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Woman beats phobia by touring world to meet Facebook friends

An agoraphobic woman traveled all over the world to meet all 324 of her Facebook friends.

Written by Agencies | Washington |
January 5, 2012 4:06:08 am

An agoraphobic woman traveled all over the world to meet all 324 of her Facebook friends,just to overcome her debilitating fear of open spaces,crowds and uncontrolled situations.

Arlynn Presser,a 51-year-old romance novelist and mother of two,followed up on her New Year resolution for 2011 to get over the anxiety disorder that triggered panic attacks in her.

During these attacks,she’d first experience sweating and shortness of breath,and then severe pressure in her chest that felt like a heart attack.

“I’m scared of travel. I’m scared of flying. I’m scared of just about anything outside my door. I probably use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends in a way that may be good or might just give me a false sense of intimacy,” ABC News quoted her as saying on her blog.

“I will meet every one of my Facebook friends this year,and I figure I’m going to be surprised. A lot,” she said.

A year later,Presser had visited 292 friends and traveled to 11 countries. With her 23-year-old son,Joseph,she flew to Korea,the Philippines,Taiwan,Mumbai,Rome,Austria,Germany and England.

Her journey also took her throughout the United States and Mexico. She would still get panic attacks,but her son helped her work though them.

The yearlong journey cost about 30,000 dollars,but Presser said it was worth every penny.

“I need a little time to sort of process it,but I do feel like I have more of my life back,” she said.

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