Dearest Everyone, I have to back off a bit…

Writing and releasing first, we make the beast beautiful has been the most enriching, real experiences of my life. Not one of. The most.

I set out to have a better conversation about anxiety and to feel less lonely myself. The dialogue the book has created has delivered this in spades. It’s come from the media, readers who’ve come to my events and from you guys on my social outlets. Thank you so very much for talking with me and adding thoughts and reflections and for joining me the field beyond right and wrong. And a special thank you to all the journalists who’ve interviewed me. Every single one of you/them dived into nuance, abandoning black and white.

The feedback and engagement has indeed been overwhelming. I’m receiving hundreds, sometimes thousands, of emails, tweets, letters, texts and calls every day. Which is why I now write this post to you.

In an ideal world, if I had oodles of energy to spare and time on tap, I’d love to respond to and engage with every single one of you who has reached out to share your feedback on the book. But my autoimmune and anxiety conditions place limits on both (energy and time). 

In an ideal world, if it were appropriate, I’d love to help all of you contacting me for advice on your anxiety (or that of a loved one). But I am not a medical professional and it would be irresponsible for me to give direct advice.

In lieu of energy, time and expertise, please accept from me…

1. This list of very helpful resources, should you find yourself in trouble. (This list is also in the back of my book.)

If you’re in a bad way, call professional help. It’s imperative.
A good place to start if you’re in an anxiety spiral or having a panic attack…

  • Lifeline: 24-hour crisis support and suicide intervention. Go via their website or call 13 11 14.

If you suffer from anxiety as a persistent thing: I can’t overstate the importance of putting the work into digging around and understanding your fretting better. Know this: on average, it takes an anxious person six years to find a counsellor or psychiatrist that floats their boat. Me? Yes, it took about that long to find the help that made a difference. And even then I found it useful, after a few years, to move on to a different discipline or professional who could challenge and guide me in different ways. It’s all part of the process; you learn from the not-so-good shrinks, too.

  • Start with your general practitioner (GP): They can then refer you to a specialist. In Australia, Medicare covers up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients who are referred by a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician, or under a psychiatrist assessment and management plan.
  • Kids Help Line: Helps young Australians to express themselves, build confidence and live safely. Kids can chat with qualified counsellors for free or call 1800 5518 00.
  • Beyond Blue: Support service for depression and anxiety. They also have a national listing of health practitioners with expertise in the treatment of depression and anxiety. This list is searchable by suburb – a useful way of finding practitioners in your local area, or call 1300224636.
  • Black Dog Institute: World-leading organisation in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder.
  • SANE Australia: Provides information, support and services for patients, carers and families. Go via their site or call 1800 187 263.
  • Gidget Foundation Australia:  Provides free psychological services and support to expectant and new parents experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression. Go to Gidget Foundation or call 1300 851 758.
  • Sydney Anxiety clinic, with Dr Jodie Lowinger (who recently hosted one of my “In Conversation With” events for me). Visit their site.

2. A list of treatments that have helped my anxiety and where to find them.

3. Five recipes that have helped my anxiety.

4. A full reference list from the book.

5. A list of books that have helped my anxiety.

6. A commitment to do some events around Australia and, in time, the rest of the world, where I answer questions on the spot.

7. Also, a commitment to write more posts on this site that discuss anxiety further and answer your questions en masse.

8. And, finally, an apology for not being able to more fully and mindfully sit with where you’re at right now.

I guess the last little thing I’d like to share with you today is this. If reading my book resonated and got you open and delving and made you feel a deep desire to connect further, one idea I just thought of was to suggest that you go out and start the conversation in your circle. As someone who’s done this, I really recommend it. My little heart is gladdened and relieved and feels held and heard beyond belief from getting real and raw. Doing so (getting real ‘n’ raw) has led to all kinds of things, shifting old energy and people who no longer serve me out and exposing me to the big minds and souls I’ve sought for so long.  I now, also, realise we all have a responsibility to do this for each other.

Kindest Regards,

Sarah x

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