Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa
Publisher: William Morrow
“I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the shittiest moments in your life, you can transcend them. And if other people can laugh at your awful shit as well, then I guess you can officially call yourself a comedian.”
In Boston, a college student fears leaving her own room—even to use the toilet. In Pennsylvania, a meek personal assistant finally confronts a perpetually enraged gay spiritual guru. In Texas, a rookie high school teacher deals with her male student’s unusually, er, hard personal problem. Sara Benincasa has been that terrified student, that embattled employee, that confused teacher—and so much more. Her hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair.
When I was first contacted by the publicist to review this book, I had no idea how pertinent Agorafabulous! by Sara Benincasa was going to be. I’m currently taking a patient behavioral course at the dental school and one of the topics that were covered in the course was anxiety and panic attacks. When the topic was first covered in the class, I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal. I knew going into dental school that most patients would probably rather be anywhere but the dental office and would avoid it like the plague if they could. But I never really thought about how serious anxiety and panic attacks can be.
And then I read Agorafabulous! and my entire perspective of panic attacks changed. It’s one thing to learn about panic attacks from the medical stance and to learn about how to treat a patient with a panic attack and how to deal with the patient. But it’s a completely different thing to read about it first hand and learn about panic attacks from the patient’s perspective rather than the doctor’s.
One of the things I really adore about this book is how Benincasa is able to get serious points across while making you laugh at the exact same time. The book is extremely enlightening and it completely opened my eyes to the world of agoraphobia and panic attacks. Benincasa is able to fill the book with humorous stories of her personal battle with panic attacks and made it informative without being overbearing. While reading the book, I felt like I was listening to a friend tell me about her experience with panic attacks rather than reading about the experiences of someone I didn’t know. It was so easy to connect to Sara and I was ready to cheer her on and root for her each step of the way as she overcame her fears and anxiety.
I would highly recommend Agorafabulous! to those who love reading memoirs and biographies and is looking for something informative yet humorous.