The Anxiety Book: Q&A with Author Elisa Black
The Anxiety Book: A Q&A with Author Elisa Black. You will have seen from my posts that I LOVED The Anxiety Book. It explained so many things about me; being the ‘oversensitive’ child, losing my sh*t at silly stuff, yet handling the big stuff with calm and lying awake at 4am going over how I could have handled that altercation with the big boys who stole my papers from my paper round in 1989.
I feel very lucky for getting some interview time with Author Elisa Black to ask a few questions, and of course say thank you for being brave enough to put herself out there and write a book that helps, REALLY helps, and doesn’t give off an airy-fairy new age feel. I hope the below Q&A gives you a feel for this book and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who thinks they may suffer from anxiety, and especially those who have to live with us pain in the ass anxiety people!
First of all, thank you so much for the lovely feedback on the book. It’s vaguely terrifying whacking it all out there so I’m glad you liked it.
Did you feel writing the book was helpful, not only for you, but for the poor souls that have to deal with our anxiety ‘moments?’
I hope so! The actual writing was really hard, not just because writing a book in general is tough, but because I had to really relive my hardest, most anxious moments in order to make it all worthwhile. Much wine was drunk.
But, after all the vile writing was done, it was actually helpful to have gone through the whole thing and then be able to see my anxiety as almost something separate from myself. Understanding better some of the possible causes and manifestations is, for me, really helpful. My husband – the calmest man alive – has read it, (or, at least, he did a global search for his name and read the bits about him) and he says it gave him a much better understanding of what it is like to have anxiety.
The arachnophobia reference early in the book hit home. Ever since I can remember I have had a paralysing fear of spiders. Why do you think spiders are such a common phobia?
I think probably part of it is hard-wired – some of them are poisonous so, especially for our ancestors, it was probably better to be a little scared of all of them. It’s for much the same reason that a lot of us have quite strong reactions to things that elicit our ‘disgust’ response, things that may contain some kind of contagion and have killed us off before anti-venom or vaccinations or antibiotics.
I’m ok with spiders but my dad, who would deny it loudly, is completely freaked out by them. He often sleeps-talks and sleep-brushes invading invisible spiders off my mum in the middle of the night.
Do you still have those days where you doubt yourself and think ‘Is this the anxiety? Is this a trigger? Or am I just acting like a peanut?’
Of course! I don’t think aiming for a life entirely free of anxiety is realistic. Everyone has it sometimes, it’s just some of us feel it more often and more severely and for less identifiable or appropriate reasons. My anxiety, for much of my life, was terrible and terrifying and unmanageable and I often despaired of ever finding anything that would really help me to feel better. But now I am old (cough) and I have learned lots of ways to manage it to the point where I don’t need medication and live much of my life anxiety-free. I still have an over-active imagination that likes to jump from sneeze to ebola in two nano-seconds but I know how to stop the anxiety before it spirals out of control.
But if it came back in the future, for whatever reason, I would do what needed to be done to feel ok again – be it medication or therapy or whatever.
The Anxiety Book: A true story of phobias, flashbacks and freak-outs, and how I got my inner calm back by Elisa Black ($32.99), published by Hachette Australia.
Buy The Anxiety Book at Booktopia by clicking the image below and keep Duffy writing!