I felt safe were my home, the drive to the office in one direction and a nearby supermarket in the other. When the pandemic hit my anxiety flew out of control and I have been indoors pretty much ever since, until last November, when after years of patience and gentleness, my therapist got me to go outside. I have now been outside every day for the past five months and I can easily walk a short distance from my home. The next step is to get on a bus, even if it is for just one stop, and then increase it from there. I'm doing this without medication, having realised that although it served a purpose, it was time to deal with everything from my childhood. Therapy has changed my life. I am so different now to even three years ago. The anger and self-loathing are in retreat and are being replaced by love and compassion. I wish I had done it sooner.

I hope I can make some online friends here and be a friend to others.
Welcome Sean. It's a little quiet here currently but still some good information available. You can use the search function to find particular words and phrases that you might be interested in, or play along with some of the word games in that section if you just want to feel you way for a while. Up to you how much involved you want to be.

There was a woman, I think, that came to this forum some time ago: married, a bit older than you. She spent most of her life agoraphobic, by her account, and finally had made up her mind to overcome it, best she could.

So, I'd like to think, it's never too late.

"Hope and Help for your Nerves" - by Dr. Claire Weekes is the book I recommend.
Welcome! Congratulations on getting as far as you have - it’s a journey. One in which you have to take one day at a time - heck, sometimes even one minute at a time!

Once upon a time, I suffered from debiliating agoraphobia too. I couldn’t even cross the street from my home to go into a corner store. Thankfully, I was able to overcome that time in my life with the help of a wonderful counsellor who taught me coping methods to get through my anxiety. Also, I was in a damaging relationship and once I was free of that, my life slowly improved. I am still very much an anxious-type of person, but I’m able to cope (for the most part) with life. I know my anxiety triggers and do my best to avoid those.

Keep smiling and I wish you much happiness on your journey towards self-acceptance and love. 💞😊
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