If you’ve read my book A Chance for Sunny Skies you probably either loved or hated the main character, Sunny, and her crazy hermit-like tendencies.
Everyone’s different; we all have unique experiences which affect how we relate to the people we meet (in life or books). Throw an issue like anxiety in the mix and it divides us even more. For as many people who understand (on some level) what Sunny is feeling throughout the book, there are also people who have asked, “Really? Are there actual people out there like Sunny?” And even though Sunny’s anxiety is purposely a little over-the-top (as are many of the characters in the book), I really wanted to show an inside look at what it’s like to be in the mind of a person living with anxiety.
I’ve lived with mild anxiety my whole life, and while (like Sunny) I’ve found ways to work through the feelings, every once in a while I do find myself in a situation where I’m unable to cope. My mind won’t calm down, won’t let me think straight. It’s almost like my brain gets in the way of doing the logical or rational thing. People tell me that I shouldn’t care so much, tell me to calm down, tell me it doesn’t matter, but it makes absolutely no difference. Sure, there are physical reactions to this anxiety. My heart races, my chest aches, I can’t breathe, and my face turns red, but the majority of the battle is happening inside my head. It’s hard.
And I get how hard it is to understand if you’ve never lived it.
Up until this year, I really never understood depression. I had friends and loved ones who’d gone through it or were still dealing with it, but still couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t “just get over it”. (See, we all do it to each other.) Then I read a series of blogs on the (fantastic) Hyperbole and a half. I began to understand. To hit things home even more, I recently found myself experiencing mild depression. I couldn’t feel happy. Yes, couldn’t. I was crying over everything, couldn’t sleep, didn’t want to do a thing but curl up in a ball under a blanket and never come out.
I got it. And wished so intensely that I had never thought those “why can’t they get over it?” thoughts.
And so, I hope that reading about anxiety through Sunny, reading about her red faced freak outs, her selfish-seeming solitude, her constant crippling worry, will make you less upset than understanding. I know it won’t be easy to read; it’s not easy to go through. But I hope it helps people understand just a little bit more.
Speaking of feeling anxious (but incredibly happy at the same time), I’ve got a book coming out on Tuesday! Can’t wait to see what you think of it. =) Thanks so much for stopping by and opening your heart to my stories and wonderfully damaged characters.