About Tanya J. Peterson, Author of the Anxiety Schmanxiety Blog
Monday, October 21 2013 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
I Understand Anxiety. I Live With It
As an emotional human being (aren’t we all?), I’m excited to be writing the Anxiety Schmanxiety blog. Typical of me, I’m also fretful about it. Will what I write be good enough? Will it be helpful? Will readers want to leave comments and interact? What if everyone judges me harshly? Of course I’m imaging an array of negative consequences including certain demise for me and, quite possibly, for you. But don’t worry! I’ve been dealing with this for a long time so I’m used to it. It’s under control – for the most part (I mean, the anxiety is still there, but I’ve learned ways to keep it from ruling me).
So if I’m anxious, why am I excited about writing the Anxiety Schmanxiety blog? Because reaching out to inform and empower is what I’ve devoted my life to. I have a Master of Science degree in counseling and am a Nationally Certified Counselor. I’m not actively working as a counselor right now, though. I’m really bothered by the stigma surrounding mental illness, so I write and speak to help increase understanding of mental illness. I write novels, like Leave of Absence, because fiction is a powerful vehicle for illustrating fact. Plus, people connect with characters in novels and often transfer their empathy to real-life people.
Overcoming Anxiety to Live the Life You Want
My desire to help others understand themselves and each other and to overcome things that are getting in the way of living lives they envision has a personal component, too. After a car accident in which I sustained a head injury, two subsequent concussions, and a lot of extra life stressors, I ended up in a behavioral health hospital. I was in and out five times over the course of a couple years. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder and anxiety-related things, specifically generalized anxiety and social anxiety. For a while I blamed the head injury, but that was just denial. Looking back to pre-accident times, I know without a doubt that I had bipolar disorder and anxiety. It’s just that the injury and the extra stress made it impossible to manage by myself anymore.
That’s why I’m glad to be here. This is what I hope to do for you in this blog: to provide useful information, anecdotes, and the like so you can connect and know you’re neither alone nor misunderstood. You’ll also find useful tools and tricks for taming anxiety in a variety of situations.