For me one of the scariest things about mental illness is the feeling of isolation. Feeling like nobody understands. I am finding the support of others and feelings of inclusion, support and understanding vital to my recovery. This book provides exactly that.
My favourite thing about this book is that it literally covers all bases. Everything I’ve experienced in relation to anxiety is included in this book. Funny, honest stories give an insight into Claire’s own experiences with relatable anecdotes, tips and tricks for dealing with anxiety, guidance for panic attacks and types of therapy. There’s even tips for those caring for somebody with anxiety.
Not only is it hugely comforting to know that other people experience the things that I experience, too, this book provides hope. The book takes you on a journey through Claire’s ups and downs in a way that enables you to relate them to your own and to see everything that Claire has achieved now made me realise that actually no, having anxiety isn’t the be all and end all. It’s not going to be like this forever. I can and will still do all of the things that I want to do, it may just take me a bit longer to get there and that’s ok.
I particularly enjoyed – and found comfort in – chapter six. Claire describes anxiety as a ‘shape shifter’ that takes on three main forms:
The Tiger: aggressive physical symptoms. This one is particularly relatable for me.
The Bully: emotional symptoms. Enforces insecurity and self-doubt.
The Frenemy: the maintainer. Tricks you into missing events, parties etc. because if you do, everything will be alright. Another big one for me.
Whilst exploring these different forms that anxiety can take, Claire gives tips and treatments for each ‘character’. Never are you left thinking, but what can I do about it? The answer is always there. I have found the tips in this book to be useful in day-to-day life and, simply knowing that you are not on your own is such a big help.
I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent but I just love the relatability of anxiety as a shape shifter. And now, I have the knowledge and understanding to put things in place to stop these characters form winning. Thank you, Claire.