I figured I should share the book that changed my life.
Have you ever read a book so relevant and groundbreaking that you underlined just about everything defeating the entire purpose of underlining? That’s what I did, in 2011, when I read “Anxiety: Anatomy and Cure” by Robert W. Kellemen. A mere 42 pages makes for a quick read, engaging and practical, able to be read in an afternoon. Peering through it now, I scour the markings of a number two pencil reflecting on the impact it made on me when I first read it.
I had heard the word “anxiety” before but never thought it would apply to me. I knew that I often got overwhelmed, irritable, and sometimes, I just needed time away from the world. Insecurity and feelings of stuckness accompanied a dark and constant cloud above my head. I had issues, but I never thought to name them. It wasn’t until I read this booklet that I recognized the depth of my struggle. At the risk of sounding cliche, I felt like it was written for me, to me, and maybe even by me. Having words outside of myself confirm what I was feeling was altogether affirming, encouraging, and challenging. If nothing else, it was a breath of fresh air communicating that I was not alone, I was understood, and if I can name the issues, I can work to appropriately resolve them. Reading “Anxiety: Anatomy and Cure” was the start of my journey toward a healthier mental state and better living.
Perhaps Kellemen’s book isn’t for you. Still, I encourage you to read up on mental illness even if you think it just might be something you deal with. Doing so could be extremely beneficial and will surely help you understand exactly what you’re going through. Even if it’s not this one, find a book, and underline so much that underlining loses its purpose.
Here are some solid quotes from Kellemen’s booklet:
“Anxiety is vigilance that is out of control. You continually scan your environment, worried about what-ifs of life. Anxiety is toxic scanning.”
“‘Think’ means to ‘take an inventory.’ When anxiety strikes, strike back with a mental inventory of what you allow yourself to focus on. We have more control over our thinking than we give ourselves credit for, even when we have anxious thoughts.”
“Anxiety feeds on anxiety.”
“Worry draws our eyes inward. Warriors look outward. Worry protects self. Warriors are willing to die to self to protect others.”