Today I am doing my very first book review which I am excited about.
I never imagined I would ever become a “book reviewer” but I guess that is just another one of the perks of being a blogger. I want to be a book reviewer? Boom….I am a book reviewer. 🙂
There are many, many, MANY books out there on the topic of anxiety and I feel strongly that a person with this disorder, as well as their loved ones, should read as many of these books as they can get their hands on. Educating yourself about anxiety is something that I will preach about on this website on a continual basis. It is important, not only because it can help you learn what the heck is going on with you or your loved one, but also because, for the person with anxiety, exposing yourself to the topic of anxiety on a regular basis, helps de-sensitize you to the idea of it and makes it a lot less scary and overwhelming.
Because there are so many anxiety books out there, I decided to start doing some reviewing, and give my readers a little something to go on when they are standing in that very well stocked self-help section at the book store.
I actually had another book in my mind to write my first review about, but just as I was getting ready to get started, a fellow blogger by the name of Peter Fry, from www.MyAnxietyandMe.com asked me if I would review a book called My Anxiety and Me that he wrote, edited and self published. I figured it had to be a sign from the blogger Gods, so I happily said yes.
Peter’s book is available in e-book and paperback on Amazon. (Click here for a link.) It is also available on Amazon UK. If you aren’t familiar with e-books yourself, I don’t think you should let the different format concern you. It downloaded in no time at all and I was able to get started.
As I began to read, it immediately struck me that Peter Fry is not going to hold back in this book. As he told the story of his first panic attack, I found myself impressed with his bravery. I know from my own experiences with anxiety that it it can be difficult to share all the “gruesome details” even with the closest of friends, let alone put it out there for the world to judge and pick apart.
It is a big risk and it is something that I believe proves how strongly Mr. Fry feels about showing his readers that they are not alone.
And that is the message I think people will take most from My Anxiety and Me….that they are not alone. It is a message that I greatly needed to hear when my own anxiety disorder first erupted. It was easy to imagine myself reading this book, back in my early days of anxiety when I was clueless and scared, and feeling a great sense of relief that there was somebody else out there like me.
Peter takes us on a brief journey through his childhood and then into early adulthood, giving us the sequence of events that led to his first breakout of anxiety symptoms. He is open and honest, giving us a real glimpse into the mind of somebody living with an anxiety disorder. I found myself nodding my head and relating to so much of what he said and I even hit my husband in the leg a few times and said “Listen to this….he phrases this so well…….”. I have been reading about anxiety for the last twenty years, and I love finding a book that explains something in a way that I haven’t yet heard it described, and Peter Fry’s Book fits that bill.
The author’s story continues on, as he shares with his readers the challenges of trying to live a busy life while struggling with an inner battle of which almost nobody is aware. He describes his family’s reactions to his new behaviors and I started to wonder if his mother might be a distant cousin of my own mother, due to their similar reactions. (I then laughed to myself as I remembered my mother’s grandmother’s maiden name was Frye….so who knows?)
Peter also shares his struggle with trying to appear “normal” to his friends, who knew nothing about his anxiety disorder and again, I found myself nodding along in complete understanding.
He has a way of telling a story in such detail that I believe that anybody with anxiety, who reads this book, will also be nodding their head and feeling as though they have stumbled upon somebody who “gets it”. As for those who are reading this book on behalf of a loved one, Mr. Fry paints a picture clear enough to I believe, give them a new, realistic perspective as to what their loved ones are going through.
It is clear that he also wants to educate his readers on the basics of anxiety disorders. My Anxiety and Me is full of useful information and statistics, as well as giving the reader an anxiety help resource section, and additional useful tips on the day to day management of anxiety.
Mr. Fry’s book is a success story, with him sharing what ultimately led to his anxiety recovery. I won’t spoil the ending but I will say that it is one that will provide hope and encouragement and a light at the end of that dark tunnel that so many people with anxiety are trying to find their way through.
In the world of anxiety books, I have found that they often fall in one of two categories. There are those the author wants you to relate to, and there are those with which the author wants to educate you. If you are lucky, you stumble across a book that does both, and I was happy to find that was the case with My Anxiety and Me.