This is a followup of sorts -- I'm the same guy who posted this
here back in January, the shut-in asking help to fight isolation/depression. The story's pretty much the same, though, so I'll try not to repeat what I said there -- I have gone back out a few times since then (with my family/caretaker, not on my own), but at best I'm still only at the point where even if there aren't many other people around, I can only stay out for half an hour at most before I start blacking out & need to be taken back home.
I think that given some more years I could become passably functional in the outside world again, but I'm not certain I have the time... I think my mental illness is getting worse & that at some point sooner or later, I might deteriorate past the point where i can go out again, with or without help. (Not suicidal, just trying to get my act together -- like I said before, I want to fight it if I can.)
So at the risk of asking what may be the stupidest question ever asked here... *is* it legal to "buy a friend," to offer payment to someone in return for non-sexual companionship? (I can't imagine why it wouldn't be, but America isn't exactly running short of laws that make no sense to me, so I figure/hope there's no harm in asking.) And even if it's not illegal, would it be safe? Or would a post on craigslist basically saying "mentally ill shut-in will pay $xx/hour to someone willing to take him around town, talk to him & teach him how to act in society", in so many words, just be advertising for trouble? (And yes, of course I know that friendship can't be bought, any more than you can pay a prostitute to genuinely love you -- but I figure that at this point, the substitute can't do me any harm, or at least keep me going until I *could* find the real thing.)
Oh, and to answer from before: therapy isn't really an option for me (I'm uninsured, and in any event have had horrible experiences down that particular path to keep me from ever wanting to pursue it again). I like the thought of volunteering w/ the elderly or needy, at least in theory, but would have a very long way to go first in just getting to the point where I can hold it together around strangers at all (much less the point where I could actually be useful to anyone there). As for pets, I've had them & loved them dearly, but, well, it's just not the same.
Anyhow, thanks for reading. (Even if this *does* turn out to be the stupidest question in ask mefi's history!) I've posted very little on mefi but I've been reading/following it nearly every day since the beginning (literally the 2nd or 3rd week of its existence), more than enough for it & for many of the people here to have claimed a huge part of my admiration and quiet gratitude over the years. Had to say that, by way of saying that I deeply appreciated all the kind feedback to my last post, more than I can express -- and thanks for reading this one.