I tried something new last week. I pushed myself out of another comfort zone. Just as I was adjusting to telling complete strangers I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in my memoir COULD HAVE BEEN HOLLY WOOD, I decided to take it a step further.
I called the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and volunteered to serve as a spokesperson. They will refer media to me that calls requesting to speak with someone who has lived with GAD. My original intent was to simply post a story on their website about my personal experience with my disorder. Then the woman I was chatting with asked if she could run a picture of me alongside my story. She said it’s difficult to find people who feel comfortable putting a name and face to their stories because they fear other people’s reactions.
For a split-second I was surprised by this. Then I remembered I had worried about the exact same thing all throughout my teens, twenties, and into my thirties. My fear stopped me from seeking proper treatment and kept me sick.
I can only hope that publically sharing my story with as many people as possible will help others seek help sooner so they may put their own anxiety to rest. Life is better on the other side.