I’m a devoted fan of the Food Network with a particular fondness for Ina, Giada, Bobby and anybody associated with “Iron Chef” and “Chopped.” But when it comes to Paula “Y’all” Deen, I turn the channel immediately. The thought of watching her lard every single recipe with either tubs of butter or vats of heavy cream makes me ill.
But then I read today’s Daily Beast article about her. Am I the only one who didn’t know she spent years in her house, crippled by agoraphobia? She couldn’t do anything except cook, it turns out. But then she saw a segment on the “Phil Donahue Show” in which agoraphobia was discussed. Suddenly, there was a name for what she had and she became determined to make it go away.
She not only summoned up the strength to go out, but she reinvented herself by cooking for other people. Now, she’s a multi-million-dollar business.
I had a character with agoraphobia in my novel Some Nerve, and did some research on the anxiety disorder. It’s not fun. It’s difficult to get over. It isolates some of its sufferers to the point of suicide.
So kudos to Paula Deen for not only beating it but for thriving.
Still, I wish she’d go easy on the butter and cream.