In the book, You, Me, and Anxiety, I am sharing my lifelong journey with anxiety so that I can help young women and their families navigate life with anxiety and discover hope.
Life with anxiety can be better
Life with anxiety is going to get easier to navigate. Why? Because You, Me, and Anxiety is available to help teens and their parents navigate anxiety.
In the book, I share my life-long journey with anxiety and offer the tools and tips that I wish I’d known earlier in my life.
I get real, and raw, and tell the not-so-pretty experiences of my life with anxiety while helping you understand anxiety, recognize triggers for anxiety, and the steps you can take to navigate your life with anxiety.
Today is a new day in my life with anxiety
On March 3rd, 2021 I signed a contract with Highlander Press. I knew I was being called to write a book and share my life-long journey with anxiety, but I had been dragging my feet. I wasn’t sure where to begin, other than to write, and I was afraid.
By chance, I met Debby Kevin, owner of Highlander Press, a hybrid publishing company. She thought we were having a coffee chat to get to know each other. I was having a coffee chat to seek information about her publishing company.
When I told Debby about my book idea, she loved it, as she too has had family experience with anxiety and immediately recognized the value my book could provide.
Soon after our conversation, I signed the contract, and intentional work began.
The story became more
Shortly after signing the contract, Debby read the first draft of the book. This was in April of 2021.
When I submitted the first draft I was scared and felt very vulnerable. When I received the first round of edits, I was pleased that Debby, as the editor and publisher, liked my writing but then panic set in. She requested that I expand on my story, share more details, and shares more stories about my journey.
If I thought I was being vulnerable in the first draft, I was kidding myself. The real vulnerability came when I had to dig deep into my past to give specific examples of how anxiety influenced my life, my decisions, my behaviors, and my family.
It was really hard. There were many tears. I had to face memories that I’d tried to forget and desperately wanted to leave in the past, not bring to the surface, let alone tell the world about.
Living with anxiety involved secrets
The reality is, no one really knew all of my past. No one knew how dark my life had been at times because living with anxiety can be all-consuming and result in fear, shame, and self-loathing. Anxiety held me back from experiencing true joy. It prevented me from developing meaningful and deep relationships. I didn’t trust people, I lived in a constant state of fear and what-ifs. I often sought approval from the wrong sources and people.
What people actually saw of me was a young woman who went through all of the motions. Studied hard, worked hard, laughed, partied, shopped, and showed up. But who I showed up as wasn’t who I was inside. There was a facade.
Telling stories of how anxiety filled me with fear, anger, and shame was hard. Sharing my eating disorder, self-injurious behaviors, an abusive relationship, and how my family growing up was far from perfect was difficult.
Even today, as the book launches and is available for the world to read, I am shaking, my stomach is in knots, and I’m afraid of the feedback.
Anxiety doesn’t just go away
The fact is, that even though I’ve learned tools to recognize triggers and navigate my anxiety, it has never gone away. It is part of my DNA. I could succumb to it and just use it as an excuse, but I refuse to do that and I don’t want young women of today to either.
No one with clinical anxiety can just get over it. Living with anxiety is tricky. The mind is incredibly complex. And when you add the complexity of the brain, genetics, and environmental factors all together, it is simply impossible to completely overcome and have zero symptoms of anxiety. Our society is so fast-paced and we are so inundated with temptations of comparison, and to be better, work harder, and do more that there is no way to completely ignore or just get over anxiety. Not to mention the ever-changing state of our world.
But what we can do, is identify triggers and retrain our brains to handle anxiety in a positive way instead of letting anxiety control us.
My hope is to make living with anxiety easier for others
By telling my story and sharing the tools that I’ve learned over the years as a person with life-long anxiety, and as a parent of children with anxiety, I hope to help families navigate anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t have to control the outcomes of your life.
As a teen, living with anxiety doesn’t have to hold you back or prevent you from experiencing life like your peers are experiencing it.
And as parents, anxiety doesn’t have to ruin every dinner, and vacation plan, or fill your days with stress, sadness, shame, and fear.
Life with anxiety can be hopeful, joyful, and purposeful if you choose to take action over anxiety and work as a team with your family, and permit yourselves to accept the help you need to navigate it effectively.
Action over anxiety is imperative to find joy
The key to being able to experience hope, joy, and purpose as you live with anxiety, is to take action. In You, Me, and Anxiety I map out my 5 Cs Journaling Method. There are activities for you to do to recognize triggers, identify your fears, overcome shame, identify who you trust, tips on communication and relationships, the importance of forgiveness, why it is important to be curious instead of judgmental, how to give yourself grace, and how to use faith as a means of navigating anxiety.
My story, my gift
You, Me, and Anxiety is more than just my story. It is my gift to the world to hopefully create a ripple effect, a movement, for taking action over anxiety, to decrease the incidence of addiction, decrease the ever-increasing prevalence of deaths by suicide, help families build stronger relationships, and live more joyful, purposeful lives.
You, Me, and Anxiety is now available on Amazon. When I originally sat down to write, I thought I was writing a book for teen girls. But I quickly realized that in order to truly make an impact I also needed to provide information and a tool for parents whose teens have anxiety. And of course, since journaling has been my main tool for navigating anxiety, I created a journal so that readers can take immediate action while reading the book.
And, to try to inspire more people to take action over anxiety, I created merchandise with the action over anxiety logo. We have t-shirts, hoodies, bookmarks, stickers, and coffee mugs to start with.
I’d love for you to head over to Amazon and buy the book and then leave a review. That will, of course, help with creating the ripple effect of more people taking action over anxiety to put more joy in the world.
Links to purchase the books:
And don’t forget, you can also download the free eBook on alleviating anxiety by developing healthy habits for a healthy mind.