Mary Ann, give us a quick overview of what you hope this book can do for anxiety sufferers.
Anyone who has had anxiety knows how it can take over your life. In writing The Go To Guide to Anxiety and Panic, my goal was to not only to give anxiety sufferers hope, but to provide answers and reassurance for the many questions and fears that anxiety creates. Many sufferers fear being anxious the rest of their lives. Through this book, I want sufferers know that they are not alone in what they feel and that they can recover.
Obviously a worthy cause, as many people experience anxiety in their lives. Who can benefit the most from this book?
Anyone who has anxiety in any form. You can have a diagnosis and be in treatment already or you may have never had anxiety before but are now experiencing symptoms that are interfering in your daily life. My goal is that this book will give sufferers hope and the keys to recovery.
What prompted you to write this particular book?
I always wanted to write a book. I considered fiction, but I couldn't get past the first page. The saying "write what you know" stuck with me. I know anxiety very well. I had panic attacks as a teen into my early 20's. I am also a mental health therapist so I understand anxiety from the treatment aspect as well. The Go To Guide for Anxiety and Panic came about because I wanted to write the book I wanted to read when I suffered with anxiety.
I think that's an important point here: you wrote the book that you wanted to read when you were suffering. The fact that you've been through this and have come out the other side is huge. Now, in the book, you tell some of your own story. Did you find that difficult, or liberating?
Having anxiety is a very isolating experience. And often the sufferer doesn't share their experience due to the fear being judged. In my own recovery and as a mental health therapist, I struggled to talk about what I was going through. But I learned that sharing is a vital part of healing to have support. In this way, I hope writing about my own story of struggle and recovery inspires those with anxiety to reach out for support and understanding.
We all know that having a good idea and then translating it to paper are two different things. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Rewriting and editing! I wanted this to be a valuable resource that someone could turn to over and over again at any stage in their recovery and find what they needed to answer a question or provide comfort. It was important to me that anyone reading the book would get the tools they needed to overcome anxiety.
What was the easiest part?
The very first draft. I already knew what I wanted to say from all the years of helping clients as well as my personal experience with anxiety. I literally pulled from hundreds of resources over the years to find answers for clients and for myself and that helped tremendously in writing the book.
Sounds like it was an awesome task, but one you were mightily prepared to take on. What’s your primary message to anxiety sufferers?
There is life after anxiety. No matter how long you have suffered or how bad you feel your anxiety may be, you can recover. Hope is found in every step you take through support, resources and self help.
Do you have other projects in mind for the future?
I have a few ideas floating around! Because emotional issues do not get the attention they deserve in our society today, the need for knowledge and understanding is more vital than ever. No one should have to suffer alone. I found writing The Go To Anxiety and Panic Book therapeutic for that reason, and I would find it very rewarding to continue to help others through writing.
Good for you! We all have times when we can use a little help to get through the rough patches in our lives. I wish you all the best with the new book and hope you get great feedback from readers. Keep me posted on any new projects and we'll have another chat when you've got another book under your belt!