Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom-Sara Benincasa

Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom

Sara Benincasa

Morrow, Feb 14 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780062024411

Sara Benincasa says her first recognized panic attack occurred when she was eleven. As a teen, she became the centerfold for antidepressants and anti-anxiety drug usage. Still she matriculates at Emerson College until she cannot journey from her bedroom to the bathroom to pee. Her parents welcome her back to their New Jersey nest. She sees a psychiatrist and obtains new drugs. Sara slowly readapts to the world with stops in Asheville, Texas and finally New York; a place in which the majority of the population are crazier than she is.

This is profound yet jocular memoir that pulls no punches when Ms. Benincasa provides her avoidance techniques to never leave a safe bedroom such as pissing into a breakfast bowl. With help from her family and friends, she found some healing knowing they cared for her and tried the myriad of self-help guru books that never quite got her off the ledge. However, she found her muse in stand-up comedy in which she uses her agoraphobia incidents as a humorous healer. Mindful of “Make 'em Laugh” from Singin’ In The rain, her credo is "that if you can laugh at the shittiest moments in your life, you can transcend them" and do almost anything. This includes using a bathroom and walking on a stage to get the audience to “laugh at your awful shit …, you can officially call yourself a comedian” and a super self-help author.

Harriet Klausner

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