I was recently contacted to do a collaboration by Shayna Brazier, the author of theAnxiety Makes Me Anxious. I loved the book and finished it in one sitting. Here’s an exploration into my own experience with anxiety and my thoughts about this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Volcanos are terrifying!
Many people experience anxiety at some point in their life. Just like autism, anxiety is different from one person to the next. For instance, it can manifest in the form of a panic disorder, OCD, or phobias.
What’s a phobia? A phobia is a persistent fear of an object or situation, whether rational or not.
Growing up I was terrified of volcanos. Every chance I had, I’d go the library and read books about volcanos. My goal was to locate and learn about all the volcanos on Earth to make sure they weren’t a danger to me and my family. Once I learned about a new volcano, I’d open up an atlas to make sure the volcano was far enough from my house that in case of an eruption, we’d be safe from the lava’s reach. You could have told me 100 times a day that no volcano was ever going to reach my hometown, but I’d still be afraid! Like I said: irrational fears…
Nowadays, I’m not too worried about volcanos but other things – like bugs – scare the crap out of me and turn me into a screaming child. Seriously, have you ever seen a flying cockroach? Just writing those words gave me goosebumps. And since everything is bigger in Texas, they’re pretty horrific here. I love Austin but I could do without the bugs because it seems like I discover a new variety of terrifying insect every week. When I see one, my uncontrollable reaction is to run far far away while flapping my arms and screaming PUTAIN in French. If it’s moving really fast, I take shelter on a table while the kids stare at me, amused at the spectacle unfolding before them. As much as I hate bugs, I can’t kill them. I usually end up trapping them under a big bowl until my husband gets home. For example:
Anxiety makes me anxious
Why am I telling you this? Oh yeah- because there are many different phobias. I believe the fear of bugs is very common, especially among women. My main struggle, though, is health anxiety. I started experiencing heart arrhythmia (SVT, PVCs, PACs) while pregnant with Charlie. These skipped beats and fast rhythms just freak me out. During an episode, it feels like my heart is beating to its own tempo and not to the normal beat I’m used to. It terrifies me even though the cardiologist insists I’m in no danger. So, Anxiety Makes Me Anxious really hit home for me and helped me feel less ashamed of my irrational fears. Importantly, it made me feel less alone.
Brazier talks about anxiety with humor. I loved reading the light-hearted approach to a serious problem that many people often deal with in silence. Her hilarious writing breached into my hardened exterior and allowed her message to reach a deeper more vulnerable place in me, which made me feel like someone else understands my experience. Whether you have a fear of being out in public, bugs, elevators, or dogs, you are not alone! The author shares her experience in a real and genuine way which makes it easy to relate to her. I’m sure many of you will recognize yourself somewhere in her book too because who’s better suited to write about anxiety than a sufferer of anxiety herself?
Shayna is giving away one copy of her book to an Autism Cafe reader. Paperback or Kindle version, winner’s choice!
To enter, do BOTH of these things:
- Follow me on Instagram @the.autism.cafe
- Right here on this page, comment « DONE » followed by your IG handle
I also encourage you to like the Anxiety Makes Me Anxious Facebook Page. A winner will be randomly selected on Thursday, March 30th.
And if you just can’t wait, you can buy her bookon Amazon right now.